Rome’s dominion over ancient Athens followed the end of the Hellenistic period and the gradual increase of the great power’s intervention in the eastern Mediterranean up to the 2nd century CE. Although they sieged and subjugated the city, the Romans admired and appreciated its lineage. Athenian aristocracy often became Roman citizens, and even some Roman emperors benefited the city and accepted Athenean citizenship. This included emperor Hadrian, one of the earliest philhellenes who visited Athens three times, founded a Panhellenic cultural cult, revised the constitution and fitted the city with a new library, gymnasium, aqueduct, as well as a whole new quarter, in an effort to revive Athens’ past glory.
The tour’s starting point is right next to Monastiraki metro station in the city center. Entrance to all archaeological sites is free of charge on the first Sunday of each month from November to March, and some national holidays. Be sure to bring a hat and some water on hot summer days. If you want to learn more detailed information about the characteristics of the site and its buildings, go ahead and check out the information signs around, which are very detailed.