Heliaia, from S, Athens

South Stoa and Stoa of Attalos; Heliaia at lower left, from W, Athens

Heliaia, from SW, Athens

Plan, Athens, Heliaia

Context: Athens
Type: Court
Summary: Large square enclosure; in the southwest corner of the Agora.
Date: ca. 550 BC

27 m x 31 m.

Region: Attica
Period: Archaic


Originally no internal divisions or rooms and no roof. Opening on the north side. Possibly a later inner colonnade and rooms.


Originally the enclosure may have been a simple fence or rope. Early 5th century B.C. the boundary was changed to a stone wall, and small rooms, probably offices, were added on the south side, but the meeting place remaining unroofed. The Heliaia was the name of the largest court in Athens and this building was of appropriate size, date and type for its meetings, but the identification remains tentative. Travlos has suggested it was a precinct of Theseus, but the votives commonly excavated in such sanctuaries have not been found here.

Other Bibliography:

Camp 1986, 46-47; Agora Guide 1976, 308-310; Agora XIV, 52-53, 125