Agora (Athens)

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Greek Agora of Athens with a view of the Acropolis
Greek Agora of Athens as seen from the Acropolis
Hephaisteion on the agora

The Agora ( ancient Greek ἀγορά , "market place") in Athens was a meeting place of the polis in ancient Greece and was used for the army, court and people's assemblies of free citizens . It has existed since about the 5th century BC. BC and forms a contrast to the cultic and political power center of the archaic castle complex (the Acropolis ). The agora therefore represents an important step in the development of Attic democracy . From Kleisthenes of Athens this became the Pnyx , from 330 BC onwards. The Dionysostheater .


The area of ​​the later Agora of Athens has probably been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. The oldest evidence of settlements on the agora is ceramics that were recovered near fountains . It is dated to around 3000 BC. Dated. However, no traces of settlement from this time have been found. From the late Bronze Age (1600–1100 BC) to the 7th century BC. The agora was used as a cemetery . Several graves from this time were found.

From around 1000 BC The area of ​​the agora was also used as a residence. No remains of the houses from that time can be found, as this area was later used as a quarry , but there are a number of wells from this time. Towards the end of the 8th century BC Many of these wells were filled in, indicating a drastic decline in population.

Around 600 BC They began to develop the agora as a public square. Not until 500 BC The Agora was formally demarcated by boundary stones (so-called Horoi - Greek ὅροι ). The horoi that were set up at the entrances to the agora bore the words " ὅρος εἰμι τῆς ἀγορᾶς " ( horos eimi tes agoras , "I am the boundary of the agora"). By setting up the boundary stones, wild building on the agora should be prevented. Criminals, conscientious objectors and other people who were not allowed in the agora were forbidden from entering the agora.

In 480 BC The Persians conquered Athens and destroyed a large part of the city and the agora. Ironically, it was only through this destruction and the subsequent reconstruction that many buildings (as ruins ) were preserved. After the destruction of the agora by the Persians, reconstruction began. Therefore, many new buildings were built at this time. Difficult times soon dawned for Athens; especially the civil wars prevented further expansion of the agora.

In the 2nd century BC In BC Athens became more and more the spiritual center of the Mediterranean world. Rulers from different countries (e.g. from Egypt , Syria , Pergamon ) began to demonstrate their power and culture by having buildings built in Athens. As a result, construction activity on the agora increased enormously. This was the time when the large, imposing stoves were built. Only in the second half of the 2nd century was the agora completely surrounded by buildings. The visitor to the agora was now surrounded on all sides by buildings adorned with column fronts.

In 146 BC The Roman general Lucius Mummius defeated the Achaean League and Greece was declared a Roman province. Beginning of the 1st century BC Athens turned against Rome, resulting in a siege of the city in 86 BC. BC, during which, among other things, the southern part of the agora was affected. By the middle of the century, the Romans showed a greater interest in Athens. This again led to increased construction activity. A new market square, the Roman Agora , was created around 150 meters east of the agora, which largely took this function away from the agora. The free space on the agora was no longer necessary and was built up.

Augustus ' reign was followed by a century of little building activity until Trajan (98–117) and Hadrian (117–138) ushered in a final heyday for the agora during their time as emperors of the Roman Empire. After the Heruli stormed Athens in 267, destroying most of the Agora’s buildings, the Agora never became the major center it had been in previous centuries. The fourth century marked the final decline of the agora; it has been largely abandoned.

Research history

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens has been excavating the Agora since 1931 , initially under the direction of Theodore Leslie Shear and financed by John D. Rockefeller . With the help of a group of young archaeologists, including Homer A. Thompson , Eugene Vanderpool , Benjamin Dean Meritt , Dorothy Burr , Virginia Grace , Lucy Talcott , Alison Frantz , Margaret Crosby , Piet de Jong , Rodney Young and Ioannis, he was able to “ John “Travlos , exposed the marketplace of ancient Athens until the excavations had to be stopped in 1939 as a result of the war. In 1946 these were resumed under the direction of Homer A. Thompson, followed by T. Leslie Shear, Jr. in 1967 and John McK in 1994 . Camp as the head of the dig. John D. Rockefeller financed the reconstruction of the Stoa of Attalus in the early 1950s, which has served as a museum ever since. There the EU accession treaty was signed in 2003 for 10 new members to join.


