The Areopagus is a prominent rock outcropping located northwest of the Acropolis. In pre-classical times (before the 5th century BC), the Areopagus was the council of elders of the city, similar to the Roman Senate. Like the Senate, its membership was restricted to those who had held high public office, in this case that of Archon. In 594 BC, the Areopagus agreed to hand over its functions to Solon for reform. He instituted democratic reforms, reconstituted its membership and returned control to the organization.

In 462 BC, Ephialtes put through reforms which deprived the Areopagus of almost all its functions except that of a murder tribunal in favour of Heliaia.

In The Eumenides of Aeschylus (458 BC), the Areopagus is the site of the trial of Orestes for killing his mother (Clytemnestra) and her lover (Aegisthus).

Phryne, the hetaera from 4th century BC Greece and famed for her beauty, appeared before the Areopagus accused of profaning the Eleusinian mysteries. One story has her letting her cloak drop, so impressing the judges with her almost divine form that she was summarily acquitted.

In an unusual development, the Areopagus acquired a new function in the 4th century BC, investigating corruption, although conviction powers remained with the Ecclesia.

The Areopagus, like most city-state institutions, continued to function in Roman times, and it was from this location, drawing from the potential significance of the Athenian altar to the Unknown God, that the Apostle Paul is said to have delivered the famous speech.

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Address

Theorias 21, Athens, Greece
See all sites in Athens

Details

Founded: 6th century BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Elli Gani (3 months ago)
E Y (3 months ago)
A historical place where one can relive Paul's experience. Be cautious, lots tourists and you can be stepped on. And it can be slippery.
Tal Bronfer (3 months ago)
Cool park
Trotwood C (10 months ago)
Paul was here So was Andrew
Liza B. (13 months ago)
A person can not easily judge an ancient monument. I will share some inside info instead. You can visit any time you like and there is no ticket for this place. For me the best time is during the sunset or at night. The view is beautiful and the area has a really good vibe. Please be extra cautious when you are visiting this monument because it is very slippery. If you are wearing unsuitable shoes try to use the wooden stairs ;). Enjoy your visit!
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