Located in western Attica, the southern peninsula of Greece that holds the capital city of Athens. The second largest city in Greece, though sometimes considered more a suburb of Athens.

The port of Piraeus was created in the 5th century B.C. by Themistocles, one of the most famous maritime planners in history. Themistocles believed that the future of Athens was in the sea, and developed of a secure harbor for Athens' commerce and an expanding navy. First the wall of Piraeus was built (493 to 479 B.C.), then later fortified by Pericles with the Makra Teiche (the Long Walls), which protected both sides of the road all the way from the port to Athens.

Today Piraeus is the major port of Greece and one of the largest in the Mediterranean.
The Piraeus was the harbour complex of Athens. Themistocles fortified it in 493 B.C. when Athens began to become a naval power. There were three harbours, Zea and Munichia to the east, were used for naval shipping. Zea had 196 shipyards. To the west was the biggest, Kantharos, which had, in addition to the warships, a thriving emporium.

Piraeus had a large number of metics(foreigners living in Athens), and was home to many foreign cults. In 458 B.C. the Long Walls were built to connect the Piraeus to Athens. This made sure that Athens always had a steady supply of food, even during a seige. In 429 B.C. fortifications were added that allowed the harbour mouth to be closed in times of war. At the end of the Peloponnesian war the Spartans destroyed these, to the sound of flutes, but they were later rebuilt.

It revived, even after Athens stopped being the most powerful city in the Mediterranean in the mid 4th century, although it was nowhere near as great as it had been during the 5th century. During the Macedonian occupation it dwindled significantly, and lost its status as the trading centre of the eastern Mediterranean. During this period, the theatre at Zea was built, which is well preserved, and can be seen today.

In 86 B.C. the Roman Sulla destoyed the town. It was so savage that when Pausanias, the Roman travel writer visited, in the 2nd century A.D. he saw very little. To escape destruction several valuable statues were buried. These were found in 1959.

As the headquaters of the fleet the Piraeus was the real focus for Athenian democracy, and as such, it was the primary source of resistance to the regime of the 30 tyrants imposed by Lysander.

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