Plan of the agora in the 5th century BC Chr.

Panathenaia Street

The wide Panathenaic Road crossed the agora from southeast to northwest. Although it was one of Athens' main thoroughfares, it consisted only of a hard- packed gravel cover . Only in the time of the Hellenism did it get an additional gutter .

The Panathenae Street was not only used as a traffic route, it was also the venue for sporting events and processions, as well as a training ground for equestrians. For the spectators of the various events, wooden stands (so-called Ikria ) were built next to the street . Holes for the posts of the stands can still be found today.


Part of the agora was called an orchestra . Most of the public events took place here. Post holes were also found on the Orchestra. After in the early 5th century BC When Ikria collapsed, most of the events were moved to the Dionysus Theater . The Orchestra continued to be a place where competitors were worshiped, as the discovery of many later monuments to commemorate competition victories shows.

Sacred buildings

The Hephaisteion (13)

Hephaisteion on the agora
Hephaisteion on the agora

Main article: Temple of Hephaestus

On the Kolonos Agoraios , the hill that borders the Agora to the west, there is an almost undamaged marble temple. It is believed to be the Hephaisteion , where Hephaestus , the god of blacksmithing , and Athena , the goddess of crafts and fine arts, were worshiped. The identification is uncertain (it has also been suggested that the temple could be the Theseion or the Temple of Euclea ), but it is supported by the discovery of metal pits and cinder blocks. It seems quite logical that the temple of the blacksmith god could have been built near the place where blacksmiths and other metalworking craftsmen worked. The god Hephaestus was "responsible" for the entire artistic spectrum of metalworking, including the manufacture of jewelry , weapons , sacred rituals and profane everyday objects.

It is believed that the temple was built in the middle of the 5th century BC. BC, during the Periclean period (443-429 BC). It was probably not completed until the end of the century. Inscriptions say that the pair of statues inside the cella was only built between 421 and 415 BC. Were established. It was made from bronze by the sculptor Alkamenes and depicted Hephaestus and Athena.

The Hephaisteion was mostly built from Pentelic marble . Outside it has 6 × 13 Doric columns . Otherwise it has all the elements of a classical Greek temple. The temple has a particularly rich sculptural decoration . On the front the metopes are decorated with the deeds of Heracles , on the side there are the deeds of Theseus . A battle is depicted on a frieze above the pronaos . On the opposite side (the frieze above Opisthodomos ) a battle between Lapiths and Centaurs is shown. Planting holes that were discovered around the temple (and are now being used again) show that real groves were already laid out around temples in classical times , which planted the area around the temples.

Apart from the Parthenon , the Hephaisteion is the best preserved and best equipped Greek temple. This is because, on the one hand, Athens is not a classic earthquake area ; on the other hand, the Hephaisteion was used as a Christian church and therefore not, like many other buildings, served as a quarry for newer buildings.

The Twelve Gods Altar (16)

In 1934, in the northwest corner of the agora, a square area made of stone blocks was found next to Panathenae Street. This area was delimited by a low limestone ledge in which the markings of a stone lattice can still be seen. The area was originally surrounded by a small wall parapet. Thanks to an inscription on a statue base on the west side of the enclosure, " Leagros, son of Glaucon, dedicated this to the twelve gods " (carved between 490 and 470 BC), it is assumed that this enclosure is the altar twelve Olympian gods must act.

According to Thucydides, the younger Peisistratos donated this altar as an archon (522/521 BC). It appears to have been damaged in the Persian Wars and then repaired. The altar was used, among other things, to measure distances and represented an artificial center of Athens. In addition, the altar was known in ancient times as a place of refuge and asylum.

