Areopagus


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Areopagus

(ărēŏp`əgəs) [Gr.,=hill of Ares], rocky hill, 370 ft (113 m) high, NW of the Acropolis of Athens, famous as the sacred meeting place of the prime council of Athens. This council, also called the Areopagus, represented the ancient council of elders, which usually combined judicial and legislative functions from the beginning. The Areopagus represented in the 5th and 6th cent. B.C. the stronghold of aristocracy. Jurisdiction in murder cases had probably been given to it by Draco; Solon gave it various censorial powers over the officers of the state. The change in the method of choosing the archons in 487 B.C. caused the beginning of the decline of the Areopagus. In 480 B.C. the Areopagus enabled the manning of the fleet for the battle of Salamis, and it recovered much of its influence in the war years. But c.462 B.C. a series of attacks began and eventually the august council was reduced to the status of a court of homicide only, although it maintained its religious character. Pericles was a leader in this democratizing movement; Aeschylus was an opponent, and he brought his trilogy of dramas to a close (in The Eumenides) with an appeal for the preservation of the ancient traditions of the Areopagus.

Areopagus

 

organ of power in ancient Athens, named after the place where it held its sessions, on the Hill of Ares, near the Acropolis. The Areopagus came into being during the epoch of the tribal-clan system as a council of elders. Its members held office for life, and from the eighth century B.C. it was constituted entirely of former archons, who were nominated and elected by the Areopagus. It possessed broad political, juridical, supervisory, and religious powers. The Areopagus was a bulwark of the aristocracy and later of the oligarchy. Limitation of the Areopagus’ power began with the growth of the Athenian slaveholding democracy. The first attempts at limitation were made by Solon (sixth century B.C.); the reform of Ephialtes (462 B.C.) eliminated the political power and influence of the Areopagus, preserving only its functions as a court for trying certain criminal offenses and religious transgressions.

Areopagus

hill near the Acropolis used for Athenian council deliberations. [Gk. Hist.: Benét, 46]
See: Counsel

Areopagus

1. 
a. the hill to the northwest of the Acropolis in Athens
b. (in ancient Athens) the judicial council whose members (Areopagites) met on this hill
2. Literary any high court
References in periodicals archive ?
His language evoked the image of the court: like human jurors in the Areopagus, the gods cast votes (psephoi) into urns.
In dramatizing the transformation from a society governed by tribal laws of revenge to a society governed by the rule of law, fulfilled by independent judges and jurors, Aeschylus also entered the debate, which absorbed Athenians in 458, over the exact role of the Areopagus.
At Acts 17:23 Paul, in his speech on the Areopagus, refers to an inscription on an altar "to an unknown god.
He garnered the attention of the local academics, was invited to Areopagus to speak and some in the crowd joined his ministry team.
For Arendt, however, the idea of a new Areopagus brings out a philosophical-historical problem around which her report ultimately revolves.
Phano's marriage with Theogenes did not obtain for long, because the members of the Areopagus decided to make a confidential enquiry concerning Phano's identity, or so Apollodorus says.
3-4, Danielou sketched the stages of revelation, beginning with the witness to God given to all humans from the beginning, as Paul remarked at the Areopagus (Acts 17:14).
In the rest of this article I address fundamental issues surrounding the need to find adequate "means" for evangelization of each new areopagus in the world, a term I borrow from [section] 37 of Redemptoris missio, John Paul II's encyclical on the permanent validity of the church's missionary mandate.
He holds up the Apostle Paul's wise strategies at the Areopagus as a model.
You direct your efforts courageously and naturally at today's modern Areopagus that is present in culture, in the mass media, politics and the economy.
Aristotle offers illustratively the deliberations of the judges of the Areopagus and other courts in what he calls well-governed states.