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By Clyde E Fant; Mitchell Glenn Reddish

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Biblical Significance From our modern perspective on Athens, it may seem strange to us that the city played a lesser role in the journeys of Paul than places such as Corinth and Ephesus. Athens was still a renowned center of philosophy in the 1st century, but Corinth and Ephesus, along with Antioch, Alexandria, and of course Rome, had far surpassed it as crossroads of activity. In comparison to these cities, in the 1st century Athens was a relatively small city of perhaps 20,000 to 25,000 inhabitants.

In particular, lavished monuments and other building projects upon Athens, and Marcus Aurelius (r. ) endowed the city with four chairs of philosophy, thereby creating the world’s first great university. Perhaps even more important, Athens was never forced to become part of the Roman provincial system but was exempted from Roman taxes and allowed to exercise judicial authority over its own citizens. ) likewise favored Athens by not taking statues and other treasures from its temples, as he did elsewhere, when he was establishing his capital at the new Constantinople (modern Istanbul).

In the Classical period the Acropolis reached the height of its glory under the leadership of Pericles. ) were the result of his leadership. Later the Romans added only one building, the Temple of Roma and Augustus behind the Parthenon. ), the Beule Gate (named for the French archaeologist who discovered it) was constructed for defense. Before ascending to the buildings on the Acropolis proper, turn to the right to view the structures on its southern slope. ), the incredibly wealthy benefactor of Athens who built it in memory of his wife, Regilla.

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