Areopagus. ATHENS. 39. Route. 339
another tier of seats, over which rose a colonnade. The lower
part is divided into five, the upper part into (en sections by
means of flights of steps. The theatre was capable of containing
6000 spectators, and was covered by a magnificent roof. Tlie
stage, which was approached by five steps from the orchestra, is
still well preserved. The apertures in front of it belonged to the
apparatus by means of which, according to the ancient system,
the curtain was dropped at the beginning of the scene. The
Odeum appears- to have been burned down at an early period,
and afterwards to have served as an outwork of the Acropolis.
In 1857 the ruins were excavated. The light-coloured line on
the exterior shows the extent to which it was formerly buried.
A white marble slab here is to the memory of the •philhellenist'
Fabvier, who was commandant during the defence of the Acro¬
polis in 1827.
Following the 'W. wall of tlie Odeum the visitor can now reach
the Acropolis from this point; but it is preferable to keep to the
carriage-road, and to diverge to the r. by the watchman's house
opposite to the monument of Philopappus on the Museiom. About
half-way up, to the 1. of the path, is situated the Areopagus
(Agetog Ilciyog, 'Hill of Ares'), a wild mass of rock which still
retains its ancient name. The 16 steps are those which the
judges of the Areopagus, the highest judicial tribunal at Athens,
ascended to their nocturnal sessions. The two spaces on the
summit afforded the sole, and somewhat limited accommodation for
judges, prosecutors and defendants. *Fine view hence over the
city and the plain. In the profound and gloomy ravine at the
base of the abrupt precipice on the N. was situated the shrine
of the Erinyes or Eumenides. This was the scene of yEschylus'
tragedy of that name.
A few paces higher up the slope is the entrance to the Acro¬
polis termed the 'Beule", after its discoverer, a Frenchman of
that name. Down to 1852 it was completely built over by bastions.
The gate in its present form, composed of fragments of older
structures, is not earlier than the 3rd cent, of our era, but the
low towers at the sides are ancient, and this was doubtless an
approach to the Propylsea. This entrance is now always closed,
and the visitor must proceed farther to the S. and pass through
a vaulted passage of modern construction, corresponding however
to the old causeway leading to the Acropolis. Visitors knock at
the gate, and are then accompanied by the invalide soldier who
admits them. The first object of interest is a number of reliefs
and statues to the 1., adjacent to the watchmen's huts. Then
on the 1. the large *tomb of Phrasicleia; an archaic statue of
Athene in a sitting posture (headless); archaic *relief of a woman