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Metroon (Ancient Greek: Μητρῷον, Metrōon) was the name given to any building dedicated to a mother goddess (like Cybele, Rhea, or Demeter) in Ancient Greece.

Metroon del Agora de Atenas.JPG

The Metroon of Athens was founded around 500 BCE to placate Cybele, who had visited a plague on the city when one of her wandering priests was killed for his attempt to introduce her cult. The account may have been a later invention to explain why a public building was dedicated to an imported deity, as the earliest source is the Hymn To The Mother Of The Gods (362 CE) by the Roman emperor Julian.[1]

Agora, Athens[edit]

The Metroon in the Ancient Agora of Athens was originally used as the meeting chamber of the boule or city council. At the end of the 5th century BCE, when a new Bouleuterion was built, the building was dedicated to the mother goddess. The Metroon also housed the official archives of the city.[2]


Part of the complex of Olympia, and sited immediately below the terrace which houses the Treasuries, is the late 4th/early 3rd century Metroon.[3]


  1. ^ Roller, 1999. pp. 162 - 167; Roscoe, p. 200; Robertson, in Lane, p. 258.
  2. ^ The Metrôon (Old Bouleuterion) at Athenian Daily Life, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
  3. ^ Olympía - Metroon

External links[edit]