Today we spent time in Istanbul visiting the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Archaeological Museum.
Istanbul: from the south end of the hippodrome looking north. The obelisk of Thutmose III and in the foreground the “Serpents’ Column” from Delphi. On the right is one of the six minarets of the “Blue Mosque.” In the distance are two minarets of the Hagia Sophia.
When visiting the Hippodrome we “ooh and ah” at the obelisk of Thutmose III and south of it the “Serpentine Column.”
A detailed view of the “Serpentine Column” from Delphi that is now located in the Hippodrome in Istanbul.
Constantine brought the Serpentine Column from Delphi (Greece) to his New Rome (Constantinople/Istanbul) after he had established his capital there.
An artist’s drawing of what the original column may have looked like. Note the “tripod” on top of the three serpents’ heads.
This column/tripod had three intertwined heads (see diagram above; two heads are now missing). It originally stood near the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (Greece; see picture below).
Delphi (Greece): view looking down on the remnants of the altar associated with the Apollo (just to the left of the two people in the lower right portion of the image). Just to the left of the altar is a square base on top of which a circular base rests. This is where the Tripod (Serpentine Column”) of the Plataeans rested.
The column and tripod were dedicated in 479 B.C. They commemorated the victory of 31 Greek cities over the Persians in the battle at Plataea in 479 B.C. One of its surviving heads is in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.
One of the three Serpents’ Heads that graced the Bronze Serpent Column that originally formed the base for a “trophy” that was dedicated to the god Apollo after the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the battle of Plataea in 479 B.C.
The Archaeological Museum in Istanbul has been under renovation for over three years. And during that time selected artifacts are on display in a narrow winding maze. Unfortunately, most people pass by, without even noticing, the one remaining serpent’s head from the Serpentine Column.
Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia while Paul was in Corinth (Acts 18:12).
Acts 18:12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”
Acts 18:14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he had them ejected from the court. 17 Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever. (NIV)
View of the “Gallio Inscription” found at Delphi. In the fourth line from the top, the Greek form of “Gallio” is clearly visible. Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.
The inscription is written in Greek and is a copy, carved in stone, of a decree of the Roman Emperor Claudius (A.D. 41–54) who commanded L. Iunius Gallio, the governor, to assist in settling additional elite persons in Delphi—in an effort to revitalize it.
The inscription dates between April and July A.D., 52, and from it, it can be deduced that Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia in the previous year. Thus Paul’s eighteenth month stay in Corinth (Acts 18:1–18) included the year 51. This inscription is critical in helping to establish the Chronology of Paul as presented in the book of Acts.
To view all nine pieces of the inscription Click Here.
To view the “bema” in Corinth, before which Paul appeared in the presence of Gallio, Click Here.
For a brief description of Delphi Click Here.