Borderland

Reporting from the frontlines of history in Greece

Date: July 4, 2016

St. Paul’s Day at the Areopagus

By Harrison Blackman and Amanda Blanco

The Book of Acts describes how the Apostle Paul traveled to Athens in the first century A.D. and visited town leaders on a large outcropping  below the Acropolis, at a spot known as Areopagus Hill.

Acts 17:23 quotes Paul as saying; “For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”

After the homily, the passage tells us, “Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed.” The sermon’s influence had been established for history.  

More than two millennia later, on June 29, 2016, the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul was alive and well on the Areopagus Hill. 

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The heat

By Harrison Blackman

From June 15 to June 19, the daily high temperature for Athens jumped from 82 degrees to 102 Fahrenheit. From June 19 forward, the heat has been on.

Taverna operators hustle to rope overheated tourists into their air-conditioned restaurants. The city’s ubiquitous street kiosks — the periptera — are stocked with bottles of Zagori mineral water, Mythos beer and Coca-Cola. In the morning, Athenians crowd into Metro trains, looking tired with anticipation of the heat outside and above.  The city’s cafes are packed and, by the university, they are packed with students sweating in a different kind of way as they pour over textbooks and hunch over laptops, cramming for merciless exam schedules.

 

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