Agora of Italians, Delos
Agora of Hermesists
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Agora of the Competialists
This agora, constructed in the late Hellenistic period, is situated near the commercial harbour of Delos. As it was used by the merchants from Italy, it is called the agora of Italians. It is also called the agora of Competialists or Hermaists, because the merchants gathered here practiced cult for Lares Compitales and Hermes.

The central open space was surrounded by rows of shops and offices (see the second photo).

The remains of two shrines that you can see at the centre of the top picture are the ones dedicated to Hermes and his mother Maia.

The agora occupies an area of 101x69 m.. It was surrounded by stoa with white marble columns. The construction started in ca. 110 BC. It was restored after the damages caused by the Mithridatic War. It was, however, abandonned by 50 BC.

In this place a marble statue of C. Ofellius Ferus was found. Ferus is an Italian who contributed the construction of this agora. The sculptures who made it were two Athenan cousins, Dionysius and Timarchides of Thoricus, whose family members worked in Rome as sculptors of the Roman dignitaries. This is an emblematic episode that shows the close relationship between Delos, Athens and Rome in the later half of the second century.

In the background is the Mt. Kynthos.


Reference

  • Christian Habicht, Athens from Alexander to Antony, translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider, Cambridge Massachusetts/ Harvard UP 1997, pp. 290-291.
  • Robin Barbar, Greece (Blue Guide), London- N.Y. 2001 (Revised reprint of the 6th edition of 1995), p. 651.

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