The Agora

The Agora of Athens before the Persian Wars.

The ancient sources made the archaeologists believe that the first Agora of the Archaic Athens was located in a place other than the one we know today of. It is very possible that it laid in the area east of the Acropolis, where today is the square of Agia Ekaterini in Plaka. The area of the Agora as we know it today, probably started to evolve during the age of Peisistratos, along the Panathenaic Way. The new site continued to expand up until when the city was destroyed by the Persians, a fact that led to the final decision to transfer the Agora to the new site.

A representation of the area before the Persian Wars is very difficult to portrait. Nevertheless, we know many facts about some of the buildings: on the south, there was a spring and the grounds of Aiakeion (?). On the west, there were the temples of Zeus, of Patroos Apollo, the Metroon, the Bouleuterion and the Prytanicon. On the north one could find the two altars constructed by the tyrant Peisistratos. The Altar of the 12 Gods and the Leokoreion. At the Leokorion the son of Peisistratos, Hipparchos, was murdered by Harmodios and Aristogeiton, the famous Tyrannicides. Finally, southeast of the Agora, there was the sanctuary of Demeter, the Eleusinion.

For other monuments of Archaic Athens click below: