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The monument of Lysicrates
Monument of Lysicrates

On Lysicrates Square in Plaka, close to the Acropoli metro station on Amalias Avenue, you will find the choragic (choragus = the chorus leader) monument of Lysicrates, built in 334 BC in the form of a small circular temple. It was erected to commemorate the greater Dionysos series of plays and it is the last of many that used to line the Street of Tripods now called Tripodon Street.

The Lysicrates Monument owes its preservation to the French Capuchin monks who bought it in 1669 and incorporated it in their monastery.

The monument is a pseudo-peripteral tholos, 2,80 meters (9ft) in diameter and 6,50 meters (21,3ft) high. The cella is decorated with what seem to be six half-columns with Corinthian capitals standing on the round base of three steps. These are really whole pillars, joined by slabs serving as walls for the cella, crowned by friezes decorated with tripods in relief. It is made of stone from Poros Island and crowned with Hymettos marble instead of Pentelic.

It is the earliest use of Corinthian columns known and built in the 4th century BC. There is an inscription in ancient Greek, still readable today, that says: " Lysicrates, son of Lysitheides, from the dame of Kikynna, choragos". The Akamantid tribe carried off the victory in the boy's choirs, Theon was the flute-player, Lysiades of Athens the choir-master, Evainetos the archon ".


Choregia were one of the regular liturgies in Ancient Athens which referred to the expenses for theatre chorus undertaken as an obligatory commission by prosperous citizens of Athens. The choregos (theatre sponsor) was responsible for assembling the members of a chorus, train them, pay them a wage and costume them.

There were 15 members in a tragedy chorus, 24 in a comedy chorus and 50 in a dithyramb chorus. The choregos was also responsible for a group of dancers. Each time he competed against the other choregos for the first place. The winner was allowed to set up a choragic tripod on his own expenses to immortalize his name.

Opening hours Open 2477, entrance free
Location map Lysicrates Square - Plaka

Nearest metro stationAcropoli




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