Images of Antiquity: Philippi, Pt. 9

It’s been a while but I’ve finally managed to return to my “Images of Antiquity” series. Formerly, I shared photos and information about sites I journeyed through in the country of Turkey (formerly, Asia Minor). Now, I will cross over into Greece and speak about some of the places I visited there. Feel free to use the pictures in their current form; please, no manipulating them. Enjoy.


The first photo in the slideshow is of King Philip’s tomb. This is actually not located in Philippi (rather, it is in Bergina). I offer it here, though, because Philip was the founder of Philippi. One of Philip’s children was the notable Alexander the Great, perhaps one of the greatest military strategists of all time. Philip’s wife was Helen whom he named Greece after (Hellas). If you visit Philippi today, you can see Philip’s castle, perched over the city. Another testament to Philip’s influence on ancient Greece is seen in the second photo, an engraving, which speaks to Philip’s rule in the Roman Province of Macedonia.

If you look to the far left of the photo, you will see the road that Paul was beaten on. In the top right corner of the picture, excavators are digging through the area they believe Paul may have been imprisoned in (hard to spot in this photo; see: Acts 16.25-40).

The third photo is of an ancient pedestal, which refers to the cult of Pythia (Acts 16.16-24). Evidently, from the inscription, a wealthy patron had this created to bring honor to him or herself as well as to the goddess/being Pythia. This is one of the monuments in Philippi that sheds light on the historical accuracy of the Scriptures. (Acts tells us that it was in Philippi that Paul preached against the cult of Pythia. Also, the inscription concerning Philip is accurate in that it mentions the Roman “Province” of Macedonia. Indeed, in Paul’s day, Philippi was a Roman Province; unlike other portions of Hellas.)

The next picture is of the theater in Philippi. Of all of the theaters in the ancient world, this is one of the best preserved (not least because much of it has been reconstructed). The theater, along with Philip’s castle and other things reminds us that around Paul’s time, Philippi was financially well off. Philippi was an important city and as far as missionary work goes, the believers in this city were eager to support Paul (without any patronage strings attached; see Philippians).

The last two photos concern the woman that Paul baptized in Philippi: Lydia (Acts 16.11-5). The Scriptures tell us that Lydia was a God-fearing woman from Thyatira who made and sold purple clothes. (This too, is historically accurate as Thyatira and the area surrounding it was known for its purple dyes.) While it is quite possible that this is not the exact spot where Paul baptized Lydia, at this point, it is just as good a spot to choose as any. The morning we arrived the scenery was beautiful; the grass was glazed with ice, the stream was gushing and steam was rising off of the water. It had a rather mystical feel to it. This was even more intensified when we went into the newly constructed Church house of St. Lydia (as seen in the last photo).

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