Roman Agora in Athens

Athens, 9 October 2018.

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(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)

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We have just left the Acropolis (previous post) and are now heading off down the path to the Roman Agora, the Ancient Agora and the City Centre.  We will cover the Roman Agora in this post and the Ancient Agora in the next.  Agora is the Greek word for Forum so we could as well say Roman Forum, but as we are in Athens it is the Roman Agora.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

Church of Saint Marina at Thiselo.

This is taken from near the Propylaea, or the entrance to the Acropolis, using a long lens, equivalent to 330mm in full-frame terms.  It is not far from the Acropolis and even closer to the Ancient Agora.  You may think it looks recent and that’s because it is.  It was constructed in 1927.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

This is definitely much older and similarly taken from near the Propylaea with a similarly long focal length.  I think it is part of the Ancient Agora but I can’t be sure.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

Descending further from the Propylaea, we walked through an area of indeterminate age and modern decoration.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

.Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

.Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

.Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

This and the next image are of the Church of the Metamorphosis, along the lane down from the Propylaea.  Any references to Kafka are no doubt coincidental.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

And this is the Roman Agora,as seen from above from the laneway.

The Roman Agora was built between 19BC and 11BC, during the reign of Augustus.  It was the commercial heart of Athens, replacing the Ancient Agora, which had become too small for the purpose due to building activity.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

This is the Gate of Athena Archegetis.

We saw a view of this from on high in the previous post on the Acropolis, and it’s at the far end of the previous image.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

East Propylon.

This is the East Propylon, remains of the four-columned monumental gateway at the east of the Roman Agora, erected in 11BC.  The 17th century Fethiye Mosque (or Wheatmarket Mosque) is the domes in the background.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

Agoranomeion.

This is the remains of the Agoranomeion, a building of unknown purpose.  A dedication has been found from the middle of the first century AD.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

Top of a couple of Agora columns.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

A finely worked fragment with the remains of an inscription.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

You should be able to recognise what this is.

I’ll give you a clue:  They are common in modern cities, though in a somewhat different form.

They are public toilets where people sat together doing their business.  I have read in a different context (for Italy, I think but presumably the same) that they were only for free males, not for slaves, not for females.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

We are looking along the Roman Agora, in the opposite direction to the first image of it in this post.

Behind it is the Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, or the Tower of the Winds.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

The Horologion is an octagonal structure constructed in the 2nd century BC, either when Athens was still independent or recently conquered by Rome.  Either way, it is a Greek rather than a Roman structure.  It had a combination of a sundial, a weather vane, and a water clock, driven by water from the Acropolis.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

You may be able to see the reliefs carved on each octagonal face at the top.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

I went round and photographed them.  So there should be eight but somehow I only have seven. They represent the Anemoi, the Greek Gods of the Winds Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Eurus (SE), Notus (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus (W), and Skiron (NW).  There are also eight sundials.

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel .

. Archaeology, Architecture, Athens, Greece, History, Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, Landscape, Photography, Roman Agora, Street photography, Travel

This is the view inside the Horologion of Andronikos of Kyrrhos, where there was once a water clock, the traces of which are presumably on the floor.  This is an ultrawide view with a fisheye lens, so we are looking both up and down at the same time.

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5 comments on “Roman Agora in Athens

  1. leggypeggy says:

    Such amazing work. Pity about the graffiti.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jerome B. says:

    Great stuff, Murray. Thank you. You’re a modern-day Pausanias.

    Liked by 1 person

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