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 ?
19 the Areopagus refers to the Council of Areopagites, (18) and, if this was the case, Paul would have been taken off to what was now their normal meeting place, the Stoa Basileios just off the main agora, (19) and indeed private citizens could traditionally initiate an action before the Areopagus council.
Aeschylus has adapted the foundation myth of the Areopagus in a version that features the element of human deliberation.
It provides, in my view, a better point of contact for Hauerwasian theology with the agora and the Areopagus of America's particular, historically conditioned liberal democracy than most work in liberal democratic theory.
In this way, the born-again La Hi becomes an embodied manifestation of the futility of retribution and hope in the Christian forgiveness--as opposed to the Aeschylean Areopagus or the American judicial system--to heal the wounds of history.
For example, in Acts 17 Paul is found quoting Greek poets and elegantly engaging the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers of his day in a debate that filled the Areopagus, thereby leading a few people to become his followers and to embrace the Christian faith.
In terms of law one of his most important contributions was to open up access to the annually elected position of archon--the nine magistrates who exercised judicial and executive duties in the council of the Areopagus.
The gospel, however, penetrated even those reaches two millennia ago: Paul preached in the Areopagus of Christ crucified and resurrected, claiming that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17.
I refer to Paul's speech at the Areopagus (Acts 17: 22-34).
situated at an identifiable geographic spot, the Areopagus, Ares'
In the climactic scene of Acts, he journeys to Athens to speak in the Areopagus, the scene deliberately written to remind us of the trial of Socrates.
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