Temple of Apollon Patroos (14)

In the second half of the 4th century BC The temple of Apollon Patroos , which was built on the west side of the agora, south of the Stoa of Zeus, is to be dated . It was probably a prostylos with six front columns of an Ionic order and a deep pronaos between elongated antenna walls . Older attempts at reconstruction were based on an antenna temple with four columns between the antennas. The cella measured 10 × 16.5 meters and, according to Pausanias, hid Apollon statues from the hands of important artists. A separate room, which is interpreted as Adyton , was connected to the north side of the cella . The building probably replaced an older one, during the Persian Wars 480 BC. Destroyed temple from the 6th century BC BC, from which the remains of an apse could be exposed.

Ares temple

This marble temple of the Doric order , dedicated to Ares and Athena , was originally built in the 5th century BC. Erected, but not until the late 1st century BC. Moved to the agora. Its original location was discovered during rescue excavations from 1994 in Pallene, a suburb of Athens. During the Augustan building program, it was removed stone by stone and rebuilt on the agora. This fate also happened to other, smaller buildings. They were either wholly or partially rescued from inanimate areas to Athens.

The Eponymous Heroes (10)

In the south-west corner of the agora, in the 4th century BC North of the Heliaia the eponymous heroes (often also known as "Phylenheroen") set up. These were statues that gave their names to the ten phyls of the kleisthenic reforms: Hippothontis , Antiochis , Aiantis , Leontis , Erechtis , Aigeis , Oineis , Akamantis , Kekropis and Pandionis . As the name of the monument suggests, these are exclusively heroes of Greek history, chosen by the Oracle of Delphi .

The statues stood on a 16 meter long and almost 2 meter wide pedestal, which was shielded by a wooden fence. The pedestal also served as a " bulletin board " for messages from the individual phyls. Messages were posted for a phyle among the appropriate heroes.

The Stoen (pillared halls)

Basil's Stoa (17)

Main article: Stoa of Basil

In 1970 a small (18 × 7.5 m) stoa was excavated in the northwest corner of the agora. We know from two inscriptions that the Stoa is the Stoa Basileios , which served as the official residence of the Archon basileus , the second highest archon responsible for cult activities.

It is unclear when the Stoa Basileus was built. Aristotle writes: “ He [ Solon ] drafted a constitution and made other laws [...] The laws were written on tablets and then placed in the Stoa of Basil. “Solon established his constitution at the beginning of the 6th century BC. However, various stylistic features on the Stoa (for example a Doric frieze) indicate that it was built in the middle of the 6th century. Pottery was also found under the floor dating from around 500 BC. Was dated. What is certain, however, is that the Stoa was after the Persian storm 480 BC. Was rebuilt. Maybe this can explain the discrepancies.

The stoa has eight Doric columns on the front facing east . In front of the stoa there were originally limestone benches for the archon and his assessors, in the 4th century BC. However, they were replaced by marble benches. In front of the stoa there is also a large stone, the λίθος ( lithos ), on which all officials had to swear when taking office. The stone may have been there before the stoa was erected and was probably responsible for the choice of the location of the stoa. Apart from the official business of Archon Basil the Stoa was also used for banquets, as the discovery of a large number of high-quality, painted dishes behind the Stoa shows. This crockery had - just like that of the Tholos - the incised ligature ΔΕ for demosion , which marked it as public property.

While it is not certain that Solon's laws were actually set up in the Stoa (as Aristotle claims), we do know that by the last decade of the 5th century BC. The laws were carved in stone and placed in the Stoa by a certain Nicomachus. Pieces of these tablets of the law were found. They were probably attached to the back wall of the stoa. Since there was soon insufficient space in the stoa, pillared porches were installed on both sides, in which the law boards could also be set up.

In 399 BC The Stoa was the scene of the preliminary trial against the philosopher Socrates . The Archon Basileus, as the guardian of religion, had the task of collecting the evidence against Socrates and handing it over to the court if it was sufficient for an indictment.

In the second half of the 4th century BC In front of the stoa an approximately three meter high female marble statue was erected on a base. It is unclear whether this statue was Themis , goddess of justice, or Demokratia . The statue was later built into a wall and is still partially preserved.

