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Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...

Athens
is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for perhaps 5,000 years. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, and its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of
Western civilization
Western civilization
. During the early Middle Ages, the city experienced a decline, then recovered under the later
Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
and was relatively prosperous during the period of the
Crusades
Crusades
(12th and 13th centuries), benefiting from Italian trade. Following a period of sharp decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens in the 19th century as the capital of the independent and self-governing
Greek state
Greek state
.


Name

The name of
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...

Athens
, connected to the name of its patron goddess
Athena Athena or Athene, often given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek religion, ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, warfare, and handicraft who was later syncretism, syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded ...

Athena
, originates from an earlier Pre-Greek language. The origin myth explaining how Athens acquired this name through the legendary contest between Poseidon and Athena was described by Herodotus,Herodotus, The Histories
8.55
/ref> Apollodorus, , , Pausanias and others. It even became the theme of the sculpture on the west pediment of the . Both Athena and requested to be patrons of the city and to give their name to it, so they competed with offering the city one gift each. Poseidon produced a spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. Athena created the , symbolizing and prosperity. The Athenians, under their ruler , accepted the olive tree and named the city after Athena. (Later the Southern Italian city of was founded under the name of Poseidonia at about 600 BC.) A sacred olive tree said to be the one created by the goddess was still kept on the Acropolis at the time of Pausanias (2nd century AD). It was located by the temple of Pandrosus, next to the Parthenon. According to Herodotus, the tree had been burnt down during the Persian Wars, but a shoot sprung from the stump. The Greeks saw this as a symbol that Athena still had her mark there on the city. , in his dialogue '' Cratylus'', offers his own etymology of Athena's name connecting it to the phrase ''ἁ θεονόα'' or ''hē theoû nóēsis'' (ἡ θεοῦ νόησις, 'the mind of god').


Geographical setting

There is evidence that the site on which the ('high city') stands was first inhabited in the Neolithic period, perhaps as a defensible settlement, around the end of the fourth millennium BC or a little later. The site is a natural defensive position which commands the surrounding plains. It is located about inland from the Saronic Gulf, in the centre of the Cephisian Plain, a fertile valley surrounded by rivers. To the east lies Mount Hymettus, to the north Mount Pentelicus. Ancient Athens, in the first millennium BC, occupied a very small area compared to the sprawling metropolis of modern Greece. The ancient walled city encompassed an area measuring about 2 km (1.25 mi) from east to west and slightly less than that from north to south, although at its peak the ancient city had suburbs extending well beyond these walls. The Acropolis was situated just south of the centre of this walled area. The , the commercial and social centre of the city, lay about 400 m (1,300 ft) north of the Acropolis, in what is now the district. The hill of the , where the Athenian Assembly met, lay at the western end of the city. The Eridanus (Ηριδανός) river flowed through the city. One of the most important religious sites in ancient Athens was the Temple of Athena, known today as the Parthenon, which stood on top of the Acropolis, where its evocative ruins still stand. Two other major religious sites, the (which is still largely intact) and the or Olympeion (once the largest temple in mainland Greece but now in ruins) also lay within the city walls.


Antiquity


Origins and early history

Athens has been inhabited from Neolithic times, possibly from the end of the fourth millennium BC, or over 5,000 years. By 1412 BC, the settlement had become an important center of the Mycenaean civilization and the Acropolis was the site of a major Mycenaean fortress whose remains can be recognised from sections of the characteristic Cyclopean walls.Iakovides, S. 1962. 'E mykenaïke akropolis ton Athenon'. Athens. On the summit of the Acropolis, below the later , cuttings in the rock have been identified as the location of a Mycenaean palace. Between 1250 and 1200 BC, to feed the needs of the Mycenaean settlement, a staircase was built down a cleft in the rock to reach a water supply that was protected from enemy incursions, comparable to similar works carried out at Mycenae. Unlike other Mycenaean centers, such as Mycenae and , it is unclear whether Athens suffered destruction in about 1200 BC, an event traditionally attributed to a Dorian invasion (though now commonly attributed to a systems collapse, part of the Late Bronze Age collapse). The Athenians always maintained that they were 'pure' Ionians with no Dorian element. However, Athens, like many other Bronze Age settlements, went into economic decline for around 150 years following this. Iron Age burials, in the Kerameikos and other locations, are often richly provided for and demonstrate that from 900 BC onwards Athens was one of the leading centres of trade and prosperity in the region; as were Lefkandi in and in Crete. This position may well have resulted from its central location in the Greek world, its secure stronghold on the Acropolis and its access to the sea, which gave it a natural advantage over inland rivals such as Thebes and . According to legend, Athens was formerly ruled by kings, a situation which may have continued up until the 9th century BC. From later accounts, it is believed that these kings stood at the head of a land-owning aristocracy known as the ''Eupatridae'' (the 'well-born'), whose instrument of government was a Council which met on the Hill of , called the Areopagus and appointed the chief city officials, the s and the polemarch (commander-in-chief). The most famous king of Athens was Theseus, a prominent figure in
Greek Mythology A major branch of classical mythology, Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical co ...
who killed the . During this period, Athens succeeded in bringing the other towns of Attica under its rule. This process of '' synoikismos''the bringing together into one homecreated the largest and wealthiest state on the Greek mainland, but it also created a larger class of people excluded from political life by the nobility. By the 7th century BC, social unrest had become widespread, and the Areopagus appointed Draco to draft a strict new code of law (hence the word 'draconian'). When this failed, they appointed
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων;  BC) was an History of Athens, Athenian statesman, constitutional lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in A ...

Solon
, with a mandate to create a new constitution (in 594 BC).


Reform and democracy

The reforms that Solon initiated dealt with both political and economic issues. The economic power of the ''Eupatridae'' was reduced by forbidding the enslavement of Athenian citizens as a punishment for debt ( debt bondage), by large landed estates and freeing up trade and commerce, which allowed the emergence of a prosperous urban trading class. Politically, Solon divided the Athenians into four classes, based on their wealth and their ability to perform military service. The poorest class, the ''Thetai'', (Ancient Greek ''Θήται'') who formed the majority of the population, received political rights for the first time and were able to vote in the '' Ecclesia'' (Assembly). But only the upper classes could hold political office. The Areopagus continued to exist but its powers were reduced. The new system laid the foundations for what eventually became Athenian democracy, but in the short-term it failed to quell class conflict and after twenty years of unrest the popular party, led by Peisistratos, seized power. Peisistratos is usually called a , but the Greek word ''tyrannos'' does not mean a cruel and despotic ruler, merely one who took power by force. Peisistratos was in fact a very popular ruler, who made Athens wealthy, powerful, and a centre of culture. He preserved the Solonian Constitution, but made sure that he and his family held all the offices of state. Peisistratus built the first aqueduct tunnel at Athens, which most likely had its sources on the slopes of Mount Hymettos and along the Ilissos river. It supplied, among other structures, the fountain house in the southeast corner of the Agora, but it had a number of branches. In the 4th century BC it was replaced by a system of terracotta pipes in a stone-built underground channel, sometimes called the Hymettos aqueduct; many sections had round, oval or square access holes on top of about . Pipe segments of this system are displayed at the Evangelismos and Syntagma Metro stations. Peisistratos died in 527 BC and was succeeded by his sons
Hippias Hippias of Elis (city), Elis (; el, Ἱππίας ὁ Ἠλεῖος; late 5th century BC) was a Ancient Greece, Greek sophist, and a contemporary of Socrates. With an assurance characteristic of the later sophists, he claimed to be regarded as a ...
and
Hipparchus Hipparchus (; el, wikt:Ἵππαρχος, Ἵππαρχος, ''Hipparkhos'';  BC) was a Ancient astronomy, Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician. He is considered the founder of trigonometry, but is most famous for his incidenta ...
. They proved to be much less adept rulers and in 514 BC, Hipparchus was assassinated in a private dispute over a young man (see
Harmodius and Aristogeiton Harmodius (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed l ...
). This led Hippias to establish a real dictatorship, which proved very unpopular. He was overthrown in 510 BC. A radical politician with an aristocratic background named
Cleisthenes Cleisthenes ( ; grc-gre, Κλεισθένης), or Clisthenes (c. 570c. 508 BC), was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a Athenian democracy, democratic footing in 508 BC. Fo ...
then took charge, and it was he who established democracy in Athens. The reforms of Cleisthenes replaced the traditional four ''
phyle ''Phyle'' ( gr, φυλή, phulē, "tribe, clan"; pl. ''phylai'', φυλαί; derived from ancient Greek φύεσθαι "to descend, to originate") is an ancient Greek term for tribe or clan. Members of the same ''phyle'' were known as ''symphylet ...
'' ('tribes') with ten new ones, named after legendary heroes and having no class basis; they were in fact electorates. Each ''phyle'' was in turn divided into three ''
trittyes The ''trittyes'' (; grc, τριττύες ''trittúes''), singular ''trittys'' (; τριττύς ''trittús'') were part of the organizational structure the divided the population in ancient Attica, and is commonly thought to have been establishe ...
'' and each ''trittys'' had one or more
deme In Ancient Greece, a deme or ( grc, δῆμος, plural: demoi, δημοι) was a suburb or a subdivision of Classical Athens, Athens and other city-states. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th ...
s, which became the basis of local government. The ''phyle'' each elected fifty members to the Boule, a council which governed Athens on a day-to-day basis. The Assembly was open to all citizens and was both a legislature and a supreme court, except in murder cases and religious matters, which became the only remaining functions of the Areopagus. Most public offices were filled by lot, although the ten ''
strategoi ''Strategos'', plural ''strategoi'', Linguistic Latinisation, Latinized ''strategus'', ( el, στρατηγός, pl. στρατηγοί; Doric Greek: στραταγός, ''stratagos''; meaning "army leader") is used in Greek language, Greek to ...
'' (generals) were elected. This system remained remarkably stable and, with a few brief interruptions, it remained in place for 170 years, until
Philip II of Macedon Philip II of Macedon ( grc-gre, Φίλιππος ; 382 – 21 October 336 BC) was the king (''basileus'') of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia from 359 BC until his death in 336 BC. He was a member of the Argead ...
defeated Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC.


