In the second half of the fourth century BC, the city of Priene was established on a rocky plateau at the foot of Mount Mykale (Samsun Dağlan) overlooking the Meander Valley. The city was divided into residential quarters and gridded with a network of streets, the main streets running east-west intersected by narrower stepped passages leading uphill. One square of the grid, southeast of the sanctuary of Athena, was reserved for the marketplace. In the Hellenistic period this agora in the south was surrounded by a Doric portico. An older columned hall on a higher terrace north of the main street was damaged in a great city-widefire and replaced by a spacious new building in the third quarter of the second century BC. According to a dedicatory inscription on the front architrave, the new North Hall was donated by a Cappadocian ruler (Ariarathes VI or Orophernes). It was 116 m long and 12.5 m wide, extending eastwards into the next property and stretching before the older city hall and prytaneion (seat of government). At its western extent, doors in the back wall led to a row of fifteen rooms that appeared from the outside to be a separate building. The second, ninth, and last room opened onto the hall across their full width. To either side of the entrance to the ninth room were inscribed enactments of Roman magistrates; presumably the room served in the cult of the goddess Roma. For this reason, the hall was probably already designated as a hiera stoa (“Holy Hall”) by the first century BC.