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Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Situated at the heart of the Attika peninsula, it is the birthplace of democracy, and in the 5th century BCE, was the preeminent city-state in the region, wielding hegemony over the Hellenic civilization.

After a period of cultural flourishing during which the origin of much of Western intellectual thought was established, Athens was engulfed in the Peloponnesian War against its militaristic rival, Sparta. Centuries later with the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Athens came under the control of the Ottoman Empire where Assassin influence was firmly established.



Athens has been inhabited as early as the Neolithic period, and by 1412 BCE, the settlement had become an important center of the Mycenaean civilization and the Akropolis was the site of a major Mycenaean fortress. From the 7th century, more stone buildings were being made, though many of these structures were not built to last. The city's foundation myth tells of the gods Poseidon and Athena fighting for patronage of the city, eventually Athena won and the city was named after her.[1]

Classical Athens

Greco-Persian Wars

In the 5th century BCE, Athens was a city-state which rose to prominence under a highly distinct and intricate political system known as democracy. In an alliance with other poleis, most notably Sparta, Athens defended Greece from the Persian invasions in the first half of the century following which it emerged as the leader of the Delian League.[2]

In 490 BCE, the Athenians, led by the soldier-statesman Miltiades, defeated the first invasion of the Persians under Darius I at the Battle of Marathon.[2] In 480 BCE, the Persians returned under Darius's son Xerxes. When a small Greek force holding the pass of Thermopylae was defeated, the Persians proceeded to capture an evacuated Athens. The city of Athens got captured and sacked twice by the Persians within one year after Thermopylae.[3] During which, many of the archaic structures of the Akropolis were burnt down by the invading Persian armies. Most notably, was the Temple of Athena Polias.[1] In 479 BCE, the Athenians and Spartans, with their allies, defeated the Persian army at the Battle of Plataia.[4]

From this position, Athens began to assert its hegemony over the other Greek city-states, often aggressively. Popularly known as the Golden Age of Athens, this period of Athenian ascendancy witnessed an explosion of cultural and intellectual developments, with philosophers such as Sokrates and his pupil Plato leaving a lasting legacy on the future European academic tradition. Major milestones regarded as the origins of European fields include the works of Herodotus and Hippokrates, called the "Fathers of History and Medicine" by Western scholars respectively.[5]

Under the leadership of the general Perikles, the Golden Age entered its final stage, with his partner Aspasia, a high society hetaera, hosting numerous social events for contemporary artists, philosophers, and politicians.[5]

Peloponnesian War

Those city-states under Athens' suzerainty, eventually started to resent its dominance, and in 431 BCE, a rivalry between Athens and the militaristic Sparta of the Peloponnesian League erupted into open warfare. Wary of the Spartans' infamous reputation as the best warriors of Greece, Perikles refused to meet the enemy in battle, instead having his forces turtle within the city's walls, putting him at odds with fellow statesman Kleon.[5]

ACOD Perikles's Symposium Memory 03

Kassandra at Perikles' Symposium, 431 BCE.

In May of that year, the Spartan misthios Kassandra traveled to Athens on the suggestion of Herodotos, who suggested she meet Perikles. There, Perikles requested Kassandra to help him with a number of errands in exchange for the information that she needs.[6] Completing the errands for Perikes; Kassandra rescued his friend Metiochos,[7] escorted the sculptor Phidias safely to the southern island of Seriphos,[8] and also helped influence the ostracization vote of the philosopher Anaxagoras.[9] Afterwards, Kassandra was invited to a symposium hosted by Perikles. It was at this symposium Kassandra met with many influential individuals including: the statesmen Alkibiades; the playwrites Aristophanes and Hermippos; and the sophists Protagoras and Thrasymachos. After speaking to several of them, Kassandra obtained the names of several people who may have encountered Myrrine at some point in the past. She set out from Athens to meet them.[10]

ACOD Abandoned By the Gods

Kassandra returning to a plague struck Athens, 429 BCE

In Autumn two years later, Athens was hit by a deadly plague which left numerous thousands dead. Perikles himself had also contracted the illness, talking with Aspasia she revealed that she sent Phoibe on an errand but she was yet to return. Kassandra left in search of her.[11] However, Kassandra was too late to save her young friend. She had been struck down by Cultist guards. In anger, Kassandra killed them all. She then headed to the Parthenon to find Aspasia, with Hippokrates and Sokrates following close behind.[12] Kassandra made her way up to the Parthenon, meeting Aspasia outside. Following a commotion inside the Partenon, the four of them entered only to find Deimos killing Perikles. After mourning her lover's death, Aspasia left Athens with Kassandra to find her mother. Hippokrates and Sokrates agreed to stay behind and help the people. With the death of Perikles, Kleon was able to seize power of the polis.[13]

ACOD The Resistance 2

Kassandra convening with the Periklean Circle, 424 BCE.

