The Hill of the Muses - Philopappos Hill Page 1

watercolor 1795 lf Cassas Benaki MuseumThe Hill of the Muses (Mouseion hill), also known by its modern name Philopappos Hill, is a little off the beaten track. For those willing to explore, its easy to find because its immediately across from the Acropolis towards the sea. This is the hill that the Acropolis and Parthenon were bombarded from. Its also one of the few places you can get some peace and quiet but don't expect have it totally to yourselves.

First enter the deeply (for Athens) wooded slopes of the hill and head up on one of the many paths and you will soon stumble upon the church of Ayios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris. There you’ll see the remains of two ancient towers and a paved path that leads to the top, largely following the late 4th century BC fortification wall.

In 294 BC, the king of Macedon, Demetrios Poliorchetes (‘besieger of cities’) built a fort on the Mouseion hill, after the Athenians revolted against his presence. (Demetrios was initially welcomed, but misbehaved terribly, spending a winter partying in the Parthenon.) Some of the towers of his fort are still visible, some 70 m north of the summit. The Macedonian garrison was ousted in 286 BC.

The summit is crowned by the monumental tomb of C. Julius Antiochus Philopappos, dating to 114-116 AD. Philopappos, an exiled prince of Commagene in Syria, citizen of Athens and consul in Rome, received the exceptional honor of burial within the city walls.

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