Day 9: Monday, September 13: The Peloponnese: Corinth, Mycenae
Today we drove south into the Peloponnese region of Greece. We first enjoyed breakfast on the roof level of the hotel with a great view of the Parthenon! Throughout the day we also were blessed with sunny skies after mid morning and perfect temperatures around 80. As we departed the hotel at 8 a.m., we continued our reading of Paul’s letter to the Philippian church (2:12-30).
We drove about an hour before stopping at the Corinthian Canal. It was started in 1882 and completed 11 years later in 1893. It connected the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. It is 4 miles in length and only 70 feet wide at its base. The depth of the water is only about 25 feet. In ancient times, goods were transported by land from one sea to the other.
Close by is the site of ancient Corinth. In Paul’s day, this was a city of between 400,000 – 500,000 people. It has 14 pagan temples. We first visited the area of the theater. While this structure is no longer intact, we saw the Erastus Inscription. Acccording to Romans 16:23, Erastus was the city’s “director of public works.”
Next, we viewed the small museum, and an inscription verifying the presence of a synagogue here. In Paul’s day, many Jews lived here. He befriended Aquila, Priscilla, and Crispus (Acts 18), among others. The structures we saw included the Apollo temple, the agora, and the Bema where Gallio ruled on accusations made against Paul (Acts 18:12ff).
We exited the site where there were a number of restaurants. We grabbed a bite to eat here before driving to the acropolis. We climbed the steep entrance into this fortress for a great view of the plain below.
“I loved the site of Corinth. To think Paul was here for 1.5 years is really special.We saw a lot, and we even hiked at the acropolis. This area is very beautiful.” -Tour Member-
About 30 minutes away is the Late Bronze site of Mycenae. Those who lived here (as well as those who lived on Crete (Caphtor, Jeremiah 47, Amos 9) were the forerunners of the ancient Sea Peoples or the “Philistines” of the Bible. They migrated to Israel about 1,200 BC.
At the site of Mycenae we saw the famous Lion’s Gate, the shaft tombs, the palace, and water cistern. The site is perched high on a higher rocky scarp. Discovered here from back in the 1800s were the famous golden masks. Before leaving the site, we saw the impressive beehive cave of King Agamemnon.
We drove back to Athens (about an hour and a half drive) for dinner and an optional walk to Constitution Square. Some even hike to the top of Liccabetus. Tommorrow is our last fall day here in Athens. Some will be flying to Rome and then to Naples tomorrow evening.