Long ago, Greece was a collection of little city–states that would have been very similar to the small countries in existence today. Athens was one of these city–states. At the height of its civilization, Athens was considered a center for the arts, philosophy, and learning. People traveled far distances just to visit its beautiful edifices and discuss important issues of the time with the likes of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. The modern world would be a very different place if it werent for the influence of ancient Athens. We can thank this ancient city and its civilization for their impact on western government, architecture, art, literature, mathematics, and science.