It was an area of political gatherings and commercial transactions, the locus of the administration and of justice, a religious and intellectual centre. The agora is already mentioned in Homer’s epics, and represents, therefore, a constituent element of the ancient Greek city.
The Agora of ancient Athens covers a rather large area NW of the Acropolis, demarcated by the Areios Pagos on the south, the river Heridanos on the north and by the hillock of Agoraios Kolonos on the west.
Throughout its history, the Agora area is crossed by three streets. The first street traverses the Agora square from the NW and leads to the Acropolis. This street is later identified as the so-called Panathenaic Way, the street used for the Panathinaea Festival procession. During the Classical Period it is simply called ‘way’. The second street forks from the first street at the north entrance of the Agora and follows a SE course along the west street. The third street surrounds the square from the south, connecting the other two streets. A wide triangular space is formed between these three streets.