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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Ἀθῆναι , plural of Ἀθήνη, Minerva, the tutelary goddess of the place), mentioned in several passages of Scripture (2 Maccabees 9:15; Acts 17:15 sq.; Acts 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:1), a celebrated city, the capital of Attica and of the leading Grecian republic, and the seat of the Greek literature in the golden period of the nation (Mü ller, Topog. of Athens, trans. by Lockhart, Lond. 1842; Kruse, Hellas, Lpz. 1826, II, 1:10 sq.; Leake, Topography of Athens, Lond. 1841, 2d ed.; Forchhammer, Topographie von Athen, Kiel, 1841; Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alterth. 1, 1783 sq.; Grote, Hist. of Greece, 6, 20 sq.; Wordsworth, Athens and Attica, Lond. 1836; Stuart and Revelt, Antiquities of Athens, Lond. 1762-1816, 4 vols., and later; Dodwell, Tour through Greece, Lond. 1819; Pittakis, Αἱ παλαιαὶ Αθῆναι Athens, 1835; Prokesch, Denkwiurdigkeiten, Sttuttg. 1836, 2; Mure, Journal of a Tour in Greece. Edinb. 1842, 2; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 1, 344 sq.), belonged in the apostle's time to the Roman province of Achsea (q.v.). The inhabitants had the reputation of being fond of novelty (Acts 17:21; comp. A Elian, Var. Hist. 5, 13; Demosth. Philippians 1:4; Schol. ad Thuc. 2, 38; ad A ristopb. Plut. 338: see Wetstein, 2:567), and as being remarkably zealous in the worship of the gods (Acts 17:16; comp. Pausan. 1:24, 3; Stralbo, 10:471; Philostr. Apol. 6:3; 4:19; AElian, Var. Hist. 5. 17; Himer, in Phot. cod. 243; see Eckhard, Athenae superstitiosc, Viteb. 1618); hence the city was full of temples, altars, and other sacred places (Liv. 45:27). Paul visited Athens on his second missionary journey from Bercea (Acts 17:14 sq.; comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:1), and delivered in (but not before) the Areopagus (q.v.) his famous speech (Acts 17:22-31).

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Athens'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Atherton, John