TRAVEL THEME: Ancient

THAVEL THEME: Ancient

This is the Temple of Athena in Assos, a city founded between 1000-900 BC, situated in the province of Canakkale, in Turkey. It’s official name today is Berkhamkale, but most people still refer to it by its ancient name, Assos.  I am hoping to be able to see this place again during my pilgrimage to Turkey and Greece later this year!  Visiting ruins can be very thought-provoking, as it shows us the limitation of human existence, and calls us to acknowledge the ones that last forever, like our faith.  These ruins are testaments of people’s faith, no matter what religious tradition it may be.  Paul also found his way into this region as he attempted to introduce Christianity to the Greaco-Roman world.  Mostly what’s left to day are ruins.  But the legacy of Paul permeates and transcends every piece of ruin there is.

Wikipedia says, “After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle (joined by Xenocrates) went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias, and opened an Academy in this city. Aristotle also married Pythias, the adopted daughter of Hermias. In the Academy of Assos, Aristotle became a chief to a group of philosophers, and together with them, he made innovative observations on zoology and biology. When the Persians attacked Assos, King Hermias was caught and put to death. Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon. There, he tutored Philip’s son, Alexander the Great. There is a modern statue of Aristotle at the town entrance. Assos was also visited by St. Paul. Today, Assos is an Aegean-coast seaside retreat amid ancient ruins.”

I visited Assos in 2013, together with my classmates in Mundelein Seminary, as part of our studies of the journeys of Saint Paul. We saw many ancient places then, including Ephesus (known for its extensive ancient ruins), Miletos (where Thales the first philosopher lived), and also Athens and Stanbul (Constantinople), but for the purpose of this Where’s My Backpack Travel Theme Challenge: Ancient, I would like to post this one. 🙂

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