Areopagus

The Areopagus (/ˌæriˈɒpəɡəs/) is a prominent rock outcropping located northwest of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Its English name is the Late Latin composite form of the Greek name Areios Pagos, translated "Ares Rock" (Ancient Greek: Ἄρειος Πάγος). In classical times, it functioned as the court for trying deliberate homicide, wounding and religious matters, as well as cases involving arson or olive trees.[1][2] Ares was supposed to have been tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon's son Halirrhothius (a typical example of an aetiological myth).

Areopagus hill
The Areopagus as viewed from the Acropolis.
Ariospagos
Engraved plaque containing Apostle Paul's Areopagus sermon.

History

Acropolis from the Areopagus
Picture of Acropolis as taken from the Areopagus

The origin of its name is not clear. In Ancient Greek, πάγος pagos means "big piece of rock". Areios could have come from Ares or from the Erinyes,[3] as on its foot was erected a temple dedicated to the Erinyes where murderers used to find shelter so as not to face the consequences of their actions. Later, the Romans referred to the rocky hill as "Mars Hill", after Mars, the Roman God of War.[4] Near the Areopagus was also constructed the basilica of Dionysius Areopagites.

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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, "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." (Areopagus sermon, Acts 17:24)

The term "Areopagus" also refers to the judicial body of aristocratic origin that subsequently formed the higher court of modern Greece.

20101024 Panoramic Image of Athens from Areopagus hill Greece
20101024 Panoramic Image of Athens from Areopagus hill Greece
Athens from areios pagos march 31 2009
Athens from areios pagos march 31 2009

Modern references

  • The English poet John Milton titled his defence of freedom of the press "Areopagitica," arguing that the censors of ancient Athens, based at the Areopagus, had not practiced the kind of prior restraint of publication being called for in the English Parliament of Milton's time.
  • The Aeropagus Society, formed in 1893, is one of the oldest clubs at the preparatory school Hotchkiss and meets to debate on certain topics. [8]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ MacDowell, Douglas M. (1978). The law in classical Athens. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. p. 27. ISBN 9780801493652. OCLC 20663324.
  2. ^ Pseudo-Aristotle. "Atheneion Politeia". Perseus. Perseus Tufts. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  3. ^ Modern writers (C. Wachsmuth, Die Stadt Athen, 1. p. 428 note 2; G. Gilbert, Griech. Staatsalterthiimer,2 1. p. 425 note 4) have suggested that Areopagus (Areios pagos) means 'the hill of cursing,' the first part of the name being derived from ara 'a curse' and the reference being to the Furies who had a sanctuary on the side of the hill, and were sometimes known as Arai, i.e. 'the curses' (Aeschylus, Eumenides, 417)
  4. ^ New American Bible
  5. ^ Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians §3
  6. ^ Ancient Greece:Athens Archived December 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ (Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, XIII.590)
  8. ^ "Hotchkiss Timeline". www.hotchkissmedia.org. Retrieved 2017-12-11.

Further reading

External links

  • Acts 17:16-34 – A Biblical account of St. Paul discussing with the Areopagus the nature of the Christian God. Also referred to is the story concerning the altar to "The Unknown God."
  • Athens Photo Guide

Coordinates: 37°58′20″N 23°43′25″E / 37.97222°N 23.72361°E

Acts 17

Acts 17 is the seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the second missionary journey of Paul, together with Silas and Timothy. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.

Ancient Agora of Athens

The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill. The Agora's initial use was for a commercial, assembly, or residential gathering place.

Areopagus (poetry)

The Areopagus is a proposed 16th century society or club dedicated to the reformation of English poetry. The club may have involved figures such as Edmund Spenser, Gabriel Harvey, Edward Dyer, and Sir Phillip Sidney. The existence of the Areopagus as a formal society was first noted by H. R. Fox Bourne in 1862 in his Memoir of Sir Philip Sidney. There is no direct evidence that the group was more than an idea found in the correspondence between Spenser and Harvey, and if it existed its membership is uncertain.

Areopagus Lodge

The Areopagus Lodge, (also known as Areopagus in Itambé) was the first Masonic lodge in Brazil and the first secret society in Pernambuco. It was founded in 1796 in Itambé, Pernambuco by Manuel Arruda da Câmara, a former Carmelite friar who had been educated in France. It was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution including the Conspiracy of Suassuna which aimed to create an independent republic allied to Napoleon Bonapart. The failure of this attempted coup meant that the Lodge was closed in 1802.

