Paul Walked Here
Several threads of biblical history were woven together recently when the Stoa of Attalos was dedicated by the American School of Classical Studies as the Museum of the Agora of Athens.
(The “Agora” is the “market” where Paul “disputed daily” with the philosophers of Athens during his short stay in the city.)
Excavation of the Agora was undertaken by the school in 1931 and has continued to the present, with a five-year break during the war years. The 25-acre site formerly housed some 5,000 people.
East, west and south boundaries have been brought to light in the largest part of the excavation. Still to be explored is the north side, where the “painted Stoa”—birthplace of the Stoic school of philosophy—is to be found.
Discoveries now being studied include the ruins of the law courts, the Mint, the concert hall (Odeion) and the public library of ancient Athens. A broad road passing diagonally through the Agora was the one used once a year by the Panathenian Procession on its way to the Acropolis.
The Agora was surrounded by “stoas” (shed-like buildings with deep porches). Bordering the square on all sides, these buildings provided sunshine or shade, according to the needs of the season.
The Stoa of Attalos, on the east side of the Agora, has been reconstructed on the original site in the original design. Attalos II of Pergamum built the Stoa. Pergamum, which later became the seat of the “Emperor-cult” for the Roman province of Asia, was called “Satan’s seat” by the Lord.
Within the Stoa are housed the finds from the excavation: some 65,000 catalogued objects, along with 100,000 coins, great masses of pottery, ancient sculpture, inscriptions on marble, bronze voting ballots, water clock from the law courts and elaborate ...1
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