Following the Battle of Pylos in the Summer of 425 BCE, Kassandra was captured and held in an Athenian prison. When approached by Deimos, she had a moment to try and reason with him. When the coast was clear, Sokrates and Barnabas arrived to help Kassandra break out. Although she was already ahead of them.[14] Convening with the Periklean Circle at least a month later, a gathering of Perikles' closest friends, Kassandra and the Circle hatched a plan to discredit Kleon.[15] The playwright Aristophanes suggested a play to mock Kleon, however, Aristophanes' actor Thespis had gone missing and so Kassandra helped locate him.[16] However, Thespis refused to act without his muse. Finding out that his muse, Aikaterine, was being threatened by the Cultist Rhexenor, Kassandra dealt with him and Aikaterine was free to resume being Thespis' muse.[17] Kassandra then met with Sokrates at the Pnyx and helped convince the public of Kleon's wrongdoings.[18] She then returned to Perikles' Residence speak to Aristophanes and Sokrates after their successful attempt to damage Kleon's reputation. Kassandra received word that Brasidas had survived the Battle of Pylos and sought her aid for the upcoming Battle of Amphipolis, which she accepted and promptly travelled to.[19]

Ottoman era

With the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the end of the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire entered Greece as its new ruler. Resentment against the new Turkish regime remained fresh as late as 1511, when the local Assassins struggled to maintain public faith given their transnational policies.[20]

That year, with Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood taking over operations in Constantinople, Ottoman Assassins were sent to Athens to revitalize the Greek branch. These Turkish Assassins were instrumental in helping their Greek counterparts reestablish the Athenians' trust by convincing the common people that their cause transcended national sentiments, prioritizing humanity as a whole.[20]

Not long after, Templar agents began paying Ottoman soldiers for the goods of wealthy Athenians, thereby instigating them into open robbery of these citizens' homes. The explicit order of Sultan Bayezid II against such raiding could not dissuade these soldiers from the promise of handsome profits, leading to the intervention of the Ottoman Assassins. After these Assassins defended the Athenians from further robbery, they discovered the Templar background of the affair and assassinated the leaders behind it.[21][22]

Subsequently, remnants of Isu technology were uncovered beneath the acropolis. In response, further Turkish agents were sent by Ezio to guard the site while Assassin scholars conducted a thorough survey.[23]

By the end of 1512, Athens was fully under the control of the Assassin Brotherhood as with the other major cities in the Mediterranean.[24]


Characterized by a dry summer climate, the environment of Athens is the definition of the Greek atmosphere. The city is divided into thirty districts, including the Pottery District called Kerameikos.[5]


During the 5th century BCE, the Athenian economy was largely fueled by taxes paid by city-states it held suzerainty over as the head of the Delian League.[5]

Behind the scenes

The artwork used for Attika on Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey site is the concept art by Hugo Puzzuoli, albeit featuring Alexios.




  1. 1.0 1.1 Discovery Tour: Ancient GreeceThe Akropolis of Athens: "Akropolis Origins"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Discovery Tour: Ancient GreeceBattle of Marathon: "The Greek Reaction"
  3. Discovery Tour: Ancient GreeceThermopylai: "The Greek Army's Retreat"
  4. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyBoeotia: Battleground of Plataia
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  6. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyWelcome to Athens
  7. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyA Venomous Encounter
  8. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyEscape from Athens
  9. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyOstracized
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyPerikles's Symposium
  11. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAbandoned By the Gods
  12. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAnd the Streets Run Red
  13. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAthens's Last Hope
  14. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyDoing Time
  15. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Resistance
  16. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAn Actor's Life for Me
  17. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyA-Musing Tale
  18. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyUnearthing the Truth
  19. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Knights
  20. 20.0 20.1 Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMediterranean Defense: "For The People, Part I"
  21. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMediterranean Defense: "For The People, Part II"
  22. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMediterranean Defense: "For The People, Part III"
  23. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMediterranean Defense: "First Civ Problems"
  24. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMediterranean Defense

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