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

Andrej Kovačič (2 years ago)
Nice view of a Athens. Where is also the entrance of Acropolis, the biggest historical place in Athens. It is nice place to stop, before enter the Acropolis and take a picture of Athens and some selfie
Betino Miclea (2 years ago)
Nice view
Nikos Leontis (2 years ago)
Better than acropolis! Great panoramic view of the city, and a nice angle of the acropolis from down low. Be careful the rocks are very slippery and it can get crowded during sunset. There is an amazing sunset and also sunrise from this spot, good place to chill out with friends.
Metodiy Ganchev (2 years ago)
A perfect place for young people.
Evaki Evula (2 years ago)
Lovely view...
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