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The city rise to power began with the Persian Wars. In 490 BC, the first Persian punitive expedition against Athens failed at Marathon. However, the second Persian attempt, in 480 BC, was in fact a full blown invasion of Continental Greece. After initial success which allowed them to occupy Boeotia and Attica, the Persians were defeated in the naval battle of Salamis by a coalition of Greek States. They withdrew to Asia Minor, leaving only an occupation army in Boeotia. In 479 BC, a Greek army defeated this Persian army, forcing it to completely evacuate continental Greece.
The continental Greeks then went to the offensive and freed the Greek City States of Asia Minor from the Persian yoke. Sparta gradually relented its leadership to Athens who slowly transformed the Delian League into its own empire. Around 460 BC, Athens was powerful enough to conduct a naval intervention in Egypt while simultaneously facing war at home against a coalition led by Sparta. In 445 BC, peace was concluded with Sparta, supposedly for 30 years...
Meanwhile, Athenian temples and sacred building had laid in ruins since 480 BC. Perikles took advantage of the truce to launch a huge construction program that gave us what is now called Classical Athens. A new conflict with Sparta put an end to the reconstruction. War broke out in 431 BC. The first phase of the Peloponnesian Wars turn slightly to the advantage of Athens who, at the peace of Nikias in 421 BC, reached the height of its power.
Unfortunately, hostilities never ceased completely. Furthermore, Athens sent a huge expeditionary force to Sicily. This force was all but annihilated. Sparta along with all the enemies of Athens then seized the initiative and finally defeated it in April 404 BC.
Even though Athens partly recovered its power and prestige, its hours of glory were now a thing of the past. Nevertheless, Athens' greatness has never been forgotten and the flame of the Western Civilisation whom she was the first to carry so boldly was transmitted throughout history to our present days. (more...)
Project Athinai has chosen the year 421 BC as its chronological reference for the virtual reconstruction of the city of Athens. Indeed, in 421 BC, Athens was at the height of its power. Even though the city presented itself as the leader of the Delian League, this league was an empire all but in name and the Athenians effectively ruled over a territory extending from the Adriatic Sea to the Black Sea.
We have recently created and populated the basic structure of each section of the knowledge base. Simultaneously, we are building the 3D models necessary for recreating a Virtual Athens. A working prototype has already been built including most of the buildings of the Akropolis and some from the Agora. The knowledge base will gradually encompass all areas of the City of Athens.
We expect to gradually expand the knowledge base. However, the construction of the Virtual Athens will take years and will need your sponsorship.