During the Hellenistic and Roman period, Athens may have not been any longer the 'center of the world' but parts of its past glory were still alive and fully existent. Hadrian, the great Roman emperor was fascinated by Athens' philosophical grandeur. He wanted to renovate Athens and to give back to the city its architectural majesty.
The temple of the Olympian Zeus along with Hadrian's Arch were only few of the edifices he wanted to donate to the city of Athens. In a city glorified for its intellectual activities a library should be a sine qua non addition. Hadrian thus made a luxurious and beautiful library, just outside the northern corner of the Roman Agora.
It was a rectangular building. It had a Corinthian propylon, gate, on the west side and an open peristyle courtyard. There were three projecting conches on each of the long sides. Besides the library there were study and lecture halls. In order to fully appreciate its beauty, its majestic presence and its majesty we have to mention Pausanias' depiction of the Hadrian's Library: 'The building with 100 columns of Phrygian marble, with halls with painted ceilings, alabaster walls, and niches with statues, in which books were kept'. It was built in 132 A.D. It was destroyed by the Herulae in 267 A.D. Parts of the building were incorporated into the late Roman fortification wall. Roman eparchus Herculius repaired the library in 412 A.D. A Christian-orthodox church was constructed in the center of the peristyle court in the 5th century A.D. Only to imagine its exotic tranquility and its luxurious benefits, can make us rethink the conditions of our current educational system!