Walking in the footsteps of Paul

The neglected archaeological site of Corinth will receive the official attention it deserves as part of a religious tourism program developed by the 21st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Two important restoration projects designed to lead visitors «in the footsteps of Saint Paul» have received the approval of the Central Archaeological Council, though no timetable has been set for their implementation. One program will highlight the ancient port of Kechries, while the other will restore the altar at which Paul preached, a complex work of architecture made of marble which is situated in the center of the upper market and which dates from the middle of the 1st century AD. The altar, which is in the shape of the Greek letter pi, was on a rectangular plinth measuring 15.50×20 meters and 3 meters high and was flanked by two unroofed waiting areas with desks. Roman officials made their speeches in this public ceremonial space, where they took Paul when he was accused by the Jews of Corinth of preaching sermons that undermined Mosaic law. The administration eventually ruled that he had not committed a crime against Roman law and the accused was acquitted by Proconsul Gellius.