A Brief History Of Athens

Athens is the capital city of Greece and the history of Athens which has been recorded dates back more than 3000 years. Apart from being the capital city, it is the largest as well as one of the oldest cities of the country and it has been occupied by human population for about 7000 years.

Cave Of Schist is the place which witnessed the oldest human inhabitation of Athens. The Acropolis of Athens has a very popular Mycenaean fortress as the place was centered with the Mycenaean civilization around 1400 BC. It is said that Athens was invaded by the Dorians in 1200 BC which lead to the city’s destruction, but it has not been confirmed due to the refusal about the authenticity of the Dorian invasion by the people of Athens. Athens suffered a huge economic downfall, for about 150 years after the believed invasion. But, Athens became one of the leading trade centers of the region beginning in 900 BC.

In the Greco-Persian wars, Athens with Sparta helped the Greek states against Persia and won over them in Marathon and Salamis in 490 BC and 480 BC respectively. These events marked the Golden Age Of Athenian Democracy for decades, and Athens went through a number of reforms and cultural as well as social achievements. Some of the world’s most inspirational people thrived during this period. Some of them were the philosopher Socrates, famous playwrights including Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the historians like Herodotus and Thucydides as well as the world renowned physician Hippocrates. Delian League was an association of the Greek city and states and was headed by Athens with the main purpose of fighting against the Persians. Under this league, The Empire-building and the Acropolis of Athens were also established during this time. The Western Civilisation derives its foundations from the Golden Age Of Athenian Democracy.

Athens was defeated by Sparta which was its rival in the Peloponnesian War which continued from 431 BC to 404 BC and rose because of some clashes and tensions building up among the members of the Delian League. Macedon, northern Greek kingdom, became quite dominant in the affairs concerning Athens by the mid-4th century BC. Athens lost its independence in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC because of being defeated by Philip II and his army. But later, Rome gave Athens its independence back because of the wonderfully admired schools and education the city had at the time. In the 2nd Century Ad, the Temple of Olympian Zeus was completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian. Along with the temple’s completion, he also constructed various structures for Athen’s development.

The city went through a number of declines and recoveries beginning from the end of Late Antiquity till 1458 when the Ottoman Empire conquered Athens which marked the city’s decline for centuries. Athens was declared the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834 after the Greek War of Independence and setting up of the Greek Kingdom. The architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert designed a city plan which was modern to suit the capital as ordered by King Otto, the first king of Greece.In 1896 the first modern Olympic Games were hosted by Athens. The population of the city grew largely and Athens experienced an eventual expansion following the World War II.