Stoas are regular features of all Greek sites. They are covered colonnades which gave shade and shelter to citizens. Often they would have shops at the back of them.

They were a favourite haunt of philosophers like Socrates who would gather quite an audience around him. This one is the stoa of Attalos in the Agora in Athens. It was rebuilt in the 1950s by the American School of Archaeology and gives a good idea of what a stoa would look like.

But who was Attalos?

And why did he build a stoa here, far from his home??

And why are the columns not fluted all the way down to the floor?