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Library of Hadrian at Athens

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Robert McNeil
Contributors: Mallory Barbosa, Jeffrey Becker, McKenzie Cornish, Denitsa Dzhigova, Tom Elliott, Tyler Engalla, Brady Kiesling, Adam Rabinowitz, Jennifer Townzen
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jun 08, 2018 06:11 AM History
The Library of Hadrian is located on the north side of the Acropolis, immediately north of the Roman Agora. The complex was built by the Roman emperor Hadrian in A.D. 131/2 and subsequently destroyed during the Herulian sack of Athens in A.D. 267.

Base map by Ryan M. Horne for Pleiades and the Ancient World Mapping Center (ancient terrain after the Barrington Atlas). Map interaction design and implementation by Sean Gillies, David Glick, Alec Mitchell, and Tom Elliott for Pleiades.

37.9752724, 23.7260097

architectural complex


Located northeast of the Athenian Agora, the Library of Hadrian is a building constructed under the Roman emperor Hadrian in AD 132. The columns and architecture have a distinctively Roman style, much like the buildings of the Roman Agora in Athens. The Library featured one hundred columns of Phrygian marble, had gilded roofwork and alabaster architectural details, and was decorated with many statues and frescoes. This building, along with many others of the same style, was part of a Hadrianic building program that Hadrian himself undertook at Athens in an attempt to enhance the urban appearance of the city. It served primarily as a library and a place where the city's elite could come together to exchange ideas. It included a large room for the storage of the scrolls, as well as smaller rooms that could be used for lectures.

The library was damaged in AD 267 during the Herulian sack. The complex was repaired during the early fifth century and then became the site of a paleochristian church. Subsequently a three-aisled basilica was built (seventh century) that was replaced by a single-aisle church in the eleventh century. In 2001 the library began to be used as an archaeological storeroom and was closed to the public.

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Robert McNeil, Mallory Barbosa, Jeffrey Becker, McKenzie Cornish, Denitsa Dzhigova, Tom Elliott, Tyler Engalla, Brady Kiesling, Adam Rabinowitz, and Jennifer Townzen, 'Library of Hadrian at Athens: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2018 <> [accessed: 05 July 2020]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 728329644 (Library of Hadrian at Athens) |author=McNeil, R. |accessdate=July 5, 2020 7:33 am |publisher=Pleiades}}