Athens

Athens Piraeus harbor from Hill of Philopappus

Harbor of Piraeus

Most scholars believe that Paul traveled to Athens by boat from Berea and thus it is likely that he entered the city through its large port of Piraeus.

The port was originally built in the 5th century BC and still thrives today.  In ancient times Piraeus was connected to Athens (6 miles distant) by the Long Walls, two parallel walls 600 feet apart.

 

Mars' Hill

On his visit to Athens, Paul gave a speech to the learned men of the city at the Areopagus (Mars' Hill).  

Mars' Hill is a prominent site located 140 feet below the Acropolis and in Paul's day was the meeting place of the main governing body of the city.  While some think that Paul's appearance here indicates some sort of judicial proceeding, most see the reference as only the location of his preaching (Acts 17).

Athens Mars Hill from acropolis

 

Athens Temple of Zeus at night

Temple of Zeus

Begun in the 6th century BC, this temple was finally completed during Hadrian's reign in the 2nd century AD.  Antiochus Epiphanes of Seleucid rule did much construction on the site between 174-165 BC.  Today 15 of the original columns are still standing.

 

Stoa of Attalus

This two-tiered covered colonnade was a gift to the city by the king of Pergamum, Attalus II (159-138 BC).

The stoa was restored in 1953-56 so that it might house the artifacts from the Athens' excavations being carried out by the American School of Classical Studies.  It served as an example for the model of the Royal Stoa in Jerusalem (now on display at the Israel Museum).

Athens Stoa of Attalos reconstructed

 

Athens Hadrian's Arch at night

Hadrian's Arch

Built by the Athenians in honor of the emperor Hadrian in AD 135, this marble gate was on a street leading from the ancient city to the new Roman one.

An inscription on one side reads, "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus."  An inscription on the other side reads, "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus."

Related Websites

The Ancient City of Athens (The Stoa Consortium) Comprehensive resource designed as an aid to teachers and students of ancient Athens. Includes site descriptions, essays, pictures, bibliographies, and links to related sites.

Athens (Hellenic Ministry of Culture) Features an interactive map with links to valuable information about many of the city's sites and museums. Produced by the government of Greece.

Architecture of Ancient Athens (University of Colorado) Offers several pictures of the city, but contains only medium resolution photos.

Ancient Athens (Personal Website) Provides good information and many pictures.

Greece - 1260-264 B.C. (Culture 4.0) A great collection of maps, including one of ancient Athens.

Challenge in Athens (The Unbound Bible) Summarizes the biblical events that took place at Athens in Acts 17 and furnishes the relevant historical background.

Athens (Christian Travel Study Programs) Detailed discussion of Athenian history and a description of some of its features.

Athenian Agora Excavations (American School of Classical Studies) Official website of the Agora excavations with an amazing amount of resources, including: an introduction to the excavations, excerpts from excavation reports, and numerous photos of structures and artifacts found there. Especially noteworthy is the Site Tour which contains almost sixty 360 degree images located here.