The lodge's initial members included the brothers of the Alvarez family, the three Cavalcanti de Albuquerque brothers, priests Velho Cardoso, Pereira Tinoco, Montenegro Albuquerque, Joao Pessoa Ribeiro, and José Luis Lima Cavalcanti, the latter being the vicar of Recife, Pernambuco.

The Aeropagus Lodge's Masonic Obedience was the Grand Orient of Pernambuco Independent, affiliated with the Masonic Confederation of Brazil. The lodge was founded as a political project, based on the struggle for equality, liberty and fraternity. The location of the foundation of the First Masonic Lodge in Brazil was strategic, because the house where it was founded was on the borderline of the two cities of the states of Pernambuco and Paraiba, formerly Villas of the provinces of Pernambuco and Paraiba. According to the documents and historical references made by former residents of both cities, it is said that the Areopagite, and masons of the time, constantly gathered in that house and artifacts, symbols and insignia were taken to the meeting and after each meeting were taken to the home of the Masons not to arouse suspicion. However, due to the constant flow of influential people on the roads nearby, the influence of Freemasonry was perceived, and complaints were made to the Imperial power, who by 1802, sent a troop of the Imperial Guard to the region. Some Masons fled, to sow Masonry in other locations, such as Merchants of Cape St. Agosatinho, Recife, and other Igarassu.

Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece

The Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece (Greek: Άρειος Πάγος της Ανατολικής Χέρσου Ελλάδος) was a provisional regime that existed in eastern Central Greece during the Greek War of Independence.

Areopagus sermon

The Areopagus sermon refers to a sermon delivered by Apostle Paul in Athens, at the Areopagus, and recounted in Acts 17:16–34. The Areopagus sermon is the most dramatic and fullest reported speech of the missionary career of Saint Paul and followed a shorter address in Lystra recorded in Acts 14:15-17.

Athenian democracy

Athenian democracy developed around the sixth century BC in the Greek city-state (known as a polis) of Athens, comprising the city of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, and is often described as the first known democracy in the world. Other Greek cities set up democracies, most following the Athenian model, but none are as well documented as Athens'.

Athens practiced a political system of legislation and executive bills. Participation was not open to all residents, but was instead limited to adult, male citizens (i.e., not a foreign resident, a slave, or a woman), who "were probably no more than 30 percent of the total adult population".Solon (in 594 BC), Cleisthenes (in 508/7 BC), and Ephialtes (in 462 BC) contributed to the development of Athenian democracy. Cleisthenes broke up the power of the nobility by organizing citizens into ten groups based on where they lived, rather than on their wealth. The longest-lasting democratic leader was Pericles. After his death, Athenian democracy was twice briefly interrupted by oligarchic revolutions towards the end of the Peloponnesian War. It was modified somewhat after it was restored under Eucleides; the most detailed accounts of the system are of this fourth-century modification, rather than the Periclean system. Democracy was suppressed by the Macedonians in 322 BC. The Athenian institutions were later revived, but how close they were to a real democracy is debatable.

Classical Athens

The city of Athens (Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athênai [a.tʰɛ̂ː.nai̯]; Modern Greek: Αθήναι Athine [a.ˈθi.ne̞] or, more commonly and in singular, Αθήνα Athina [a.'θi.na]) during the classical period of Ancient Greece (480–323 BC) was the major urban center of the notable polis (city-state) of the same name, located in Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC (aftermath of Lamian War). The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles.

In the classical period, Athens was a center for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Akademia and Aristotle's Lyceum, Athens was also the birthplace of Socrates, Plato, Pericles, Aristophanes, Sophocles, and many other prominent philosophers, writers and politicians of the ancient world. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization, and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then-known European continent.

Clothed male, naked female

Clothed male, naked female (CMNF), or clothed male, nude female, is female nudity in which one or more women are nude while one or more men are clothed. The opposite of CMNF is CFNM -- clothed female, naked male.

Dionysius the Areopagite

Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (; Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Ἀρεοπαγίτης Dionysios ho Areopagitês) was a judge at the Areopagus Court in Athens, who lived in the first century. As related in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 17:34), he was converted to Christianity by the preaching of Paul the Apostle during the Areopagus sermon, according to Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, as quoted by Eusebius. He was one of the first Athenians to believe in Christ. Earlier, at a young age, he found himself in the Heliopolis of Egypt (near Cairo) just at the time of the Christ's crucifixion in Jerusalem. On that Great Friday, at the time of the crucifixion of Christ, according to the gospel, "From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land." (Matthew 27:45). The young boy, Dionysius was shocked by this paradoxical phenomenon and exclaimed: "God suffers or is always despondent" ("God suffers or is lost all"). He took care to note the day and hour of this supernatural event of the darkness of the Sun.

