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Bible Cities: Athens
Athens was the capital city of Attica, a Greek state.

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ATHENS, one of the most famous cities of ancient times, was the chief city of Attica in Greece. It was situated on the Saronic Gulf, about 46 miles east of Corinth. It lay in a plain about five miles from the coast, and had three ports which were connected with it by a series of strong fortifications. It was a city of great wealth and magnificence, and was the centre of Grecian learning and civilization during the golden age of Greece. Several rocky hills rose out of the plain, the principal of which was the Acropolis or Citadel, around which the city was built. The summit of the hill was nearly level, and about 800 feet long and 400 feet wide. On the summit were erected magnificent temples to the guardian deities of Athens. The people were the most cultivated and refined of Greece, and yet the most thoroughly given to idolatry. St. Paul visited the city about A.D. 52, and in the midst of the heathen gods of Greece, and thfi polished and skeptical philosophers of Athens, preached Jesus Christ crucified with power and success. (Acts 17:15-34.) - Ancient Geography




Athens in Easton's Bible Dictionary the capital of Attica, the most celebrated city of the ancient world, the seat of Greek literature and art during the golden period of Grecian history. Its inhabitants were fond of novelty (Acts 17:21), and were remarkable for their zeal in the worship of the gods. It was a sarcastic saying of the Roman satirist that it was "easier to find a god at Athens than a man." On his second missionary journey Paul visited this city (Acts 17:15; comp. 1 Thess. 3:1), and delivered in the Areopagus his famous speech (17:22-31). The altar of which Paul there speaks as dedicated "to the [properly "an"] unknown God" (23) was probably one of several which bore the same inscription. It is supposed that they originated in the practice of letting loose a flock of sheep and goats in the streets of Athens on the occasion of a plague, and of offering them up in sacrifice, at the spot where they lay down, "to the god concerned."

Athens in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Capital of Attica, the center of Grecian refinement and philosophy. Paul visited it in journeying from Macedonia, and stayed sometime (Acts 17:14, etc.; FOUR-DRACHM OF ATHENS. 1 Thessalonians 3:1). Four hills are within it, the Acropolis, N.E., a square rock 150 feet high; W. of it is the Areopagus. (See AREOPAGUS.) S.W. is the Pnyx, or Assembly Hill. S. of this is the Museum Hill. The Agora where Paul disputed was in the valley between the four. The newsmongering taste of the people (Acts 17:21) is noticed by their great orator Demosthenes, "Ye go about the marketplace asking, Is there any news?" Their pure atmosphere, open air life, and liberal institutions, stimulated liveliness of thought. Pausanias (1:24, sec. 3) confirms Paul's remark on their religiousness even to superstition: "the zeal devoted by the Athenians to the rites of the gods exceeds that of all others." (See ALTAR; AREOPAGUS.) Dionysius the Areopagite convert of Paul was, according to tradition, the first bishop of an Athenian church. Theseus' temple is the most perfect of the remaining monuments. The Parthenon or temple of Minerva, built of Penrelic marble, 228 feet long, 102 broad, 66 high, with 8 Doric columns on each front and 17 on each side, was the masterpiece of Athenian architecture. The colossal statue of Minerva Promachus, Phidias' workmanship, was 70 feet high, so as to be seen towering above the Parthenon by the mariner in doubling Cape Suniurn. Lord Elgin deposited in the British Museum several of the finest sculptures.

