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  GREECE January 2004
 Talbot Bible Lands Tour    
NASB Scripture
Acts 17:15-16
Paul at Athens
15 Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left. 16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.
Acts 17:22-34
Sermon on Mars Hill
22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.' 29 "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this." 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
Acts 18:1
Paul left for  Corinth
1 After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth.
1 Thess. 3:1
Encouragement of Timothy's Visit
1 Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone,

After Macedonia, Paul came to Athens.  When he visited in 49/50 AD, it was a city with thousands of years of history.  The first inhabitants were in the Neolithic period (7000- 3000 BC), the first Hellenes in 2000 BC.  During the Mycenean period (16th -12th centuries BC), the hill of the Acropols was fortified.  According to tradition, Theseus, King of Athens, created a unified city state.[1]

The Aeropagus (Mars Hill, Roman name based on the god of war) where Paul preached the famous sermon to the Athenians about the "unknown god." The Aeropagus is a rocky hill located near the access to the Acropolis of Athens. In 594 BC Solon, one of the �Seven Sages� of antiquity,replaced the Draconian law in Athens and laid the foundation for Democracy.  He introduced to Athens the first coinage and a system of weights and measures Socrates was born in Athens in 469 BC. 460- 451 BC was the war against Sparta and Argos.  The Parthenon was built between 447-433 BC.  Temple of Athena Nike was built in 420 BC. Plato was born in Athens in 428 BC.  He founded the Academy in Athens in 388, the first European University.  Aristotle studied under Plato, tutored Alexander the Great and founded his own school in Athens in 335 BC.  In 338 BC Athens was taken by Phillip II.Stoic philosopher Zeno of Citium founded a school in Athens. Stoicism along with its rival, Epicureanism came to dominate the thinking of the Hellenistic world, and later, the Roman Empire, with some elements of Stoic thought even influencing early Christianity. Stoicism is oft associated with a grim and pessimistic world-view, in contrast to the jolly Epicureans, who wanted to enjoy the pleasures of life to extreme. [2]


In Greek mythology the primary deity in Athens and on the Acropolis was Athena, whose cult here was stronger than any other Greek city.  The story goes, that she sprang fully armed from her the head of her father Zeus.  Later she was in a bitter struggle with Poseidon god of the sea, for rule in Athens. 

Standing on the Acropolis you have a panoramic view of Athens.  Most of the monuments still visible on the Acropolis (which means the highest point of the city), were built in the 2nd half of the fifth century BC  It was the most important religious center for Athens for centuries.  The Parthenon, The Propylaia, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheon were all erected between 447 and 406 BC

In the Mycenean era the king of Athens had his palace on the Acropolis, in the 13th century BC  After 1100 BC the administrative center was moved to the Agora below, and the Acropolis into a religious sanctuary, with Athena as the presiding goddess.  Toward the middle of the 5th century BC, after victory over Persian invaders the Athenians reconstructed temples and other buildings. 

In the Hellenistic and Roman periods, more statues were put up, but most were plundered or destroyed in the early years of the Christian era.  When Christianity was adopted in Greece, most of the monumental buildings were converted into churches, but the Turks turned them into mosques from 1458 to 1821.  After the liberation of Greece a start was made on excavation and restoration.  In 1975 a major drive was launched for the conservation and restoration of all the monuments, which continues today.   There is much construction currently underway throughout the city in preparation for the 2004 Olympics.

The Third Macedonian War was 172-168 BC.  Lucius Aemelius Paulus of Rome defeated Perseus of Macedon at Pydna. Macedonia was divided into four republics.  In 172 BC Roman invaded Greece Mummius Achaicus attacked Corinth and dissolved the Achaean league. Rome ruled Greece from 146 BC. Romans led by Sulla sacked Athens in 86 BC.[3]  Antony made Athens his capital in 42 BC.

Greeks living in Rome in 31 BC to 14 AD were neo-Atticists. They set out to revive the form of the Attic dialect of the Greek language, later called Koine, that had been current in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. From the Ionic dialect developed the Attic, the standard form of classical Greek. It was the language of Athens and the surrounding district of Attica and differed from the other Ionic forms chiefly in its contraction of vowels. Because of the political supremacy of Athens during and after the 5th century BC and the dominant role of Athenian art, philosophy, and drama, the Attic dialect superseded all others and became the chief literary language.

Greece was conquered by Rome, but Rome stole, copied, and borrowed much of the Greek culture, including the Koine Greek which was spoken in much of the world. Some have said that Greek civilization conquered Rome. Thus, Koine Greek became the commercial language of the Roman Empire. The Greek language is considered by some to have been the best medium ever known for expressing theological and philosophical ideas. The principal grammatical differences between Modern and Ancient Greek are in declension and verbal conjugation. In declension, Modern Greek has abandoned two basic forms used in Ancient Greek: the dual, a form indicating that a noun, pronoun, or adjective refers to two persons or things; and the dative case, which is now used only in a few idiomatic expressions.