Classical Athens


Early Athenian military history and Persian era

Prior to the rise of Athens, Sparta considered itself to be the leader (or
hegemon Hegemony (, , ) is the political, economic, and military predominance of one State (polity), state over other states. In Ancient Greece (8th BC – AD 6th ), hegemony denoted the politico-military dominance of the ''hegemon'' city-state over oth ...
) of the Greeks. In 499 BC, Athens sent troops to aid the Ionian Greeks of
Asia Minor Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
, who were rebelling against the
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, , ), also called the First Persian Empire, was an History of Iran#Classical antiquity, ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. Bas ...
(the
Ionian Revolt The Ionian Revolt, and associated revolts in Aeolis, Doris (Asia Minor), Doris, Cyprus and Caria, were military rebellions by several Greek regions of Asia Minor against Achaemenid Empire, Persian rule, lasting from 499 BC to 493 BC. At the hear ...
). This provoked two Persian invasions of Greece by the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, , ), also called the First Persian Empire, was an History of Iran#Classical antiquity, ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. Bas ...
. In 490 BC, the Athenians, led by the soldier-statesman
Miltiades Miltiades (; grc-gre, Μιλτιάδης; c. 550 – 489 BC), also known as Miltiades the Younger, was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek ...
, defeated the first invasion of the
Persians The Persians are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group who comprise over half of the population of Iran. They share a Culture of Iran, common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language as well as of Iranian languages, t ...
under
Darius I Darius I ( peo, wiktionary:𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 ; grc-gre, Δαρεῖος ; – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was a List of monarchs of Persia, Persian ruler who served as the third King o ...
at the
Battle of Marathon The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of History of Athens, Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Achaemenid Empire, Persian force commanded by Datis and Artapherne ...
. In 480 BC, the Persians returned under Darius's son Xerxes. When a small Greek force holding the pass of Thermopylae was defeated, the Persians proceeded to capture an evacuated Athens. The city of Athens was twice captured and sacked by the Persians within one year after Thermopylae. Subsequently, the Athenians (led by
Themistocles Themistocles (; grc-gre, wikt:Θεμιστοκλῆς, Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian politician and General officer, general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who ros ...
), with their allies, engaged the much larger Persian navy at sea in the
Battle of Salamis The Battle of Salamis ( ) was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Classical Greece, Greek Poleis, city-states under Themistocles and the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire under Xerxes I, King Xerxes in 480 BC. It resulted in a decisive ...
and routed the Persians, a great turning point in the war. In 479 BC, the Athenians and Spartans, with their allies, defeated the Persian army conclusively at the
Battle of Plataea The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Ancient Greece, Greek city-states (including S ...
. Athens then took the war to Asia Minor. These victories enabled it to bring most of the Aegean and many other parts of Greece together in the
Delian League The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Polis, Greek city-states, numbering between 150 and 330, under the leadership of Classical Athens, Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire a ...
, an Athenian-dominated alliance.


Peloponnesian War

The resentment felt by other cities at the hegemony of Athens led to the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek war fought between Classical Athens, Athens and Sparta and their respective allies for the hegemony of the Ancient Greece, Greek world. The war remained undecided for ...
, which began in 431 BC and pitted Athens and its increasingly rebellious overseas empire against a coalition of land-based states led by Sparta. The conflict was a drawn out one that saw Sparta control the land while Athens was dominant at sea, however the disastrous
Sicilian Expedition The Sicilian Expedition was an Classical Athens, Athenian military expedition to Sicily, which took place from 415–413 BC during the Peloponnesian War between Classical Athens, Athens on one side and Sparta, Syracuse, Sicily, Syracuse and C ...
severely weakened Athens and the war eventually ended in an Athenian defeat following the Battle of Aegospotami which ended Athenian naval supremacy.


Athenian coup of 411 BC

Due to its poor handling of the war, the democracy in Athens was briefly overthrown by a coup in 411 BC; however, it was quickly restored. The Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC with the complete defeat of Athens. Since the loss of the war was largely blamed on democratic politicians such as Cleon and Cleophon, there was a brief reaction against democracy, aided by the Spartan army (the rule of the
Thirty Tyrants The Thirty Tyrants ( grc, οἱ τριάκοντα τύραννοι, ''hoi triákonta týrannoi'') were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal ci ...
). In 403 BC, however, democracy was restored by
Thrasybulus Thrasybulus (; grc-gre, wikt:Θρασύβουλος, Θρασύβουλος ; 440 – 388 BC) was an Athens, Athenian general and democracy, democratic leader. In 411 BC, in the wake of an oligarchy, oligarchic coup at Athens, the pro-democrac ...
and an
amnesty Amnesty (from the Ancient Greek ἀμνηστία, ''amnestia'', "forgetfulness, passing over") is defined as "A pardon extended by the government to a group or class of people, usually for a political offense; the act of a sovereign power offici ...
was declared.


Corinthian War and the Second Athenian League

Sparta's former allies soon turned against her, due to her imperialist policy, and soon Athens' former enemies Thebes and
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, which is located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government refor ...
had become her allies; they fought with Athens and Argos against Sparta in the indecisive
Corinthian War The Corinthian War (395–387 BC) was a conflict in ancient Greece which pitted Sparta against a coalition of city-states comprising Thebes (Greece), Thebes, Classical Athens, Athens, Ancient Corinth, Corinth and Argos, Peloponnese, Argos, backe ...
(395 – 387 BC). Opposition to Sparta enabled Athens to establish a
Second Athenian League The Second Athenian League was a maritime confederation of Aegean Islands, Aegean city-states from 378 to 355 BC and headed by Classical Athens, Athens, primarily for self-defense against the growth of Sparta and secondly, the Achaemenid Empire, Per ...
. Finally Thebes defeated Sparta in 371 BC in the
Battle of Leuctra The Battle of Leuctra ( grc-gre, Λεῦκτρα, ) was a battle fought on 6 July 371 BC between the Boeotians led by the Thebes (Greece), Thebans, and the History of Sparta, Spartans along with their allies amidst the post-Corinthian War conflict ...
. But then the Greek cities (including Athens and Sparta) turned against Thebes, whose dominance was stopped at the
Battle of Mantinea (362 BC) The (second) Battle of Mantinea or Mantineia was fought on 4 July 362 BC between the Thebes, Greece, Thebans, led by Epaminondas and supported by the Arcadia (ancient region), Arcadians and the Boeotian league against the Spartans, led by King ...
with the death of its military-genius leader
Epaminondas Epaminondas (; grc-gre, Ἐπαμεινώνδας; 419/411–362 BC) was a Greeks, Greek general of Thebes, Greece, Thebes and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek polis, city-state, leading it out o ...
.


Athens and the rise of Macedon

By the mid-4th century BC, however, the northern Greek kingdom of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...
was becoming dominant in Athenian affairs. In the
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC) The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia under Philip II of Macedon, Philip II and an alliance of city-states led by Classical Athens, Athens and Thebe ...
, Philip II's armies defeated an alliance of some of the Greek city-states including Athens and Thebes, forcing them into a confederation and effectively limiting Athenian independence. Philippides of Paiania, one of the wealthiest Athenian aristocratic oligarchs, campaigned for Philip II during the Battle of Chaeronea and proposed in the Assembly decrees honoring Alexander the Great for the Macedonian victory. Philippides was prosecuted in trial by
Hypereides Hypereides or Hyperides ( grc-gre, Ὑπερείδης, ''Hypereidēs''; c. 390 – 322 BC; English pronunciation with the stress variably on the penultimate or antepenultimate syllable) was an Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; ...
, who detested his pro-Macedonian sympathies. Subsequently, the conquests of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
widened Greek horizons and made the traditional Greek city state obsolete. Athens remained a wealthy city with a brilliant cultural life, but ceased to be a leading power. The period following the death of Alexander in 323 BC is known as
Hellenistic Greece Hellenistic Greece is the historical period of the country following Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek Achaean League heartlands by the Roman Republic. This culminated ...
.


