Dec. 22, 2017: View from Areopagus Hill, Athens

 

I was in a rush to visit the Parthenon early in the morning and anxious to beat the notorious crowds. Fortunately, I took a few minutes to detour up the steep steps to check out the view from Areopagus Hill, located along the path that leads towards the Acropolis.

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I'm so glad I did! The view from this 377 ft high vantage point was absolutely beautiful. You can see the Ancient Agora below, Mount Leviticus to the west and all over Athens. Stepping carefully over the (slippery!) bare marble ground and feeling the wind whip around while looking out over the city felt so dramatic. It's not surprising that Areopagus has always been a place of intense history and myth.

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Connected to justice and law throughout history, Areopagus Hill was the site of the Council of the Elders before the 5th century BC. Later it served as the location for homicide trials in the city during the Classical Era. Hundreds and hundreds of years of criminals, trials, and murders! This judicial theme is directly connected to its place in Greek mythology as the location Ares (the hill’s namesake) faced a murder trial for killing Poseidon’s son.

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Areopagus Hill is also often visited by Christian biblical scholars because it is known as the site where the Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech about the Unknown God in effort to convert Greeks to Christianity. A brass plaque displays the text of that speech in Greek at the base of the hill. Such an interesting combination of culture in one spot—I'm glad I didn’t pass it by!

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