Click on pictures for a larger view

The dual form has also been abolished from verbal conjugation, as have the optative mood (used in antiquity to indicate doubt or desire) and the infinitive. In place of the specific verb forms used to denote the various tenses in Ancient Greek, Modern Greek makes extensive use of auxiliary verbs. The Ancient Greek imperative forms have been largely replaced by the use of an auxiliary with the subjunctive form of the verb.[4]

Athens is the capital of Greece and the country�s largest city, Athens is dominated by the flat-topped hill of the Acropolis, site of the 2400-year-old Parthenon, one of the most famous classical monuments in the world. Close by lie the Theatre of Dionysus and the restored Odeon of Herodes Atticus Ancient Agora can be visited, as can the reconstructed Hellenistic Stoa of Attalos, which houses the Agora Museum.  Lying at the innermost point of the Saronic Gulf just outside Athens, and connected to the center by metro, Piraeus is the city�s main port. From here ferries leave regularly for the Islands.  The area surrounding Athens, known as Attica, is characterized by calm beaches slopes of Mount Parnes, Hymettus and Pentelico. As one travels northwest, towards the interior, the landscape combines fertile plains planted with tobacco and cotton, and rugged mountains, and many olive trees.

In ancient times the Athenian acropolis was accessed through the propylea � a monumental gateway. We walked through the ruins of the propylea in order to reach the top of the acropolis where the great temples are found. Many Greek cities had an acropolis, especially for purposes of defense.

The Parthenon �was built to house a great statue of Athena. goddess of knowledge. �Athens� means virgin�s place� or clear virgin�s wisdom�. Athena was born from the head of Zeus, symbolizing knowledge, wisdom.

The Parthenon was one of the best constructed buildings in all of history. The architects and builders corrected for optical illusions with slight curvatures in order to gain the appearance of straight lines. The exquisite marble for the Parthenon came from Pentelicus several miles away. Over the years it has taken on a golden glow as a result of its iron content. Originally (i.e. in the 4 century BC) the building and statues were painted.

The friezes of the Parthenon told the stories of the gods and goddesses who according to mythology founded the city: North side � citizens with sacrifices on their way to a festival West side � men and their horses, the Great Festival South side � war, chariots, travelers. East side � offerings for Athena.  The structure served as a Christian church � approx. 1000 AD - 1400 A.D., it served as a Moslem mosque � 1400 - 1600�s and was partially destroyed by the Venetians � 1687.

The Erectheon is small temple that includes the Porch of the Maidens (Caryatids), figures of women serving as columns. The figures we see today are replacements. Some of the originals can be seen in the small museum located on the acropolis. One of the originals is also located at the British Museum in London along with the "Elgin marbles," figures from the Parthenon friezes taken to London in the early 19 century by Lord Elgin.

New International airport is 17 miles N.E. of Athens.  Sounion is 43 miles from Athens.

Points of interest in Athens include: The Agora � the ancient market place. The word derives from I speak." Originally it was a place for public speaking and evolved into a market place. Every town had its Agora. The National Gardens � formerly the royal gardens at Constitution Square here also are parliament�s palace, tomb of the unknown soldier. Guards (Efzoni) wear shirts and have pompoms on the shoes. It is a very formal and ritualized changing of the guard. The Stadium � site of the revival of the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.

Acropolis views. Unforgettable nights. The lowest hotel rates in Athens.

Athens acropolis
The Acropolis*
Athens acropolis
Athens acropolis
Me at the steps leading to the Acropolis
Athens acropolis

Athens acropolis
Acropolis at night
Athens parthenon
Athens parthenon
Athens parthenon

Erectheon (next to the Parfthenon on the Acropolis)
Athens erectheon
Athens erectheon
Mars Hill Paul's Sermon
Mars Hill or the Aereopagus*
Mars Hill, a closer view*
Roman Agora entrance*
Temple of Thesius, the only monument that still has it's roof, from the Agora
Agora and Temple of Apollo
Temple of Thesius also dedicated to Athena and Vulcan the metal smith, the best presevered ancient temple of Greece,early 5th century BC

Outside the Agora Museum, King of Pergamum
Attalos 2nd century BC reconstructed by the American School of Arceology in 1956, it was closed
Hadrian Library*
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus from above*
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
<>Temple of Zeus
<>Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Acropolis sign
Acropolis Hill with Parthenon
Odeon front*

 Odeon and Acropolis
Pedestal of Agrippa*

Theater of Dionysos
Another Acropolis sign
Greek flag near the museum of the Acropolis
Acropolis Museum
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Odeoion of Herodes Atticus front facade
Hill of Lycobetus Hill, highest of Athens
Phillopappus*, funeral monuiment, Hill of the Muses
Athens museum from the Acropolis
City view from the Acropolis

City, Agora, and Mars Hill from the Acropolis, also Athens observatory on the peak.
Canthos Plant that inspired Corinthian column art work,
Dyonisius theater from above

[1] Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles, 88
[2] Robin Turner, Zeno of Citium,
[3] Greece Timeline
[4] Greek Language, Encarta,

Pictures from, some pictures were taken by my roommate, Daniel Roh

See Athens Museum 

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