Attia (Gr. probably a corruption of from shore or coast), one of the political divisions of ancient Greece, occupying a triangular peninsula, bounded N. by Bceotia, E. by the AEgean sea, S. W. and W. by the Saronic gulf and Megaris; area, about 840 sq. m. It is intersected by several mountain ranges, having their centre and highest point in the great group called by the ancient Greeks Cithseron (the modern Elatea, the mountain of firs), which rises at the N. W. extremity of the country, and a little E. of the Corinthian gulf, to the height of 4,630 feet. From this extend to the eastward the Parnes mountains, forming part of the boundary and an almost impassable barrier between Attica and Boeotia; and to the southward several smaller ranges, the westernmost separating Attica from Megaris, while the others divide the country into districts anciently known by the following names (mentioned in their order from west to east): the Eleusinian plain, N. E. of the bay of Eleusis; the Athenian plain, having its centre near Athens; the Mesogaea or midland district, an undulating plain, enclosed by Mt. Hymettus, Mt. Pentelicus, the sea, and a range of hills running across Attica from the promontory of Zoster; the Paralia or coast district, including all the southern part of the peninsula, below the promontory of Zoster on the W. and Brau-ron on the E.; and finally, the Piacria or highlands, bounded by the Parnes range, Pentelicus, and the sea, in which district lies the plain of Marathon. The rivers of Attica are insignificant, and in summer nearly dry.
The Cephis-sus and Ilissus, the two watering the Athenian plain, are those most frequently mentioned in history. The soil is light; in ancient times it appears, by careful culture, to have produced a large amount of grain, and figs and olives, the excellence of which was famous in Greece; but in modern days agriculture is neglected, and the products are inconsiderable. - The ancient inhabitants of Attica belonged to the Ionic race; of their origin even tradition conveys no information. They claimed that their ancestors had sprung directly from the soil of the country. At the beginning of authentic Attic chronology, placed by Grote at the archonship of Creon, 683 B. C, they were divided into four tribes or classes ( ), Geleontes, Hop-letes, AEgikores, and Argades. The origin of these is uncertain, some traditions attributing the quadruple division to Cecrops, others to Pandion, and one to an ancient king, Ion. Grote does not share the belief of many writers that the names of the tribes were derived from their occupations, like those of the Egyptian castes, as Hopletes, the warriors, AEgikores, the goatherds, etc.; and he says of both tribes and titles, "Neither the time of their introduction nor their primitive import are ascertainable matters." In historic times each tribe was divided into three phratries ( or , and each phratry generally into 30 gentes; later another division seems to have been made - purely for political and military convenience and without destroying the former - of each tribe into three trittys ( , and of each trittys into four naukraries This classification of the people continued till the revolution of Clisthenes, in 509 B. C.; but Solon (about 594), without destroying it, made another division into five classes, on the basis of property. Clisthenes entirely abolished both methods of classification, and divided the people anew into ten tribes - Erechtheis, AEgeis, Pandionis, Leontis, Aca-mantis, CEneis, Cekropis, Hippothoontis, .AEan-tis, and Antiochis - named from old Attic heroes. Each of these was subdivided into a certain number of denies ( ) or cantons, every considerable place constituting a deme, and the larger towns including several. The whole number of demes in Attica appears to have been 174, of 160 of which the names are-known. To the ten tribes of Clisthenes two more were afterward added for political purposes. - For the account of the system of general government of Attica under the archons and other rulers, and for the history of the country, see Athens, and Greece. Works especially devoted to Attica are Leake's "Demi of Attica" (2d ed., London, 1841), and Ross's Demen von Attika (Halle, 1846). - Joined with Bceotia, Megaris, and the adjoining islands, Attica as an eparchy now helps to form one of the nomarchies of the kingdom of Greece, called Attica and Bceotia; area, 2,481 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 136,804. Capital, Athens.