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The Pnyx is the birthplace of democracy, the point that the constitution was born and collected the assembly, taking decisions by vote.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1930 Extended excavations until 1937.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  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

It is a hill west of the Acropolis where the assembly of the athenian citizens, the main decision-making institution of the ancient Athenian democracy, was located. This is the first parliament in the world. The plateau of rock carvings used to fit 8,000-10,000 people and at the centre of the rock is the step of the orator. The word “Pnyx” moreover, comes from the word “density”, meaning the large crowd that flocked to the meetings. It acquired its final form in three phases. First, the natural relief of the area was utilized when the rock and the Orator’s Podium were carved. Then, the orientation of the space and the podium were changed so that the citizens sat with their backs to the city. In the third phase, the space was expanded. The form of the space we see today is of the era of Lycurgus (330-326 BC). At this point there is a later sanctuary of Zeus the Highest.

What I can't see

Although the Pnyx and the Athenian democracy reached their peak during Classical Greece, the area was used for assemblies already in the end of 6th and beginning of 5th century BC. It was from Pnyx that Themistocles urged the Athenians to quickly build the walls and Pericles proposed the construction of the Parthenon. Citizens accessed the meeting ground through the monumental staircase that were part of the huge walls that supported the northeastern side of the plateau. After the classical period, people preferred to meet at the theatre of Dionysus in order to sit more comfortably. In more recent history, the hill was purchased by Austrian ambassador Graf Anton Prokesch von Osten, but donated to the Greek state by his son, who was awarded the Cross of the Royal Order of the Redeemer for his action.


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

Travlos J., (1980), Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens, New York: Hacker Art Book

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

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