Stoa Poikile (20)

Parts of another stoa have been excavated northeast of the Stoa of Basil. Together, the Stoen form the northwest corner of the agora. Between them, the Panathenaic Road leaves the agora. This presumably in the second quarter of the 5th century BC. The second stoa, built in BC, is 12.5 times (presumably) 36 meters larger than the Stoa Basileus. Like this, it is kept in the Doric style on the outside, although it had Ionic columns on the inside . The stoa has its open side open to the south (and thus facing the sun), while the north wall should keep out the cold north wind.

It is very likely that this stoa is the Stoa Peisianaktios (ἡ Πεισιανάκτειος στοά), which was later renamed the Stoa Poikile (ἡ ποικίλη στοά). It received its first name from its builder, a certain Peisianax . In the stoa, pictures by famous Athenian artists (such as Polygnotos , Mikon or Panainos ) were exhibited. They were applied to wooden panels (σανίδες - sanides ). According to Pausanias , the images mainly describe military scenes, both mythological and real, for example the battle of Marathon in a heroic exaggeration of the Athenian fighters of Marathon, the Marathonomachoi. The images that gave the Stoa the name Poikile (meaning “colorful Stoa”) were only removed in Christian times. In addition to pictures, the Stoa Poikile also contained real evidence of Athenian victories, such as armor and shields of defeated opponents.

The Stoa Poikile was not just a museum but served as a meeting place for the citizens of Athens. Beggars, jugglers, traders and of course philosophers could be found here. In the Stoa Poikile, Zeno , the founder of the Stoics , met with his followers. Various public events, such as court cases, also took place here.

Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios (15)

To the south of the Stoa of Basil there was another stoa. This stoa was dedicated to Zeus Eleutherios ( Ζεὺς Ἐλευθέριος , Zeus the Liberator). The Zeus Eleutherios cult was established after the final expulsion of the Persians (479 BC). His stoa was probably made between 430 and 420 BC. And then adorned with the shields of Athenians who died in the battle against the Persians.

The facade of the stoa was made of Pentelic marble . It was built according to the Doric order and had two protruding wings. The Stoa Eleutherios, like the Stoa Poikile, was also adorned with pictures. Allegedly, Socrates is said to have met his friends and students in this stoa.

South Stoa I (4)

Between a well house and the Heliaia on the south side of the agora between 430 and 420 BC. A stoa was built during the period of the Peloponnesian War . It was built in a Doric order with a double row of columns, although a certain economy in the use of building materials can be seen. The lower parts of the wall consist of large cuboids, while the upper parts consisted of simple adobe bricks. The entrances to the different rooms of this building are not in the middle, but to the side. This made it possible for loungers to be set up along the walls. Apparently the rooms of this stoa were designed as dining rooms, even if simple benches were later set up in many rooms.

Numerous coin finds in the Stoa seem to indicate its use as a trading or banking center. This assumption is also supported by the fact that the official mint of Athens was right next door. In addition, the inscription of a μετρόνομος ( Metronomos ), a state examiner for measures and weights from the year 222/221 BC , was found in the Stoa . Discovered.

Around 150 BC The stoa was torn down to make way for a new stoa, known as the South Stoa II.

South Stoa II, Central Stoa and East Building

In the first half of the 2nd century BC Several buildings were erected in the south of the agora, which, together with the Heliaia, separated a small square from the agora. The Middle Stoa, which probably dates back to around 180 BC. It is about 147 × 17.5 m in size and consists of a row of columns that surrounds the entire building. It represents the separation between the small square and the rest of the agora. That is why the stoa has no rooms inside, but only a wall that divides the stoa in two halves. The stoa itself consists of simple, classic building materials ( limestone , terracotta and marble metopes ).

