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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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Market-place (Acts 16:19; Acts 17:17) is the translation of Gr. ἀγορά, which corresponds to Lat. forum. It was the favourite resort of the populace in a Greek city for social and political purposes. At Philippi St. Paul was taken there in order that he might be accused before the magistrates. This town being a colonia, the Roman custom, according to which the magistrates sat in the Forum, was followed. That St. Paul should preach in the Agora at Athens was only natural, since here he would find the greatest number of people gathered together. It was the new Roman Agora which lay to the north of the Acropolis in the Eretrian quarter. It was surrounded by porticoes of great beauty, embellished as they were by sculptures, and rich in associations dear to the heart of the Athenian. In the Stoa Basileios was the judgment-seat of the king archon; from the Stoa Poikile the Stoics received their name; and so forth. Here slaves were engaged in making purchases on behalf of their masters, students and philosophers met for conversation and discussion, and nobles lounged in easy state. It was the one place where general attention could be drawn to the new preaching.

F. W. Worsley.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Market-Place'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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