The Info List - Attica

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Coordinates: 38°05′0″N 23°30′0″E / 38.08333°N 23.50000°E / 38.08333; 23.50000

Attica Αττική

Region of Ancient Greece

View from Kaisariani
Hill looking towards Athens
and Piraeus, with Salamis visible in the background

Map of municipalities (demoi) in ancient Attica

Location Central Greece

Major cities Athens, Piraeus

Dialects Attic

Key periods Athenian Empire (477–404 BC) Second Athenian Confederacy (378–338 BC)

(Greek: Αττική, Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Attikḗ or Attikī́; Ancient Greek: [atːikɛ̌ː] or Modern: [atiˈci]), or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital of present-day Greece. It is a peninsula projecting into the Aegean Sea, bordering on Boeotia
to the north and Megaris
to the west. The history of Attica
is tightly linked with that of Athens, and specifically the Golden Age of Athens
during the classical period. Ancient Attica
was divided into demoi or municipalities from the reform of Cleisthenes
in 508/7 BC, grouped into three zones: urban (astu) in the region of Athens
and Piraeus, coastal (paralia) along the coastline and inland (mesogeia) in the interior. The southern tip of the peninsula, known as Laurion, was an important mining region. The modern administrative region of Attica
is more extensive than the historical region and includes Megaris
as part of the regional unit West Attica, and the Saronic Islands
Saronic Islands
and Cythera, as well as the municipality of Troizinia
on the Peloponnesian mainland, as the regional unit Islands.


1 Geography 2 History

2.1 Ancient history

2.1.1 Fortresses 2.1.2 Places of worship

2.2 Medieval period 2.3 Attica
after 1829

3 Climate

3.1 European temperature record

4 See also 5 References 6 External links


View from Anavyssos, looking south-east towards Palaia Fokaia.

Lake Marathon

is a triangular peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea. It is naturally divided to the north from Boeotia
by the 10 mi (16 km) long Cithaeron
mountain range. To the west of Eleusis, the Greek mainland narrows into Megaris, connecting to the Peloponnes
at the Isthmus of Corinth. The western coast of Attica, also known as the Attic Riviera, forms the eastern coastline of the Saronic Gulf. Mountains separate the peninsula into the plains of Pedias, Mesogaia, and Thriasion. The mountains of Attica are the Hymettus, the eastern portion of the Geraneia, the Parnitha (the highest mountain of Attica), the Aigaleo
and the Penteli. Four mountains—Aigaleo, Parnitha, Penteli
and Hymettus
(clockwise from the southwest)—delineate the hilly plain on which the Athens-Piraeus urban area now spreads. The plain[dubious – discuss] of Mesogaía, now called Mesógeia, lies to the east of Mount Hymettus
and is bound to the north by the foothills of Mount Penteli, to the east by the Euboean Gulf and Mount Myrrhinous (modern Merenta),[dubious – discuss] and to the south by the mountains of Laurium
(modern Lavreotiki), Panio (Πάνειο Όρος), and Laureotic Olympus (Λαυρεωτικός Όλυμπος). The Laurium
region terminates in Cape Sounion, forming the southeastern tip of the Attic peninsula. Athens' water reservoir, Lake Marathon, is an artificial lake created by damming in 1920. Pine and fir forests cover the area around Parnitha. Hymettus, Penteli, Myrrhinous and Laurium
are forested with pine trees, whereas the rest are covered by shrubbery. The Kifisos is the longest river of Attica. According to Plato, Attica's ancient boundaries were fixed by the Isthmus, and, toward the continent, they extended as far as the heights of Cithaeron
and Parnes. The boundary line came down toward the sea, bounded by the district of Oropus
on the right and by the river Asopus on the left. History[edit] Ancient history[edit] Further information: Classical Athens

The Temple of Poseidon (c.440 BC) at Cape Sounion, the southernmost point of Attica.

During antiquity, the Athenians boasted about being 'autochthonic', which is to say that they were the original inhabitants of the area and had not moved to Attica
from another place. The traditions current in the classical period recounted that, during the Greek Dark Ages, Attica
had become the refuge of the Ionians, who belonged to a tribe from the northern Peloponnese. Supposedly, the Ionians
had been forced out of their homeland by the Achaeans, who had been forced out of their homeland by the Dorian invasion.[1] Supposedly, the Ionians integrated with the ancient Atticans, who, afterward, considered themselves part of the Ionian tribe and spoke the Ionian dialect. Many Ionians
later left Attica
to colonize the Aegean coast of Asia Minor and to create the twelve cities of Ionia.

