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The Areopagus, or Hill of Ares, is located northwest of the Acropolis and, in ancient times, functioned as the highest court of appeal in criminal and civil matters in Athens. The origin of the name is not exactly known. According to legend, it was on this hill that the trial of the god of war, Ares, was held. He was accused of the murder of the son of Poseidon. True, he was acquitted by the council of supreme gods. It is believed that it was after this that murder cases were heard here. Perhaps it was from here that the hill got its name. Until the 5th century BC The Areopagus was a council of elders of the city, something like the Roman senate. As in the Senate, its membership was limited to those who held high government positions, the so-called archons. As a rule, membership was for life, new candidates were proposed and elected by the Areopagus. In 594 BC the power of the Areopagus was limited to the reforms of Solon (Athenian politician, legislator and poet, one of the "seven wise men" of ancient Greece). And in 462 BC Efialt (Athenian statesman) conducted a reform, according to which almost completely eliminated the political power and influence of the Areopagus in favor of the dicaster (the jury). The Areopagus has only the functions of a court for serious criminal offenses. This caused a wave of discontent among the Athenian aristocracy. In the 4th century, the Areopagus received a new function - the investigation of corruption, although the main powers remained with the ecclesia (national assembly). The Areopagus continued to function in Roman times. This hill is also known for the fact that the apostle Paul spoke here with his famous speech about the “Unknown God”. Today, the Areopagus is one of the favorite places for tourists, with a stunning view of the city and the Acropolis.
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