This morning we want to start out by saying a bit more about the city of Philippi. We’ve talked a little bit about the experiences of Paul – we’ve talked a little bit about Christian community in Philippi and about their experiences – but we want to say a little more about the city of Philippi itself.
The city of Philippi was founded about 400 years before Christ, and the city got its name from the king who founded it. His name was Philippos – he was king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, there on the northern shore of the Agean Sea. Philippos founded this particular city for the typical kinds of reasons – there were gold mines in the area, and he wanted to control the gold mines – there was a well-travelled road passing through the region – and he wanted to control the road, too.
Now king Philippos was a relatively successful and powerful king within the wider context of Ancient Greece – and he had grand plans to expand his rule and his kingdom. It so happened, however, that Philippos was assassinated before he could implement his plans. But his son Alexander became king after Phillipos and pursued his father’s expansionist plans. The son of Philippos turns out to have been none other than Alexander the Great, who established one of the largest empires in the ancient world – from Greece in the West – to India and the Himalayas in the East. Continue reading