Stoa of Zeus
Philosophy in Ancient Athens
Delphi waited until there wasn’t many people around and then swiftly hopped over the Great Trench that ran through the heart of the Agora. It smelt particularly bad today. She remembered a time when she had seen a man read about this own arrest on the noticeboards next to the Altar to the Eponymous Heroes and had taken a few steps back in surprise. The Great Trench had been an even bigger surprise to him.
If she made it this far, she could probably make it all the way to the Stoa of Zeus. This was an area where the main temples of the Agora were – to Ares, Apollo, Aphrodite – and above them all on the hill, Hephaestus, the divine craftsman. It seemed appropriate to Delphi that his was the biggest here – Zeus and Athena had their own holy places, but this was a place for doing things.
The Stoa of Zeus lay just beyond, and it was where Socrates had liked to spend his time in the market. Each philosophical group, or like-minded thinkers, tended to gather in one place – some, like the Stoics, would even get named after where they gathered. Socrates’ area was more lively than most – more often than not, he would be interrogating his latest ‘expert’ in his never ending quest for knowledge. The image of Socrates in the Agora, surrounded by his friends and rivals alike, had left a huge impression on Delphi, as it would the rest of the world.