Roman Agora of Athens
The ancient market stood on the west of the Acropolis, at the foot of Areos Pagos. Later it was moved to Kerameikos, this splendid quarter which became the center of the Athenian life during the days of its greatest bloom. But, at the time of the successors of Alexander the Great Athens became considerably larger, and, the Agora of Kerameikos expanded towards the east, gradually covering with splendid buildings the whole area to the north side of the Acropolis.
What we today call The Roman Agora of Athens is a large paved square, 112 meters long from west to east (370 ft.) by 96 meters (316 ft.) broad, constructed symmetrically with Hadrian's Library, in parallel direction and analogous dimensions. A peristyle surrounded by exterior walls, and an interior court 82 m. by 57 m. flagged in marble.
The columns of the peristyle, with double halls, was of the ionic order with a smooth shaft. The further end of the peristyle, the interior hall, was divided into several shops 6 meters deep, testifying to the fact that this was a mercantile Agora. In the SW angle a marble Fountain stood, fed from the water of the Klepsydra, called the Agoranomion, the station for the police of the market which was later restored by Herod Atticos. The propylon (entrance) towards the west side, raised between the year 12 B.C. and 2 A.D. at the expenses of Julius Caesar and Augustus, is preserved to our days in a satisfactory state, is known under the name of Gate of the Market, or Gate of Athena Archegetis.
For a page with Basic Architectural Terminology, including terms used in the description of the ancient Greek temples, click here!
|Private Walking Tour: Roman Agora, Plaka and Monastiraki |
Wander through the market in the Monastiraki area,
The Founders of the Western World: A History of Greece and Rome
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