Images of Antiquity: Delphi, Pt. 11

In this session of Images of Antiquity, coinciding with my pictures above, I want to offer some commentary on ancient Delphi.

In the first photo, what we're looking it is actually a beautiful model of what ancient Delphi would have looked like. This city, where the Delphian Olympics were held was truly magnificent. It had a nice theater, a sizeable stadium, a treasury, some temples and was quite wealthy. I can honestly say that of all the places I visited in Turkey and Greece, Delphi was one of my favorite.

In the second picture we are looking at a close-up of an altar at the front of (Pythean) Apollo's Temple. This is where persons would lay their sacrifices before entering the temple. It reminds me of a chopping block! Many of the temple's columns are gone today but the foundation is actually in pretty good shape. We know that women from the Pythean cult would burn incense (and strong herbs!), dance and attempt to predict the future, much of which took place in this very temple. In Acts 16.16--see the Greek text--Paul actualy has a slave-woman from the Pythean cult following him around saying, "These men are servants of 'a' most high god", which really hacked Paul off. He ripped her a new one for that! I showed a Greek Pythean pedastal in my Philippi portion of this series, which actually lends credibility to this event; give that another look.) The third image is a shot of the temple's remains. Again, if you look to the front (left), you can see where the altar is in relation to the entrance.

The fourth picture was one I took while in the modern Delphi museum. I wanted to snap a photo of this because it realy brought to life for me the whole "golden calf" event. There is a good chance that when Israel and other cults created such idols, this is what they looked like.

In photos five and six we see images of Delphi's largest theater. Picture #5 is taken from the base or stage of the theater while #6 is taken from the top. Of course, this theater was like all of the others in antiquity. Dramas, plays, speeches and other things were put on here. This was one of the best maintained theaters I saw (along with those at Hierapolis, Philippi and Ephesus).

Image number seven is, as you can see, a photo of one of Delphi's stadiums. Once again, I must say that I was very impressed by how intact and well-maintained this site was. At this stadium you could still see the ancient starting blocks, which was pretty fascinating. A number of persons from my group took it upon themselves to race the length of the arena; it wasn't easy.

The last photo is of the infamous Charioteer of Delphi. The statute or bust was created for the Delphi Games in commemoration of racing team from Delphi in the Pythian/Pythean Games. Delphi is also known for being the pagan navel of the Greek world. It was a popular place for persons to go and seek oracles or predictions for the future. This was certainly something Christianity had to contend with in its early stages.

Delphi is also famous for housing the "Gallio Inscription", the only piece of evidence that allows us to date portions of Paul's life with hard, factual proof. For a picture of and some commentary on that, click the two following links: The Gallio Inscription & How The Gallio Inscription Helps Us Date Mark's Gospel.

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