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Athens – The Parthenon, Mars Hill, & the Agora

 Today we went to the Acropolis in Athens. It was a remarkable experience that no history book and bring justice to. The top picture is my favorite. The geometry behind the construction is remarkable and we’re just now beginning to understand how intelligent the architects of ancient Greece really were.

While I’m on the subject of the Parthenon, I want to take a minute and brag on the architectural skills of the ancient Greeks. 

Have you ever looked at a building from a distance or one that’s up high and said to yourself “You know {insert name here}, that building looks like it’s sinking in). Well, it really isn’t. But the way the human eye perceives straight lines makes it look like it is and the Greeks knew this. So they built the Parthenon angled upwards so that it would look straight and flat even from such a high elevation. Also, if you notice the pillars pictured above, they aren’t one size the whole way up. They’re actually the biggest in the middle of the pillar; not at the base. One more thing about the pillars, they didn’t build them at a 45 degree angle. Not because they couldn’t, because they didn’t want to. The reason is this. Have you ever stood at the base of the Empire State Building or any other sky scraper and felt like it was leaning over you? Well, that’s how the human eye perceives straight lines as well. So, they built the pillars with a slight lean inwards to avoid the effect that straight lines have on the human eye. If you draw lines straight upward from each of the pillars, they all meet at 6,000 meters, the exact same height as the pyramid at Giza. 

Coincidence? I think not.

Reason? The aliens helped them both. Duh. 

This set of pictures is actually very interesting. I’m sure most of you are thinking “Austin, it’s a road. I could make that with a wood and a brick (inside joke)”, but it’s so much more than that. What if I told you that this is the Pan-Athneian Way? 

Alright, still nothing?

Well, this is the road that Paul probably took from the bay after he landed in Athens. It is an ancient highway that lead from the bay of Athens right into the heart of the marketplace where Paul was preaching before he was pulled up to Mars Hill in Acts 17. Got your attention yet? Good. 

Now, if you notice the bottom picture. Do you see the small rock behind the fenced in area? That is something similar to what Paul would have been speaking on to the people in the marketplace. You had a time limit of around six minutes. 

Consider this too. Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill was roughly around 2 minutes long before he was so rudely interrupted. What else did he have planned to say in those four minutes? I’ll certainly be sure to ask him one day.

Here are some amazing pictures of the temple of Hephaestus. One of the best preserved temples of the ancient world. The bottom picture is a view of the Acropolis from the front of the temple.

Here are some typical sites around the marketplace in the ancient world. 

The top two big pictures are of what is basically where different merchants would rent out space to sell their goods. Everything from food, to rugs, to lamps with a blue Robin Williams inside. However, gold and silversmiths sold all of their goods at the temple of Hephaestus (see previous post).

The bottom left picture is of The Tower of the Wind. Depending from which of the eight directions the wind blows, it would tell you whether it was bringing cold from the north, or rain from the east from the pictures that are at the top of each of the eight sides. 

And last but certainly not least, where do you think we use the bathroom at? 

Just kidding. But the bottom right picture is actually of a pair of toilets in the ruins of a Grecian house. You can see how they had indoor plumbing with a trench underneath that had running water at all times for immediate flushing power. No plunger required. It was also a great social gathering. Instead of grabbing a magazine or a good book or two, you’d grab your best friend and get to know them while going number two.

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