Artists and philosophers

The period from the end of the Persian Wars to the Macedonian conquest marked the zenith of Athens as a center of literature, philosophy, and the arts. In Athens at this time, the
political satire Political satire is satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where Political discourse analysis, political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing ...
of the
Comic poets Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the Theatre of ancient Greece, theatre of classical Greece (the others being tragedy and the satyr play). Classical Athens, Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into ...
at the theatres had a remarkable influence on
public opinion Public opinion is the collective opinion on a specific topic or voting intention relevant to a society. It is the people's views on matters affecting them. Etymology The term "public opinion" was derived from the French ', which was first use ...
. Some of the most important figures of Western cultural and intellectual history lived in Athens during this period: the dramatists
Aeschylus Aeschylus (, ; grc-gre, wikt:Αἰσχύλος, Αἰσχύλος ; c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek Greek tragedy, tragedian, and is often described as the father of tragedy. Academic knowledge of the genre be ...
,
Sophocles Sophocles (; grc, wikt:Σοφοκλῆς, Σοφοκλῆς, , Sophoklễs; 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)Sommerstein (2002), p. 41. is one of three classical Greece, ancient Greek tragedy, tragedians, at least one of whose plays has survived in fu ...
,
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης, Eurīpídēs, ; ) was a tragedy, tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom any plays have survived in full. Some ancient sc ...
and
Aristophanes Aristophanes (; grc, Ἀριστοφάνης, ; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion ( la, Cydathenaeum), was a comedy, comic playwright or comedy-writer of Classical Athens, ancient Athens and a poet of Ancient G ...
, the physician
Hippocrates Hippocrates of Kos (; grc-gre, Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Κῷος, Hippokrátēs ho Kôios; ), also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the Classical Greece, classical period who is considered one of the most outstanding figures ...
, the philosophers
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher from Classical Athens, Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy and among the first moral philosophers of the Ethics, ethical tradition of thought. An enigmati ...
, Plato and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
, the historians Herodotus,
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian historian and general. His ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts Peloponnesian War, the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has ...
and
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, wikt:Ξενοφῶν, Ξενοφῶν ; – probably 355 or 354 BC) was a Greek military leader, philosopher, and historian, born in Athens. At the age of 30, Xenophon was elected commander of one of the biggest Anci ...
, the poet
Simonides Simonides of Ceos (; grc-gre, Σιμωνίδης ὁ Κεῖος; c. 556–468 BC) was a Greek lyric poet, born in Ioulis on Kea (island), Ceos. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included him in the canonical list of the nine lyric p ...
, the orators
Antiphon An antiphon (Greek language, Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") is a short chant in Christianity, Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose ...
,
Isocrates Isocrates (; grc, Ἰσοκράτης ; 436–338 BC) was an ancient Greek rhetorician, one of the ten Attic orators. Among the most influential Greek rhetoricians of his time, Isocrates made many contributions to rhetoric and education thr ...
,
Aeschines Aeschines (; Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''Aischínēs''; 389314 BC) was a Ancient Greece, Greek politician, statesman and one of the ten Attic orators. Biography Although it is known he was born in Athens, the records regarding his parentage and ...
, and
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greeks, Greek statesman and orator in History of Athens, ancient Athens. His Public speaking, orations constitute a significant expression ...
, and the sculptor
Phidias Phidias or Pheidias (; grc, Φειδίας, ''Pheidias'';  480 – 430 BC) was a Hellenic civilization, Greek sculptor, painter, and architect. His Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Phidias ...
. The leading statesman of the mid-fifth century BC was
Pericles Pericles (; grc-gre, Περικλῆς; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens. He was prominent and influential in Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, ...
, who used the tribute paid by the members of the Delian League to build the Parthenon and other great monuments of classical Athens. The city became, in Pericles's words, "the school of Hellas reece"


Hellenistic Athens

Shortly after the death of Alexander the Great,
Antipater Antipater (; grc, , translit=Antipatros, lit=like the father; c. 400 BC319 BC) was a Macedonian general and statesman under the subsequent kingships of Philip II of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great Alexander III of M ...
and Craterus became joint generals of Greece and Macedonia. Athens joined
Aetolia Aetolia ( el, Αἰτωλία, Aἰtōlía) is a mountainous region of Greece on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, forming the eastern part of the modern regional units of Greece, regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania. Geography The Achelous ...
and
Thessaly Thessaly ( el, Θεσσαλία, translit=Thessalía, ; ancient Aeolic Greek#Thessalian, Thessalian: , ) is a traditional geographic regions of Greece, geographic and modern administrative regions of Greece, administrative region of Greece, co ...
in facing their power, known as the
Lamian War The Lamian War, or the Hellenic War (323–322 BC) was fought by a coalition of cities including Athens and the Aetolian League against Macedon and its ally Boeotia. The war broke out after the death of the King of Macedon, Alexander the Great, ...
. Craterus fell in a battle against
Eumenes Eumenes (; grc-gre, Εὐμένης; c. 362316 BC) was a Ancient Greece, Greek general and satrap. He participated in the Wars of Alexander the Great, serving as both Alexander the Great, Alexander's personal secretary and as a battlefield comman ...
in 320 BC, leaving Antipater alone to rule for a year, till his death in 319 BC. Athens had a central role in the struggle for his succession, when Antipater's son,
Cassander Cassander ( el, Κάσσανδρος ; c. 355 BC – 297 BC) was king of the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC ...
, secured the
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a Port#Ancient Greece, port city within the Athens urban area ("Greater Athens"), in the Attica (region), Attica region of Greece. It is located southwest of Athens' city centr ...
leaving Athens without a source of supplies, to contest Antipeter's successor,
Polyperchon Polyperchon (sometimes written Polysperchon; el, Πολυπέρχων; b. between 390–380 BCafter 382 BC according to Billows, R., 'Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State' (1990), p. 172, n. 20 – d. after 304 BC,Heckel ...
. To consolidate power against Cassander, Polyperchon restored Athens's democracy, as it was before the Lamian War. However, after losing the fleet one year prior, Polyperchon had to flee Macedon when in 316 BC Cassander secured control of Athens. Cassander appointed
Demetrius of Phalerum Demetrius of Phalerum (also Demetrius of Phaleron or Demetrius Phalereus; grc-gre, Δημήτριος ὁ Φαληρεύς; c. 350 – c. 280 BC) was an Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) i ...
as head of the administration of Athens. Demetrius remained in power until 307 BC when Cassander's enemy,
Demetrius Poliorcetes Demetrius I (; grc, Δημήτριος; 337–283 BC), also called Poliorcetes (; el, Πολιορκητής, "The Besieger"), was a Macedonian nobleman, military leader, and king of Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), a ...
captured Athens, and Macedon, ending the short-lived
Antipatrid dynasty The Antipatrid dynasty (; grc-gre, Ἀντιπατρίδαι) was a Dorians, Dorian Greek dynasty of the ancient Greeks, Greek kingdom of Macedon founded by Cassander, the son of Antipater, who declared himself Kings of Macedon, King of Macedon ...
and installing his own.


Athens and the rise of the Roman empire

After the
Pyrrhic War The Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC) was largely fought between the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization when it was run thro ...
(280–275 BC) Rome asserted its hegemony over
Magna Grecia Magna Graecia (, ; , , grc, Μεγάλη Ἑλλάς, ', it, Magna Grecia) was the name given by the Roman people, Romans to the coastal areas of Southern Italy in the present-day Regions of Italy, Italian regions of Calabria, Apulia, Basilicat ...
and became increasingly involved in Greece and the Balkans peninsula. The
First Macedonian War The First Macedonian War (214–205 BC) was fought by Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Ro ...
(214–205 BC) between the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization when it was run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman peo ...
and the
Kingdom of Macedon Kingdom commonly refers to: * A monarchy ruled by a king or queen * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Kingdom may also refer to: Arts and media Television * Kingdom (British TV series), ''Kingdom'' (British TV series), a 200 ...
ended with the Treaty of Phoenice. During the
Second Macedonian War The Second Macedonian War (200–197 BC) was fought between Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic an ...
(200–197), the Romans declared "the freedom of Greece" from the Macedonian Kings. After the
Roman–Seleucid War The Seleucid War (192–188 BC), also known as the War of Antiochos or the Syrian War, was a military conflict between two coalitions led by the Roman Republic and the Seleucid Empire. The fighting took place in modern day southern Greece, the A ...
(192–188), that ended with the Peace of Apamea, and the
Third Macedonian War The Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC) was a war fought between the Roman Republic and King Perseus of Macedon. In 179 BC, King Philip V of Macedon died and was succeeded by his ambitious son Perseus of Macedon, Perseus. He was anti-Roman and ...
(171–168), after which Macedonian territory was divided into four client republics, Macedonia was formally annexed to the Roman Republic after the
Fourth Macedonian War The Fourth Macedonian War (150–148 BC) was fought between Macedon, led by the pretender Andriscus, and the Roman Republic. It was the last of the Macedonian Wars, and was the last war to seriously threaten Roman control of Greece until the Fi ...
(150–148). After the
Achaean League The Achaean League (Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''Koinon ton Akhaion'' "League of Achaeans") was a Hellenistic-era confederation of Greece, Greek polis, city states on the northern and central Peloponnese. The league was named after the region of Ac ...
was itself defeated and dissolved by the Romans in the
Achaean War The Achaean War of 146 BC was fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek Achaean League, an alliance of Achaean and other Peloponnesian states in ancient Greece. It was the final stage of Rome's conquest of mainland Greece, taking place j ...
in 146, during which the Battle of Corinth resulted in the looting and destruction of the city by
Lucius Mummius Achaicus Lucius Mummius (2nd century BC), was a Roman Republic, Roman statesman and general. He was consul in the year 146 BC along with Scipio Aemilianus. Mummius was the first of his family to rise to the rank of consul thereby making him a novus homo. ...
and Greece divided into the
Roman provinces The Roman provinces (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) ar ...
of Macedonia and
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek language, Greek as Akhaia (, ''Akhaïa'' ), is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Western Greece and is situated in the northweste ...
. Athens thus came under Roman rule.


