Agora of Izmir City in Roman Period
Agora, a word that originated from Ancient Greek, comes to the meaning ”gathering place, city center, market, bazaar”. In Antique Times, with the commercial, political and religious functions, Agora’s, was also known as a place where lots of social events occurred and art intensified. In Antique Times, in each city, there was at least one Agora. In big cities, there were always 2 Agoras. In the first Agora, state affairs were being done, and public buildings were working. The second Agora was focusing on commerce.
Agora of Izmir was built on the north side of Pagos (Kadifekale). This structure which was covered with public buildings around was the state agora. In this Agora which was constructed in the Hellenistic period, most of the historical ruins that can make it to our day, belong to the Roman period Agora reconstructed by Marcus Aurelius after the earthquake A.D. 178.
Agora of Smyrna was a structure planned as a rectangle form, a big yard in the middle, and stoa covering around it. North & West Stoa which were uncovered after the excavations, rose on the basement floor.
The basilica is a structure planned broad in the middle, narrow & low insides, with thin corridors parallel to each other. Basilicas were the courthouses of the cities in those times, and with their structural planning, they had become examples to Christian churches. Also, they were chosen by merchants and bankers who were directing the economy.
The Basilica which is found on the north side of the Smyrna Agora has a dimension of 165 x 28 mt and rectangle-shaped. With its dimensions, Smyrna Agora Basilica is the biggest known Agora in the Roman period. The cross vaults from the east and west wings of the basement floor which made it to our day are considered as one of the best examples of Roman time. The shop remains that show government Agora was getting a commercial identity that was found in the north part of the Basilica.