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Friday, 27 January 2017

Ten New UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Philippi Archaeological Site, Northern Greece



From National Geographic

Philippi Archaeological Site, Northern Greece

"Once considered a miniature version of Rome, Philippi—founded in the fourth century B.C.—hosted a theatre, temple, and forum at the foot of an acropolis in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The walled city, located on an ancient route connecting Europe and Asia, later became a centre for Christianity, and remains of its basilicas still stand today".

UNESCO description

"The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in north-eastern Greece, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BCE. The vibrant Hellenistic city of Philip II, of which the walls and their gates, the theatre and the funerary heroon (temple) are to be seen, was supplemented with Roman public buildings such as the Forum and a monumental terrace with temples to its north. Later the city became a centre of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 CE. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity".


Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare (film)


There is a tide in the affairs of men

As a schoolboy I had to study Shakespeare,
Julius Caesar, the set book for exams.
I remember seeing Brando in the film,
The way he drawled out 'Fie-li-pie'
And shattered sense of accent and of place.

Philippi, Filippi or Fie-li-pie.

I stand here on the battleground itself...
- As Brutus to the ghost of Caesar,
So I to the ghost of Brutus say:
"Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then".
("Aye, at Philippi").

****

Excerpts from Julius Caesar:

SCENE I. The plains of Philippi.


Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army

OCTAVIUS
Now, Antony, our hopes are answered:
You said the enemy would not come down,
But keep the hills and upper regions;
It proves not so: their battles are at hand;
They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.

****


BRUTUS

No more, I pray you.
Messala, I have here received letters,
That young Octavius and Mark Antony
Come down upon us with a mighty power,
Bending their expedition toward Philippi.


MESSALA
Myself have letters of the selfsame tenor....

****

BRUTUS
Well, to our work alive. What do you think
Of marching to Philippi presently?


CASSIUS
I do not think it good.


BRUTUS
Your reason?


CASSIUS
This it is:
'Tis better that the enemy seek us:
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,
Doing himself offence; whilst we, lying still,
Are full of rest, defense, and nimbleness.


BRUTUS
Good reasons must, of force, give place to better.
The people 'twixt Philippi and this ground
Do stand but in a forced affection;
For they have grudged us contribution:
The enemy, marching along by them,
By them shall make a fuller number up,
Come on refresh'd, new-added, and encouraged;
From which advantage shall we cut him off,
If at Philippi we do face him there,
These people at our back.


CASSIUS
Hear me, good brother.


BRUTUS
Under your pardon. You must note beside,
That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.


CASSIUS
Then, with your will, go on;
We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi.


BRUTUS
The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
And nature must obey necessity;
Which we will niggard with a little rest.
There is no more to say?


CASSIUS
No more. Good night:
Early to-morrow will we rise, and hence...

****


BRUTUS
Why comest thou?


GHOST
To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.


BRUTUS
Well; then I shall see thee again?


GHOST
Ay, at Philippi.


BRUTUS
Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.


Exit Ghost

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