Roman Athens

During the
First Mithridatic War The First Mithridatic War (89–85 BC) was a war challenging the Roman Republic's expanding empire and rule over the Greek world. In this conflict, the Kingdom of Pontus and many Greek cities rebelling against Roman rule were led by Mithridates ...
, Athens was ruled by a tyrant, Aristion, installed by Mithridates the Great. In 88–85 BC, most Athenian buildings, both houses and fortifications, were leveled by the Roman general
Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Ancient Romans, Roman List of Roman generals, general and Politician, statesman. He won the first large-scale civil war in Roman history and became the first man of the ...
(138 BC78 BC) after the Siege of Athens and Piraeus, although many civic buildings and monuments were left intact. Under Roman rule, Athens was given the status of a free city because of its widely admired schools. The Roman emperor
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Trâiānus Hadriānus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born in Italica (close to modern Santiponce in Spain), a Roman ''municipium'' founded by Italic peoples, Italic settlers ...
(), constructed the Library of Hadrian, a gymnasium, an aqueduct which is still in use, several temples and sanctuaries, a bridge, and finally completed the . The Arch of Hadrian commemorates the foundation of the city by Hadrian, with the "city of Theseus" referred to on its inscription on one side of the arch, and the new quarter erected by Hadrian around the Temple of Zeus called the "city of Hadrian". The city was sacked by the
Heruli The Heruli (or Herules) were an early Germanic people. Possibly originating in Scandinavia, the Heruli are first mentioned by Roman authors as one of several " Scythian" groups raiding Roman provinces in the Balkans The Balkans ( ), ...
in 267 AD, resulting in the burning of all the public buildings, the plundering of the lower city and the damaging of the Agora and Acropolis. After the Sack of Athens, the city to the north of the Acropolis was hastily refortified on a smaller scale, with the agora left outside the walls. Athens remained a centre of learning and philosophy during its 500 years of Roman rule, patronized by emperors such as
Nero Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( ; born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68), was the fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 unti ...
and Hadrian.


Late Antiquity

In the early 4th century AD, the
eastern Roman empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn R ...
began to be governed from
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopo ...
, and with the construction and expansion of the imperial city, many of Athens's works of art were taken by the emperors to adorn it. The Empire became Christianized, and the use of
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
declined in favour of exclusive use of
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
; in the
Roman imperial period The Roman imperial period is the expansion of political and cultural influence of the Roman Empire. The period begins with the reign of Augustus (), and it is taken to end variously between the late 3rd and the late 4th century, with the beginning ...
, both languages had been used. In the later Roman period, Athens was ruled by the emperors continuing until the 13th century, its citizens identifying themselves as citizens of the Roman Empire ("'' Rhomaioi''"). The conversion of the empire from paganism to Christianity greatly affected Athens, resulting in reduced reverence for the city. Ancient monuments such as the Parthenon, Erechtheion and the Hephaisteion (Theseion) were converted into churches. As the empire became increasingly anti-pagan, Athens became a provincial town and experienced fluctuating fortunes. The city remained an important center of learning, especially of
Neoplatonism Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as a chain of ...
—with notable pupils including
Gregory of Nazianzus Gregory of Nazianzus ( el, Γρηγόριος ὁ Ναζιανζηνός, ''Grēgorios ho Nazianzēnos''; ''Liturgy of the Hours'' Volume I, Proper of Saints, 2 January. – 25 January 390,), also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory N ...
,
Basil of Caesarea Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great ( grc, Ἅγιος Βασίλειος ὁ Μέγας, ''Hágios Basíleios ho Mégas''; cop, Ⲡⲓⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲃⲁⲥⲓⲗⲓⲟⲥ; 330 – January 1 or 2, 379), was a bishop of Cae ...
and emperor Julian ()—and consequently a center of paganism. Christian items do not appear in the archaeological record until the early 5th century. The sack of the city by the Herules in 267 and by the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Goths within the Roman Empire in late antiquity, or what is kno ...
under their king
Alaric I Alaric I (; got, 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃, , "ruler of all"; c. 370 – 410 AD) was the first Germanic kingship, king of the Visigoths, from 395 to 410. He rose to leadership of the Goths who came to occupy Moesia—territory acquired a ...
() in 396, however, dealt a heavy blow to the city's fabric and fortunes, and Athens was henceforth confined to a small fortified area that embraced a fraction of the ancient city. The emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus, ; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor, Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by ...
() banned the teaching of philosophy by pagans in 529, an event whose impact on the city is much debated, but is generally taken to mark the end of the ancient history of Athens. Athens was sacked by the
Slavs Slavs are the largest European ethnolinguistic group. They speak the various Slavic languages, belonging to the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages. Slavs are geographically distributed throughout ...
in 582, but remained in imperial hands thereafter, as highlighted by the visit of the emperor
Constans II Constans II ( grc-gre, Κώνστας, Kōnstas; 7 November 630 – 15 July 668), nicknamed "the Bearded" ( la, Pogonatus; grc-gre, ὁ Πωγωνᾶτος, ho Pōgōnãtos), was the List of Byzantine emperors, Eastern Roman emperor from 641 to ...
() in 662/3 and its inclusion in the Theme of Hellas.


Middle Ages


Byzantine Athens

The city was threatened by
Saracen file:Erhard Reuwich Sarazenen 1486.png, upright 1.5, Late 15th-century Germany in the Middle Ages, German woodcut depicting Saracens Saracen ( ) was a term used in the early centuries, both in Greek language, Greek and Latin writings, to refer ...
raids in the 8th–9th centuries—in 896, Athens was raided and possibly occupied for a short period, an event which left some archaeological remains and elements of Arabic ornamentation in contemporary buildings—but there is also evidence of a mosque existing in the city at the time. In the great dispute over
Byzantine Iconoclasm The Byzantine Iconoclasm ( gr, Εικονομαχία, Eikonomachía, lit=image struggle', 'war on icons) were two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byz ...
, Athens is commonly held to have supported the
iconophile Iconodulism (also iconoduly or iconodulia) designates the religious service to icons (kissing and honourable veneration, incense, and candlelight). The term comes from Neoclassical Greek εἰκονόδουλος (''eikonodoulos'') (from el, ε ...
position, chiefly due to the role played by Empress
Irene of Athens Irene of Athens ( el, Εἰρήνη, ; 750/756 – 9 August 803), surname Sarantapechaina (), was Eastern Roman empress, Byzantine empress consort to Emperor Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the childhood of their son Constantine VI from 7 ...
in the ending of the first period of Iconoclasm at the
Second Council of Nicaea The Second Council of Nicaea is recognized as the last of the first seven ecumenical councils by the Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by num ...
in 787. A few years later, another Athenian, Theophano, became empress as the wife of
Staurakios Staurakios or Stauracius ( gr, Σταυράκιος, links=no; early 790s – 11 January 812AD) was Byzantine emperor from 26 July to 2 October 811. He was born in the early 790s, probably between 791 and 793, to Nikephoros I and an unknown w ...
(r. 811–812). Invasion of the empire by the Turks after the
Battle of Manzikert The Battle of Manzikert or Malazgirt was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Empire on 26 August 1071 near Manzikert, Iberia (theme), theme of Iberia (modern Malazgirt in Muş Province, Turkey). The decisive defeat of the Byzant ...
in 1071, and the ensuing civil wars, largely passed the region by and Athens continued its provincial existence unharmed. When the Byzantine Empire was rescued by the resolute leadership of the three
Komnenos Komnenos ( gr, Κομνηνός; Latinization of names, Latinized Comnenus; plural Komnenoi or Comneni (Κομνηνοί, )) was a Byzantine Greek noble family who ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1081 to 1185, and later, as the Grand Komnenoi (Μ ...
emperors Alexios,
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John (; ') is a common male given name in the English language of Hebrew language, Hebrew origin. The name is the English form of ''Iohannes'' and ''Ioannes'', which are the La ...
and Manuel, Attica and the rest of Greece prospered. Archaeological evidence tells us that the medieval town experienced a period of rapid and sustained growth, starting in the 11th century and continuing until the end of the 12th century. The agora or marketplace, which had been deserted since late antiquity, began to be built over, and soon the town became an important centre for the production of soaps and dyes. The growth of the town attracted the Venetians, and various other traders who frequented the ports of the Aegean, to Athens. This interest in trade appears to have further increased the economic prosperity of the town. The 11th and 12th centuries were the Golden Age of
Byzantine art Byzantine art comprises the body of Christian Greek artistic products of the Byzantine Empire, Eastern Roman Empire, as well as the nations and states that inherited culturally from the empire. Though the empire itself emerged from the decline of ...
in Athens. Almost all of the most important Middle Byzantine churches in and around Athens were built during these two centuries, and this reflects the growth of the town in general. However, this medieval prosperity was not to last. In 1204, the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
conquered Athens and the city was not recovered from the
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic peoples, Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium. As Roman power and colonization Romanization (cultural), spread Latin culture during the Roman Republic. Latins culturally "Romanized" or "Latinize ...
before it was taken by the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic peoples, Turkic founding and sociopolitically the most dominant ethnic group of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299/1302–1922). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks ...
. It did not become Greek in government again until the 19th century.


Latin Athens

From 1204 until 1458, Athens was ruled by Latins in three separate periods, following the . The "Latins", or "
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and the Ems River, on the edge of the Roman Empire.H. Schutz: Tools, ...
", were western Europeans and followers of the
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
brought to the
Eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the East, eastern approximate One half, half, or third, of the Mediterranean Sea, often defined as the countries around the Levantine Sea. It typically embraces all of that sea's coastal zones, refe ...
during the Crusades. Along with rest of Byzantine Greece, Athens was part of the series of feudal fiefs, similar to the
Crusader states The Crusader States, also known as Outremer, were four Catholic realms in the Middle East that lasted from 1098 to 1291. These Feudalism, feudal Polity, polities were created by the Latin Church, Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade t ...
established in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
and on
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
after the
First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
. This period is known as the ''
Frankokratia The ''Frankokratia'' ( el, Φραγκοκρατία, la, Francocratia, sometimes Anglicization, anglicized as Francocracy, "rule of the Franks"), also known as ''Latinokratia'' ( el, Λατινοκρατία, la, Latinocratia, "rule of t ...
''.