When Dionysius returned to Athens, he heard the preaching of the Apostle Paul in the Areopagus Hill in Athens, talking about that supernatural darkness during the Crucifixion of the Lord, dissolving any doubt about the validity of his new faith. He was baptized, with his family in 52 AD. The acceptance of Dionysius of Christ refers to the Acts of the Apostles in chapter 17 and verse 34 "The men who have been sealed have believed in them, and Dionysius the Areopagite, and the name of Damaris, and the others in it." Thus when Dionysius heard Paul preach on Christ on the Aeropagus Hill in Athens, he would recall this experience which would reinforce his conviction that Paul was speaking the truth on Christ as the long-promised Messiah and Savior of the World. Historical accounts wrote that he learned that the Mother of Christ, Mary, lived in Jerusalem, he traveled to Jerusalem to met her. From this meeting he said: "Her appearance, her features, her whole appearance testify that she is indeed Mother of God." In Jerusalem, he also discovered where Mary slept and departed this world to join her Son and her God. Then he wept sorely like the Apostles and other Church leaders torrents of tears and also attended Mary's funeral in Jerusalem. Dionysius suffered a Christian martyr's end by burning. His story was preserved by the early Christian historian, Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical history

After his conversion, Dionysius became the first Bishop of Athens. He is venerated as a saint in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. He the patron saint of Athens and is venerated as the protector of the Judges and the Judiciary. His memory is celebrated on October 3. His name day in the Eastern Orthodox Church is October 3 and in the Catholic Church is October 9.In Athens there are two large churches bearing its name, one in Kolonaki on Skoufa Street, while the other is the Catholic Metropolis of Athens , on Panepistimiou Street. Its name also bears the pedestrian walkway around the Acropolis, which passes through the rock of the Areios Pagos.

Dionysius is the patron saint of the Gargaliani of Messenia , as well as in the village of Dionysi in the south of the prefecture of Heraklion. The village was named after the saint and is the only village of Crete with a church in honor of Saint Dionysios Areopagitis.

Ecclesia (ancient Athens)

The ecclesia or ekklesia (Greek: ἐκκλησία) was the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens. It was the popular assembly, open to all male citizens as soon as they qualified for citizenship. In 594 BC, Solon allowed all Athenian citizens to participate, regardless of class, even the thetes. The assembly was responsible for declaring war, military strategy and electing the strategoi and other officials. It was responsible for nominating and electing magistrates (árchontes), thus indirectly electing the members of the Areopagus. It had the final say on legislation and the right to call magistrates to account after their year of office. A typical meeting of the Assembly probably contained around 6000 people, out of a total citizen population of 30,000–60,000. It would have been difficult, however, for non-wealthy people outside the urban center of Athens to attend until payments for attendance were introduced in the 390s. It originally met once every month, but later met three or four times per month. The agenda for the ekklesia was established by the Boule, the popular council. Votes were taken by a show of hands, counting of stones and voting using broken pottery.

A quorum of 6,000 members was required sometimes to do business. The ecclesia elected by lot annually the Boule. Some of their power under Solon was delegated to the Court by Pericles in his reforms.

In ancient Greece an ekklesiasterion was a building specifically built for the purpose of holding the supreme meetings of the ecclesia. Like many other cities Athens did not have an ekklesiasterion. Instead, the regular meetings of the assembly were held on the Pnyx and two annual meetings took place in the Theater of Dionysus. Around 300 BC the meetings of the ekklesia were moved to the theater. The meetings of the assembly could attract large audiences: 6,000 citizens might have attended in Athens during the fifth century BC.A police force of 300 Scythian slaves carried red ochre-stained ropes to induce the citizens who loitered in the agora of Athens to attend the meetings of the assembly. Anyone with red-stained clothes who was not in the meeting was liable to a penalty.

Ephialtes

Ephialtes (Greek: Ἐφιάλτης, Ephialtēs) was an ancient Athenian politician and an early leader of the democratic movement there. In the late 460s BC, he oversaw reforms that diminished the power of the Areopagus, a traditional bastion of conservatism, and which are considered by many modern historians to mark the beginning of the "radical democracy" for which Athens would become famous. These powers included the scrutiny and control of office holders, and the judicial functions in state trials. He introduced pay for public officeholders, reduced the property qualifications for holding a public office, and created a new definition of citizenship. Ephialtes, however, would not live to participate in this new form of government for long. In 461 BC, he was assassinated, probably at the instigation of resentful oligarchs, and the political leadership of Athens passed to his deputy, Pericles.

