The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly". The
agora was the center of the athletic, artistic, spiritual and political
life in the city. The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example.
Early in Greek history (10th–8th centuries BC), free-born citizens
would gather in the agora for military duty or to hear statements of the
ruling king or council. Later, the agora also served as a marketplace,
where merchants kept stalls or shops to sell their goods amid colonnades. This attracted artisans who built workshops nearby.
From these twin functions of the agora as a political and a commercial space came the two Greek verbs ἀγοράζω, agorázō, "I shop", and ἀγορεύω, agoreúō, "I speak in public".
The term agoraphobia
denotes a phobic condition in which the sufferer becomes anxious in
environments that are unfamiliar–for instance, places where they
perceive that they have little control. Such anxiety may be triggered by
wide-open spaces, by crowds, or by some public situations, and the
psychological term derives from the agora as a large and open gathering