Burgundian period

Athens was initially the capital of the eponymous
Duchy of Athens The Duchy of Athens ( Greek: Δουκᾶτον Ἀθηνῶν, ''Doukaton Athinon''; Catalan: ''Ducat d'Atenes'') was one of the Crusader state The Crusader States, also known as Outremer, were four Catholic realms in the Middle East th ...
, a fief of the
Latin Empire The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader states, Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. The Latin Empire was intended to re ...
which replaced the Byzantine Empire, ruling from Constantinople. After Thebes became a possession of the Latin dukes, which were of the Burgundian family called
De la Roche The De la Roche family is a French noble family named for La Roche-sur-l'Ognon that founded the Duchy of Athens of the early 13th century. People *Alice de la Roche, (Unknown-1282) Lady of Beirut, Regent of Beirut *Guy I de la Roche, (1205–12 ...
, it replaced Athens as the capital and seat of government, although Athens remained the most influential ecclesiastical centre in the duchy and site of a prime fortress. Under the Burgundian dukes, a bell tower was added to the Parthenon, known as the Frankish Tower. The Burgundians brought
chivalry Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is an informal and varying code of conduct developed in Europe between 1170 and 1220. It was associated with the medieval Christian institution of knighthood; knights' and gentlemen's behaviours were governed b ...
and tournaments to Athens; they also fortified the Acropolis. They were themselves influenced by Byzantine Greek culture.


Aragonese period

In 1311, Athens was conquered by the
Catalan Company The Catalan Company or the Great Catalan Company (Spanish: ''Compañía Catalana'', Catalan: ''Gran Companyia Catalana'', Latin: ''Exercitus francorum'', ''Societas exercitus catalanorum'', ''Societas cathalanorum'', ''Magna Societas Catalanorum' ...
, a band of mercenaries called ''
Almogavars Almogavars ( es, almogávares, an, almugávares, ca, almogàvers and pt, almogávares ar, Al-Mugavari) is the name of a class of light infantry soldier originated in the Crown of Aragon used in the later phases of the Reconquista, during th ...
''. It was held by the Catalans until 1388. After 1379, when Thebes was lost, Athens became the capital of the duchy again. The history of Aragonese Athens, called ''Cetines'' (rarely ''Athenes'') by the conquerors, is obscure. Athens was a '' veguería'' with its own
castellan A castellan is the title used in Medieval Europe for an appointed official, a governor of a castle and its surrounding territory referred to as the castellany. The title of ''governor'' is retained in the English prison system, as a remnant of ...
, captain, and ''veguer''. At some point during the Aragonese period, the Acropolis was further fortified and the Athenian archdiocese received an extra two
suffragan A suffragan bishop is a type of bishop in some Christian denominations. In the Anglican Communion, a suffragan bishop is a bishop who is subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop (bishop ordinary) and so is not normally jurisdictiona ...
sees.


Florentine period

In 1388, the Florentine Nerio I Acciajuoli took the city and made himself duke. The Florentines had to dispute the city with the
Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( vec, Repùblega Vèneta, links=no), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic of Venice, italics=yes; vec, Serenìsima Repùblega de Venèsia, ...
, but they ultimately emerged victorious after seven years of Venetian rule (1395–1402). The descendants of Nerio I Acciajuoli ruled the city (as their capital) until the Turkish conquest of 1458.


Early modern period


Ottoman Athens

The first Ottoman attack on Athens, which involved a short-lived occupation of the town, came in 1397, under the Ottoman generals Yaqub Pasha and Timurtash. Finally, in 1458, Athens was captured by the Ottomans under the personal leadership of Sultan
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fâtih Su ...
. As the Ottoman Sultan rode into the city, he was greatly struck by the beauty of its ancient monuments and issued a ''
firman A firman ( fa, , translit=farmân; ), at the constitutional level, was a royal mandate or decree issued by a sovereign in an Islamic state. During various periods they were collected and applied as traditional bodies of law. The word firman com ...
'' (imperial edict) forbidding their looting or destruction, on pain of death. The was converted into Athens' main mosque. Under Ottoman rule, the city was denuded of any importance and its population severely declined, leaving Athens as a "small country town" (
Franz Babinger Franz Babinger (15 January 1891 – 23 June 1967) was a well-known German orientalist and historian of the Ottoman Empire, best known for his biography of the great Ottoman emperor Mehmed II, known as "the Conqueror", originally published as ''Meh ...
). From the early 17th century, Athens came under the jurisdiction of the Kizlar Agha, the chief black eunuch of the Sultans' harem. The city had originally been granted by Sultan
Ahmed I Ahmed I ( ota, احمد اول '; tr, I. Ahmed; 18 April 1590 – 22 November 1617) was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 until his death in 1617. Ahmed's reign is noteworthy for marking the first breach in the Ottoman tradition of royal f ...
() to Basilica, one of his favourite concubines, who hailed from the city, in response of complaints of maladministration by the local governors. After her death, Athens came under the purview of the Kizlar Agha. The Turks began a practice of storing gunpowder and explosives in the Parthenon and Propylaea. In 1640, a lightning bolt struck the
Propylaea In ancient Greek architecture, a propylaea, propylea or propylaia (; Ancient Greek, Greek: προπύλαια) is a monumental gateway. They are seen as a partition, specifically for separating the secular and religious pieces of a city. The pr ...
, causing its destruction. In 1687, during the
Morean War The Morean War ( it, Guerra di Morea), also known as the Sixth Ottoman–Venetian War, was fought between 1684–1699 as part of the wider conflict known as the "Great Turkish War The Great Turkish War (german: Großer Türkenkrieg), also call ...
, the Acropolis was besieged by the Venetians under
Francesco Morosini Francesco Morosini (26 February 1619 – 16 January 1694) was the Doge of Venice from 1688 to 1694, at the height of the Great Turkish War. He was one of the many Doges and generals produced by the noble Republic of Venice, Venetian family of Mo ...
, and the temple of Athena Nike was dismantled by the Ottomans to fortify the Parthenon. A shot fired during the bombardment of the Acropolis caused a powder magazine in the Parthenon to explode (26 September), and the building was severely damaged, giving it the appearance we see today. The occupation of the Acropolis continued for six months and both the Venetians and the Ottomans participated in the looting of the Parthenon. One of its western pediments was removed, causing even more damage to the structure. The Venetians occupied the town, converting its two mosques into Catholic and Protestant churches, but on 9 April 1688 they abandoned it again to the Ottomans. In the 18th century, however, the city recovered much of its prosperity. During Michel Fourmont's visit in the city in the 1720s, he witnessed much construction going on, and by the time the Athenian teacher Ioannis Benizelos wrote an account of the city's affairs in the 1770s, Athens was once again enjoying some prosperity, so that, according to Benizelos, it "could be cited as an example to the other cities of Greece". Its Greek population possessed a considerable degree of self-government, under a council of primates composed of the leading aristocratic families, along with the city's metropolitan bishop. The community was quite influential with the Ottoman authorities, the ''
pasha Pasha, Pacha or Paşa ( ota, پاشا; tr, paşa; sq, Pashë; ar, باشا), in older works sometimes anglicized as bashaw, was a higher rank in the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman political and military system, typically granted to governors, gener ...
'' (governor), the '' kadi'' (judge), the ''
mufti A Mufti (; ar, مفتي) is an Faqīh, Islamic jurist qualified to issue a nonbinding opinion (''fatwa'') on a point of Islamic law (''sharia''). The act of issuing fatwas is called ''iftāʾ''. Muftis and their ''fatwas'' played an importa ...
'', and the garrison commander of the Acropolis—according to Benizelos, if the ''pasha'' did not treat them well and heed their opinion, he was liable to be removed before his annual term of office was out—particularly through the influence at Constantinople of the two Athenian-born patriarchs of Jerusalem, Parthenius (1737–1766) and Ephram II (1766–1770). Taxation was also light, with only the ''
kharaj Kharāj ( ar, خراج) is a type of individual Islamic taxes, Islamic tax on agricultural land and its produce, developed under Sharia, Islamic law. With the Early Muslim conquests, first Muslim conquests in the 7th century, the ''kharaj'' initi ...
'' tax payable to the Ottoman government, as well as the
salt tax A salt tax refers to the direct taxation of salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in the form of a natural crystallinity, c ...
and a water-tax for the olive yards and gardens. This peaceful situation was interrupted in 1752–1753, when the execution of the previous Kizlar Agha resulted in the dispatch of a new ''pasha'', Sari Muselimi. His abuse of power led to protests by both the Greeks and the Turks; Sari Muselimi killed some of the notables who protested, whereupon the populace burned down his residence. Sari Muselimi fled to the Acropolis where he was besieged by the Athenians, until the Ottoman governor of Negroponte intervened and restored order, imprisoning the Metropolitan and imposing a heavy fine on the Greek community. In 1759 the new ''pasha'', a native Muslim, destroyed one of the pillars of the Temple of Olympian Zeus to provide material for a fifth mosque for the city—an illegal act, as the temple was considered the Sultan's property. In the next year, Athens was removed from the purview of the Kizlar Agha and transferred to the privy purse of the Sultan. Henceforth it would be leased as a '' malikhane'', a form of tax farming where the owner bought the proceeds of the city for a fixed sum, and enjoyed them for life. The first owner (''malikhane sahib''), Ismail Agha, a local Turk from
Livadeia Livadeia ( el, Λιβαδειά ''Livadiá'', ; grc, Λεβάδεια, Lebadeia or , ''Lebadia'') is a town in central Greece. It is the capital of the Boeotia Regional units of Greece, regional district. Livadeia lies north-west of Athens, we ...
, had been humane and popular, appointing good ''voevodas'', so that he was nicknamed "the Good". English visitors during the 1760s report a population of around 10,000 inhabitants, around four-fifths of which were Christians. The Turkish community numbered several families established in the city since the Ottoman conquest; and their relations with their Christian neighbours were friendlier than elsewhere, as they had assimilated themselves to a degree, even to the point of drinking wine. The climate was healthy, but the city relied chiefly on pasture—practiced by the Arvanites of Attica—rather than agriculture. It exported leather, soap, grain, oil, honey, wax, resin, a little silk, cheese, and valonia, chiefly to Constantinople and France. The city hosted a French and an English consul. During the Orlov Revolt the Athenians, with the exception of the younger ones, remained cautious and passive, even when the Greek chieftain Mitromaras seized Salamis. Nevertheless, it was only thanks to the intervention of Ismail Agha that the city was spared a massacre as reprisals, and was forced to pay an indemnity instead. Ismail Agha's successor, Hadji Ali Haseki was cruel and tyrannical, and the twenty years of his on-and-off rule over the city, represented one of the worst periods in the city's history. Supported by the city's aristocratic families, and his relationship with the Sultan's sister, who was his lover, he extorted large sums from the populace, and seized much property from them. Through protests in Constantinople, the Athenians achieved his recall several times, but Haseki always returned until his final downfall and execution in 1795. His early tenure also saw two large Albanian raids into Attica, as a response to which he ordered the construction of a new city wall, the " Wall of Haseki", which was partly constructed with material taken from ancient monuments. Between 1801 and 1805 Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, arranged for the removal of many sculptures from the Parthenon (the
Elgin marbles The Elgin Marbles (), also known as the Parthenon Marbles ( el, Γλυπτά του Παρθενώνα, lit. "sculptures of the Parthenon"), are a collection of Classical Greece, Classical Greek marble sculptures made under the supervision of th ...
). Along with the Panathenaic frieze, one of the six caryatids of the was extracted and replaced with a plaster mold. All in all, fifty pieces of sculpture were carried away, including three fragments purchased by the French. Athens produced some notable intellectuals during this era, such as Demetrius Chalcondyles (1424–1511), who became a celebrated Renaissance teacher of Greek and of Platonic philosophy in Italy. Chalcondyles published the first printed editions of
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') (born ) was a Greek poet who is credited as the author of the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', two epic poems that are foundational works of ancient Greek literature. Homer is considered one of the ...
(in 1488), of
Isocrates Isocrates (; grc, Ἰσοκράτης ; 436–338 BC) was an ancient Greek rhetorician, one of the ten Attic orators. Among the most influential Greek rhetoricians of his time, Isocrates made many contributions to rhetoric and education thr ...
(in 1493), and of the
Suda The ''Suda'' or ''Souda'' (; grc-x-medieval, Σοῦδα, Soûda; la, Suidae Lexicon) is a large 10th-century Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman ...
lexicon (in 1499), and a Greek grammar (Erotemata). His cousin Laonicus Chalcondyles (c. 1423–1490) was also a native of Athens, a notable scholar and Byzantine historian and one of the most valuable of the later Greek historians. He was the author of the valuable work ''Historiarum Demonstrationes'' (Demonstrations of History) and was a great admirer of the ancient writer Herodotus, encouraging the interest of contemporary Italian humanists in that ancient historian. In the 17th century, Athenian-born Leonardos Philaras (c. 1595–1673), was a
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
scholar, politician, diplomat, advisor and the
Duke of Parma The Duke of Parma and Piacenza () was the ruler of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, a List of historic states of Italy, historical state of Northern Italy, which existed between 1545 and 1802, and again from 1814 to 1859. The Duke of Parma w ...
's ambassador to the French court, spending much of his career trying to persuade western European intellectuals to support
Greek independence The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution or the Greek Revolution of 1821, was a successful war of independence by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1829. The Greeks were later assisted by ...
.


