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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.
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.
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.
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.
Those city-states under Athens' suzerainty, however, resented 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.