Ancient site of Vravrona

During the Mycenaean period, the Atticans lived in autonomous agricultural societies. The main places where prehistoric remains were found are Marathon, Rafina, Nea Makri, Brauron, Thorikos, Agios Kosmas, Eleusis, Menidi, Markopoulo, Spata, Aphidnae
and Athens. All of these settlements flourished during the Mycenaean period.[2] According to tradition, Attica
comprised twelve small communities during the reign of Cecrops, the legendary Ionian king of Attica. Strabo
assigns these the names of Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacria, Decelea, Eleusis, Aphidna, Thoricus, Brauron, Cytherus, Sphettus, Cephisia, and possibly Phaleron. These were said to have been later incorporated in an Athenian state during the reign of Theseus, the mythical king of Athens.[3] Modern historians consider it more likely that the communities were progressively incorporated into an Athenian state during the 8th and the 7th centuries BC.[4][unreliable source?] Until the 6th century BC, aristocratic families lived independent lives in the suburbs. Only after Peisistratos's tyranny and the reforms implemented by Cleisthenes
did the local communities lose their independence and succumb to the central government in Athens. As a result of these reforms, Attica
was divided into approximately a hundred municipalities, the demes (dēmoi, δῆμοι), and also into three large sectors: the city (ἄστυ), which comprised the areas of central Athens, Ymittos, Aegaleo
and the foot of Mount Parnes, the coast (παράλια), that included the area between Eleusis
and Cape Sounion
Cape Sounion
and the area around the city (ἐσωτερικό-μεσογαία), inhabited by people living on the north of Mount Parnitha, Penteliko and the area east of the mountain of Hymettus. Principally, each civic unit would include equal parts of townspeople, seamen, and farmers. A “trittýs” ("third") of each sector constituted a tribe. Consequently, Attica
comprised ten tribes. Fortresses[edit]

View of Rhamnous

During the classical period, Athens
was fortified to the north by the fortress of Eleutherae, which is preserved well. Other fortresses are those of Oenoe, Decelea and Aphidnae. To protect the mines at Laurium, on the coast, Athens
was fortified by the walls at Rhamnus, Thoricus, Sounion, Anavyssos, Piraeus, and Eleusis.[2] Although these forts and walls had been constructed, Attica
did not establish a fortification system until later, in the 4th century BC.[5] Attica's warfare is displayed by piles of rubble from fortresses from the Chremonidean war.[6] Places of worship[edit]


Even though archaeological ruins are found in nearly the whole area of Attica, the most important are those found in Eleusis. The worship of the goddesses Demeter
and Cora, beginning in the Mycenaean period, continued until the late years of antiquity. Many other types of worship can be traced to the prehistory. For example, the worship of Pan and the Nymphs
was common in many areas of Attica
such as Marathon, Parnes and Ymittos. The god of wine, Dionysus, was worshipped mainly in the area of Icaria, now the suburb of Dionysus. Iphigeneia
and Artemis
were worshipped in Brauron, Artemis
in Rafina, Athena
on Sounion, Aphrodite
on Iera Odos, and Apollo
in Daphne.[2] The festival of Chalceia was celebrated every autumn in Attica. The festival honored the gods Hephaestus
and Athena
Ergane. Medieval period[edit] Main articles: Byzantine
Greece, Duchy of Athens, and Ottoman Greece

View over the excavation site towards Eleusis.

After the period of antiquity, Attica
came under Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman rule. During the Byzantine
period, Attica
was invaded by the Goths
under the commands of Alaric in 396 AD. Attica's population diminished in comparison to the neighboring area of Boeotia. The sites of historical interest date to the 11th and 12th centuries, when Attica
was under the rule of the Franks. The great monastery of Dafni, that was built under Justinian I's rule, is an isolated case that does not signify a widespread development of Attica
during the Byzantine
period. On the other hand, the buildings built during the 11th and 12th centuries show a greater development that continued during the rule of the Franks, who did not impose strict rule. During the Ottoman rule, Athens
enjoyed some rights. However, that was not the case for the villages of Attica. Great areas were possessed by the Turks, who terrorized the population with the help of sipahis. The monasteries of Attica
played a crucial role in preserving the Greek element of the villages. In spite of its conquerors, Attica
managed to maintain its traditions. This fact is proved by the preservation of ancient toponyms such as Oropos, Dionysus, Eleusis, and Marathon. During the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, the peasants of Attica
were the first to revolt (April 1821), and they occupied Athens
and seized the Acropolis that was handed over to the Greeks in June, 1822.[2] Attica
after 1829[edit]


Aerial view of Rafina.

