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στοά). The Greek term for a colonnade, such as those built outside or inside temples, around dwelling-houses, gymnasia, and marketplaces. They were also set up separately as ornaments of the streets and open places. The simplest form is that of a roofed colonnade, with a wall on one side, which was often decorated with paintings. Thus in the market-place at Athens the στοὰ ποικίλη (Painted Colonnade) was decorated with Polygnotus's representations of the destruction of Troy, the fight of the Athenians with the Amazons, and the battles of Marathon and Oenoe. The στοὰ βασίλειος, also in the market-place, in which the Archon Basileus sat as judge, was probably divided longitudinally into three parts by two rows of columns, and was the pattern for the Roman basilica (q. v.). Zeno of Citium taught in the στοὰ ποικίλη, and his adherents accordingly obtained the name of Stoics. See Stoici.

Among the Romans similar colonnades attached to other buildings, or built out in the open, were called porticus. They were named from the neighbouring edifices (e. g. porticus Concordiae, close to the Temple of Concord); from their builders (e. g. porticus Pompeia); also from the pictures set up in them (e. g. porticus Argonautarum); and from the business chiefly carried on in them, as porticus Argentaria, the hall of the money-changers. These halls were the chief places for public intercourse among the ancients. See Porticus.

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