Athens in Naves Topical Bible A city of Greece Ac 17:15-34; 1Th 3:1

Athens in Smiths Bible Dictionary (city of Athene), the capital of Attica, and the chief seat of Grecian learning and civilization during the golden period of the history of Greece. Description--Athens is situated about three miles from the seacoast, in the central plain of Attica. In this plain rise several eminences Of these the most prominent is a lofty insulated mountain with a conical peaked Summit, now called the Hill of St. George, and which bore in ancient times the name of Lycabettus. This mountain, which was not included within the ancient walls, lies to the northeast of Athens, and forms the most striking feature in the environs of the city. It is to Athens what Vesuvius is to Naples, or Arthur's Seat to Edinburgh Southwest of Lycabettua there are four hills of moderate height, all of which formed part of the city. Of these the nearest to Lycabettus and at the distance of a mile from the latter, was the Aeropolis, or citadel of Athens, a square craggy rock rising abruptly about 150 feet, with a flat summit of about 1000 feet long from east to west, by 500 feet broad from north to south. Immediately west of the Aeropolis is a second hill of irregular form, the Areopagus (Mars' Hill). To the southwest there rises a third hill, the Pnyx, on which the assemblies of the citizens were held. South of the city was seen the Saronic Gulf, with the harbors of Athens. History.--Athens is said to have derived its name from the prominence given to the worship of the goddess Athena (Minerva) by its king, Erechtheus. The inhabitants were previously called Cecropidae, from Cecrops, who, according to tradition, was the original founder of the city. This at first occupied only the hill or rock which afterwards became the Acropolis; but gradually the buildings spread over the ground at the southern foot of this hill. It was not till the time of Pisistratus and his sons (B.C. 560- 514) that the city began to assume any degree of splendor. The most remarkable building of these despots was the gigantic temple of the Olympian Zeus or Jupiter. Under Themistocles the Acropolis began to form the centre of the city, round which the new walls described an irregular circle of about 60 stadia or 7 1/4 miles in circumference. Themistocles transferred the naval station of the Athenians to the peninsula of Piraeus, which is distant about 4 1/2 miles from Athens, and contains three natural harbors. It was not till the administration of Pericles that the walls were built which connected Athens with her ports. Buildings.--Under the administration of Pericles, Athens was adorned with numerous public buildings, which existed in all their glory when St. Paul visited the city. The Acropolis was the centre of the architectural splendor of Athens. It was covered with the temples of gods and heroes; and thus its platform presented not only a sanctuary, but a museum ...

Athens in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ath'-enz Athenai In antiquity the celebrated metropolis of Attica, now the capital of Greece. Two long walls, 250 ft. apart, connected the city with the harbor (Peiraeus). In Acts 17 we are told what Paul did during his single sojourn in this famous city. He came up from the sea by the new road (North of the ancient) along which were altars of unknown gods, entered the city from the West, and passed by the Ceramicus (burial-ground), which can be seen to this day, the "Theseum," the best preserved of all Greek temples, and on to the Agora (Market-Place), just North of the Acropolis, a steep hill, 200 ft. high, in the center of the city. Cimon began and Pericles completed the work of transforming this citadel into a sanctuary for the patron goddess of the city. The magnificent gateway (Propylaea), of which the Athenians were justly proud, was built by Mnesicles (437-432 BC). A monumental bronze statue by Phidias stood on the left, as one emerged on the plateau, and the mighty Parthenon a little further on, to the right. In this temple was the famous gold and ivory statue of Athena. The eastern pediment contained sculptures representing the birth of the goddess (Elgin Marbles, now in the British Museum), the western depicting her contest with Poseidon for supremacy over Attica. This, the most celebrated edifice, architecturally, in all history, was partially destroyed by the Venetians in 1687. Other temples on the Acropolis are the Erechtheum and the "Wingless Victory." In the city the streets were exceedingly narrow and crooked. The wider avenues were called plateiai, whence English "place," Spanish "plaza." The roofs of the houses were flat. In and around the Agora were many porticoes stoai. In the Stoa Poecile ("Painted Portico"), whose walls were covered with historical paintings, Paul met with the successors of Zeno, the Stoics, with whom he disputed daily. In this vicinity also was the Senate Chamber for the Council of Five Hundred, and the Court of the Areopagus, whither Socrates came in 399 BC to face his accusers, and where Paul, five centuries later, preached to the Athenians "the unknown God." In this neighborhood also were the Tower of the Winds and the water- clock, which must have attracted Paul's attention, as they attract our attention today. The apostle disputed in the synagogue with the Jews (Acts 17:17), and a slab found at the foot of Mount Hymettus (a range to the East of the city, 3,000 ft. high), with the inscription haute he pule tou kuriou, dikaioi eiseleusontai en aute (Ps 118:20), was once thought to indicate the site, but is now believed to date from the 3rd or 4th century. Slabs bearing Jewish inscriptions have been found in the city itself. The population of Athens was at least a quarter of a million. The oldest inhabitants were...

Athens Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 3:1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;

Athens Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you. Amen. <[The first [epistle] to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.]>

Athens Scripture - 2 Thessalonians 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen. <[The second [epistle] to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.]>

Athens Scripture - Acts 17:15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

Athens Scripture - Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

Athens Scripture - Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

Athens Scripture - Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

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