Hill of Pnyx

Hill of Pnyx

In Ancient Athens, it was the place of assembly of the city council. It is a semi-circular area on the rocky knoll located between the Hill of the Nymphs (Observatory) and the Hill of the Muses / Philopappou.

Since the initiation of the democratic system of government by Cleisthenes (507 BC) it was the assembly place of the free citizens. Very seldom, more than 5000 persons participated in these assemblies. The famous speeches by Themistocles, Pericles and other important orators and politicians were delivered in this place. Initially the audience was sitting on the rocks and the speaker was standing on the lower section of the area.

Later the positions were reversed: in the southern side a podium and an alter were chiseled on the rock and semi-circular wall was built on the northern side.

The top of the hill took the current shape in 330-326 initiative taken by the orator Lycurgus. The ground was flattened and a big square was created. Initially it was designed to house various buildings, among them two big stoas to serve the city assembly (Ecclesia), but they were not accomplished.

Height of Pnyx Hill: 109 m