What Is the Largest City in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece was an epicenter of art, literature, philosophy, and politics. It was also home to some of the most prominent and prosperous cities in history. While there were many cities in ancient Greece, one city stood out among the rest in terms of size and influence – Athens.

Athens: Cultural and Political Hub

Athens was not only the largest but also the most powerful city-state in ancient Greece. The city’s cultural and political achievements are well-known throughout history.

It is known as the birthplace of democracy, where citizens had a say in lawmaking and governance. Athens was also home to some of the greatest philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Rise to Prominence

Athens rose to prominence during the 5th century BCE under the leadership of Pericles. He oversaw a major building program that transformed Athens into a grand city with magnificent monuments such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis.

Size and Population

At its peak, Athens had a population of over 300,000 people, making it one of the largest cities in ancient Greece. Its territory spanned over 1,000 square miles and included several smaller towns and villages.

Other Large Cities in Ancient Greece

While Athens was undoubtedly the largest city-state in ancient Greece, there were other notable cities that were also quite large. Some of them include:

  • Sparta: A powerful military state that had a population of around 100,000 people.
  • Thebes: A rival city-state to Athens that had a population of around 40,000 people.
  • Corinth: An important trading center that had a population of around 90,000 people.


In conclusion, Athens was the largest city in ancient Greece, both in terms of size and influence. Its cultural and political achievements continue to inspire and influence the world today. However, it is important to remember that there were other large and influential cities in ancient Greece as well.