Visiting Athens II

To some Bible readers visiting Acropolis might not seem that interesting; it is, after all, not mentioned in the New Testament. However, according to Acts 17, Paul was on the Areopagus, which is near by, and he surely saw and perhaps also visited the higher mountain, the Acropolis.
Visiting Acropolis means visiting a very important part of Paul’s social world. It was visible from most of ancient Athens, and it incorporates important aspects of its history, and played a pivotal role in its religious life. Acropolis should not be avoided by anyone visiting Athens.

Acropolis has some impressive temples, the Parthenon, the temple for the goddess Athene, is still the most impressing. Having suffered many severe damages and robberies of its ornaments, it is now again undergoing some restaurations. The making of the present temple was carried out in the middle of the fifth century BCE (447-438).

Another temple in the area is the Erechteion with its famous caryatids.



The caryatids now present are copis; the originals can, however, be seen in the new Acropolis Museum. The Ereichteion has undergone various usages up through the ages, from temple to church to a harem, due to the various authorities ruling over the area, but a further study of its role in antiquity is important to understand the role of the site as a whole.

The remains of the two theaters are also impressive. First we have the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, made in the 2 century CE by Herodes Atticus, a famous rhetorician and sophist, and a later consul in Rome, in memory of his wife who died in 161. An odeion was a building in ancient Greece and Rome where musical and dramatical performances were put on. It would have been a roofed building, and much smaller than the larger, unroofed theaters that were primarily used for dramatic performances only (Robin Fowler).The present Odeion at Acropolis is still in use for concerts etc.


Even more impressive is the ruins of the great theater outside Acropolis that shall have seated ca. 17000 people. It is however, now sadly damaged, but if you want to se a comparable theater in better conditions, you have to go to Epidaurus or Ephesus.