Saturday, September 15, 2007

St. Paul in Athens

After our week in Tel Aviv Peleg and I flew to Athens and then began a cruise that took us to several Greek Isles, two cities in Turkey, then the city of Split in Croatia and ending in Venice.

In Athens we had arranged to be met by a taxi driver who would take us into town, spend the day with us touring the city, and then drop us at the Port in the mid-afternoon to meet our ship. The driver was there, a very handsome guy named Dionysius. Dionysius is the Greek god of wine and religious ecstasy, but our driver was not named after the god but after Dionysius the Aeropagite, the Christian Patron Saint of Athens.

In the Book of Acts (17:16-34) Paul goes to Athens and preaches to the Greeks at a place called Aeropagus (Mars Hill). Dionysius was one of the people Paul convinced to convert to Christianity and he was installed as the Bishop of the city and later recognized as a saint. Aeropagus is on the same central hill as the Acropolis, just a little further down along the ridge, so I came to it actually by accident after our driver had taken us to see the Acropolis. There is nothing remaining now of Aeropagus, just a cleft of rock sticking out of the side of the hill. A sign points out that Paul was there, and where the theater that he spoke might have been. The view of Athens from their was terrific.

1 comment:

Nikos said...

Glad you enjoyed your day trip to Athens. Since you are interested in Christian heritage, there are many small Byzantine churches in Athens, many dating from the 10-12thc. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. Best wishes, Nikos