During the second half of the first century B.C., the Ancient Agora was overflowing with activity despite (or perhaps because of) a recent development boom. Simultaneously, the Romans were becoming a dominant influence over the city. This environment prompted the construction of the Roman Agora. Initial funding was provided by Julius Caesar in 51 BC. The project was finished under the reign of Augustus, the first Roman emperor from 27 BC until 14 AD. These broken marble columns along the east courtyard hint at the former grandeur of the Roman Agora. The massive trading and shopping center measured 364 by 343 feet. The open space was encircled with a continuous porch (peristyle).