Perhaps the most important of the city's public spaces, the Commercial Agora was in the very heart of Ephesus and served not only as the trading area but also as an important gathering place. Making it a vibrant and bustling area. Various shows and spectacles, sporting competitions and entertainments were held here.
The Commercial Agora had a Square Plan and it was surrounded by a collonaded Stoa from its 4 sides.
Most of the Market places were 2 storeys so this particular one, too. It had 125 sections for shops at each floor so 250 Indoor shops in total.
And the Central Outdoor area could accommodate around 500 Stalls, so in total nearly 750 individual merchants could do trade in here.
It was because of this scale Market Places we understand that Ephesus functioned like a Trade Hub controlling the Trade in the Mediterranean and around Mesopotamia.
The merchandise coming all around the world was traded here from ready to wear clothing to medicine, from slaves to exotic spices to livestock.
Market in the Bible
It was in here in this very Market where a Biblical incident took place. In the Book of Acts Chapter 19, Bible talks about a Riot in Ephesus.
This Market is the place that Demetrius the Silversmith led the angry crowd towards the Theater of Ephesus chanting "The Great is Artemis of Ephesus"... thinking that the Rumors spread around tell that Apostle Paul is saying that the Gods that they made with their hands were fake, not real.
These rumors upset many of the silversmiths and goldsmiths who made their fortune by Golden and Silver Idols of the Goddess.
Some says Apostle Paul preached Ephesians at the Theater when this incident took place, but Biblically this is not accurate. Apostle Paul might have thought of going into the Theater to make one of his convincing speeches but he was stopped by his 2 traveling companions Aristarchus and Gacius.
A Water clock and Sundial stood in the center of the square, in much the same way town squares today have a clock.