059 Greece - Athens - Agora


The Agora of Athens has been in use since the late Neolithic era (53004800 BC), and it was used as a cemetery during the Mycenaean and the later Iron Ages. The area began its history as the heart of the Athenian political and economic engine in the beginning of the 6th century BC with its gradual transformation into a public place.

Just about every ancient and modern city includes a place for an agora, and the Agora of Athens, being located at the heart of the city, remained in use either as an assembly, as a commercial, or as a residential area for about 5000 years.

Well structured arguments by the likes of Socrates and Plato echoed in its streets, the courts and prisons enforced Athenian laws, its Mint spread the dominant Athenian drachma coins throughout the Aegean, the Prytanes determined political affairs in the Tholos, and randomly selected Athenian citizens prepared the laws for the assembly in the Bouleuterion.

The well preserved Temple of Hephaestus is on the left and the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos (red roof) is on the right. (Viewed from the Acropolis.)