Attica, a place in Greece, has belonged to the independent Greek state. From 1834, Athens
was refounded and made the new Greek capital (moved from Nafplio
in Argolis), and people from other parts of Greece gradually began to repopulate Attica. The most dramatic surge came with Greek refugees from Anatolia
following the population exchanges between Greece
and Turkey
under the Treaty of Lausanne. Today, much of Attica
is occupied by urban Athens.[7] The modern Greek region of Attica
includes classical Attica
as well as the Saronic Islands, a small part of the Peloponnese
around Troezen, and the Ionian Island of Kythira. Climate[edit] Attica
enjoys a Mediterranean climate. It has a distinct, long, dry period in the summer and a short, wet period in the winter. The highest precipitation is experienced during the winter months. The southern part of the peninsula has a hot, semi-arid climate.

Climate data for Athens
Hellinikon, 10 m asl (1955–1997)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 13.6 (56.5) 14.1 (57.4) 15.7 (60.3) 19.4 (66.9) 24.1 (75.4) 28.7 (83.7) 31.8 (89.2) 31.7 (89.1) 28.2 (82.8) 23.2 (73.8) 18.8 (65.8) 15.2 (59.4) 22.04 (71.69)

Average low °C (°F) 7.0 (44.6) 7.1 (44.8) 8.4 (47.1) 11.4 (52.5) 15.8 (60.4) 20.1 (68.2) 22.8 (73) 22.8 (73) 19.6 (67.3) 15.6 (60.1) 12.0 (53.6) 8.8 (47.8) 14.28 (57.7)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 48.3 (1.902) 40.9 (1.61) 39.7 (1.563) 26.0 (1.024) 15.2 (0.598) 5.6 (0.22) 5.2 (0.205) 7.0 (0.276) 9.6 (0.378) 47.8 (1.882) 55.4 (2.181) 64.1 (2.524) 364.8 (14.363)

Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[8]

Climate data for Elefsina, 30 m asl (1958–1997)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 13.0 (55.4) 13.6 (56.5) 15.8 (60.4) 20.1 (68.2) 25.7 (78.3) 30.6 (87.1) 32.9 (91.2) 32.7 (90.9) 28.9 (84) 23.2 (73.8) 18.5 (65.3) 14.7 (58.5) 22.48 (72.47)

Average low °C (°F) 5.4 (41.7) 5.6 (42.1) 7.1 (44.8) 10.1 (50.2) 14.9 (58.8) 19.5 (67.1) 22.3 (72.1) 22.2 (72) 18.8 (65.8) 14.6 (58.3) 10.4 (50.7) 7.2 (45) 13.18 (55.72)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 48.4 (1.906) 40.1 (1.579) 39.3 (1.547) 26.7 (1.051) 19.5 (0.768) 8.4 (0.331) 5.5 (0.217) 5.4 (0.213) 11.3 (0.445) 41.6 (1.638) 58.8 (2.315) 67.9 (2.673) 372.9 (14.683)

Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[9]

Climate data for National Observatory of Athens
(Thissio), 107 m asl (1971–2000), (1961–1990)rain

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 13.0 (55.4) 13.7 (56.7) 16.1 (61) 20.5 (68.9) 25.8 (78.4) 30.6 (87.1) 33.1 (91.6) 32.8 (91) 29.2 (84.6) 23.5 (74.3) 18.1 (64.6) 14.4 (57.9) 22.57 (72.63)

Average low °C (°F) 6.7 (44.1) 6.8 (44.2) 8.2 (46.8) 11.6 (52.9) 16.0 (60.8) 20.4 (68.7) 22.8 (73) 22.5 (72.5) 19.4 (66.9) 15.1 (59.2) 11.2 (52.2) 8.2 (46.8) 14.07 (57.34)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.6 (1.756) 48.3 (1.902) 42.6 (1.677) 28.2 (1.11) 17.2 (0.677) 9.7 (0.382) 4.2 (0.165) 4.6 (0.181) 11.9 (0.469) 47.7 (1.878) 50.6 (1.992) 66.6 (2.622) 376.2 (14.811)

Source: National Observatory of Athens[10]

