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The Greek And Roman Agoras In Athens

The phrase ‘Agora’ in historical Greek means ‘market’ however the agora in a city-state or polis was way more than only a business hub , it was additionally the socio-political middle, the verus locus social media platform the place politicians and city-fathers gathered to debate affairs of the state, philosophers preached their data and metics or resident foreigners, freedmen and slaves mingled with the residents to typically trade gossip. As the gods had been very a lot a part of day-to-day historical Greek dwelling, temples had been conveniently accessible within the agora if one didn’t have the vitality to ascend the Rock of Acropolis, looming over the Athenian Agora . The agora was transversed by the Sacred Way, that ran from the Acropolis within the north to the principle metropolis gate, the Dipylon. It was a part of the sacred Panathenaic Way, the route for the procession of the competition of Athena, held each 4 years. Around the traditional Agora, the district of the Plaka of Athens developed over centuries, capturing the hustle and bustle of commerce, bargaining and flea markets.

Plan of the Agora of Athens circa fifth century BC. (Public Domain)

Plan of the Agora of Athens circa fifth century BC. ( Public Domain )

The Layout of the Agora (circa fifth century)

1) The Stoa of Attalos and beneath its north finish lay the foundations of the demolished Square Peristyle, which was in all probability used as a courthouse; 2) the Mint, used for Athens’s bronze coinage, destroyed within the first century; 3) the Fountain House, 4) the South Stoa I; 5) the Aiakeion, devoted to the Aeginan hero Aiakos; 6) The Strategeion, devoted to the hero Strategos, used because the meeting corridor of Athens’ ten generals  or strategoi; 7) Stone benches of Agora Hill or Kolonos Agoraios;  8) the Tholos, also called the Prytanikon or Prytaneion; 9) the Boundary stone, marking one entrance to the agora; 10) the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes, the namesakes of the Athenian democracy’s ten tribes, chosen by the Pythia of Delphi; 11) the Metroon or the Old Bouleuterion, devoted to Cybele in propitiation after the Plague of Pericles was attributed to the homicide of one in every of her missionary monks; 12) New Bouleuterion.

13) Hephaistion, the Temple of Hephaestus and Athena Ergane; 14) the Temple of Apollo Patroos; 15) the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios; 16) Altar of the Twelve Gods, sanctuary; 17) the Stoa Basileios, seat of the archon basileus; 18) the Temple of Aphrodite Urania; 19) The Stoa Poikile, depicting Athenian victories in work and captured arms; 20) A former mistaken location of the Painted Stoa assumed to be the Stoa of the Herms.


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Dr Micki Pistorius has an Honours Degree in Biblical Archaeology

Top Image : Temple of Winds within the historical Agora, in Plaka district in Athens ( vaios karalaios / Adobe Stock )

By: Micki Pistorius


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