Athanassiou/Monument of Philopappos, Athens
The proliferation of photography almost immediately following its invention is a witness to the democratization of the Grand Tour. Travel became more of a possibility for the middle classes, and like the prints acquired by sixteenth-century visitors to Rome, the photograph offered a means of collecting—or recollecting—the past as a souvenir. Constantine Athanassiou's 1875 image of a camera tripod erected next to the Monument of Philopappos in Athens (above), or that of a Greek and a European man gazing upon the Acropolis in about 1865(see photograph), anticipates the impact of mass tourism and emphasizes the pivotal role assumed by the viewer. Antiquity became a birthright, part of the cultural inheritance of ever-widening sectors of society.

More images of Greece are available from the Gary Edwards collection of 19th-century Photography of Ancient Greece.