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Agora of Smyrna

Listed under Classical Archeology in Turkey.

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This is one of the best preserved of the Ionian agoras  The İzmir Agora Open Air Museum surrounds the grounds of the old Agora of Smyrna.  Two cities have stood on this spot, Old Smyrna, as Aeolian settlement from the 11th Century BC and a Hellenistic/ Roman city that occupied the same general area.  The ruins of the agora: the temple/ judicial building/ and political forum are on the summit and northern slopes of a hill.  Marcus Aurelius ordered its construction, over three floors on sloping terrain, bordered by porticos on all sides and close to the centre of the city.  On the eaastern side there stood, a now ruined, but once monumental entryway, apparently one of the most memorable of the Hellenistic era.

The building stands, or stood, around a rectangular inner courtyard with a patterned floor and upper floors built on columns and arches.  Statues of Hermes, Hestia, Dionysos, Eros and Heracles decorate the whole structure.

Written by  Eric Hallum.

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