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Athens: its citadel and the ancient marketplace. Photo: Joel Skidmore.

Athens (ATH-inz). In history, the principal city of Greece, vying at times with Sparta for political supremacy. In mythology, ruled by Aegeus and his son Theseus. Theseus first proved himself a hero by clearing various bandits and ruffians from the road between his birthplace of Troezen and his father's kingdom. It was from Athens that the inventor Daedalus fled to the court of King Minos, where he designed the Labyrinth.