Location: Next to the Library of Pantainos
Date of construction: mid-2nd cent. A.D.
Periods of Use: Roman.
The building of the SE Stoa is roughly located on the boundary of the Agora’s east side. It occupied the space between the narrow street flanking the Library to the north and the street traversing the south edge of the Agora, with an E-W direction. It is believed that it was erected to serve the adjacent Library of Pantainos, which was constructed earlier. It was excavated in 1959; it was investigated more thoroughly in 1959, in the garden of the so-called Kolettis Residence, which overlaid the stoa's rear section. The excavation has not been completed, and the building's publication is partial.

The Southeast Stoa was built around the middle of the 2nd cent. AD, or perhaps soon after that period. It is separated from the Library of Pantainos by a narrow passageway, in which there is a stairway of Hymettian marble. The stoa measures 49 x 5.8m. There are 14 Ionic columns in the façade and a small section of the wall at the point where the two levels were separated by a step, as between the south and the north section of the stoa there was a difference in elevation of 1.83m. In that part, the building is divided into two Ionic structures of unequal length: the north measures 27m at its façade, and the south 21.80m.
The intercolumniation is 2.76m. The columns rested on a poros stereobate of 3 steps, 0.28m in height – these will have certainly been used by people wishing to view the Panathenaic procession. The shafts of the columns, their plinths and the pediments were made up of one-piece blocks of Hymettian marble, while the bases, the epistyle, the frieze and the capitals were of Pentelic marble. The plinths are square: 0.80m in height, 0.70m in width (at the top) and 0.72m (at the base), with simple cymas on both top and base. These plinths were roughly hewn at their rear side and rather more finely worked at their three main sides. Between the plinths there were steps. The column bases are in the Attic type, while the monolithic shafts of the unfluted columns, on which various graffiti can be observed, have a lower diameter of 0.53m and an upper one 0.47m; the height of these columns will have been approximately 3.82m on average. Only two Ionic capitals have been discovered, these were rather roughly worked.
The epistyle and the frieze comprise only one piece of Pentelic marble, approximately 0.52m in height and 2.76m in length. The epistyle bears three taeniae. The cornice was made up of Pentelic marble, with slabs 1.70m in length. Here too the craftsmanship is not thorough. This can been seen mainly in the lion-head spouts, some of which were left unfinished. Finally, some fragmentary clay antefixes decorated with simple anthemia and discovered in the area are thought to originate from this building.
Several rooms open behind the façade’s colonnade, with a depth of up to 4.5m. It has been estimated that there were six in the north and five in the south side, one of which (the eighth from the north) contained a cistern, with the opening of a duct provided for it. These rooms were obviously used as shops. Their foundation comprises poros architectural members in secondary use, while it rests on a base of unworked stones joined with mortar. We may suppose that the steps of the stereobate had a similar foundation.
The stairway leading off from the Panathenaic Way to the street separating the two monuments, the library and the stoa, was also made up of Hymettian marble. It has been suggested that the original design included the construction of a monumental arched gateway, for which the foundations of the colonnade were expanded by 10.90m to the south, that is, beyond the street between the stoa and the library. This was never completed.
The dating of the building rests on the study of its construction in relation to nearby monuments, but also from the comparison of its architectural members with those of other, more securely dated, buildings. The Library of Pantainos, which was erected around 100 AD, is earlier, while the paving of the Panathenaic Way, completed in the first half of the 2nd cent. AD, was apparently carried out without any provision made for the stoa. It appears to be contemporary with the second phase of the Odeion of Agrippa, dated to c.150 AD.
Some modifications were made on the building in the late 2nd or the early 3rd cent. AD. The stoa was destroyed during the raid of the Heruli in 267 AD. It was never rebuilt, as most of the facade's superstructure was incorporated into the Late Roman defensive wall, the western face of which rests on the colonnade’s stereobate. Thanks to this the stylobate and the two lower steps of the stereobate, as well as the foundation of the colonnade, survive in a relatively good condition. The bases of columns were removed. Of its building material, eight quadrilateral plinths, on which the columns rested were found in spots corresponding to their original positions but incorporated in the abovementioned wall; unfluted column shafts, circular bases and Ionic capitals were used as filling for the wall; the epistyle and the blocks of the stoa’s walls were placed on the outer face of the wall. Workshops were installed where the rooms used to stand.

HOLLOWAY, R.R., ‘Explorations of the Southeast Stoa in the Athenian Agora’, Hesperia 35 (1966), pp. 79-85, plates 25-30.
Mc CAMP II, J., The Athenian Agora: A Guide to the Excavation and Museum 4(Athens 1990).
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. 28.
THOMPSON, H.A., ‘Activities in the Athenian Agora: 1959’, Hesperia 29 (1960), pp. 327-368, plates 73-80 (esp. pp. 344-347).
THOMPSON, H.A. – WYCHERLEY, R., The Agora of Athens. The American Excavations in the Athenian Agora, vol. XIV, American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Princeton 1972), pp. 108-110.

The project "Virtual Reality Digital Collection 'The Ancient Agora of Athens'" has been co-funded in a percentage of 80% by the European Regional Development Fund and in a percentage of 20% by state funds in the framework of the Operational Programme "Information Society" of the 3rd Community Support Framework.

HellasEuropean UnionInfosoc newInfosoc