Ancient Agora. Athens. Greece. View of the 2nd century AD headless statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian in the Agora. Hadrian was the Emperor of Rome from AD 117-38 and Athens was under his authority. The Agora from 600 BC onwards was the commercial and social centre of Ancient Athens. It was here that laws were written and displayed, commercial goods bought and sold, intellectual discussions were had, and the democratic spirited was born and nurtured.