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    Philippi: the palace of Christian memory

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    The seals of God: An Octagon and at least two Basilicas.

     

    by Theodoros An. Spanelis

    The spiritual truth first professed at Philippi, on European ground, it wasn’t possible not to be imprinted on the city’s architecture, thus turning it into a palace of Christian memory. If the images are the book for the illiterates, the architecture and the reminder of the course of Apostle Paul, is the divine breath onto the city.

    The Faith’s homology was everywhere on that memorial architecture. Philippi is the city that portrays the course of faith of every good Christian. But why are there so many basilicas and one close to each other?

    There is an interesting proposition from the Octagon archaeological excavator, Aristotle Mentzos , who takes the view that the answer to the question lies in the Acts of the Apostles and specifically in the passage describing the first visit of Apostle Paul to Philippi. View highly interesting, which offers a strong documentation to his thesis.

    Central point of reference for his thinking is the ascertainment that the oldest, so far, Christian martyrdom in Macedonia, the Paul’s basilica and the most important temple of Philippi followed by the Octagon, couldn’t be dedicated to anyone else, other than the founder of the first European church, the Apostle Paul. He claims, therefore, that this space has been sanctified not due to its connection to the Macedonian tomb, but to a landmark event for the Christian community. And what could have that been? The answer lies in the Acts of the Apostles and the sacred point, the marble crepidoma (beside the Octagon), where Apostle Paul was plagued and martyred faith in the one and only God.

    Let’s see, however, which are the monuments that are enclosed in an imaginary frame developed on the perimeter of the Roman forum:

    • Basilica I
    • Basilica II
    • Octagon

    All this creates a space around the forum that seems to indicate a composition of spaces and functions aimed to highlight the remembrance of important for the city and the Christian religion events, which in this particular city could not be associated with anything else other than the presence of Apostle Paul. The fact that, yet to this day, the vigil is held on the eve of his feast day, on the 29th of June, in the Basilica I, it is indicative of the fact that it had been a place of pilgrimage and worship. This maybe be the answer to why there were so many temples!!

     

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    Επιτρέπεται η αναδημοσίευση του περιεχομένου της ιστοσελίδας εφόσον αναφέρεται ευκρινώς η πηγή του. Νόμος 2121/1993 και κανόνες Διεθνούς Δικαίου που ισχύουν στην Ελλάδα.