Editing: Chris Baveas / Areopagite
Pagos is the supreme civil and criminal court of Greece.
Areios Pagos was named after the first court of "androfonies"
(crimes of murder) founded between 1500 and 1300 B.C., at
the years of King Kecropus and King Thesseus situated at the
rocky hill of God Mars (Aris), which is located at the northwestern
side of Acropolis in Athens.
According to legend, the first "murder case", at which
the twelve Gods of Olympus tried Aris, took place at the top
of this hill.
This highest court of antiquity was named "the Areios
Pagos Parliament" and consisted of members for life,
the Areopagites who held all powers.
In 462 B.C. a great part of the administrative and judicial
powers was conveyed to the "Heliaea" (constituted
by 6.000 elected judges), the "Parliament" and the
"Ekklisia" (public assembly).
Up to the first Christian years the prestige of the Supreme
Court remained undiminished. At the rocky hill of God Mars, Apostole Paul preached the teaching of Christ to the
Areopagites, by delivering his famous speech "about the
unknown God". Among the first ones to convert to Christianity
were Dionysius and lerotheos, who later became bishops of
the city of Athens and were declared saints after their death.
"... Then Paul stood in the midst of
Mars' hill and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that
in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed
by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with
this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore
ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you... Howbeit
certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the
which was Dionysius the Areopagite..."
(THE ACTS, chapter 17, 22-34).
On October 16th 1834, Areios Pagos was founded as the Supreme
Court of modern independent Greece by royal decree. Instead
of giving the name "Court of Cassation", it was finally decided
for the Supreme Court to be named after its ancient equivalent.
The first Supreme Court Justices were
nominated by the 1/13 January 1835 royal decree.The first President of the Supreme Court was Christodoulos
Klonaris (1788-1849), attorney at law in the city of
Nafplium and Minister of Justice in the government of
Ioannis Kapodistrias and the first Attorney General
became Andronikos Paekos, who up until then was the
presiding judge of the temporary court of Messologi.
Among the Aeropagites there was also Anastasios Polyzoidis,
up until then presiding judge of the temporary court
of Nafplium (the judge who remained in history as the
only one denying to sign the criminal conviction of
the hero of the Greek National Revolution Theodoros
The first case of the Supreme Court (1/1835) was tried
on April 30th 1835 and the decision was published on
May 1st 1835.