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Athens, Pnyx


Pnyx (Greek: Πνύξ): hill in Athens, meeting place of the people's assembly.

The bema

Situated to the east of the Acropolis, the Pnyx was the hill where the Athenian assembly gathered to discuss affairs. As a meeting place of the polis, it was as old as the Athenian democracy: it was already in use in the last decad of the sixth century, immediately after the reforms of Cleisthenes.

In front was the speaker's corner, the bema. Facing the speakers, the chairman, and the clerks were some 6,000 people (the quorum), who received attendance fees. Because deliberations could last long, people will have sat on wooden benches. They may have brought some bread and wine.