During the Prehistorical era, around 3.000 BC, the Pelasgoi, first inhabitants of Athens, had already settled around what today is the Acropolis. During the Mycenaic era, Acropolis served as a palace for the king, while in the 7th century BC it was gradually transformed into a sanctum for the gods.
und 1.500 BC, the Iones moved into Attika, and Athens was divided in independent villages that would unite under a common king in the face of danger. In the 12th century BC the Dorians invaded Athens, but were defeated. In the 7th century BC, power was transferred to an Aristocracy, and the king became a ceremonial figure head. This, however, created social strife, until, in 508 BC, Kleisthenis founded the Athenian Democracy.
The 5th century saw a number of invasions by the Persians that were victorious for the Greeks, and after the Persian Wars, in the period between 479 and 431 BC, Pericles led Athens to its greatest glory. At the end of the 5th century BC, Athens has some 30.000 citizens that live in 6.000 private houses. The area surrounded by the city walls was over 2 sq.kms.
is in the 4th century BC that the great philosophers and orators like Plato, Aristotle and Dimosthenes appeared, while in the 2nd half of that century, Philip the 2nd of Macedonia managed to unite all Greece under his rule. In 146 BC Athens fell to the Romans, and in 86 BC the city was sacked by the Roman General Syllas. Still, for centuries Athens remained a philosophical and cultural center.
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