As the centre of power shifted from Athens to Alexandria, Macedonian troops occupied Athens twice, first in 322 and then in 262 BC. However, the Macedonian Empire did not survive long after Alexander's death. Eventually, after a series of wars, it was dismantled by the far-ranging legions of Rome. Macedonia
became just another Roman province (in 146 BC) and Athens not much more than a showplace museum city, though its philosophy schools and orators kept

attracting Romans with political ambitions. Cicero and Horace spent student years in Athens, and Emperor Hadrian is said to have been initiated into the sacred mysteries of Demeter and Eleusis, the most famous secret religious rites of ancient Greece.
Although generally treated well throughout five centuries of Pax Romana, Athens suffered severely on one occasion. In 86 BC, Roman general Sulla sacked the city in retribution for its most unwise alliance with

Mithridates, King of Pontus and bitter enemy of Rome. Many Athenian treasures were carried off to Italy. Athens' good fortune was that the Romans held Greek culture in such high esteem. Most notable was the Emperor Hadrian (AD76-138), who had a love of Classical Greek architecture. Among other monuments, he erected his distinctive arched gate and completed the temple of Olympian Zeus on foundations laid by Peisistratus nearly even centuries earlier.