Pausanias and the “Archaic Agora” at Athens

by Christopher P. Dickenson

Hesperia, Volume 84, Issue 4
Page(s): 723-770
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.84.4.0723
Year: 2015


This article challenges the increasingly popular view that Pausanias's description of Athens in the 2nd century A.D. contains a reference to the Agora of the city in the Archaic period. Consideration of Pausanias's methods and his attitude toward the agoras of other Greek cities described in his work suggests that the “agora” mentioned in his description of Athens is most likely the so-called Roman Agora, paid for by Julius Caesar and Augustus. The discussion also casts light on the function and meaning of the agora in Greek cities of the Roman period, and on the ways in which Pausanias should be used as a historical source.