Athens

Athens

Athens (/ˈæθɪnz/ ATH-inz)[6][7] is the capital and largest city of Greece. A major coastal urban area in the Mediterranean, Athens is also the capital of the Attica region and is the southernmost capital on the European mainland. With its urban area's population numbering over three million, it is the eighth largest urban area in the European Union. The Municipality of Athens (also City of Athens), which constitutes a small administrative unit of the entire urban area, had a population of 643,452 (2021)[4] within its official limits, and a land area of 38.96 km2 (15.04 sq mi).[8][9] Athens is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years,[10] and its earliest human presence beginning somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennia BC. According to Greek mythology the city was named after Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, but modern scholars generally agree that the goddess took her name after the city.[11] Classical Athens was one of the most powerful city-states in ancient Greece. It was a centre for democracy, the arts, education and philosophy,[12][13] and was highly influential throughout the European continent, particularly in Ancient Rome.[14] For this reason, it is often regarded as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy in its own right independently from the rest of Greece.[15][16]