St. Paul in Athens
Paul arrived in Athens in 51 AD. Though its glory days were past, Athens was still a cultural and intellectual center when Paul gathered a crowd in the city square and was challenged by Stoic and Epicurean philosophers over his talk of Jesus and resurrection. The intelligentsia invited Paul to the Areopagus (an imposing hill not far from the Acropolis) to explain his new philosophy. When Paul began to focus on Jesus teaching about resurrection, his audience grew restless and walked away. Paul tried the tactic of linking Jesus to "an unknown god" which the Athenians were already honoring. This effort, however, was less than successful, though some of his hearers did become believers (cf. Acts 17). Perhaps if Paul had been more successful in making converts in Athens, we would have had a Letter to the Athenians. If he wrote one, it was not preserved.