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1. Type of Ancient Greek portico of limited depth but great length, with a long wall at the back and a colonnade on the front, usually facing a public space, used for promenades, meetings, etc. Some were of two storeys, e.g. Stoa of Attalus, Athens (C2 bc—restored), with Doric columns on the lower storey and Ionic above.

2. Temple portico with the front columns so much in advance that an extra column is needed between the colonnade in front and the structure behind, i.e. a deep prostyle portico.

3. Byzantine hall with its roof supported on one or more parallel rows of columns.


Coulton (1976);
Cruickshank (ed.) (1996);
Dinsmoor (1950);
D. S. Robertson (1945);
Sturgis et al. (1901–2);
Wyoming (1962)

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sto·a / ˈstōə/ • n. a classical portico or roofed colonnade. ∎  (the Stoa) the great hall in Athens in which the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno gave the founding lectures of the Stoic school of philosophy.