Illuminati

The Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus, "enlightened") is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically, the name usually refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on 1 May 1776. The society's goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power. "The order of the day," they wrote in their general statutes, "is to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them." The Illuminati—along with Freemasonry and other secret societies—were outlawed through edict by the Bavarian ruler Charles Theodore with the encouragement of the Catholic Church, in 1784, 1785, 1787, and 1790. In the following several years, the group was vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed that they continued underground and were responsible for the French Revolution.

Many influential intellectuals and progressive politicians counted themselves as members, including Ferdinand of Brunswick and the diplomat Xavier von Zwack, who was the Order's second-in-command. It attracted literary men such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Gottfried Herder and the reigning dukes of Gotha and Weimar.In subsequent use, "Illuminati" has referred to various organisations which have claimed or have been claimed to be connected to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies, though these links have been unsubstantiated. These organisations have often been alleged to conspire to control world affairs, by masterminding events and planting agents in government and corporations, in order to gain political power and influence and to establish a New World Order. Central to some of the more widely known and elaborate conspiracy theories, the Illuminati have been depicted as lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings and levers of power in dozens of novels, films, television shows, comics, video games, and music videos.

Patro the Epicurean

Patro (Greek: Πάτρων) was an Epicurean philosopher. He lived for some time in Rome, where he became acquainted, among others, with Cicero, and with the family of Gaius Memmius. Either now, or subsequently, he also gained the friendship of Atticus. From Rome he either removed or returned to Athens, and there succeeded Phaedrus as head of the Epicurean school, c. 70 BC. Memmius had, while in Athens, procured permission from the Areopagus court to pull down an old wall belonging to the property left by Epicurus for the use of his school. This was regarded by Patro as a sort of desecration, and he accordingly addressed himself to Atticus and Cicero, to induce them to use their influence with the Areopagus to get the decree rescinded. Atticus also wrote to Cicero on the subject. Cicero arrived at Athens the day after Memmius had departed for Mytilene. Finding that Memmius had abandoned his design of erecting the edifice with which the wall in question would have interfered, he consented to help in the matter; but thinking that the Areopagus would not retract their decree without the consent of Memmius, he wrote to the latter, urging his request in an elegant epistle, which is still in existence.

Phryne before the Areopagus

Phryne before the Areopagus (French: Phryne devant l'Areopage) is an 1861 painting by the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. The subject matter is Phryne, a legendary courtesan in ancient Greece who was put on trial for impiety. Phryne was acquitted after her defender Hypereides removed her robe and exposed her naked bosom to the jury.The painting was exhibited at the 1861 Salon. It is kept at the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Germany.

Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece

The Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece (Greek: Άρειος Πάγος, Areopagus, i.e. the "Stone, or Hill, of Ares") is the supreme court of Greece for civil and criminal law. The Supreme Civil and Criminal Court's decisions are irrevocable. However, Greece being a member state of the Council of Europe, cases ruled by the Greek Άρειος Πάγος can still be brought to the European Court of Human Rights. If the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court concludes that a lower court violated the law or the principles of the procedure, then it can order the rehearing of the case by the lower court. It examines only legal and not factual issues and it is the highest degree of judicial resort. The court consists of the president and the attorney-general, ten vice-presidents, sixty five areopagites and seventeen deputy attorneys-general. The members of the Supreme Court enjoy functional and personal independence, as do all members of the judiciary, and are members for life, but they are required by law to retire at the age of 67 (article 87 paragraph 1 and article 88 paragraphs 1 and 5 of the Constitution of Greece).

Theodoros Negris

Theodoros Negris (Greek: Θεόδωρος Νέγρης, Constantinople, 1790 – Nafplio, 22 November 1824) was a Greek politician.

Unknown God

The Unknown God or Agnostos Theos (Ancient Greek: Ἄγνωστος Θεός) is a theory by Eduard Norden first published in 1913 that proposes, based on the Christian Apostle Paul's Areopagus speech in Acts 17:23, that in addition to the twelve main gods and the innumerable lesser deities, ancient Greeks worshipped a deity they called "Agnostos Theos", that is: "Unknown God", which Norden called "Un-Greek". In Athens, there was a temple specifically dedicated to that god and very often Athenians would swear "in the name of the Unknown God" (Νὴ τὸν Ἄγνωστον Ne ton Agnoston). Apollodorus, Philostratus and Pausanias wrote about the Unknown God as well.

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