Day One, Continued
A few more pictures will flesh out what we saw Thursday. It is difficult to take your eyes off the Parthenon when you first get to the top of the Acropolis, but at one point our guide, Maria Elena, directed our attention to the nearby Erectheion. She pointed out a subtle detail: the figures on the left have their left leg forward while the figures on the right are advancing their right. In other words, the figures are carved in the midst of a ceremonial dance.
The Areopagus, where Paul preached his sermon, was clearly visible from the Acropolis. The rock that constitutes the Arepoagus itself is barren, but I caught a portion of the group milling around in the more likely area below it where Paul would have addressed the Athenians.
Further down still, the Temple of Hephaistos is supposed to be one of the best preserved ancient temples. Less imposing than the Parthenon, it is still alluring where it sits tucked into vegetation just above the ancient agora.
Moving to Corinth, the Acrocorinth looms over the ancient city when you first arrive. We did not visit it because it is difficult to reach and most of the visible structures are Medieval fortifications. Still, the acropolis of Corinth was an impressive landmark.
The bema (Gr. βῆμα), or raised platform, is the likely spot where a Roman official would hear and dispense with complaints. This reassembled structure is a reference point for Christians just because Luke’s account in Acts has Paul standing accused before the Roman proconsul in Corinth. Unlike officials in some other cities, the proconsul in Corinth was unimpressed with the accusations and Paul stayed in the city for 18 months.
Finally, we start Friday by going to the port of the Piraeus where we embark on the three day cruise. It was hazy on the horizon when we visited the Acropolis, but it was still possible to make out the outline of the port behind another promontory.
Network connections may be hit and miss over the next few days as we are in the Aegean. It may be a few days before we can post again. We should be back on the mainland by Monday morning.