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- 1the capital of Greece, in the southern part of the country; population 745,500 (est. 2009). A flourishing city state in ancient Greece, it was an important cultural center in the 5th century bc. It came under Roman rule in 146 bc and fell to the Goths in ad 267. After its capture by the Turks in 1456, Athens declined to the status of a village until chosen as the capital of a newly independent Greece in 1834. Greek name Athínai.
Pronunciation: /əˈTHēnēən/adjective & noun