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.”)
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: 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.