The magistrates (στρατηγὸς) of Philippi would have tried legal cases either in the Bouleuterion (Latin Curia) or the nearby Basilica—not at the bema, which was the “raised speaker’s platform.”By the way, if you are interested in biblical geography and history or just the Bible in general you should check out Rasmussen's website. He has a lot of good materials.
May 30, 2020
Paul and Silas Appearance Before the Magistrates at Philippi
Carl Rasmussen has an interesting post here about the location of Paul and Silas' appearance before the magistrates and Philippi (Acts 16:19-21). I had always been taught that it was the bema but Rasmussen points out (and I think rightly) that this is probably incorrect. In sum he suggests that,