The South Stoa II was partially built over the old South Stoa, which therefore had to be demolished. The new stoa is larger, slightly differently oriented than the old one, and its foundation has also been placed deeper in the earth to be on the same level as the other buildings grouped around the square. Like the old stoa, the new stoa was built in Doric order, but had only one row of columns and no more rooms. Instead, it had a small well in the back wall, which was fed by a water pipe running past .

The so-called east building connects the south and central stoa on the east side of the square. It is about 12 × 40 m in size and connects Panathenae Street with the square. Inside there are four square rooms. The floor consists of a mosaic of marble fragments.

The function of this southern square is unclear, it is assumed that this could have been a marketplace . This is indicated by the assumed function of the South Stoa I. The two new floors would then have been market buildings, so there was no need for rooms in them. Shops were relocated to the Stoa of Attalos on the east side of the agora. The east building could have served as a building for the money changers .

Probably in the 1st century BC During the siege of Athens by the Romans, the South Stoa II, the east building and the Heliaia were destroyed in the 3rd century BC.

Stoa of Attalus

Main article: Stoa of Attalus

Reconstructed Stoa of Attalus, front view
Reconstructed stoa of Attalus, portico

King Attalus II. Philadelphus , ruler of Pergamon , had this stoa in the 2nd century BC. BC over the peristyle courtyard and, according to an inscription, gave it to the Athenian people. With a size of 115 × 20 m and two floors, it is a very large building. On both floors there is a double row of columns, behind which there are 21 rooms. There were both Doric and Ionic columns , the spacing of which was greater than was customary in ancient times: there is a column only under every third triglyph . All the rooms in the stoa served as shops. This gave the retail trade in Athens a representative building that is comparable to today's shopping centers.

The stoa was destroyed by the Herulians in 267 , parts of the structure were reused in a fortification wall that has been preserved to this day. Between 1952 and 1956 the stoa was rebuilt to serve as a museum .

In addition to some portrait busts and statuettes, mainly vases and other objects made of clay are shown:

The Basilica

Strictly speaking, the basilica is not a stoa, but basilicas had similar tasks with the Romans as the stoa with the Greeks: They served as trading and market places, for administration and courts. The partially exposed basilica in the north-east of the agora is a three-aisled building that was probably built by the Romans to serve for the various administrative tasks of the Roman provincial officials.

Administration building

Building F

South of the old Buleuterions is a building that can not be accurately assigned and therefore as Building F is called. The building is quite large and has an irregular shape. The rooms of the building are located around a courtyard lined with columns. The layout resembles a private house (it has cooking areas, for example), but it is quite large and its location on the edge of the agora also disturbs. The building was built between 550 and 525 BC. BC, during the tyranny of the Peisistratiden . It is therefore possible that this was the domicile of the tyrants.

The building was built in 480 BC. Destroyed by the Persians, but the Peisistratids as early as 510 BC. Expelled. Since the Tholos was later built in the same place , it is possible that the building served as the seat of the councilors in the period between the expulsion of the tyrants and the destruction.

Old Buleuterion / Metroon (11)

A square building was found on the west side of the agora with an edge length of about 23 meters. The interior of the building is not divided and has been identified as a Buleuterion . The Buleuterion was established at the time of the reforms of Kleisthenes of Athens (509–507 BC) and served the council (the Bule ) as the official seat. Laws were discussed and decided here.

How many buildings did the Buleuterion have to build after the Persian invasion of Athens in the middle of the 5th century BC? To be rebuilt. After the reconstruction, the Buleuterion was given a second task: It became the state archive . The Buleuterion was not used as the seat of the Bule until the end of the 5th century, when the new Buleuterion was built next door. It remained the state archive and was now called Metroon . It was also used as the sanctuary of Rhea , mother of the Olympian gods. Not until 140 BC The old Buleuterion was replaced by a newer building. There was a row of columns on its east facade, but the interior division of the rooms is unclear.

New Buleuterion (12)

To the west, right next to the ancient Buleuterion, which died during the Persian Storm 480 BC. Was destroyed at the site of the Rhea sanctuary towards the end of the 5th century BC. The new Buleuterion was built. In contrast to the old one, this was no longer square, but only rectangular, with edge lengths of 16 × 22 meters. In the new Buleuterion, the bule probably sat on simple wooden chairs facing east. Later the new Buleuterion was supplemented with a pillared vestibule.

