Place, and the asssociations of place, had for a Greek a deeper meaning than they can possibly have in our nore diffused and undifferentiated world, where a man can move a hundred, or a thousand, miles and still feel himself at home. But the Greek was rooted in his little community; there it lay, on some lonely hill, perhaps, or in the corner of some deserted inlet of the coast, isolated and alone, the symbol to him of everything he held dear, his only protection, such as it was, against wild nature, and the enemy who might at any moment be at the gates. Every stone of it was sacred, every yard of its surrounding fields and olive-groves and scanty pasture. He knew it all, and loved it all, as he loved his own house; it was his intimate possession, haunted and blessed by its own guardian spirits and gods. And because it was in perpetual peril, he only loved it the more. I have said something in a previous chapter about the adjectives which Greek poets found it natural to apply to their towns and islands—adjectives which to us seem more suitable for a lover to apply to his beloved; and perhaps it was this same passionate attachment which made the Greeks lavish so much labour on the adornment of their homes. Even the defence-walls which surrounded a town were works of exquisite craftsmanship, the stones which composed them being cut and squared with ungrudging labour, to endure for ever. It is hard for us to think of Homer’s phrase ‘the holy citadel of Troy’ as anything but a piece of literary grace; but for a Greek, in every age, his citadel was in fact, and not in metaphor, a holy place: his gods lived with him there, the projections of his own love.
– Aubrey de Sélincourt, The World of Herodotus pp. 186-187