The excavation campaigns conducted by the "La Sapienza" University in the Pretorio di Gortina area starting from 2003 are linked both to a never interrupted study activity by A. Di Vita which concerned the block of the praetorium, the neighborhood of the Byzantine Houses, the agora that a traditional presence of the same Athenaeum in Gortina, a presence of which the most significant expression is constituted by the monumental epigraphic analysis by Margherita Guarducci. The resumption of the research, which became concrete in 2005, took place in two phases: the first, from 2003 to 2009, focused on the N block of the Praetorium, called the Nymphaeum Block, which was conducted the exploration of the southwestern part; the second, which has continued from 2011 to today and is still in progress, addressed the south-eastern half of the same area. It was decided to present the results in subsequent issues, of which this intends to be the first, dedicated to the various aspects examined. In the introductory parts of this volume the more general problem of the city, its urban form and its social structure is taken up, conceiving it as an essential premise for understanding the relationship between the general context and the area under examination, of which the results of the excavation carried out between 2003 and 2008, divided into phases.