This will be the last of our posts on Greece, and it is fitting that we end where we began, back in Athens. The new Parthenon museum is world-class, and not to be missed if one is going to Athens to see the Parthenon, not least because, major parts of that temple are now in this nice museum which lurks below the acropolis, and is even built so its angle and dimensions correspond to the angle of the Parthenon itself,… Read more

American can be proud that we have had so much to do with the dig at ancient Corinth, which fortunately was not buried beneath the modern city of Corinth. American archaeologists have worked there since before the middle of the 20th century, and much has come to light. I had the privilege of watching the excavation of a villa up above the city proper in the little village beside the site. What was unearthed was spectacular mosaic floors, such as… Read more

The Roman General Mummius rather completely destroyed ancient Corinth in about 144 B.C. and then Julius Caesar had it rebuilt along Roman lines. The only major building left standing was the ancient Temple of Apollo, which you can still see today. Both in those pictures and in the one below, you can see an ancient shop where Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul may have worked. Apollo was like a Swiss army knife— he served many functions, including riding the sun chariot… Read more

The god Asclepius was the ancient god of healing, and people went to Corinth quite specifically to get healed of all kinds of maladies and diseases. The small museum at Corinth has been upgraded since my last visit, and the display of the plaster cast molds of body parts is more impressive now. Scholars are undecided whether these are votives, made to ask Asclepius to heal that body part, or thank offerings, after it was believed that healing had been… Read more

The port city of Corinth on the Aegean side is Cenchreae, where Paul stayed in the house of Phoebe, the first person to be called a deacon in early Christianity, and Paul’s own patroness. She seems in addition to have been the person whom Paul entrusted the crucial letter to the Romans with, having written it in her house (see Rom. 16). She was tasked to take it to Rome while Paul returned to Jerusalem in about A.D. 57. Here… Read more

The instruments of democracy should be the title of this post. First, notice this decree from the golden age of Greece about getting rid of tyrants who try to destroy or rig a democracy (the relevance to today in various places in the world should be noted). Read the decree closely. There was a way to get rid of a tyrannical official or ruler, namely take a vote to banish him on the spot. This is where the word ‘ostracism’… Read more

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… Read more

Not for everyone was the steep journey up to the oracle of Delphi in the Temple of Apollo (the god of prophecy), but many made the trip. What one needs to understand is that in ancient Greece, prophecy was a matter of consultation, by and large. That is, one went to the Pythia to ask pertinent questions about one’s life and future— Should I marry this woman? Should I buy this land? Will I ever get well? Should I go… Read more

A few more locales and scenes from Athens are in order, and here we will focus on things in the agora and Roman forum, namely the temple of Hephaestus, the most well preserved temple in the area, and one Paul could have seen, and the Horalogea– or water clock in the Roman forum. The more things change, the more they stay the same… in the forum men play backgammon…. listen to traditional Greek music…. imbibe some liquids and eat some… Read more

Monks, in the old days, were hauled up these bluffs in baskets and with pulleys, as were supplies. No small feat even now. Today, the lifestyle is less strenuous in most cases. First, we must consider the imposing locale itself, which was picked precisely because it was ‘far from the madding crowd’, a good place for retreat, prayer, contemplation, study. We had to climb 120 steps straight up to get to the monastery we were visiting. It is not a… Read more

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