The Acropolis and Athenian foreign policy

The next units contain decrees; that is, ancient official documents. In democratic Athens, decrees were issued by the Boule (Council) and confirmed by the Ekklesia (Assembly of the Citizens). Their content varied, with some regulating the terms of treaties or alliances between Athens and other city-states, while others concerned the granting of privileges to cities allied with Athens.

The texts of the decrees were initially written on papyrus rolls or wooden plaques. Later, they were copied onto stone steles erected in often-visited public areas, such as the Acropolis, to ensure their content was broadly disseminated to the public.

An innovative feature of Athenian decrees was the decoration at the top of the stele, which consisted of a carved relief related to the decree’s content. These sculpted scenes usually depicted Athena with the patron goddess or eponymous hero of the allied city.


We use cookies to improve your experience on our site

The use of your data is described in the privacy settings