Independence from the Ottomans

In 1822, a Greek insurgency captured the city, but it fell to the Ottomans again in 1826 (though Acropolis held till June 1827). Again the ancient monuments suffered badly. The Ottoman forces remained in possession until March 1833, when they withdrew. At that time, the city (as throughout the Ottoman period) had a small population of an estimated 400 houses, mostly located around the Acropolis in the Plaka.


Modern history

In 1832, Otto, Prince of
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the sec ...
, was proclaimed King of Greece. He adopted the Greek spelling of his name, King Othon, as well as Greek national dress, and made it one of his first tasks as king to conduct a detailed archaeological and topographical survey of Athens, his new capital. He assigned Gustav Eduard Schaubert and Stamatios Kleanthis to complete this task. At that time, Athens had a population of only 4,000 to 5,000 people in a scattering of houses at the foot of the Acropolis, located in what today covers the district of Plaka. Athens was chosen as the Greek capital for historical and sentimental reasons. There are few buildings dating from the period of the Byzantine Empire or the 18th century. Once the capital was established, a modern city plan was laid out and public buildings were erected. The finest legacy of this period are the buildings of the
University of Athens The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA; el, Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών, ''Ethnikó ke Kapodistriakó Panepistímio Athinón''), usually referred to simply as the Univers ...
(1837), the
National Gardens of Athens The National Garden (formerly the Royal Garden) ( el, Εθνικός Κήπος)(it was named Royal Garden until 1974) is a public park of in the center of the Greece, Greek capital, Athens. It is located between the districts of Kolonaki and ...
(1840), the National Library of Greece (1842), the
Old Royal Palace The Old Royal Palace ( el, Παλαιά Ανάκτορα ''Palaiá Anáktora'') is the first royal palace of modern Greece, completed in 1843. It has housed the Hellenic Parliament since 1934. The Old Palace is situated at the heart of modern A ...
(now the Greek Parliament Building; 1843), the Old Parliament Building (1858), the City Hall (1874), the
Zappeion The Zappeion ( el, Ζάππειον Μέγαρο, Záppeion Mégaro, ) is a large, palatial building next to the National Gardens of Athens in the heart of Athens, Greece. It is generally used for meetings and ceremonies, both official and privat ...
Exhibition Hall (1878), the Greek National Academy (1885) and the New Royal Palace (now the Presidential Palace; 1897). In 1896 the city hosted the
1896 Summer Olympics The 1896 Summer Olympics ( el, Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 1896, Therinoí Olympiakoí Agónes 1896), officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad ( el, Αγώνες της 1ης Ολυμπιάδας, Agónes tis 1is Ol ...
. Athens experienced its second period of explosive growth following the disastrous Greco-Turkish War in 1921, when more than a million Greek refugees from
Asia Minor Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
were resettled in Greece, after the
Asia Minor Catastrophe Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Afr ...
in 1922. Suburbs such as Nea Ionia and Nea Smyrni began as refugee settlements on the Athens outskirts and the population of the city doubled.


Athens during World War II

Athens was occupied by the Axis (primarily German soldiers) during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
and experienced terrible privations during the later years of the war. The Great Famine greatly affected the city during the occupation. Several resistance organizations were present inside Athens to fight against the occupation. Following the liberation of Greece and the ensuing
Greek Civil War The Greek Civil War ( el, ο Eμφύλιος όλεμος ''o Emfýlios'' 'Pólemos'' "the Civil War") took place from 1946 to 1949. It was mainly fought against the established Kingdom of Greece, which was supported by the United Kingdom ...
, the
Dekemvriana The ''Dekemvriana'' ( el, Δεκεμβριανά, "December events") refers to a series of clashes fought during World War II in Athens from 3 December 1944 to 11 January 1945. The conflict was the culmination of months of tension between the c ...
rocked the city with heavy fighting between
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around ...
forces and government forces backed by the British.


Contemporary Athens

Following World War II the city began to grow again as people migrated from the villages and islands to find work. Greek entry into the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
in 1981 brought a flood of new investment to the city, but also increasing social and environmental problems. Athens had some of the worst traffic congestion and air pollution in the world at that time. This posed a new threat to the ancient monuments of Athens, as traffic vibration weakened foundations and air pollution corroded marble. The city's environmental and infrastructure problems were the main reason why Athens failed to secure the 1996 Centenary Olympic Games. Following the failed attempt to secure the 1996 Olympics, both the city of Athens and the Greek government, aided by European Union funds, undertook major infrastructure projects such as the new Athens Airport and a new metro system. The city also tackled air pollution by restricting the use of cars in the center of the city. As a result, Athens won its bid to host the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. Despite the skepticism of many observers, the games were a success and brought renewed prestige and tourism revenue to Athens. The
2008 Greek Riots The 2008 Greek riots started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros Grigoropoulos ( el, Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος), a 15-year-old Greek student, was killed by a special officer in Exarcheia district of central Athens. The kill ...
began in Athens following the killing of a 15-year old student by an officer.


Recent historical population


Ancient sites in Athens

*The , with the * * Arch of Hadrian * Areopagus * Kerameikos * Lysicrates monument *
Philopappos Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos or Philopappus ( el, Γάϊος Ἰούλιος Ἀντίοχος Ἐπιφανής Φιλόπαππος; 65 – 116), was a Prince of the Kingdom of Commagene who lived in the Roman Empire T ...
monument * * * *
Tower of the Winds The Tower of the Winds or the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes is an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower in the Roman Agora in Athens that functioned as a ''horology, horologion'' or "timepiece". It is considered the world's first meteorolog ...


