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Stoa of Zeus Eleftherios

Although the Stoa of Zeus Eleftherios had a religious purpose, the architectural style is reminiscent of a public building, which is an architectural innovation of the era.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    396 AD It was destroyed after the invasion of the Visigoths.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    In the early Roman period two adjoining rooms were added to the back western part of the portico, probably to worship emperors who associated their name with Eleftherios Zeus (such as Augustus and Hadrian).

    86 BC The monument was adorned with the inscribed shields of the fallen for the sake of the freedom of Athens. These shields were removed by Sulla's army after the occupation of Athens.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

    Built between 430-420 BC.

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

This unusual building is Π-shaped, as can be seen in the ground plan, is located on the west side of the Ancient Agora’s square and has been constructed over a building of the 6th century BC. The large altar to the east is marked by a stone pile. A Doric portico existed on each side of its two wings. This innovation, which is also found in a stoa in Brauron dedicated to Artemis, helps in the dating of the building. Although the building had a religious purpose, the architectural style is reminiscent of a public building, which is an architectural innovation of the era. The fact that in ancient times, religion and authority were joined together probably played a role in this too.

What I can't see

The epithet of the god to whom the building was dedicated (Zeus Eleftherios) comes from the final and decisive Greek victory of the Battle of Plataea against the Persians. Near the battlefield, there was an altar dedicated to the god (Eleftherios Zeus), to whom sacrifices were offered up to 600 years after the battle. It is a Doric building with exceptional murals by Euphranor, which depicted the 12 gods, the municipality, the republic and the Battle of Mantinea. There was probably a second Ionic colonnade inside. Apart from a sanctuary, it was a meeting point for socializing and philosophical discussion. It is said that Socrates used to come here frequently. The cynic philosopher Diogenes was audacious enough to sleep in the building.


Archaeology of the city of Athens, (d.u.), Στοά του Διός Ελευθερίου (430-420 π.Χ.), [Stoa of Zeus Elefhterios (430-420 BC), ΕΙΕ

Last visit 2/11/2013


Foka Ι., Valavanis P., (1994), Περίπατοι στην Αθήνα και την Αττική, τόποι, θεοί, μνημεία [Strolls in Athens and Attica, places, gods, monuments], Kedros


Travlos J., (1980), Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens, New York: Hacker Art Book