The city of Athens, Greece, with its famous Acropolis, has come to symbolize the whole of the country in the popular imagination, and not without cause. It began as a small, Mycenaen community and grew to become a city that, at its height, epitomized the best of Greek virtues and enjoyed such prestige that the Spartans refused to sack the city or enslave the citizens, even after Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War.
Thessalonica (also Thessalonike) was an ancient city of Macedon in northern Greece which today is the city of Thessaloniki. Made capital of the Roman province of Macedon, the city flourished due to its location on the major trade route to the east and continued to thrive as one of the most important cities in the Byzantine Empire. Its prosperity and cultural reputation attracted such figures as Paul the Apostle, Roman emperor Galerius, Cicero, and Lucian over the centuries.