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 place.