Athenians


Ancient and medieval periods

* Theseus, mythical king *
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων;  BC) was an History of Athens, Athenian statesman, constitutional lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in A ...

Solon
(c. 640–560 BC),
statesman A statesman or stateswoman typically is a politician who has had a long and respected political career at the national or international level. Statesman or Statesmen may also refer to: Newspapers United States * The Statesman (Oregon), ''The St ...
* Peisistratos ( ''fl.'' 564–528 BC), *
Cleisthenes Cleisthenes ( ; grc-gre, Κλεισθένης), or Clisthenes (c. 570c. 508 BC), was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a Athenian democracy, democratic footing in 508 BC. Fo ...
(c. 570–500 BC), statesman *
Simonides of Ceos Simonides of Ceos (; grc-gre, Σιμωνίδης ὁ Κεῖος; c. 556–468 BC) was a Greek lyric poet, born in Ioulis on Kea (island), Ceos. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included him in the canonical list of the nine lyric p ...
(c. 556–468 BC), lyric poet *
Miltiades the Younger Miltiades (; grc-gre, Μιλτιάδης; c. 550 – 489 BC), also known as Miltiades the Younger, was a Ancient Greece, Greek Classical Athens, Athenian citizen known mostly for his role in the Battle of Marathon, as well as for his downfall aft ...
(c. 550–489 BC), statesman and
general A general officer is an Officer (armed forces), officer of highest military ranks, high rank in the army, armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, and marines or naval infantry. In some usages the term "general officer" refers t ...
*
Aeschylus Aeschylus (, ; grc-gre, wikt:Αἰσχύλος, Αἰσχύλος ; c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek Greek tragedy, tragedian, and is often described as the father of tragedy. Academic knowledge of the genre be ...
(c. 525–455 BC), tragic poet *
Themistocles Themistocles (; grc-gre, wikt:Θεμιστοκλῆς, Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian politician and General officer, general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who ros ...
(c. 524–459 BC), politician and general *
Cimon Cimon or Kimon ( grc-gre, Κίμων; – 450BC) was an Ancient Athens, Athenian ''strategos'' (general and admiral) and politician. He was the son of Miltiades, also an Athenian ''strategos''. Cimon rose to prominence for his bravery fighting in ...
(c. 510–450 BC), statesman and general * Apollodorus Skiagraphos (fifth century BC), painter *
Sophocles Sophocles (; grc, wikt:Σοφοκλῆς, Σοφοκλῆς, , Sophoklễs; 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)Sommerstein (2002), p. 41. is one of three classical Greece, ancient Greek tragedy, tragedians, at least one of whose plays has survived in fu ...
(c. 496–406 BC), tragic poet *
Pericles Pericles (; grc-gre, Περικλῆς; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens. He was prominent and influential in Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, ...
(c. 495–429 BC), statesman and general * Herodotus (c. 484–425 BC), historian, originally from
Halicarnassus Halicarnassus (; grc, Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός ''Halikarnāssós'' or ''Alikarnāssós''; tr, Halikarnas; Carian language, Carian: 𐊠𐊣𐊫𐊰 𐊴𐊠𐊥𐊵𐊫𐊰 ''alos k̂arnos'') was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek city in Car ...
*
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης, Eurīpídēs, ; ) was a tragedy, tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom any plays have survived in full. Some ancient sc ...
(c. 480–406 BC), tragic poet *
Pheidias Phidias or Pheidias (; grc, Φειδίας, ''Pheidias'';  480 – 430 BC) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a ...
(c. 480–430 BC), sculptor, painter and architect *
Aspasia Aspasia (; grc-gre, wikt:Ἀσπασία, Ἀσπασία ; after 428 BC) was a ''metic'' woman in Classical Athens. Born in Miletus, she moved to Athens and began a relationship with the statesman Pericles, with whom she had a son, Pericles t ...
(c. 470–400 BC), lover and partner of Pericles, possibly a
hetaera Hetaira (plural hetairai (), also hetaera (plural hetaerae ), ( grc, ἑταίρα, "companion", pl. , la, hetaera, pl. ) was a type of prostitute in ancient Greece, who served as an artist, entertainer and conversationalist in addition to pro ...
, originally from
Milet Miletus (; gr, Μῑ́λητος, Mī́lētos; Hittite language, Hittite transcription ''Millawanda'' or ''Milawata'' (Exonym and endonym, exonyms); la, Mīlētus; tr, Milet) was an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek city on the western coast of ...
*
Nicias Nicias (; Νικίας ''Nikias''; c. 470–413 BC) was an Ancient Athens, Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a large fortune from his father ...
(c. 470–413 BC), politician and general *
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher from Classical Athens, Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy and among the first moral philosophers of the Ethics, ethical tradition of thought. An enigmati ...
(c. 469–399 BC), philosopher * Telecleides (''fl.'' 450–430 BC), playwright of the
Old Comedy Old Comedy (''archaia'') is the first period of the ancient Greek comedy, according to the canonical division by the Alexandrian grammarians.Mastromarco (1994) p.12 The most important Old Comic playwright is Aristophanes#Aristophanes and Old Comedy ...
*
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian historian and general. His ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts Peloponnesian War, the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has ...
(c. 460–400 BC), historian and general *
Hermippus Hermippus ( grc-gre, Ἕρμιππος; fl. 5th century BC) was the one-eyed Athenian writer of the Old Comedy, who flourished during the Peloponnesian War. Life He was the son of Lysis, and the brother of the comic poet Myrtilus. He was younger t ...
(fifth century BC), playwright of the Old Comedy * Cleon (''fl.'' 435–422 BC), general during the
Peloponnesian war The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek war fought between Classical Athens, Athens and Sparta and their respective allies for the hegemony of the Ancient Greece, Greek world. The war remained undecided for ...
*
Alcibiades Alcibiades ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Ἀλκιβιάδης, Ἀλκιβιάδης; 450 – 404 BC) was a prominent Athens (polis), Athenian statesman, Public speaking, orator, and general. He was the last of the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominen ...
(c. 450–404 BC), statesman, orator and general * Ephialtes of Athens (c. 450–461 BC), politician *
Agathon Agathon (; grc, Ἀγάθων; ) was an Athens, Athenian tragic poet whose works have been lost. He is best known for his appearance in Plato's ''Symposium (Plato), Symposium,'' which describes the Symposium, banquet given to celebrate his obt ...
(c. 448–400 BC), tragic poet *
Eupolis Eupolis ( grc-gre, Εὔπολις; c. 446c. 411 BC) was an Athens, Athenian poet of the Ancient Greek comedy#Old Comedy (archaia), Old Comedy, who flourished during the time of the Peloponnesian War. Biography Nothing whatsoever is known of his ...
(c. 446–411 BC), playwright of the Old Comedy *
Aristophanes Aristophanes (; grc, Ἀριστοφάνης, ; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion ( la, Cydathenaeum), was a comedy, comic playwright or comedy-writer of Classical Athens, ancient Athens and a poet of Ancient G ...
(c. 446–386 BC), playwright of the Old Comedy *
Thrasybulus Thrasybulus (; grc-gre, wikt:Θρασύβουλος, Θρασύβουλος ; 440 – 388 BC) was an Athens, Athenian general and democracy, democratic leader. In 411 BC, in the wake of an oligarchy, oligarchic coup at Athens, the pro-democrac ...
(c. 440–388 BC), general and democratic leader *
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, wikt:Ξενοφῶν, Ξενοφῶν ; – probably 355 or 354 BC) was a Greek military leader, philosopher, and historian, born in Athens. At the age of 30, Xenophon was elected commander of one of the biggest Anci ...
(c. 430–354 BC), historian, soldier and mercenary, and a student of Socrates * (c. 425–348 BC), philosopher *
Menander Menander (; grc-gre, Μένανδρος ''Menandros''; c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC) was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian Ancient Greek comedy, New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festiva ...
(c. 341–290 BC), playwright of the New Comedy *
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
(384–322 BC), philosopher, native from
Stagira Stagira ( el, Στάγειρα or , also fem. or ) is a Greek village lying on a picturesque plateau In geology and physical geography, a plateau (; ; ), also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland consisting of f ...
, Chalkidike *
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greeks, Greek statesman and orator in History of Athens, ancient Athens. His Public speaking, orations constitute a significant expression ...
(384–322 BC), statesman and orator * St. Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 1st century AD), judge, early convert to Christianity, and first
Bishop of Athens The Archbishopric of Athens ( el, Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αθηνών) is a Greek Orthodox archiepiscopal see based in the city of Athens, Greece. It is the senior see of Greece, and the seat of the autocephalous Church of Greece. Its ...
*
Athenagoras of Athens Athenagoras (; grc-gre, Ἀθηναγόρας ὁ Ἀθηναῖος; c. 133 – c. 190 AD) was a Father of the Church, an Ante-Nicene Christian apologist who lived during the second half of the 2nd century of whom little is known for certain ...
(c. 133–190 AD), Father of the Church and
apologist Apologetics (from Greek , "speaking in defense") is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argument An argument is a statement or group of statements called premises intended to determine the degree of ...
*
Clement of Alexandria Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria ( grc , Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; – ), was a Christian theology, Christian theologian and philosopher who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Among his pu ...
(c. 150–215 AD), Christian theologian * Aelia Eudocia Augusta, born as Athenaïs, later Saint Eudocia (c. 401–460 AD), wife of Emperor
Theodosius II Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος, Theodosios; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450) was Roman emperor for most of his life, proclaimed ''Augustus (title), augustus'' as an infant in 402 and ruling as the eastern Empire's sole emperor after ...
*
Saint Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône most likely in the 6th century. Revered as a saint, his cult became widely diffused but his hagiography is mostly lege ...
(c. 650–710 AD),
hermit A hermit, also known as an eremite (adjectival form: hermitic or eremitic) or solitary, is a person who lives in seclusion. Eremitism plays a role in a variety of religions. Description In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Chr ...
saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness, likeness, or closeness to God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of ...
*
Irene of Athens Irene of Athens ( el, Εἰρήνη, ; 750/756 – 9 August 803), surname Sarantapechaina (), was Eastern Roman empress, Byzantine empress consort to Emperor Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the childhood of their son Constantine VI from 7 ...
(c. 752–803 AD), empress consort, thereafter Byzantine empress * Demetrios Chalkokondyles (1423–1511), scholar * Saint Philothei, née Revoula Benizelos (1522–1589),
martyr A martyr (, ''mártys'', "witness", or , ''marturia'', Word stem, stem , ''martyr-'') is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, or refusing to renounce or advocate, a religious belief or other cause as demanded by a ...
and saint * Leonardos Philaras (1595–1673), scholar, politician and diplomat


