The Arch of Hadrian is not the only ancient monument in Athens to bear the name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. In fact, Hadrian was a great benefactor of Athens and left a significant mark on the city during his reign in the 2nd century AD. Apart from the arch, Hadrian also sponsored the construction of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Library of Hadrian, both of which are located near the arch. The Library of Hadrian, which was built between 125 and 132 AD, was an impressive complex that included lecture halls, a garden, and a pool. It was the largest library in Athens and one of the largest in the ancient world. Today, only a few columns and some ruins remain, but it is still a popular site for tourists.
Another interesting feature of the Arch of Hadrian is that it once had a wooden door that could be closed to separate the ancient city from the new city of Hadrian. This was likely done to symbolize the boundary between the past and the present and to emphasize Hadrian’s role in shaping the city. The arch also served as a ceremonial entrance to the city, and it is believed that important visitors, such as emperors and foreign dignitaries, would pass through it on their way to the Acropolis.
Despite its name, the Arch of Hadrian was not the only arch in ancient Athens. In fact, several arches were built in the city during different periods, but most of them have not survived to the present day. One of the most famous of these lost arches is the Arch of Nikias, which was built in the 5th century BC to commemorate the victory of the Athenians over the Persians. Another lost arch is the Arch of Andronikos, which was built in the 2nd century BC to commemorate the victories of the general Andronikos over the Macedonians.
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