Piraeus (or Peiraieus) was the ancient port of Athens throughout the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods and in fact consisted of three separate harbours - Kantharos, Zea, and Munichia. The first was the largest and used for commercial activity, whilst part of Kantharos and the other two smaller harbours were reserved for military use to house the massive Athenian fleet which allowed the city to be one of the most powerful players in Greece and the wider Mediterranean throughout antiquity.

More about: Piraeus


  • 493 BCE
    The first fortifications are constructed at Athens' port of Piraeus.
  • c. 483 BCE
    Themistocles persuades the Athenians to significantly expand their fleet, which saves them at Salamis and becomes their source of power.
  • 480 BCE
    The fortifications of Piraeus instigated by Themistocles are completed.
  • c. 465 BCE
    Construction of the Long Walls fortifications joining Athens to the port of Piraeus are begun.
  • 446 BCE
    The Middle Wall fortifications are added to the Long Walls which connect Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  • 429 BCE
    Following attacks by Sparta, fortifications at the port of Piraeus are extended to reduce the width of the harbour entrances.
  • 404 BCE
    Spartan general Lysander attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus destroying parts of the Long Wall fortifications.
  • 387 BCE
    Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus.
  • 86 BCE
    The Roman general Sulla sacks Athens and the port of Piraeus.