Odeion of Herodus Atticus



This Roman Odeion was built in 161 AD. by the Roman consul Herodes Atticus. Pausanias pays no attention to it in his book on Attica, because – he says – he had already completed his book on Attica before the Odeion was built. Herodes Atticus was the son of a very rich man from Marathon, who sponsored construction projects throughout Greece like a true maecenas, including the stadium in Delphi, the stadium in Athens (the kallimarmaro, which he had fitted with marble benches) and this Odeion under the Acropolis. He had it cut out of the rocks on the west side of the south slope of the Acropolis, in memory of his wife, who died in 160 AD. died. A reconstruction of the building with a partial canopy is given below (from ANCIENT GREECE, “Muses Publishers”).

It was the third Odeion  built in Athens, after the Odeion of Pericles and the Odeion of Agrippa. It has a diameter of 80 m. And can accommodate 5000 spectators. The facade is 28 m high, consists of three floors and is filled with windows in which statues  stood. The seats were and are in white marble. The building was decorated with marble details and carvings. An ash layer with remains of a cypress wood roof has been found, which indicates that the Odeion was covered with a wooden roof. The Odeion was connected to the Dionysus theater through the Stoa of Eumenes, probably from the same period. This Stoa served to give the Athenians a dry walk between the two buildings in bad weather. He was named after the 2nd century benefactor Eumenes II.