Gerakas (Greek: ) is a town and a former municipality in East Attica, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pallini, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.
In antiquity Gerakas constituted Atticas deme of Gargittos of the Aegides tribe that was located at the mesogea land, according to the administrative model of Cleisthenes. Today, it is a rapidly developing city of the northern mesogea and the eastern gate to the Athens basin. It is known as the birthplace of the famous philosopher Epicurus.
The city is set at a significant place at the junction of Ymittos and Penteli foothills. The limits of Gerakas expand from Stavros up to the Koufos and Desi Hills, 12 km northeast of Athens and just 2 km west of Pallini. The city has a population of 13,990 residents (in 2001), covering a land area of 11 km2 and having a density of 1,265 residents per km2. Gerakas can be seen at an elevation of 190 to 374 metres, giving the area both flat and mountainous characteristics. Due to rapid growth during the last years, Gerakas has a calculated population of 30.000 residents and a density of 2.727 residents per km2, according to municipal estimates.
The city is located at the heart of the ?ttica land at a plain of 195 metres elevation. It is surrounded by the mountainous endings of the Penteliko at north and Ymittos at the south. From the west, the region neighbours with the Athens basin and to the east the mesogea plain lies. Gerakas expands vertically between the mountain junction, covering an area of 11 km2, reaching an elevation of 374 metres up to the land of Penteli. The city is located 12 kilometers northeast of Athens and 2 km west of Pallini. It is surrounded by the Municipalities of Agia Paraskevi, Halandri, Vrilissia, Penteli, the Commune of Anthoussa, as well as the Municipalities of Pallini and Glika Nera. At first, it was enclosed geographically within the Athens basin, but due to borders allocation it was partially removed towards the mesogean plain, losing pieces of Patima, Pefka and Stavros from Chalandri and Agia Paraskevi and gaining parts of Balana from Pallini. Substantially, Gerakas is a part of the northeastern part of Athens, as it receives large amounts of athenian population during the recent years.
Gerakas, Stavros, Gargittos, Patima, Balana and the mountainous settlement of Desi are some of the most known modern neighbourhoods of the city. Gerakas is surrounded by Vrilissia, Halandri and Agia Paraskevi to the west, Glyka Nera to the south, Pallini and Anthousa to the east and Penteli to the north.
In Ancient Greece, during the 6th century BC, throughout the shine of the Athenian State, a great union is established by the residents of Aharnes, Gargittos, Pallini and Paiania, at the heart of the land of Attica. These residents are called at that time Athenian citizens, descendents of the Ionian tribe. The union takes place at a significant position, as a passage from the great city to the plain delimited by the Attica mountains, reaching the east coast. The religious and political alliance is centered around the famous Pallinida Athena sanctuary, a glorious temple where the goddess Athena was worshiped, attracting the respect, as well as the religious and trading interest of the citizens of Attica. This was a temple of similar beauty and architecture of those of Poseidon at Sounion, Nemesis at Ramnous and Hephaestus at the ancient agora of Athens. The temple was accessible through stone paths connecting it with the city of Athens and other great cities in Attica.
In 546 BC, the temple is meant to be marked by historical events, as Peisistratos and his followers strike against those opposed to the tyranny in Athens. According to the great historian Herodotus, for the third time the scheming tyrant tries to take over the governance that his opponents had taken away from him, the Alcmaeonidae. And, while the armies were encamped at the junction of Vrilittos and Hymettus mountains, Amphilitus, augur of the temple shows up in front of Peisistratos and gives him an oracle, assuring him that he has gained the favor of the goddess Athena. Peisistratos, confident on his victory decides to spring on his opponents, attacking at the right time, putting them to fight. After his dominance, he honors his dead soldiers by setting up monuments at the place of the battle. At the environs of Gargittos and Pallini where the battle took place, tombs with monuments are set at each grave of the soldiers, who are buried alongside with their favourite heirlooms, such as vessels, jewelry and coins. Afterwards, Peisistratos moves on to Athens where he establishes tyranny.
When Peisistratos dies, in 527 BC, Cleisthenes, a prominent political figure of this era, tries to give an end to tyranny, while conflicts between Athenians and Spartans, Chalkidans and Thebans take place. In his effort to set equality and isonomy to the Athenian state, Cleisthenes abolishes the institutions of the genus and the tribes, while he sets up a new state structure based on the topographic orientation.
The four old Ionian tribes are negated and replaced by ten artificial which are named after their local heroes. The Attica dominion is distinguished to three zones, each of which encloses ten trittyes. Ten trittyes are created from the city of Athens (asty), ten from the coast (paralia) and ten from the interior of Attica (mesogea). The region of Gargittos is located at the heart of the mesogea, which is demarcated by Flya, Dekeleia, Aphidnes and Agnous. This area is named Mesogea because, according to the ancient borders of Attica, it is the most landlocked part, at the center of the land. At the same time, specific number of demes are set at each trittys in order for the Athenian population to be uniformly allotted. Each demes residents are named after their deme in which they reside and are not called Athenians any more. The Deme of Gargittos took part at the Athenian State, sending four deputies to represent their citizens each year.
According to the Gargittius historian Epicurus, at this region the dead body of Eur?stheus was buried, an opponent of Hercules who gained the kingship at Mycenae after a battle at Marathon, where he buried his opponents head.
Meanwhile, the Pallantides, the 50 sons of Pallas, leader of Pallini and brother of Aegeus, claimed the throne from Aegeus son, Theseus, whom they never recognized as a legal successor of the Attic kingdom. Theseus moved for a while to Crete and the Pallantides assumed he would not return. When Theseus came back to Attica from his journey to Hades, he was informed at Gargittos of the rule of the Pallantides and the establishment of the throne at Pallini. Cursing the Athenians, he self-exiles to Crete. However, he returned one day unexpectedly and the Pallantides decided to take over the throne permanently. Therefore, they form two teams and declared war. The first team threads alongside Pallas, waiting for Theseus at the southeastern gate of Hymettus at Sphettos, while the second one sets an ambush at the northeastern gate at Gargittos, in case Thiseas decided to fight against their father. However, their plans fail when he is informed the forerunner Leo and by one surprising attack he manages to extinguish his enemies at Gargittos and at the same time scatter the other team. Theseus now may permanently state his predominance over the city of Athens and gain his citizens respect once again.