"The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta, made war inevitable". - Thucydides
Historical Description Edit
"Western civilization owes a great debt to Athens. The Athenian noblemen Cleisthenes can be said to have invented democracy in 508 BCE, though the vote was limited to free male landowners - neither slaves nor women could stand in the assembly. Predominately a naval power, Athens was instrumental in driving back repeated Persian invasions, including victory at the decisive sea battle of Salamis in 480 BCE.
Victory in the Persian Wars brought power, wealth, and prestige to the city. In the aftermath, Athens
experienced a golden age of philosophy and learning. The Parthenon was built, Herodotus and Thucydides invented history and political science, an the great dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes wrote their immortal plays. However, fear of Athenian expansion led Sparta to initiate the Peloponnese War, a 27-year conflict of unprecedented scope and brutality that eventually brought Athens to its knees."
Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 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. During the early Middle Ages, the city experienced a decline, then recovered under the later Byzantine Empire and was relatively prosperous during the period of the Crusades (12th and 13th centuries), benefiting from Italian trade. Following a period of sharp decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the independent Greek state.
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