Athenai (Wrath of Sparta)

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Athenai is one of the oldest of the Greek cities, its site having been continually inhabited for almost 4,500 years. Once an important part of the Bronze Age Mycenaean Empire, the city's famous natural rock outcrop - the Acropolis - was previously the site of a major strategic fortress and palace.

It is thought that Athenai was once ruled by a line of hereditary kings who had the power to appoint other nobles to office, forming an early type of oligarchic government. Over the centuries, the city made excellent trade connections with its neighbours, causing a new social class to emerge; one which was no longer satisfied with autocratic noble rule. Periods of unrest, near tyranny, and reform followed, leading to Athenai becoming Greece's first democratic state, and a bastion of Hellenic culture and learning.

As a result of Athenian aid to the Greek cities of Asia Minor, the mighty Achaemenid Persian Empire made two separate attempts to invade mainland Greece. On each occasion, Athenai proved pivotal to their failure, being a major part of the climactic battles of Marathon, Plataea, and the climactic naval victory at Salamis in 479BC.

With its prestige at an all-time high, Athenian hegemony - through the newly-formed Delian League - now seems likely, and with it a chance to take the fight back to the Persians by invading Asia Minor. This is, of course, how it should be; Athenai leads the Greek world in mathematics, science, philosophy and architecture - it is only right that it should be its protector also. However, those soldiers with a city, the Spartans, have always seen themselves as the natural leaders of the Hellenic peoples, and resent Athenai's new found power and influence. In addition, there are also other, less significant states who object to the city’s chosen use of Delian League funds. Just fifty years since the end of the Persian invasions, war is once again poised to erupt all across the Peloponnesus; the prize is effective control over the entire country. Athenai's naval might is matched by Sparta's superior land forces, either one - or indeed their allies Korinthos and the Boiotian League - could emerge from the ensuing conflict, victorious, to claim it!

Alkmaionid Family

The Alkmaionids are a powerful Athenian family who first came to prominence in the 7th century BC. Although ostracised on several occasions, they have always returned to the city.
  • Dreams of Empire: -10 happiness in all regions
  • Centre of Culture: +10% all culture income
  • Wooden Wall: +1 recruitment slots in all ports

Aristocratic Party

For many years Athenai has been dominated by aristocratic families that control much of the wealth and land. Democratic reforms have reduced their influence, but not removed it entirely.

Philaidae Family

Powerful land owners, the Philaidae claim descent from Philaeus, son of Ajax. Two of Athenai's greatest generals - Miltiades the Younger and his son, Cimon - are from this family.

Populist Party

Whilst there are no true political parties in ancient Athens, voting blocs are naturally formed from those holding similar views. Amongst them, there is always a group that follows the will of the mob.