With an almost square plan, the Tetragonos Commercial Agora – whose ancient name is confirmed by the inscriptions – was built for commercial purposes. The square, surrounded by colonnaded porticoes, was created in the 3rd century B.C. over a large flat area, but was restructured a number of times, recycling the existing decorative architectural elements, starting from the first Imperial Age and up until the 4th century A.D.
It was entered, from the west side, through a monumental gate, built after 23 A.D. as an access propylaeum, with a double, richly decorated Ionic portico, and two side avant-corps framing a wide staircase.
© Photo credits by Richard Martin under CC-BY-2.0
Two other gates opened onto the northern and southern sides of the square. On the southern side, access was through a triple-entrance gate, similar in structure to the Roman arches of triumph, today completely restored: the Gate of Mazaeus and Mithridates.
Once again we find the donation of public buildings by private persons: the Latin inscription on the attic, in bronze letters, is dedicated in 4 B.C. to the emperor Augustus, the empress Livia, Marcus Agrippa, the emperor’s brotherly friend and son-in-law, and to his daughter Julia, by two of Augustus’s former slaves, Mazaeus and Mithridates.
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