added by archaeologs
An open space in a Greek town, serving as commercial, political and social centre, like the Roman Forum. The area is often characterized by elaborate architecture, as at classical Ephesus and at Athens, where the agora has been studied in recent excavations.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983
added by archaeologs In ancient Greek cities, an open space, serving as a commercial, political, religious, and social center. The word, first found in Homer, was applied by the Greeks of the 5th century Be in regard to this feature of their daily life. It was often a square or rectangle, surrounded by public and/or sacred buildings and colonnades. The colonnades, sometimes containing shops (stoae), often enclosed the space, which was decorated with altars, fountains, statues, and trees. There were several kinds of agora: (1) archaic, where the colonnades and other buildings were not coordinated, such as Athens; (2) Ionic, more symmetrical, often combining colonnades to form three sides of a rectangle or square, often with two or more courtyards, such as Miletus and Magnesia. In a highly developed agora, like that of Athens, each trade or profession had its own quarter. The agora also served for theatrical and athletic performances until special buildings and places were made for those purposes. Under the Romans, it became a forum where one side was a vast basilica and the rest colonnades. (syn. plural agorae)
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology, Barbara Ann Kipfer, 2000