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01273-- Write a note on The Agora: An Ancient Marketplace.



In the heart of Athens lay the agora, or marketplace. This was the center of the commercial, religious, and political life of Athens. This lecture surveys each of these categories, with special attention to the buildings on the western side of the agora, where the Athenian council met, where the state archive was housed, and where officials entertained state visitors and ambassadors. 

Laws were put on display in the Royal Stoa, and legal cases were often first investigated by magistrates here. Because the agora was home to moneylenders, traders, and a wide variety of manufacturers, we will also look at the economic activity that took place on a daily basis in down town Athens at the time of Pericles. In this space, hundreds of stalls were set up, and the range of economic activities taking place suggests that the agora was like a huge bazaar. Sausage-sellers, moneylenders, metalworkers, perfumers, shoemakers, and potters all congregated in parts of the agora. These activities were watched by state officials who ensured that fair weights and measures were used and that grain was sold at fair prices. 

 Finally, we will consider the agora as a religious complex.  Within the boundaries of the agora, altars, small sanctuaries, and even temples were dedicated to the various gods who oversaw the welfare of the state. Reconstructions, plans, photographs, and literary descriptions allow us to paint a vivid picture of daily life in the bustling heart of Athens.


[Courtesy :Professor Jeremy McInerney]

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