Turkey, Agora in Side
In ancient Greek policies, the Agora was the market square, which was the seat of general civil assemblies (they were also called the Agora). Typically, in a centrally located square, there was a central urban market, divided by various types of goods into “circles” and government offices. As a rule, the agora was surrounded by galleries with craft workshops, temples, and sometimes statues erected around the perimeter of the square. Often the agora had a quadrangular shape in projection, along the edges were columns. In the agora there were many shops of various types. Very often, this area was the economic and administrative center of the city.
The Agora in Side is not far from the Side Museum. To this day only a few columns have survived from it, as well as the foundation of an ancient temple.
In ancient times, Side had two agoras (squares). One of the areas still exists today. Side was a major shopping center. Here was a huge slave market. Especially the agora in Side was famous for its beautiful slaves.
The preserved agora is located in the north-west of the colonnade street and practically merges with the theater stage. The entrance to it lies through the gate, which has the name propilion (colonnade monumental entrance), located opposite the museum today. It is surrounded on all sides by granite columns, which have an “atic-ion” order in their pedestals, and a “Corinth” order at the tops. After the architrave, the sloping roof is wooden, and in the four corners of the agora there are pedestals with statues (exedra).
Behind the southwest exedra, merging with the theater stage, there was a semi-circular monumental construction – toilets (latrium), covered with a vault. This is the only ancient toilet preserved in Anatolia and quite beautifully decorated. It has twenty-four seats, its walls were covered with marble, and there is a mosaic on the floor. The sewage for wastewater was under the stone seats of the toilet, and in front of it was an open fresh water canal, which provided cleanliness.
The agora at one time had two entrance gates that were closed by walls. The agora in Side and all other constructions in it were built in the second century AD. It was built specifically around the theater, on the recommendation of Vitruvius – the ancient Roman architect, so that viewers of the theater could hide during sudden precipitations.
Near the south-eastern wall there was a road that reached the second agora of the city. The shops along the edges of this street destroyed Philipus Atius’s walls during construction.
In the center of the square, which has the shape of a square, you can see the traces of the round temple of the goddess of fortune and the case of Tyche. She, according to legend, rules the fate of the city. In honor of the goddess a temple was erected with a place of worship, and columns with cornices are located around it.