The Tholos (8)

Probably between 470 and 460 BC. This round building (almost 20 meters in diameter) was erected on the walls of Building F. It was located south of the old Buleuterion and served as the headquarters of the Bule Executive Committee, the Prytaneis . Not only were the fifty members of the committee fed here, at least a third had to be present at all times (even at night). Since there was not enough space to accommodate fifty dining tables, it can be assumed that people were seated for dining here. Inside the tholos there are two smaller chambers that may have served as a kitchen and pantry. The official weights and measures were probably also kept in the tholos.

Crockery was found around the tholos that had incised the two letters ΔΕ for demosion (public property). The food served to the councilors was quite simple and consisted of cheese , wine and vegetables . It wasn't until the late 5th century BC. They were also served fish and meat .

Court of Justice (5)


In the south-west corner of the agora there is a 27 × 31 m enclosure without a roof. Since there are no votive offerings or signs of a shrine or altar inside, the identification as an altar or temple is ruled out. Instead, it could have been a courtroom, possibly even the Heliaia ( Ἡλιαῖα ), the largest courtroom in Athens.

Courts were an important part of Athenian democracy. The size of a jury ranged from around 200 to 2,500 jurors . Each juror was given two voting tags, the shape of which was reminiscent of a top. One vote had a pierced axis, while the other had an unbored axis. When voting, the fairytale was touched with the fingers on both sides of the axis, so that it was not possible to see whether the axis was pierced or not. The fairy tale was then placed in an urn and then the number of fairy tales with and without a pierced axle was counted. If the number of tales with a pierced axle was greater than the one without, the accused was found guilty.

Another item used for judging was also found in the agora: a drawing machine called a cleroterion . This consisted of a stone with small slits in ten columns (one for each phyle ). All people of a phyle who were serving in court had to put a name card with their name on it in a slot on their phyle. Then a colored ball was drawn from a special device for each row; if it was white, all the people in the corresponding row had to serve in court that day (that is, for a row a total of ten people; one from each phyle), if it was black, they were exempted for that day.

In the second half of the 4th century BC A water clock ( κλεψύδρα ) was attached to the north facade of the Heliaia . It consisted of a simple container that was filled with water at night. In the morning a stopper was pulled in the bottom of the water clock so that the water began to slowly drain out. It took around 17 hours to completely empty the basin. In the 3rd century BC The technology of the water clock was presumably improved in BC, but we do not know any more details.

When a square was demarcated next to the Heliaia by the construction of the Central Stoa, the Heliaia also served as the western border of this square. At this time, new rooms were added to the Heliaia. In addition, a peristyle was built inside . The water clock went out of use at that time. When the Romans took Athens in the 1st century BC Besieged in BC, the Heliaia was destroyed.

Peristyle Courtyard (1)

In the north-east of the agora was a courtyard that was delimited by columns. These were made around 300 BC. Set up, made a provisional impression; so often no foundations were laid and a lot of pre-existing material was used. The courtyard had a side length of about 35 meters and it is assumed that it was used as a court of law.


On the Kolonos Agoraios at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Another building was erected, which was approximately 17.5 × 44.5 m in size. It was located north of the Hephaisteion, but is in very poor condition so that it is impossible to clearly identify it. It could have been an arsenal for storing military equipment.

Supply and culture

Southeast Well House (3)

Between 530 and 520 BC Several private houses in the southeast corner of the agora were demolished to make way for a new building. It was a well house with three rooms: From the large central room one could get into two smaller rooms in which one could draw water. Gargoyles , which were fed through terracotta supply pipes, ensured a steady flow of water, and overflow pipes prevented the water from overflowing. While the western chamber was probably a water tank from which the water could be skimmed off, you could fill your water jugs directly under a gargoyle in the eastern chamber.

