In Greek AGORA, in Latin FORUM, a large open area in many ancient cities, especially of Greece and Rome, having the public market on one side only, the other sides of the are being occupied by temples, theatres, colonnades, courts of justice, baths, and other public structures, the whole square often presenting a magnificent appearance.
Here was the city exchange, the focus to which converged all the lines of public life. Hither laborers resorted in search of employment, Matthew 20:3-7, and children to pursue their sports, Luke 7:32. Here the ordinary assemblies of the people were held; here philosophers and statesmen met and debated; here laws were promulgated and news announced; hither men resorted for pleasure as well as for business.
The most notable public men, and indeed all classes of citizens, here congregated; and what was done here was done before the whole city. Hence the proud Pharisees desired "greeting in the market places," Matthew 12:38; and Paul resorted to the agora at Athens to meet and convince the philosophers, Acts 17:17; and the masters of the damsel at Philippi exorcised by Paul and Silas, "drew them into the market place unto the rulers," Acts 16:19.