Modern period

* Panagis Kalkos (1818–1875), architect * Stefanos Dragoumis (1842–1923), judge, writer and
Prime Minister of Greece The prime minister of the Hellenic Republic ( el, Πρωθυπουργός της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας, Prothypourgós tis Ellinikís Dimokratías), colloquially referred to as the prime minister of Greece ( el, Πρωθυ ...
* Dimitrios Rallis (1844–1921), politician and reiterate prime minister (1897, 1904, 1905, 1909, 1920–21) * Anastasios Metaxas (1862–1937), architect and Olympic
shooter Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, Bow and arrow, bow, crossbow, slingshot, or Blowgun, blowpipe). Even the acts of launching Flamethrower, flame, artillery, Dart (missile), darts, ha ...
*
Constantine I of Greece Constantine I ( el, Κωνσταντίνος Αʹ, ''Konstantínos I''; – 11 January 1923) was King of Greece from 18 March 1913 to 11 June 1917 and from 19 December 1920 to 27 September 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army ...
(1868–1923), King of the Greeks (1913–17, 1920–22) * Ion Dragoumis (1878–1920), diplomat, philosopher, writer and
revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. The term ''revolutionary'' can also be used as an adjective, to refer to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. ...
* Ioannis Rallis (1878–1946), Prime Minister of Greece (1943–44) *
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark ( el, Ανδρέας; da, Andreas; – 3 December 1944) of the House of Glücksburg, House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was the seventh child and fourth son of King George I of Greece ...
(1882–1944), son of King
George I of Greece George I (Greek language, Greek: Γεώργιος Α΄, ''Geórgios I''; 24 December 1845 – 18 March 1913) was List of kings of Greece, King of Greece from 30 March 1863 until his assassination in 1913. Originally a Danish prince, he was bor ...
, father of
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, later Philip Mountbatten; 10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021) was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he served as the consort of the British monarch from El ...
*
Alexandros Papagos Alexandros Papagos ( el, Αλέξανδρος Παπάγος; 9 December 1883 – 4 October 1955) was a Greeks, Greek army officer who led the Hellenic Army in World War II and the later stages of the subsequent Greek Civil War. The only Greek c ...
(1883–1955),
Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually, it is the highest rank in an army and as such few persons are appointed to it. It is considered as ...
and Prime Minister (1952–55) *
Helen of Greece and Denmark Helen of Greece and Denmark ( el, Ελένη, ''Eleni''; ; 2 May 1896 – 28 November 1982) was the queen mother A queen mother is a former queen, often a queen dowager, who is the mother of the monarch, reigning monarch. The term has been ...
(1896–1982), daughter of King Constantine, mother of
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
Michael I of Romania Michael I ( ro, Mihai I ; 25 October 1921 – 5 December 2017) was the last King of Romania, reigning from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930 and again from 6 September 1940 until his forced abdication on 30 December 1947. Shortly after Michael's ...
and Queen Mother of
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
*
Aspasia Manos Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark (born Aspasia Manos el, Ασπασία Μάνου; 4 September 1896 – 7 August 1972) was a Greeks, Greek aristocrat who became the wife of Alexander I of Greece, Alexander I, List of kings of Greece, K ...
(1896–1972), wife of
Alexander I of Greece Alexander ( el, Αλέξανδρος, ''Aléxandros''; 1 August 189325 October 1920) was King of Greece from 11 June 1917 until his death three years later, at the age of 27, from the effects of a monkey bite. The second son of Constantine I ...
*
Paul of Greece Paul ( el, Παύλος, ''Pávlos''; 14 December 1901 – 6 March 1964) was King of Greece from 1 April 1947 until his death in 1964. He was succeeded by his son, Constantine II of Greece, Constantine II. Paul was first cousin to Prince Phili ...
(1901–1964), King of the Greeks (1947–1964) * Dora Stratou (1903–1988), singer, dancer and choreographer * Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta (1904–1974), fifth child and second daughter of
Constantine I of Greece Constantine I ( el, Κωνσταντίνος Αʹ, ''Konstantínos I''; – 11 January 1923) was King of Greece from 18 March 1913 to 11 June 1917 and from 19 December 1920 to 27 September 1922. He was commander-in-chief of the Hellenic Army ...
* Angelos Terzakis (1907–1979), writer *
Stavros Niarchos Stavros Spyrou Niarchos ( el, Σταύρος Σπύρου Νιάρχος, ; 3 July 1909 – 15 April 1996) was a Greek billionaire shipping tycoon. Starting in 1952, he had the world's biggest supertanker An oil tanker, also known as a petr ...
(1909–1996), shipping tycoon *
Melina Mercouri Maria Amalia "Melina" Mercouri (, 18 October 1920 – 6 March 1994) was a Greek actress, singer, activist, and politician. She came from a political family that was prominent over multiple generations. She received an Academy Award for Best Act ...
(1920–1994), actress, singer and politician * Dimitri Terzakis (born 1938), composer * Stavros Dimas (born 1941), politician and former
European Commissioner A European Commissioner is a member of the 27-member European Commission. Each member within the Commission holds a specific portfolio. The commission is led by the President of the European Commission. In simple terms they are the equivalent o ...
(2004–09) * Lucas Papademos (born 1947), economist and Prime Minister of Greece (2011–12) * Maria Farantouri (born 1947), singer *
Arianna Huffington Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington (née Ariadnē-Anna Stasinopoúlou, el, Αριάδνη-Άννα Στασινοπούλου ; born July 15, 1950) is a Greek-American author, Print syndication, syndicated columnist and businesswoman. She is a c ...
(born 1950), author and journalist *
Antonis Samaras Antonis Samaras ( el, Αντώνης Σαμαράς, ; born 23 May 1951) is a Greek politician who served as 14th Prime Minister of Greece from 2012 to 2015. A member of the New Democracy (Greece), New Democracy party, he was its president from ...
(born 1951), politician * Louka Katseli (born 1952), economist and politician * Dora Bakogianni (born 1954), politician *
Kostas Karamanlis Konstantinos A. Karamanlis ( el, Κωνσταντίνος Αλεξάνδρου Καραμανλής; born 14 September 1956), commonly known as Kostas Karamanlis ( el, Κώστας Καραμανλής, ), is a Greek Greek may refer to: Gree ...
(born 1956), politician and Prime Minister of Greece (2004–09) * Toula Limnaios (born 1963), dancer and choreographer * Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece (born 1967), eldest son and second child of Constantine II * Leonidas Kavakos (born 1967), violinist and conductor *
Kyriakos Mitsotakis Kyriakos Mitsotakis ( el, Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης, ; born 4 March 1968) is a Greek politician serving as the prime minister of Greece since 8 July 2019. A member of the New Democracy (Greece), New Democracy, he has been its presi ...
(born 1968), politician and Prime Minister of Greece (2019–present) * Giorgos Lanthimos (born 1973), film producer and film director *
Alexis Tsipras Alexis Tsipras ( el, Αλέξης Τσίπρας, ; born 28 July 1974) is a Greek politician serving as Leader of the Opposition (Greece), Leader of the Official Opposition since 2019. He served as Prime Minister of Greece from 2015 to 2019. T ...
(born 1974), politician and Prime Minister of Greece (2015–2019) * Sofia Pappa Mathematician


See also

* City walls of Athens * Timeline of Athens


Notes


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

;Published in the 19th century * ;Published in the 20th century * * * Traill, John S.
''The political organization of Attica: a study of the demes, trittyes, and phylai, and their representation in the Athenian Council''
Princeton :
American School of Classical Studies at Athens The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) ( el, Αμερικανική Σχολή Κλασικών Σπουδών στην Αθήνα) is one of 19 List of Foreign Archaeological Institutes in Greece, foreign archaeological institu ...
(ASCSA), 1975


External links


Athens official websiteA history of Athens from prehistoric to contemporary timesThe Athenian Constitution by AristotleModel of Classical AthensAthens in 421 BCAthens: Ancient Greek Supercity
From the TV series ''Lost Worlds'' of
The History Channel History (formerly The History Channel from January 1, 1995 to February 15, 2008, stylized as HISTORY) is an American pay television television network, network and flagship channel owned by A&E Networks, a joint venture between Hearst Communicat ...
(Season 1, Episode 4) {{DEFAULTSORT:History Of Athens