Agora originally meant "gathering place" but came to mean the market place and public square in an ancient Greek city. It was the political, civic, and commercial center of the city. Socrates spent most of his time at the agora in Athens discussing the serious issues of the day with anyone who was willing.
The Mint was an important part of any Greek city since each
city-state had its own coinage. Athenians, primarily women, would walk to
the Fountain House to gather water for their homes. Water
came to the city from a distant spring through an aqueduct constructed of
clay pipes. The South Stoa was a long, roofed gallery with
a wall on one side. Inside, one could walk down the long corridor and see
merchants in their stalls selling their wares. The stoa became meeting places
for many philosophers and their students. Trials were held at the Law
Court where juries, commonly consisting of hundreds of Athenian
citizens, were asked to deliberate on the legal cases of the day. The
jail was behind the Law Court. The Strategeion
was the headquarters for military officers. Inside the
Tholos, the circular building, the presiding governmental
officials (as well as victorious Olympic athletes) would eat. Citizen senators
conducted official civic business in the Bouleuterion.
It also housed the official city records.
More merchants could be found at the Stoa of Zeus just past
the Bouleuterion. The small building attached to the stoa is the
Royal Stoa where the Archon, the chief
religious officer of Athens, had his office.
Athenians could view paintings depicting the Victory at Marathon in the
Painted Stoa. At the Altar of the 12 Gods,
animals were sacrificed at the beginning of each day to seek divine blessing
upon the state.
Map of Athens (207K)