Odeion of Agrippa

The Odeion of Agrippa has been an indoor music theater. It was built in the first century BC., by order of M. Vipsanius Agrippa, a friend of Emperor Augustus. Originally the auditorium had 1.200 seats and the entrance was a fairly simple gateway.

When the roof collapsed in the second century, the Odeion was extensively renovated. A new retaining wall straight through the auditorium reduced the number of seats to  600 and a monumental entrance was built, with three Giant and three Triton figures. Images of seated philosophers have now also been added to underline the Odeion’s new function as a literature hall.

After the destruction of all buildings on the agora by the barbarian Herulians in 267 AD. the site of the Odeion was abandoned for some time, until a gymnasium (or perhaps a large villa?) was built on that spot in the fourth century, complete with additional rooms, bathrooms and gardens. For the monumental access to this complex, 4 Tritons and Giants were moved to their current location. The total complex, with the entrance facing the Holy Road, covered an area of ​​13,500 square meters.


Images: above floor plan and section of Odeion in the first construction phase, right photos of the images that adorned the entrance of the gymnasium, under the facade of the Odeion in the second construction phase, mid 2nd century, completely below the grounds as a gymnasium. Drawings and plans from “The Atheneian Agora, a guide to the excavation and museum”, 1990. Reconstruction: www.ancientathens3d.com