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ACROPOLIS (a-krŏp'ō-lĭs, Gr. akropolis, from akros, highest, and polis, city). The upper or higher city, citadel, or castle of a Greek municipality; especially the citadel of Athens, where the treasury was. Athens’s crowning glory is the Parthenon, the finest exemplar of Greek architecture. During Paul’s stay in Athens (Acts.17.15-Acts.18.1), “he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols” (Acts.17.16). The images of gods and of heroes worshiped as gods filled Athens and were inescapably conspicuous on the Acropolis. As Paul stood on Mars Hill, before the court of the Areopagus, he could see the temples on the Acropolis directly to the east, and the Agora (marketplace) below it.

Many NT towns—e.g., Corinth, Philippi, Samaria—had an Acropolis, which served as the town’s civic and religious centers, while the Agora constituted the central shopping plaza.

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