Athens, the capital of modern Greece, was the most important intellectual and cultural centre of the ancient Hellenic world.
It is here that all democratic institutions were born, establishing direct participation of all the citizens in legislation and political action. Acropolis, Ancient Agora and its surroundings comprised the focus of social and political life, around which the city of Athens developed since the dawn of civilisation.
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Agora was the heart of all political, social and commercial activities, the Pnyx was the place where the assembly of the citizens met (Ekklesia of Demos), and the Areios Pagos was the seat of the main political and judicial body. Athens became the symbol of democracy throughout the ancient world and exerted a significant influence on western civilisation.