Pnyx is a low and small in size rocky hill surrounded by a park. It is located in the center of Athens, just one kilometer from the western slope of the Acropolis and one and a half kilometers from Syntagma Square.
Back in 507 BC Athenians gathered here to hold popular meetings, so this hill can be considered the earliest and most important place for creating democracy. Such an assembly was called the ecclesia (the highest state authority, the popular assembly in ancient Greece). Usually the number of participants was 5-6 thousand, but when making the most important decisions, 10-15 thousand people gathered.
Already in ancient Greece, people's assemblies were guided by three main democratic principles. The first principle “isigoria” gave equal rights to citizens and the opportunity to express their opinion on policy issues. Each meeting the chairman began with the phrase "Who wants to talk?". The second principle, “isonomy,” is equality before the law. The third principle of “isopolitia” meant equality in voting and the possibility of being elected by any member of the assembly.
Despite the fact that in theory all citizens were equal and had the right to speak, in practice, only a small number of citizens spoke and suggested concrete actions. The reason for this was that a citizen who proposed any actions could be prosecuted in the future if his proposal was deemed illegal or as such, which could harm the city. There was a rule that citizens over 50 had the right to be heard first.
The orator’s tribune of Bema has survived to the present day. In ancient times, Pericles, Aristides, Alcibiades, Themistocles, Demosthenes and other prominent personalities stood behind her.