As my series Forbidden Bible Verses is about Acts at the moment, I ran across photos of Caesarea and Ephesus, cities that St Paul knew well.

My reader Amy P of Tesserology has a brilliant post with her photos of stadia, old and new: ‘The Pizza and Circuses Bit’.

In it are her pictures of Caesarea and Ephesus. Please check them out, as they are magnificent.

This is what Amy had to say about Caesarea:

… the city of Caesarea had been constructed to impress back in the day with its own theater as well as a hippodrome for chariot racing.  Originally built by Herod the Great in the first century BC, this site along Israel’s coast is now a sprawling collection of ruins full of amazing layers of history!

Pausing amid all the evidence of conquest and contention, I still somehow thought that I could imagine the arena’s being filled with residents taking in a race just for pleasure, and that I could conjure from the Mediterranean breezes the sounds of pounding hooves, grinding chariot wheels and enthusiastic cheers…

The hippodrome is huge, and it’s right on the coastline. That must have made for splendid social occasions.

Of Ephesus, she says:

Among the many architectural and archaeological treasures in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus is its Great Theater.

The site in present day Turkey once played host to events ranging from gladiatorial games to concerts to political and religious discussions.  Originally built in the third century BC, it was later renovated by the Romans to seat up to 25,000.  Clambering among its rows of seats in search of the best acoustics gave me a real appreciation for the great shape those fans must have been in – and for the escalators at Staples Center where my LA Kings play…

You bet, Amy. I wouldn’t fancy climbing up to the top tier — way too much of a workout!

If you enjoy travel, sports, history and photography, then you’ll really like Tesserology.