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Piraeus (Peiraías) Seaport city in se Greece, 8km (5mi) sw of Athens; largest Greek port. Planned in c.490 bc, Piraeus rapidly developed into a major sea outlet. In 86 bc, Roman General Sulla destroyed the city, and it fell into decline. In the 19th century, following Greek independence, a process of reconstruction led to the creation of the modern naval and commercial port. It is the centre of a modern communications network with all the Greek islands. Industries: shipbuilding, oil-refining, textiles, chemicals. Pop. (2000 est.) 189,000.