29. Athens

photograph 29(click to view larger)

This photograph, taken from the Areopagus (Mars’ Hill), shows the Acropolis of Athens, site of sanctuaries to various pagan gods. Athens was the ancient Greek capital of Attica and in New Testament times was in the Roman province of Achaia. It was named in honor of the pagan Greek goddess Athena. By New Testament times, Athens had lost much of its former greatness and glory, but still contained statues and monuments to many gods and goddesses, including the “Unknown God” (Acts 17:23).

Significant Events: The Apostle Paul visited the city and preached his sermon on the “Unknown God” on Mars’ Hill (Acts 17:15–34). Missionaries were sent from Athens to other parts of Greece (1 Thes. 3:1–2). (See BD Athens.)