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Areios Pagos

According to the Oresteia of Aeschylus, the Areios Pagos is where Orestes was put on trial for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1826 During the Greek Revolution, it suffered damage from the exchange of fire between Greeks and Turks.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    582 AD With the invasion of the Slavs, the buildings of Areios Pagos, ceased to be used.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    52 AD Apostle Paul spoke here and created the first christian society in the world. In the 1st century AD, the jurisdiction of Areios Pagos was to check every philosophical entity, teaching, and religion, in order for it to be introduced in the city or to be rejected.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The Supreme Court (Areios Pagos) is located northwest of the Acropolis. The word “pagos” means “rock” in ancient Greek and comes from the verb “pignymi” meaning “to drive into- become rigid”, deriving from the myth, in which the god Ares (Mars) thrust his spear into the ground. According to another version, it is associated with the phrase “soma pepigos”, which means solid body. Some believe that the word “Areios” derives from the name of the ancient god Ares (Mars). A second theory claims that the first sacrifice was made in Athens by the Amazons, in honour of Ares. A third theory however, claims that this area used to be a sanctuary for the Ares, deities chasing murderers like the Erinyes.

What I can't see

During the Mycenaean era, it served as a meeting point for the heads of townships and administrative regions. During the era of democracy, the administrative and judicial powers “passed” to Heliaia, the Vouli (Parliament) and the Ecclesia (Assembly). The juristiction of Areios Pagos was limited to murder trials. Pausanias mentions the existence of two stones: a) the “hybris stone” where the accused would stand on, and b) the “anaideia stone”, meaning the stone of the ruthless one, where the accuser stood on. The same body was responsible for the trials of religious issues and foreign cults. According to the tradition and the Oresteia of Aeschylus, here it is where Orestes was put on trial for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra and was acquitted with the vote of the goddess Athena. Moreover, the broader area of Areios Pagos was densely populated, in fact it belonged to the Municipality of Meliti, one of the most populous and aristocratic municipalities of the city.


Camp J., (2001), The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, New Haven and London

Antonatos P., Malegiannaki E., (1999), Άρειος Πάγος, Μυθολογική, Ιστορική και Αρχαιολογική Ανίχνευση του Βράχου, [Areios Pagos, Mythological, Historical and Archaeological Detection of the Rock], Ministry of Culture,

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Beis K., (2000), Αθήνα, το πρόσωπο της πόλης, [Athens, the face of the city], conference, City of Athens

Foka Ι., Valavanis P., (1994), Περίπατοι στην Αθήνα και την Αττική, τόποι, θεοί, μνημεία [Strolls in Athens and Attica, places, gods, monuments], Kedros