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Category Archives: Backgrounds

Could it be Nero's Dining Room?

AP video below… The AP reports: Not only was Nero a Roman emperor, it turns out he may also have been the father of the revolving restaurant. Archaeologists unveiled Tuesday what they think are the remains of Nero’s extravagant banquet hall, a circular space that rotated day and night to imitate the Earth’s movement and… Continue Reading

Demetrius the Silversmith

About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the crafstmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades , and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business.… Continue Reading

Ancient Boxing and the Apostle Paul

Another Tuesday Time Travel… “So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air.” – 1 Corinthians 9:26 Paul, discussing his willingness to yield certain rights for the sake of winning people to Christ, uses athletic imagery to illustrate his point. So what does it mean to land your punches in… Continue Reading

More Scholarship Available Online – Epigraphy

Tom Elliot at the Current Epigraphy blog says: This afternoon, Chuck Jones alerts us to the re-appearance of the journal Τεκμήρια (ISSN 1106-661x).  It is now operating as “a peer reviewed open access journal” under the auspices of the Ινστιτούτο Eλληνικής και Pωμαϊκής Aρχαιότητος (Κ.Ε.Ρ.Α.). Back issues are available on the site (built with the Open Journal Systems publishing… Continue Reading

Ancient Flushing Toilets

Another Tuesday Time Travel… After spending nearly two weeks visiting ancient Roman sites earlier this year, I was amazed at some of the advances changes in technology the Romans were making in the first and second centuries. One structure that was beginning to become more common was the public latrine. As the following picture reveals,… Continue Reading

Household Idolatry in the New Testament World

Another Tuesday Time Travel… When visiting various ancient households in and near Rome, one will notice the presence of the lararium in most homes (right). This niche served as a place for adorning the household Lar (pl. Lares), a ‘spirit’ who would protect the home and property. Wealthy households would often contain an elaborate lararium, but even… Continue Reading

Apartment Living in First Century Rome

(Another Tuesday Time Travel to the Roman Empire…) When Paul finally arrived as a prisoner in Rome, Luke records that he was “allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him” (Acts 28:16). The lodging is described as some sort of ‘guest-housing’ (τὴν ξενίαν in Acts 18:23), the expenses of which Paul was… Continue Reading