Hadrian's Library

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Hadrian's Library
Βιβλιοθήκη του Αδριανού
West wall of the Library of Hadrian
West wall of the Library of Hadrian
Hadrian's Library is located in Athens
Hadrian's Library
Shown within Athens
Coordinates37°58′32″N 23°43′34″E / 37.9755555556°N 23.7261111111°E / 37.9755555556; 23.7261111111Coordinates: 37°58′32″N 23°43′34″E / 37.9755555556°N 23.7261111111°E / 37.9755555556; 23.7261111111
Founded132 AD
PeriodsClassical era
CulturesAncient Greece, Ancient Rome
Associated withEmperor Hadrian
Site notes
OwnershipPublic property
ManagementMinister for Culture
Public accessLogo of the Athens Metro Operating Company (AMEL).svg Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg Monastiraki station

Hadrian's Library was created by Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 132 on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens.[1][2]

The building followed a typical Roman Forum architectural style, having only one entrance with a propylon of Corinthian order, a high surrounding wall with protruding niches (oikoi, exedrae) at its long sides, an inner courtyard surrounded by columns and a decorative oblong pool in the middle.[3] The library was on the eastern side where rolls of papyrus "books" were kept. Adjoining halls were used as reading rooms, and the corners served as lecture halls.

The library was seriously damaged by the Herulian invasion of 267 and repaired by the prefect Herculius in AD 407-412.[4] During Byzantine times, three churches were built at the site, the remains of which are preserved:

Around the same period as the cathedral another church, Agios Asomatos sta Skalia, was built against the north facade, but it is not preserved.


  1. ^ Choremi-Spetsieri, A. The Library of Hadrian at Athens: Recent Finds. Ostraka 4. pp. 137–147.
  2. ^ "The Library of Hadrian". The Stoa Consortium. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  3. ^ "Library of Hadrian Description". PlanetWare. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  4. ^ "Hadrian's Library". Athens City Guide. Retrieved 2009-02-19.

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