Athens: The Acropolis and the Agora

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Athens: The Acropolis and the Ago

Modern day Athens has managed to maintain an ancient landscape.? The Acropolis and the Agora are two major features of ancient Greece that have a home in this metropolitan city.? Both of these ancient sites preserve their power and mystery in a modern day world.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, an agora is an open space in ancient Greek cities that served as both a meeting place and as an area for various civic activities (?Agora?).? The Agora of ancient Athens was rebuilt after the Persian Wars (490-449 BC) in response to a lengthy period of wealth and peace in the city (ibid).? The area demonstrates an archaic type of agora architecture (ibid).? This means that the colonnades and other
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The Stoa of Zeus was another popular meeting and marketing place (ibid).? Because the Agora was located close to the main harbor of Athens, it became the central trading area for goods from abroad.? It was in this area that cultures, ideas, and languages mixed on a daily basis.? Scholars today believe that these areas provided the backdrop for Socrates to teach his many students (ibid).? It is believed that the Royal Stoa is the spot were Socrates met Euthyphro to discuss the nature of piety (ibid).? But more than just trade and discussion went on in the Agora.? Occasionally, the space was used for public entertainment (?Agora?).? Theatrical and gymnastic performances took place in this public area for the entire city to enjoy (ibid).? Overall, the Agora functioned as a space for the people; however, it maintained some important private characteristics.?

Because the Agora was such a public area for the Athenians, it was important to have the public offices for the government located in this area. By having public buildings surround the Agora, the city planners were inviting the public into the private arenas of politics (ibid).? From the map, we can see that the prison was not located far from the Agora (Quick Tour, Agora).? The Heliaia was the court building of ancient Athens (ibid).? The Tholos was a circular building that served as the office for the Prytaneis (ibid).? This was a council of fifty

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