STOICS, a school of philosophers founded at the close of the 4th century B.C. by Zeno of Citium, and so called from the Stoa or painted corridor (6roci 7roucLXf) on the north side of the market-place at Athens, which, after its restoration by Cimon, the celebrated painter Polygnotus had adorned with frescoes representing scenes from the Trojan War.
The remains of two temples of Dionysus have been found adjoining the stoa of the theatre, and an altar of the same god adorned with masks and festoons; the smaller and earlier temple probably dates from the 6th century B.C., the larger from the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 4th century.
With the Middle Stoa we enter upon a period at first of comparative inaction, afterwards of internal reform.
Erected the magnificent Stoa near the Agora, the remains of which were completely laid bare in 1898-1902 and have been identified by an inscription.
The Stoa consisted of a series of 21 chambers, probably shops, faced by a double colonnade, the outer columns being of the Doric order, the inner unfluted, with lotus-leaf capitals; it possessed an upper storey fronted with Ionic columns.
On the northern side of this terrace, between the second temple and the Cyclopean supporting wall, a long stoa or colonnade runs from east to west abutting at the west end in structures which evidently contained a well-house and waterworks; while at the eastern end of this stoa a number of chambers were erected against the hill, in front of which were placed statues and inscriptions, the bases for which are still extant.
Immediately below the second temple at the foot of the elevation on which this temple stands, towards the south, and thus facing the city of Argos, a splendid stoa or colonnade, to which large flights of steps lead, was erected about the time of the building of the second temple.
Sculpture was also found in excavating the Stoa of the Giants and the Roman agora.