The Ancient City of Athens
Acropolis - South Slope

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Several important sanctuaries and monuments were located on the South Slope of the Acropolis. The best known among them are the sanctuary (and theater) of Dionysos (the god of wine, but also of dramatic performances), and the sanctuary of Asklepios and Hygieia (the doctor-god of the Greek world and his daughter "Health"). Other sacred places included the shrine of the Nymphe (the Bride), and temples of Themis, Isis, and Aphrodite Pandemos ("of all the People").

The producers (choregi) of victorious dramatic and choral performances in honor of Dionysos dedictated choregic monuments in or near the sanctuary of Dionysos to commemorate the occasion, and several examples have been excavated on the South Slope (e.g., Thrasyllos Monument, Nikias Monument). Perikles sponsored the construction of an odeion or music hall next to the theater in the 5th century B.C., and Herodes Atticus financed the construction of another in the 2nd cenury A.D. King Eumenes II of Pergamon built a large, 2-story stoa on the South Slope in the 2nd century B.C., apparently importing both architects and materials from his home in Asia Minor (western Turkey).

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Select Bibliography:
  • Aleshire, S. 1989. The Athenian Asklepieion, Amsterdam.
  • Camp, J. 2001. The Archaeology of Athens, New Haven and London.
  • Hurwit, J. 1999. The Athenian Acropolis: History, Mythology, and Archaeology from the Neolithic Era to the Present, Cambridge 1999.
  • Papathanasopoulos, Th. 1995. The Sanctuary and Theater of Dionysos: Monuments on the South Slope of the Acropolis, Athens.
  • Papathanasopoulos, Th. 1999. TO ODEIO TOU PERIKLI, Rethymnon.
  • Pickard-Cambridge, A.W. 1946. The Theater of Dionysus in Athens, Oxford.
  • Pirenne-Delforge, V. 1994. L'Aphrodite grecque, Paris.
  • Polacco, L. 1990. Il teatro di Dioniso Eleuterio ad Atene, Rome.
  • Rosenzwieg, R. 2004. Worshipping Aphrodite: Art & Cult in Classical Athens, Ann Arbor.
  • Tobin, J. 1997. Herodes Atticus and the City of Athens, Amsterdam.
  • Townsend, R. 1986. "The Fourth-Century Skene of the Theater of Dionysos at Athens," Hesperia 55, pp. 421-438.

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