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Athens – the Agora Forums


The Agora of Athens (also known as “Forums”) was the center of the ancient city: a large, open square where the citizens could assemble for a wide variety of purposes. On any given day the space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the heart of Athens, and the square was surrounded by the public buildings (“Stoas”) necessary to run the Athenian government.

Later the Agora defined the open-air, often tented, marketplace of a city where merchants had their shops and where craftsmen made and sold their wares. Today, open-air markets are still held in that same location. There were confectioners who made pastries and sweets, slave-traders, fishmongers, vintners, cloth merchants, shoe-makers, dress makers, and jewelry purveyors.  One of the Stoas (Stoa of Attalos) has been rebuilt just to show the size and complexity of the building.  It now houses the Museum shops.

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View looking west toward the Hephaisteion

Detail of the  Hephaisteion

Detail of the Hephaisteion

Romola is dwarfed by the Hephaisteion

Romola is dwarfed by the Hephaisteion

Lower colonnade of the Stoa of Attalos.

Lower colonnade of the Stoa of Attalos.

Bust of one of the residents of the Forum

Bust of one of the residents of the Forum

Some ,of the statuary

Some of the statuary

Shrine has been rebuilt

Much of the Shrine has been rebuilt

Inside the Shrine

Inside the Shrine

Not much left of the Metroon

Not much left of the Metroon, one of the early meeting places

One of the old walls

One of the old walls of the Forum

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