In which we walk to downtown Philippi

by Craig on March 14, 2011

We’ve been in Philippi a little while now but we haven’t gone very far into the city. We walked in the city gate, glanced to the right, and stopped right there in the not so nice city “apartments”. The tour of Philippi began here in case you missed any.

Today the tour of the city continues…

and so we need the map again.

We’re still pretty much at the city gates. But ahead about 50 yards into the city, the road forks.

Straight ahead are more apartments buildings. But Paul would know that the  main avenue,

the continuation of our Via Egnatia,

the road to downtown,

would mean a right turn.

The left side of the street would still be bordered by wall to wall insulae (apartments) with narrow alleys between. But peeking down the alleys we’d see a wider (nine foot) cross street or two.

About the length of a football field ahead would be some very white, very clean, very ornate, very marble-y, very Roman looking buildings. That would be the Forum on the left and some stately villas on the right.

The villas would be off limits unless Paul had an invitation or referral. There is very VERY little chance of that. So he would probably follow the Via Egnatia and turn left at the Forum to continue to get the lay of the city.

Oh, and by the way – two things:

One: I’ve highlighted our tour path in blue – we’ll be headed counter clockwise.

Two: just a little further up the Via Egnatia, if we didn’t turn left at the Forum would be the tiny jail. This wasn’t Paul’s destination…

not yet anyway.

This picture here is pretty much what the Via Egnatia would look like as we approached the forum.

That big building at the end of the street? That would be the Forum. Very nice.

After the left turn, up ahead, the Forum would be on our right. This street would be different from the Via Egnatia, and much different from the ones in the apartments to the south. This one would be a nice wide avenue lined with colonnades and dotted with fountains.

Now we’d feel like we were in Rome. To the right we’d notice a few small temples and a library fronting the Forum. The left side of the avenue would be lined by more insulae – but nicer ones then in the southern part of town.

Now every first floor of these would house shops of some sort.

This was the bustling center of the town.

Merchants would be everywhere selling chickens, vegetables, flowers, bread, fish, jewelry, art, clothing, soup, nuts, etc…

But as many shops as there would be there’d be just as many restaurants.

The never at home Philippians would aways be filling the public buildings, common spaces, or streetside cafés. They were true people of the city, and this area, called the Agora, was downtown.

By the way – here’s what it looks like today. You can pretty much see exactly how the city is laid out with this shot.

That big area is the Forum. The street in front of it is the Via Egnatia – except now it’s a paved road.

To the left of the forum would be the street we’d now be on.

The excavating is getting so complete there that it doesn’t take much imagination to see exactly what the city looked like – just a little filling in of the details that’s all.

But seriously – look! That is Philippi!

Thank you for touring with me.

It makes me smile to have you along.

Tomorrow the plan is to head inside the forum…

… and maybe more.

God Bless

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

A. March 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Can’t read it now-no time-but love knowing this treasure awaits for much later in the day! (That is often how it is.) Can’t wait to see what I will get to learn…kind of like looking at presents though they can’t be opened until later. :) Thank you for presents in advance, Craig!


marlece March 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Craig, are you just studying this or are you actually THERE??? Wow, what an experience, is it as life changing as they say? I am going to go back and read more, I feel behind….


marlece March 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Ok I know I already commented but as I read thru these….I am going to have my son, whom I homeschool read this fascinating……thanks!


Craig March 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Marlece – thank you. I’ll tell you this much – in getting a Master’s Degree in Theology I didn’t learn this. So much of what I write here is above and beyond what I learned in School. I heart this stuff – and I heart sharing what I learn. Thank you for reading – and your kind words. God Bless.


A. March 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Craig-these posts of yours-they are so good that I actually showed them to a BUNNY recently!!!!! I couldn’t resist. It would have been selfish not to have done so.


Craig March 15, 2011 at 4:35 am

Thank you A, You are always a blessing. God bless..


Stephanie March 15, 2011 at 2:56 am

Thanks for taking a minute to visit my site and make a comment… very kind of you! And, encouraging. I look forward to “a read” or two on yours…
Blessings to you and on your studies~


Craig March 15, 2011 at 4:37 am

Stephanie – your site is a blessing. I heart the name – and extra points for the Augustine quote. I heart Augustine!!Thank you for reading. thank you. God Bless you today.


Debbie March 15, 2011 at 7:41 am

I love learning all of this! Thank you so much! I am surprised that there were restaurants for some reason. :) God bless you and keep you safe in Him today!


Craig March 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

Well the rich people needed a place to eat, and some of the almost rich. Our Philippians would not have been a guest at a restaurant. Except maybe Lydia – she seems to have had a bit of money. But many of them would have been store owners – or restaurant owners. Thank you Deb. I loved learning all of this too. I’m just overflowing what I learn : ) God bless.


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