Philopappos Monument

Μετάφραση Greek Version

Philopappos Monument

The Monument of Philopappos is located on the Mouson hill, opposite the Acropolis of Athens and dates back to 114-116 AD. It is actually a Mausoleum erected by the Athenians in honor of the great benefactor of the city, the exiled prince of Commagene and grandson of Antiochus IV, Julius Antiochus Philopappos. Julius Antiochus Philopappos settled in Athens, became an Athenian citizen and assumed civic and religious offices (90 - 100 AD).

The monument measures 9.80 by 9.30 meters and includes a burial chamber which is made of white Pentelic marble. The chamber is located on a base 3,08 m high, made of porous marble and lined with marble slabs from Mt. Hymettus. The facade of the monument is visible from the Acropolis and bears lavish architectural decoration. The monument was still intact until the middle of the 15th century. It was then when traveler Cyriacus of Ancona visited the site and wrote in his memoirs about the excellent condition of the monument. The destruction took place at a later time. During the Turkish occupation, parts of it were used for the construction of the Minaret in the Parthenon. Of the four sides of the Mausoleum, only the northeast side survives today. Three inscriptions engraved under the statues, give the names of the depicting persons. The central figure was Philopappos, son of Epiphanes, on the left Antiochus, son of King Julius Antiochus Philopappus, and on the right King Seleucus Nicator, son of Antiochus.

The monument is a two-story structure. On the outer of the northeastern side that survives to this day, there are reliefs from the most important moments of Philopappos' life. On the lower level there is a frieze representing Philopappos as a consul, riding on a chariot and led by lictors while the upper-level shows statues of three men: of Antiochus IV on the left, of Philopappos in the center and of Seleucus I Nicator, now lost, on the right. The central statue shows Philopappos sitting and admiring the Acropolis on the opposite hill in Athens. Right behind the statue was the burial chamber with the sarcophagus.

Excavations were carried out in the area in 1898 and the following year conservation work was undertaken. In 1940, an additional exploratory excavation was carried out by H. A. Thompson and the archaeologist Ioannis Travlos, where it was discovered that the monument had a 9-meter-high burial chamber. Therefore, the monument had the character of a Mausoleum.