Athens (Greek: Ἀθῆναι): one of the main Greek city-states.
- Some remains on the Acropolis (Erechtheion) and a chamber tomb on the agora (temple of Ares)
- Probably the main settlement of a small principality, Attica
- Several later myths may contain echoes from the Mycenaean age
- There are myths about migration from Athens to Ionia. The Ionian dialect does indeed resemble the Attic dialect, which may confirm these stories; alternatively, the stories may have been invented to explain precisely that fact.
- 632 BCE Failed coup Cylon
- 594/593 BCE The legislator Solon
- c.545-528/527 BCE The tyranny of Pisistratus
- Athens becomes a very important city
- 514 BCE Assassination of Pisistratus’ son Hipparchus (commemorated in the statue of the Tyrannicides)
- 510 BCE Expulsion of Pisistratus’ other son Hippias, the tyrant, who had acted despotically
- Cleisthenes introduces the democratic system
- 499 BCE Athenian intervention in the Ionian Revolt; sack of Sardes
- 490 BCE The Persians try to bring back Hippias but are defeated by the Athenians, led by Miltiades, at Marathon
- After the discovery of silver at Laurion, Themistocles convinces the Athenians to create a navy
- 480 BCE The Persian king Xerxes invades Greece and sacks Athens; his navy is defeated in the naval battle of Salamis
- 479 BCE The Persian commander Mardonius takes Athens again and is defeated by the Spartans and Athenians in the battle of Plataea; Greek expeditions to Asia Minor (Mycale)
Classical Age: fifth century
- 478 BCE Athens creates the Delian League, an anti-Persian alliance that slowly becomes an Athenian empire
- Athens builds walls and long walls to Piraeus, its port
- 460-445 BCE First Peloponnesian War: Athens against Sparta and Persia
- 449 BCE Peace of Callias with Persia?
- Pericles expands the democratic system
- Lavish building policy (e.g., the Parthenon on the Acropolis); sophists and philosophers are attracted to Athens; in the theaters, tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and comedies by Aristophanes
- The Parthenon, the main temple of Athens, dedicated to the goddess Athena, was built between 447 and 438; the decoration was finished in 432. The building is still impressive because it is made of beautiful Pentelic marble.
- 431-421 BCE Archidamian War: Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth try to destroy the Athenian empire
- 415 BCE The Amorges affair: Athens intervenes in Persian affairs
- 415-413 BCE Sicilian Expedition: Athens fails to capture Syracuse
- 413-404 BCE Ionian or Declean War: Sparta, with financial support from Persia, defeats Athens; end of the Delian League; the Long Walls destroyed
- 404-403 BCE Rule of the Thirty; democracy is restored
Classical Age: fourth century
- 399 BCE Death of the philosopher Socrates
- 395/394 BCE Conon, paid by Persia, restores Athens’ fortunes
- 395-387 BCE Corinthian War: Athens, Thebes, Argos, and Corinth against Sparta
- 378 BCE Creation of the Second Delian League
- 357-355 BCE Social War; end of the Delian League
- 356-346 BCE Third Sacred War; the Macedonians start to intervene in Greek politics. They are opposed by the politician Demosthenes.
- 338 BCE Battle of Chaeronea: Philip of Macedonia defeats Athens and Thebes; end of Greek independence
- 336-323 BCE Reign of Alexander the Great, who conquers the Persian Empire. The main cultural centers are Alexandria, Antioch, and Pergamon; Rhodes eclipses Piraeus
- Demetrius of Phaleron puts an end to the democratic system; Athens is economically and politically in decline
- Athens flourishes as a cultural center with (a/o) the philosophical schools founded by Plato (the Academy), Aristotle (the Lyceum), Zeno (the Stoic philosophy), and the Garden of Epicurus
- After 159 BCE Stoa of Attalus II on the agora
- 86 BCE The Roman commander Sulla takes Athens
- Many new buildings; Athens remains an important cultural center
- The emperor Hadrian visits Athens. Building of a Roman forum, creation of a library, foundation of the Panionion, completion of the temple of Zeus.
- 267 CE Athens sacked by the Heruli
- Wall of Valerian (220 hectares)
- c.300 CE Late Roman wall (18 hectares)
- The city remained important in the Roman and Early Byzantine age, because the rulers appreciated the cultural legacy of Athens. However, the big political decisions were taken elsewhere.
- Acropolis Museum
- Byzantine Museum
- Epigraphical Museum
- Kerameikos Museum
- National Archaeological Museum
- Numismatic Museum
- Airport Museum