How Big Was Athens in Ancient Greece?

Athens, the capital city of modern-day Greece, has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It was one of the most influential city-states in ancient Greece, known for its culture, politics, and military achievements. But just how big was Athens during this time?

Athens in Ancient Greece

During the 5th century BCE, Athens was at its peak in terms of size and population. It covered an area of approximately 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) and had a population of around 100,000 people. This made it one of the largest cities in ancient Greece.

The Acropolis

One of the most famous landmarks in Athens is the Acropolis, which is situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. This was the site of many important buildings and temples, including the Parthenon, which is still standing today.

The Agora

Another important area of Athens was the Agora, which was essentially a marketplace and public meeting place. It was located at the base of the Acropolis and covered an area of around 10 acres (4 hectares). The Agora was where Athenians would gather to discuss politics, trade goods, and socialize.

The City Walls

To protect itself from invaders, Athens had a series of walls built around its perimeter. The first wall was constructed during the 6th century BCE and surrounded only the Acropolis. However, as Athens grew in size and importance, additional walls were constructed to encircle more areas of the city.


In conclusion, Athens was one of the largest cities in ancient Greece during its peak in the 5th century BCE. With a population of around 100,000 people and an area covering approximately 15 square miles (39 square kilometers), it was an important cultural, political, and military center. The Acropolis, Agora, and city walls were all important features of the city that helped shape its identity and legacy.