Well houses like this one were a popular meeting place for the Athenians. Slaves and women in particular , who otherwise hardly took part in public life, were able to exchange ideas while they filled their water vessels.

Southwest fountain house

In addition to the southeast fountain house, it was probably built between 350 and 325 BC. This well house was built. At that time there was probably a drought in Athens , which also affected the wells, which dried up and had to be deepened more and more. Therefore, another well house was a welcome support for the water supply of the agora.

The identification of this house as a well house comes from an aqueduct that leads into this house. The water basin was cut in an L-shape, access was through a portico built in front of it. Water was brought in from the east through a water pipe. The water for the well in South Stoa II was also diverted from this water pipe. The basin of the well house made this building with a floor area of ​​around 100 m² the largest (known) well house in Athens.

Coin (2)

In the southeast corner of the agora, a building was discovered next to Panathenaen Street, which was identified as a mint , a state mint . The building is quite large and has an almost square floor plan. In the building were eating , slag , water basins and coin blanks found so that the identification appears clearly.

The building was built around 400 BC. Built in BC. Since it is unclear whether coins were minted here at this point in time, the building may have been used generally as a state bronze smithy . Bronze measures and weights, lamps, voting marks and other things could have been made here. Isolated finds of such objects in this building and its surroundings seem to confirm this.

The actual work space seems to have taken up only about a quarter of the building. In any case, the food and other tools were only found here. Two smaller rooms could have served as storage rooms.

Odeion of Agrippa

Odeion of Agrippa the Areopagus in

The Odeion was founded by the Romans around 15 BC. And named after the Roman general and politician Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa . It offered space for around 1,000 people. His orchestra was laid out in a semicircle and paved with thin marble stones. It had a cantilevered roof with a span of 25 meters. After about 150 years this construction collapsed, so that the Odeion was restored in a new shape after the middle of the 2nd century. In this new building, the number of seats was halved to around 500. After Athens had the same function as the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, founded in 161, the Odeion on the Agora served as a lecture hall for philosophers and sophists . The Odeion was destroyed during the Herul storm in 267.

Pantainos library

In the southeast corner of the agora, an unusually shaped building was built by a certain Titos Phlavios Pantainos before 102 AD. The core of the building is an approximately 20 × 13.5 m courtyard, the floor of which was paved with marble fragments. Later a peristyle was built in and the floor was covered with marble slabs. To the east there was another room, which also had a marble floor and was separated from the courtyard by columns. There were several smaller rooms around these two rooms. Outside the building had a total of three floors. An inscription identified this building as a library , and another stipulated that the library was open from the first to the sixth hour and that no books could be taken out.


  • John M. Camp: The Agora of Athens. von Zabern, Mainz 1989, ISBN 3-8053-1059-5
  • John McK. Camp II, Craig A. Mauzy (Ed.): The Agora of Athens. New perspectives for an archaeological site. (= Zabern's illustrated books on archeology ), von Zabern, Mainz 2009, ISBN 978-3-8053-3789-2
  • Joachim Losehand: Houses for the rulers of Rome and Athens? Reflections on the function and significance of building F on the Athens Agora and the Regia on the Roman Forum, Dr. Kovac, Hamburg 2007. ISBN 3-8300-3397-4

Web links

Commons : Ancient Agora of Athens  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Agora XIII, passim; Agora XIV, 6-9
  2. Agora XIV, 9-18.
  3. Heiner Knell: The younger temple of Apollon Patroos on the Athens agora. In: Yearbook of the German Archaeological Institute . Volume 109, 1994, pp. 217-237.
  4. M. Korres, Από το Σταυρό στην αρχαία Αγορά, ΗΟΡΟΣ 10-12 (1992-1998) pp. 83-104
  5. Pausanias 1, 15, 1-3
  6. Pausanias 1,15,4
  7. Volker Michael Strocka : Roman Libraries. In: Gymnasium . Volume 88 1981, pp. 298-329, here pp. 304-306.

Coordinates: 37 ° 58 ′ 31 ″  N , 23 ° 43 ′ 21 ″  E