History of Athens
of human occupation are attested since the Neolithic
era on the site of the Acropolis.
But it is only after the Ionian invasions that the
Attic was organized in cities, among which Cécropia,
the future Athens.
Athens was formally founded towards 800 before our
era by the fusion of several villages.
By drawing left the natural fortress from the Acropolis,
they could resist to the hordes of plunderers which
terrorized the area.
The plural of the word Athens, according to Thucydide,
is a trace of the old villages which amalgamated to
found the city.
According to the legend, it is the hero Thésée,
rubble worker of Minotaure, which directed this unification
of the Attic.
Athens was one of the dominant cities in Greece during
centuries. Its golden age was reached under Périclès,
in the Vth century b-JC, where its domination was
at the same time political, financial, military and
cultural. It is at that time that Athens was described
as a "capital of Greece" (Isocrate).
Quickly, Athens transformed the league of Délos
into a true empire which was dissolved at the end
of the Peloponnesian War which opposed it to Sparte.
The Aristote philosopher born in 384 b-JC took a great
part in the intellectual life of Athens in particulary
thanks to its Politic book where he criticized the
The battle of Chéronée gained in 338
b-JC by Philippe II inserted Athens in the new empire
Macedonian. The city, which remained the large hearth
of Greek civilization, profited until II th century
b-JC of new installations and work of embellishment
undertaken under the crook of Lycurgue.
After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 b-JC,
the empire is divided, the city, still under domination
of kings of Macedonia, sink in the lapse of memory.
Conquered by the Roman Sylla, in 86 b-JC, Athens lost
its walls and its political role but remained nevertheless
a genuine intellectual headlight thanks to the pax
romana which was established.
Allured by the culture and the art of living Athenian,
the Romans copied art and life way and did not cease
embellishing the city: the Tower of the Winds, the
temple of Rome and Auguste on the Acropolis, the Roman
agora, the Odeon in the old agora are among the monuments
built in those time.
About yaer 1, the city counted approximately 300 000
inhabitants. In 53, the sermons of saint Paul in front
of the Learned assembly gave only one weak echo.
Later, the emperor Hadrian (117-138), particularly
attached in Greece, continued the work of town planning
of his predecessors: the library which bears its name,
Olympion (temple of Zeus), a gigantic marble stage
located beyond Ilissos, of new roads and the aqueducts
were built under its reign.