Thursday, September 20, 2007

Athenian Agora by Panathenaic Way

AC 17:16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

(click on photo for an enlarged view)
Imagine Paul coming into the Athenian Agora. He would have been travelling from the port, having passed the Kerameikos and walked under the entrance arch of the Roman Basilica.
The Agora comprised a large open square where social and cultural events, religious festivals, open-air theatrical events and athletic contests were held and commercial exchange took place.

Looking to his right, he would have seen the Temple of Ares. Behind the temple, up on the hill is the Temple of Hephaisteion.

Further along the road on the left would be the Odeion of Agrippa- a state of the art entertainment hub of the time. This theatre was built by Marcus Vipsanius Agripa, an official of Augusus Caesar. Outside stood statues featuring three serpent tailed Giants and Titons on huge plith. Today two Titons and one Giant remains. This is a Giant.

To the right of the road would be the imposing Stoa of Attalos. A stoa is a sort of a shopping mall with a corridor on one side and shops on the other.

This is the corridor of the stoa where the people will gather and the shops would be on the right. There would have been 12 shops. Presently the shop space houses the Museum of the Agora

In front of the Stoa of Attalos on the right side of the road was the Bema. This was the speaker corner where anyone have a right to speak. Here I was standing on a stone that was engraved speaker's platform. To think that some of the great orators of Greece once stood here to speak. Stoic and Epicurean philosophers. Maybe Socrates, Plato or Aristotle. The apostle Paul may have spoken here. Cool!

At the end southern corner stood the Nymphaion or Fountain House. Now the Church of the Holy Apostles is sited here.

soli deo gloria



Blogger pearlie said...

Here I was standing on a stone that was engraved speaker's platform.

I think I heard something ... ;)

Great pictures! Thanks for showing them.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

my stomach growling? way pass coffeetime ;P

1:33 AM  
Blogger Kar Yong said...

wow....wonder what the modern day apostle tang was speaking on!

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing about your trip. Their shopping mall looks elegant compared to our modern ones.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi blogpastor,

when I first saw the stoa, you know what it reminds me of? The small market stores in Singapore. Honest.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi kar young,

peace on earth and goodwill to all man?

Nah. Probably grumbling about the heat.

2:44 AM  

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