Athens ( ATH-inz; Greek: Αθήνα, romanized: Athína [aˈθina] (listen); Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, romanized: Athênai (pl.) [atʰɛ̂ːnai̯]) is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica area and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its history spanning over 3,400 decades and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th century BC.Classical Athens was a strong city-state. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to its cultural and political effect on the European continent, and particularly the Romans. These days, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, marine, cultural and political life in Greece.
Athens is a Beta worldwide city based on the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe. It has a large financial industry, and its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second largest in the world.The Municipality of Athens (also City of Athens), which really constitutes a tiny administrative unit of the entire city, had a population of 664,046 (in 2011) within its official limits, and a land area of 38.96 km2 (15.04 sq mi). The Athens Urban Area (Greater Athens and Greater Piraeus) extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 (in 2011) within an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area (FUA) of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union (the 6th most populous capital city of the EU), with a population of 3.