Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan— Part Twenty Four

Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan— Part Twenty Four July 23, 2018

Certainly, Philippi is one of the not to be missed sites in Greece if one is interested in Christian history. We will do two posts at least on this crucial ‘first Christian site in Europe’. There is a seldom visited acropolis at Philippi, and at its base is the seat gate, and the major theater. In the gate there are two important images….

One is the image of the triumphant warrior, perhaps Philip of Macedon himself, for whom the city is named, the other the angelic figures bestowing the laurel wreath on the conquering hero. Here is the theater itself….

There was an upper agora, and a lower Roman style forum. The Roman built road the Via Egnatia is right beside the Roman forum….

By Paul’s day, the city was a Roman colony city, where Roman citizens like Paul had the highest status, and the first right of protection by the Roman law of the city. Some tour guides will show you this locale as the place where Paul was jailed, But this was no jail.

Here is a shot from above of one end of the Roman forum.

From a similar angle we see the basilica, from a later era.

Paul however will have seen the upper agora, shown here….

Here’s a monument, which like so many starts with the inscription ‘good luck’ (agatha tyche). It was the pattern of the Byzantine era to build their own basilicas and buildings on top of the existing pagan ruins and locales.

For example, here, in what had been the middle of the Roman forum, one finds the remains of a Christian pulpit which was within a basilica built in the Byzantine era….


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