In the Classical period the Assembly would meet approximately every ten day. In this early experiment of participatory democracy, the citizens who attended would receive financial compensation.
Despite this, only a relatively small proportion of the tens of thousands of Athenian citizens eligible to attend these meetings actually seems to have done so: even in its largest form the Pnyx could never have accommodated more than 13.000 people.
A ‘police-force’ of Scythian archers, armed with ropes dipped in red paint, would try to herd those citizens present in the city to the Pnyx for the meetings. The late-comers tainted with red paint lost their right to payment.
On the terrace above the meeting place rock-cuttings can be seen for the foundations of two large colonnaded porches or stoas, whose construction, for reasons unknown, was never finished. Other rock-cuttings probably indicate the place of an altar for Zeus Agoraios (‘of the market place’) and of a sundial or heliotropion (433 BC). To the south, just below the crag of the hill, are remains of the late 4th century BC city wall and towers (diateichisma).
The lower entrance (photo right) to the Pnyx is via pleasant for a stroll Aiyinitou street (a 10 minute walk from either the Acropolis or Theseion subway station). The upper entrance (above left) is from the southeast and can be reached via the path from the church of Agios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris across from the Acropolis main entrance street level.
Entrance is free, but the site is fenced and in only accessible from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 12 to 7 p.m. on Mondays (summer schedule). No facilities.