Areopagus, or Areiopagus (Gk. Hill of Ares or Mars), an eminence to the west of the Acropolis of Athens. Here was held the most ancient and powerful court of justice and deliberative council that existed in Greece. It was believed to have been established in 1507 B.C., or perhaps earlier. Orestes, according to AEschylus, was tried before it for the murder of his mother. Solon in 594 B.C. enlarged its jurisdiction, which extended to questions of politics, morals, and religion. It was composed of the retiring archons, who sat for life. Pericles in 458 limited its powers, which were too aristocratic for toleration in the growing democracy. Still it claimed for many years longer the veneration of the people, and, if we may believe Isocrates, exercised a paternal despotism over the lives and manners of citizens. Paul pleaded and preached before the Areopagites in 52 A.D. (Acts xvii.). It is last mentioned in history about 380 A.D.