Athens Line

Tour Attractions

Arch of Hadrian

The Arch of Hadrian is a monumental gateway resembling, in some respects, a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of residences on the eastern side of the city including the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been suggested that the arch was built to celebrate the adventus (arrival) of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honour him for his many benefactions to the city, on the occasion of the dedication of the nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 AD.[1] It is not certain who commissioned the arch, although it is probable that the citizens of Athens or another Greek city had realized its construction and design. There were two inscriptions on the arch, facing in opposite directions, naming both Theseus and Hadrian as founders of Athens. While it is clear that the inscriptions venerate Hadrian, it is uncertain whether they refer to the city as a whole or to the city in two parts; an old and a new one. The early notion, however, that the arch marked the line of the ancient city wall, and thus the division between the old and the new regions of the city, has been proved false by further excavation. The arch is located 325m southeast of the Acropolis.