Athens, Attica Region, Greece
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[Right columns - text in English]
The Areopagus, a rocky outcrop approximately 115 m. high is situated between three other hills, the Acropolis, the Pnyx, and the Kolonos Agoraios. Its name probably derives from Ares, the god of war, and the Ares-Erinyes or Semnes (also called the Eumenides), underground goddesses of punishment and revenge. A judicial body, the Areopagus Council, met on this hill to preside over cases of murder, sacrilege, and arson. The Areopagus was also a place of religious worship. Among the several sanctuaries located here was that of the Semnes or Eumenides, probably located in a cavity at the northeast side of the hill.
In the Mycenaean and Geometric periods (1600-700 B.C.) the northern slope of the hill served as a cemetery which contained both vaulted tombs and simple cist graves.
From the 6th century B.C. onwards the hillside as a whole became a residential quarter belonging to the fashionable district of Melite. Cuttings still evident in the bedrock attest to the district’s many roads, wells, drains, reservoirs, floors, and irregular buildings. Access to this neighbourhood was provided by stairways cut right into the living rock.
By the Late Roman period (4th-6th centuries A.C.) four luxury houses, which probably
The Areopagus is also associated with the spread of Christianity into Greece. Some time near the middle of the 1st century A.C. the Apostle Paul is said to have converted a number [of] Athenians by teaching the tenets of the new religion from the summit of the hill. Among the converts was Dionysios the Areopagite, the patron saint of the City of Athens, who according to tradition, was the city’s first bishop. Remains of a church named in his honor are preserved on the northern slope of the hill.
The Church of St. Dionysios the Areopagite was a three-aisled basilica with a narthex at west central apse, diakonikon (the apse terminating the southern aisle) and prosthesis (the apse terminating the northern aisle). Built in the middle of the 16th century, it was probably destroyed by an earthquake in 1601. The church and grounds were completely enclosed to the north and west by the monumental Archbishop’s Palace. This two-storey Palace was built between the middle of the 16th and end of the 17th century and consisted of a complex of rooms which included warehouses, a kitchen, a dining hall, and two wine presses.
Location. 37° 58.333′ N, 23° 43.417′ Touch for map. The marker is accessible to pedestrians on the hiker trail in the Parko Thiseio west of the Acropolis complex. Marker is in this post office area: Athens, Attica Region 10555, Greece.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Acropolis of Athens (within shouting distance of this marker); The Area South of the Ancient Agora (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); A. The Propylaia, B. The Shrine of Athena Hygieia and Hygieia (about 180 meters away); The Statue of Athena Promachos (about 180 meters away); A. The Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia, B. The Chalkotheke (about 180 meters away); Church of the Holy Apostles (ca. A.D. 1000) (about 210 meters away); The Parthenon (about 210 meters away); The House on Panos Street (about 240 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
More about this marker. On the top left are diagrams with the captions, “Church of St. Dionysios, the Areopagite and Archbishop’s Palace. Restored Plan” and “The Ancient Agora and its Environs in the 2nd cent. A.C.”
On the top right is an illustration with the caption, “Restored Drawing of the Church of St. Dionysios the Areopagite and the Archbishop’s
Also see . . .
1. Athens: Aeropagus Hill. (Submitted on June 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Ancient Agora of Athens (aka the Forum of Athens). (Submitted on June 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Areopagus. ... 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, "Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." (Acts 17:24) (Submitted on September 29, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Areos Pagos; Hill of Ares; Mars Hill; St. Paul, the Apostle; Athina; Hellenic Republic; council of elders; Athens Agora; Parko Thiselo; Filopappos/Philopappou Hill
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,269 times since then. Last updated on September 29, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on July 10, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. 12, 13. submitted on July 11, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. 14. submitted on June 30, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.