Climate data for Athens
Nea Filadelfia, 136 m asl (1955–1997)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 12.5 (54.5) 13.5 (56.3) 15.7 (60.3) 20.2 (68.4) 26.0 (78.8) 31.1 (88) 33.5 (92.3) 33.2 (91.8) 29.2 (84.6) 23.3 (73.9) 18.1 (64.6) 14.1 (57.4) 22.53 (72.58)

Average low °C (°F) 5.2 (41.4) 5.4 (41.7) 6.7 (44.1) 9.6 (49.3) 13.9 (57) 18.2 (64.8) 20.8 (69.4) 20.7 (69.3) 17.3 (63.1) 13.4 (56.1) 9.8 (49.6) 6.8 (44.2) 12.32 (54.17)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 56.9 (2.24) 46.7 (1.839) 40.7 (1.602) 30.8 (1.213) 22.7 (0.894) 10.6 (0.417) 5.8 (0.228) 6.0 (0.236) 13.9 (0.547) 52.6 (2.071) 58.3 (2.295) 69.1 (2.72) 414.1 (16.302)

Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[11]

Climate data for Tatoi, 235 m asl (1958–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 11.7 (53.1) 12.5 (54.5) 14.7 (58.5) 19.3 (66.7) 24.9 (76.8) 29.9 (85.8) 32.1 (89.8) 31.8 (89.2) 28.0 (82.4) 22.5 (72.5) 17.4 (63.3) 13.2 (55.8) 21.5 (70.7)

Average low °C (°F) 3.2 (37.8) 3.5 (38.3) 4.9 (40.8) 7.7 (45.9) 11.9 (53.4) 16.2 (61.2) 19.2 (66.6) 19.3 (66.7) 15.6 (60.1) 11.8 (53.2) 7.9 (46.2) 4.9 (40.8) 10.51 (50.92)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.2 (2.724) 48.6 (1.913) 51.1 (2.012) 26.2 (1.031) 20.4 (0.803) 9.8 (0.386) 10.0 (0.394) 6.0 (0.236) 17.6 (0.693) 47.6 (1.874) 60.2 (2.37) 83.9 (3.303) 450.6 (17.739)

Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[12]

European temperature record[edit] According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the official European record for highest temperature was 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) and it was recorded in Eleusina and Tatoi in 1977, by the use of minimum-maximum thermometers.[13] See also[edit]

Attic Greek Atticism Attic orators Ascolia Neo-Attic


^ Pausanias VIII, 1 ^ a b c d "History" (PDF). Prefecture of Attica. Democritus University of Thrace. Retrieved 13 January 2013.  ^ Strabo
9.1.20 ^ Ancient History until 30 BC (Ιστορία των αρχαίων χρόνων ως το 30 πΧ), L. Tsaktsiras, M. Tiverios, schoolbook for A' Gymnasiou, 13th edition, Athens, 1994, p. 115 ^ Osborne, Robin (December 2015). "Oxford Classical Dictionary". Attica. Retrieved 2017-09-29.  ^ Osborne, Robin (2015-12-22). "Attica". doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.001.0001/acrefore-9780199381135-e-952.  ^ National Statistical Service of Greece
(2002). Στατιστική Επετηρίδα της Ελλάδος 2002 (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. p. 54. The table includes the urban areas of Greece, officially defined by the National Statistical Service of Greece, powered by the Ministry of Finance of Greece. The municipality of Piraeus
and its greater area belong to the Athens
urban area or Greater Athens
(Πολεοδομικό Συγκρότημα Αθηνών).  ^ "Climatological Information for Athens
Hellinikon, Greece", HNMS climatological table, web: [1]. ^ "Climatological Information for Elefsina, Greece", HNMS climatological table, web: [2]. ^ "Monthly bulletins", N.O.A, web: [3]. ^ "Climatological Information for Nea Filadelfia, Greece", HNMS climatological table, web: [4]. ^ "Climatological Information for Tatoi, Greece", HNMS climatological table, web: [5]. ^ [6]. Arizona State University
Arizona State University
World Meteorological Organization.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Attica.

Official Travel website of Attica

v t e

Landmarks of Attica*

Aigosthena Amphiareion of Oropos Artemida Brauron Eleutherae Eleusis Lagonisi Lake Marathon Laurium Marathon Mount Pentelicus Parnitha Porto Rafti Queen's Tower (Serpieri) Rhamnous Saronida Sounion Tatoi Palace Temple of Apollo

*Not inclu