‘Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day’ by Philip Matyszak – An Untouched Bookshelf Challenge Review

This greek theme is seeming to go on on my blog these days, and I don’t really know which is the cause and which is the consequense, but I’m happy to announce that while being in this mood I’ve had a chance to realize this dream: I have a little holiday (finally) and I’m flying to Athens for a week with my… well, by the time you read this, he’s not my boyfriend anymore. He’s my husband. I’m so excited!

This is all inconvenient and weird right now to do, with everything going on, and everything that happened in my family, but we’ve wanted to do this for a while now, and we wanted something good to happen this year, too…and since neither of us cares about big weddings and huge gatherings, we decided to do this now, fast, with only two witnesses, rebel-mode. And I’m so happy we do it this way! It suits us more.

But, enough about my personal life… Let’s talk about the book!



I’ve got this book from my (since this summer late) aunt years ago, for Christmas. Or a birthday, I’m not sure anymore. Anyway, it sounded interesting, as I was always keen on ancient history, ever since I was a kid, but somehow as the years passed by, I never got to this book. It’s also on my Untouched Bookshelf List, so I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally read yet another physical book that has been lying on my shelf since ages!

When we decided to spend our holiday (and in this case, honeymoon) in Athens, I remembered that I have this book, sad and untouched on my shelf, and I realized it would be the perfect read to get in the mood for Athens! And it was.


The idea here is a trip guide to ancient Athens, and not the modern, today-one. And it is fantastic! Like, it’s written in the style of a modern travel book, with chapters for different themes and descriptions of events, places, people, history, but it’s written from a perspective of a chosen time during the ancient times…as if your trip is there and then. I loved it!

There’s a lot of historical facts, but everything is written in a light, digestable style. Maybe even a little too superficial for my taste, but it’s only because I’m actually really interested in history. For someone well-read regarding the topic, this book can be a bit repetitive and slightly boring, but in general, it really is a very good ‘travel guide’. The style and descriptions are enjoyable. You really feel like you’re about to travel to the old city, and not the modern one. I’m actually a little afraid now that I will maybe be a bit disapponted when there are 21st century people on the streets of Athens these days! 😀

Let’s Give It A Grade!

  1. Topic unfolding: 5/5
  2. Style: 4/5
  3. The Subjective Factor: 4/5
  • GPA: 4.33


The idea itself. I mean, travel guide to an actual ancient city? How awesome is that??

Recommend to:

Not-too-history-nerdy fans of ancient history. I know it sounds weird, but you have to love history for this one, and at the same time I don’t think you should take it very seriously. Care about history, but let yourself have fun! 😉


I read critics and most of them stated that this book is good, but the first one from this author (the same theme/idea, but about ancient Rome) is better. I’d love to read that one, too! (Hm, and maybe my next trip can be Rome, then! 😀)

Have you ever been to Athens? Did you like it? Do you like ancient history?

What do you think about this idea of a tour guide in an ancient city?

Have fun!

Hugs 🙂


2 thoughts on “‘Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day’ by Philip Matyszak – An Untouched Bookshelf Challenge Review

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