Hill of the Muses

detail of monument

detail of monument

The Hill of the Muses took its name from the poet Mousaios, who lived and was buried there. Because of its strategic position, the rock was included in the Themistoclean defence works and, in 4th century B.C., the Athenians set up the fortification wall known as “Diateichisma”, which was never completed. In 294 B.C. Demetrios Poliorketes built a small fort, known as the Macedonian Fortress,and installed a garrison to control the city.

Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappos was a prince of Commagene, a kingdom in Upper Syria, who was overthrown by the Romans in 72 A.D. Exiled from his native country, he settled in Athens and became a benefactor of the city. Between A.D.114-116 he built his own funeral monument, in a very privileged position facing the Akropolis, which dominated the area and gave his name to the hill.
The monument, built from Pentelic marble, is 12 metres height and consists of a large apse-shaped wall on a pedestal of porous limestone. It is adorned with sculptures of Philopappos and some of his ancestors, along with inscriptions giving their titles and names.

The Monument of Philoppapos, intact up to the 15th century, gradually fell victim to vandalism and natural phenomena.
The monument was partly restored in 1904.

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