Attalus of Pergamum, once a wealthy kingdom famed for the quality its pergamene parchment, got to study in Athens.
Some years later he became King; in fond memory of his student days, he endowed his favourite city with a stoa – a long, three-floor building with a full-length collonaded verandah on one side.
The Stoa was, of course, immediately named for the city’s benefactor, “Stoa of Attalus”! A practice which continues to this day.
The Stoa quickly honoured Attalus in return, by becoming the favoured place for many a philosopher to set up his school and instruct future generations of students. Zeno was one such; his famous school became known as the Stoic.
The Stoa of Attalus was destroyed 500 years later. What you see today is a faithful reconstruction of the Stoa, done back in the 1950s by the American School of Classical Studies and thanks to another endowment, this time from the Rockefellers.
In the Stoa of Attalus, you can visit the Museum of the Agora on the ground floor.
Photos © Nicholas V.K. – All Rights Reserved.