What is Attica?

Mary McMahon

Attica is a region of Greece which is centered around the city of Athens, on the Eastern-Central region of the Greek mainland. Attica includes the Attic Peninsula on which Athens is located, along with a sprinkling of islands. In Classical history, Attica was a very important region of the world, serving as the seat of Greek culture for centuries, and today the region attracts a number of visitors, ranging from curious archaeologists to tourists who wish to explore Greece.

The city of Athens is located in Greece's Attic region.
The city of Athens is located in Greece's Attic region.

According to Greek mythology, Attica was one ruled by four disputing tribes who were united under King Theseus. Thanks to numerous ports in Attica, including the modern city of Piraeus, the region became a formidable trading force. Attica served as the seat of the Athenian city-state, which was the most powerful city-state in Greece until the Peloponnesian War, which destabilized Greek society, paving the way for an assortment of conflicts and civil wars which eventually allowed the Greeks to fall prey to the growing Roman Empire.

The Parthenon can be found in Attica, in Greece.
The Parthenon can be found in Attica, in Greece.

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Archaeological evidence suggests that people have been living in Attica for thousands of years, long before the rise of Greek culture. They probably wanted to take advantage of the mild Mediterranean climate of the region, along with the two strong rivers which supplied water to the fertile plains of Attica, created by a number of mountain ranges which slice the area into small chunks.

This region of Greece has an astounding array of archaeological sites, including many Greek temples such as the Parthenon in Athens. Visitors to Attica can see sports fields, the remains of settlements, and other remnants of Greek culture, both in situ and in museums. Numerous artifacts have unfortunately been taken out of Greece for display in other regions of the world, although the Greek government is lobbying for the return of precious cultural artifacts, suggesting that they belong in their nation of origin.

At one point, much of Attica was forested. This has since changed, due to human habitation, although there are still enough trees in the region to pose a major risk when wildfires start to spread, as residents of Greece learned to their chagrin as recently as 2007, when wildfires devastated Southern Greece. The region is also rich in clays, which were used to make the famous pots of Classical Greece, along with silver and lead.

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Why do they shout 'Attica' at political rallies?

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