The morning of day two was more time spent on site at the archeological dig in Ancient Corinth. We walked through the museum where there are plenty of statues of emperors both deified and “living.” Plus statues of soldiers and other trinkets uncovered on site.
The museum gestapo wander round the halls enforcing their two photographic rules – no flash, and no posing.
After wandering the museum we wandered the site. Standing on site gives a phenomenal picture of the intersection of religion, law, and commerce in the city, and the way this intertwining would have presented major problems for Christian converts.
Here’s a model of the city from the Orthodox conference centre.
Roman culture was status heavy – life was all about how important you were, and becoming more important. So the radical realignment of identity that comes through being sanctified in Christ and being statusless would have felt like having the marble roads pulled from under your feet.
Statues and buildings were public relations propaganda. Which I’m finding particularly interesting. The placing of buildings, the statues therein, and even the material they were constructed from said something about the people who frequented them and served to build that status.
This inscription, in a footpath, is possibly linked to Erastus, the treasurer of Corinth, mentioned in Romans 16. Bruce says that Paul’s commands to do good in Romans 13 specifically referred to individuals acting in whatever capacity they had to serve the city. He says this looked like making a financial benefaction for a project, or running for office. People who ran for office had to promise benefactions, and this footpath inscription says that it was produced under the Aedileship of Erastus.
At some point in the process we climbed the massive hill that sits behind Ancient Corinth, it’s called the Acrocorinth, which means the Corinth hill. There is an old school castle on top. It was almost cooler than checking out anything to do with Paul. Almost.
More photos are in my Picasa album, photos of the people I’m on the trip with are available on Facebook if you’re my friend.