he Agora was the most important part of every city-state in ancient Greece. It was the center of life, of economic, social, political and judicial activity, as well as the main commercial center. The Ancient Agora of Athens covers an area of about 10 acres. It lies below the Acropolis, south of the hill of the Areopagus.
On the north side of the Ancient Agora are the ruins of a structure known as Basilica, from the 2nd century AD, and a portico from a civic building from the 1st century AD. Here are also the remains of the "Politiki Stoa". It was erected in the 5th century BC with a Doric colonnade on the facade and an Ionic one in the interior. The philosopher Zeno, whose adherents were called Stoics, also taught there.
In the central area of the Ancient Agora are the ruins of the sanctuary named Leokoreon. South of the "Poikili Stoa" are the ruins of the Altar of the Twelve Gods and even further south the Temple and the Altar of Aris (Mars). In the center of the market was the Odeon of Agrippa and the Gymnasium. The entire central space of the Agora was full of votive offerings.
|tarting the exploration of the west side of the Ancient Agora we find the
"Basileios Stoa". The "Basileios Stoa", was where the prince-king had his seat. It was constructed in the 6th century BC and had a Doric colonnade on its facade and a second one in the interior. Perhaps this is where Solon's laws were set, inscribed on triangular tablets.|
The Stoa of Zeus Eleftherios was built in the 5th century BC and had a Doric colonnade on its facade and a second Ionic one in the interior. The stoa served the public and social life of the Athenians. The paintings and the mosaics found there show that it functioned as a gathering place for political and philosophical discussions.
|he Temple of Apollo Patroos lies next to the preceding stoa and was built in the 4th century BC. The statue of the god was erected in the temple shrine. South of the Temple of Apollo lies the Metroon from the 2nd century BC. In its rooms, the original votes cast in the Boule were stored in cupboards. The middle room of the Mitroos was the temple of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. Next to it was the old Vouleftirion (Parliament). |
At a distance of approximately 10 meters south of the Metroon are the remains of the Tholos (Parasol). It was erected between 470-460 BC. The Tholos was the seat of the Prytanes and housed the keys to the temples, the originals of the weight and measures, the shrine of the city-state and the state seal. On the east side of the Ancient Agora are the ruins of the Northeast Stoa and a Library which was built in 100 AD.
The east side of the Agora was enclosed by a large stoa, the Stoa of King Attalos II, which was built by the King of Pergamon Attalos II (159-138 BC) and served both for commercial exchanges and a place for Athenians to divert themselves.
|The stoa had a double colonnade and in the back part shops on the first floor with the same arrangement on the ground floor. On the facade there were 45 Doric columns and in the interior 22 Ionic columns. It constitutes a typical example of a stoa structure from the Hellenistic period.|
|n the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos we find the Museum of the Ancient Agora which contains the finds from the excavations in the Agora. There are also works on display from the Neolithic, Protohelladic, Mesohelladic and Mycenaean periods as well as from all the historical periods until the Byzantine times.|
On the south side of the Agora are found the Middle Stoa, that was built in the 2nd century BC and had an original form. The view has been put forward that it served the needs of the courts, most probably the large popular court of Helliaia. Near it are the ruins of the Southwest Fountain and the Triangular Sanctuary.
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The Roman Agora
The Ancient Stadium
Photos and informations taken from "Athens - attica"
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