Location: West Street, immediately to the north of the Temple of Apollo Patroos and south of the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. No 4 in the Agora plan of the Guide: Μc Camp II, J., The Athenian Agora, A Short Guide to the Excavations, Excavations of the Athenian Agora, Picture Book no 16, American School of Classical Studies (Princeton 2003), p. 2 and pp. 24-25.
Date of construction: 2nd quarter of the 4th cent. BC.
Periods of Use: Hellenistic, Roman.
The small Temple of Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria was erected in the second quarter of the 4th cent. BC. This is a small and obscure building, which, however, survives until the Roman period.
The temple was originally excavated by the Athenian Archaeological Society in the early 20th century. The excavation was completed in 1934 by the American School of Classical Studies. At a distance of about 4.5m east of the building’s original façade and exactly on its axis, a poros block (1.21 x 0.81 x 0.41m) was unearthed, on which an altar rested. An inscribed altar mentioning the two deities (Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria), discovered in another part of the excavated area (in front of the Stoa of Attalos), stands on it today. The correlation of the altar with the temple was decisive for the identification of the building as the Temple of Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria, but, in archaeological terms, this identification is by no means certain.
Description of the ruins
The temple’s foundations are precisely parallel and lay at a distance of less than 0.40m from those of the south side of the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. On the north, the foundations comprise of a single layer of red conglomerate blocks (measuring 1.35 x 0.65 x 0.40m), while on the east there are two layers.
The first step consists of hard grey limestone blocks of various dimensions (0.318m in height, 0.67-0.74m in width). The next step subsides by 0.23m on the lateral and rear sides, and by 0.30m in the façade. It is thought that there was a second step of the same dimensions.
Building’s plan
The structure consists of a simple cella, its interior measuring 5.20 (E-W) x 3.65m (N-S), with one door on its east side. Of the temple’s superstructure nothing survives. Some traces of a pedestal (made up of conglomerate slabs) of the devotional statues are preserved in the rear. The floor was made up of pebbles held together with mortar and painted red in places. Later, during the Roman period, a new floor was added, made up of irregular pieces of marble set in with mortar. A bothros (sacred pit) was discovered bellow the southwest corner of the building.
The propylon was added in the 2nd cent. BC, with the placement of new foundations of red conglomerate and poros blocks in secondary use, extending for 4m, in front of the building’s original base. The depth of the propylon is 4.80m. In terms of its height, the stylobate corresponds to the second step of the cella’s stereobate, thus there was no need to raise the threshold and the interior of the cella. The side walls of the propylon were aligned to the walls of the cella. The floor was covered with marble slabs, but probably not before the Roman period. Four or five steps formed the staircase connecting the propylon’s floor with ground level in front of the monument.
Parts of a Doric epistyle (column and epistyle of Pentelic marble, part of the cornice and triglyphs of hard grey poros) which survive incorporated in later structures are thought to originate from this propylon.
HEDRICK, Ch.W. Jr., ‘The Temple and Cult of Apollo Patroos in Athens’, American Journal of Archaeology 92 (1988), pp. 185-210 (esp. pp. 191-194).
ΚΑΒΒΑΔΙΑΣ, Π., «Έκθεσις των πεπραγμένων», Πρακτικά (1907), pp. 54-57.
Mc CAMP II, J., The Athenian Agora: A Guide to the Excavation and Museum4 (Athens 1990), pp. 74-77.
Μc CAMP II, J., The Athenian Agora, A Short Guide to the Excavations, Excavations of the Athenian Agora, Picture Book no 16, American School of Classical Studies (Princeton 2003), pp. 10.
Mc CAMP II, J., Η Αρχαία Αγορά της Αθήνας. Οι Ανασκαφές στην καρδιά της κλασικής πόλης2 (Αθήνα 2004), pp. 193.
SHEAR, T.L., ‘The Campaign of 1934’, Hesperia 4 (1935), pp. 352-354.
THOMPSON, H.A., ‘Buildings on the West Side of the Athenian Agora’, Hesperia 6 (1937), pp. 1-222 (esp. pp. 84-86).
THOMPSON, H.A. – WYCHERLEY, R., The Agora of Athens. The American Excavations in the Athenian Agora, vol. XIV (Princeton 1972), pp. 139-140.
TRAVLOS, J., Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens (Princeton 1971), pp. 96-99. 


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