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The History of Athens

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The name of Athens, connected to the name of its patron goddess Athena, originates from an earlier Pre-
Greek language.

The etiological myth explaining how Athens acquired this name through the legendary contest between Poseidon and Athena was described by Herodotus, Apollodorus, Ovid, Plutarch, Pausanias and others.

Plato, 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')

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The History of Athens

  1. 1. HISTORY The of Athens The leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC.
  2. 2. History: The name of Athens, connected to the name of its patron goddess Athena, originates from an earlier Pre- Greek language. The etiological myth explaining how Athens acquired this name through the legendary contest between Poseidon and Athena was described by Herodotus, Apollodorus, Ovid, Plutarch, Pausanias and others. Plato, 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') The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion, Athens, 421–407 BC
  3. 3. Geographical setting The site on which Athens stands was first inhabited in the Neolithic period, perhaps as a defensible settlement on top of the Acropolis ('high city'), around the end of the fourth millennium BC or a little later.[8] The Acropolis is a natural defensive position which commands the surrounding plains. The settlement was about 20 km (12 mi) 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. Map of the Environs of Ancient Athens
  4. 4. Timeline: c. 7,000 BCE - 5,000 BCE Earliest known human habitation on the Acropolis and around the Agora of Athens. 514 BCE Fall of the Peisistratid tyranny in Athens. 457 BCE Hegemony of Athens over central Greece. 431 BCE Athens invades Megara. Earliest known human habitation on the Acropolis and around the Agora of Athens. 387 BCE Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus. 166 BCE Rome gives dominion over the Cyclades to Athens. 86 BCE The Roman general Sulla sacks Athens and the port of Piraeus. 403 BCE
  5. 5. During the Greek Dark Ages the population of Athens was around 4,000 people. In 700 BC the population grew to 10,000. In 500 BC the area probably contained 200,000 people. When Demetrius of Phalerum conducted a population census in 317 BC the population was 21,000 free citizens, plus 10,000 resident aliens and 400,000 slaves. This suggests a total population of 431,000. 4,000 10,000 200,000 431,000 Population (Thousands) 900 BC 700 BC 500 BC 300 BC 0 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 Demographics

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