athens

Cultural Dictionary

Athens definition


A leading city of ancient Greece, famous for its learning, culture, and democratic institutions. The political power of Athens was sometimes quite limited, however, especially after its defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was a noted ruler of Athens. (See also under “World Geography.”)

American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Athens definition


Capital of Greece in east-central Greece on the plain of Attica, overlooking an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. Named after its patron goddess, Athena, Athens is Greece's largest city and its cultural, administrative, and economic center.

Note: In the fifth century b.c., Athens was one of the world's most powerful and highly civilized cities (see also under “World History to 1550”).
Note: As the cultural center of Greece, ancient Athens was home to influential writers and thinkers such as Aristophanes, Euripides, Socrates, and Plato.
Note: Its principal landmark is the Acropolis, on which stands the remains of the Parthenon and other buildings.

Greece definition


Republic in southeastern Europe on the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Athens.

Note: Greece is a member of NATO.
Note: Ancient Greek culture, particularly as developed in Athens, was the principal source of Western civilization.
Note: Tension and fighting between Greece and Turkey has continued for hundreds of years.
Note: It is known for its production of grapes, olives, and olive oil.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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