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Attica is the southernmost portion of mainland Greece, a district which includes the city of Athens and her demesne, including the plains of Marathon. In classical antiquity Attica was of central importance to the Hellenic golden age; during the medieval period it remained a prosperous area but of minimal political importance.

The classical Hellenic tongue is referred to as "Attic Greek"; it is in this language that the great Greek playwrights and philosophers wrote and in which most scholars would have studied the classics. It is a older and "purer" Greek than the koine (common) Greek of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, and as different from the Byzantine Greek of the medieval era as Chaucer's English is from modern English.