[The Agora]

The Stoa Basileios (Royal Stoa)

Royal Stoa (Stoa Basileios). Built towards end of 6th century and rebuilt after damage in Persian sack of 480 BC. Office of Archon Basileus (King Archon), who was responsible for administering the laws on religious matters, including homicide as well as impiety and religious disputes. He also orgenised the Mysteries and the dramatic festival of Dionysus at the Lenaia. King Archon set up a stone to commemorate his term of office, which records winners in Comedy and Tragedy. In front of the stoa was a large block of unworked limestone, on which officials of the democracy took their oath before taking up office. Socrates stood on it to hear the charges against him in 399 BC. Inside the building, lining the walls, were inscribed the laws of Athens: thus any citizen could come here to consult the offical version of the constitution.

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