Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan— Part Thirty Four

Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan— Part Thirty Four August 2, 2018

The Delphi museum is another one not to be missed, however it is missing proper air conditioning, perhaps to allow you to experience ancient atmosphere in Delphi! Let’s start with the remarkable bronze statue of a charioteer, and yes there were chariot races in the upper stadium at Delphi. Clearly enough, this is Greek style charioteer, as the Romans didn’t wear a long toga to ride around in.

Here is a statue of a handsome young man named Antinos, who was the ‘companion’ of the Emperor Hadrian. Pederasty was seen as an acceptable form of sexual expression in Greco-Roman culture.

Quintus Flaminius was an exceptional Roman general who even defeated Philip of Macedon in a battle at Corinth, and proclaimed the independence of Greek city states from Macedonia rule. He was honored here at Delphi and elsewhere in Greece, and so the identification of this bust as that of that ‘melancholy Roman’ is probably correct…..

Another quite interesting item in the museum is the omphalos, or navel of the earth. The Greeks believed there was a sort of umbilical link between Delphi and the gods.

Altars could take all different shapes and sizes, and here is a decorated circular one….

Of direct importance to the study of the NT is the decree of the Emperor Claudius which mentions Gallio as the proconsul in Corinth, which, for instance, helps us to date Paul’s visit there to A.D. 51-52 or thereabouts.

There are some important bronze and silver objects in the museum, including this enormous bronze shield, which must weigh about 50 lbs. and is the size of a monster truck tire. Who could fight while holding that up? Only a person of enormous strength….

Here is a bronze vase, like the shield, likely made at the bronze works in Corinth.

More interesting still is the bull made out of sheets of silver….

In honoring the gods, many people gave their very best, which leads to the question– do we give our best to God, or only the leftovers?

There are also interesting gold objects….

Though we do not have the superstructure of the temple of Apollo, we do have many fragments of the friezes that were on the temple, depicting mythological scenes, such as the battle with the giants….

There is much more in this hot little museum, which is worth going to see.


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