Home Blog

The Apostle Paul


A Journey of Faith and Conversion

Among the apostles, Paul stands out as an extraordinary traveler, navigating the challenges of the ancient world to spread the new faith. His remarkable journeys, marked by endurance and tenacity, played a pivotal role in the early Christian movement. This article explores the life and travels of Paul, born Saul, and the transformation that led him to become one of Christianity’s most influential figures.

Early Life and Background

Paul, originally known as Saul, was born in Tarsus, southern Turkey. After his conversion, he changed his name to Paul, influenced by converting Sergius Paulus. Described as a stocky man with a bald head and a grey, bushy beard, Paul studied Jewish law in Jerusalem under the renowned rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). His Roman citizenship, inherited from his parents, afforded him special rights and protections, playing a crucial role in his ministry Read more



An Ancient Land of Craftsmen and Culture

Ancient Phrygia, located in the western part of the Anatolian plateau, held a rich history shaped by skilled craftsmen and a unique culture. This land, marked by the Sakarya River, is now encompassed by the modern cities of Afyon, Eskisehir, and Ankara. Let’s explore the remnants of this historical realm.

Geography and Modern Cities

Phrygia’s historical boundaries stretched across the Anatolian plateau, positioned strategically between Afyon, Eskisehir, and Ankara. Today, only three major cities Anatolian Milestones, Afyon, known for opium, Eskisehir, an industrial hub and key railway junction, and Kütahya, famed for ceramics and brown coal mining, carry the echoes of Phrygia’s past.

Historical Significance

In antiquity, Phrygia thrived with numerous towns and cities, becoming a focal point on the eastward routes from Lydia and Caria. Despite its

Anatolian Milestones


A Tapestry of History

Anatolia, the cradle of civilizations, bears witness to a rich tapestry of historical events and cultural contributions. This compilation highlights key moments, inventions, and influences that have shaped Anatolia over the ages.

Paleolithic Wonders

Paleolithic Caves (700,000–35,000 BC): Testaments to ancient human habitation in Anatolia.
Early Settlements

Nevali Cori (11,000 BC): The world’s earliest-known village settlement.

Catalhoyuk (8,000 BC): Anatolia’s first urban city settlement.

Myths and Legends

Noah’s Ark: The legendary landing on Mt. Ararat in northeastern Turkey.

Santa Claus (St. Nicholas): Born in Patara, southwestern Turkey.

Trojan War: Epic battles in Troy, northwestern Turkey, immortalized by Homer.

Influential Figures

Homeros (Homer): Birthplace in Smyrna (Izmir), modern Turkey.

Herodotos (Herodotus): Father of history, born i

Lydian Language


A Blend of Anatolian Heritage

The Lydian language, belonging to the New Anatolian languages, unfolds a linguistic tale shaped by the aftermath of the Hittite Empire’s fall and the subsequent Indo-European settlement in Asia Minor.

Anatolian Melting Pot

As the Hittite Empire crumbled, Anatolian city-states witnessed the emergence of a new era marked by both Indo-European Hittites and non-Indo-European tribes like Hatti, Assyrians, and Aramaeans. By the 7th century B.C., Semitic and other tribes had assimilated most East and Central Anatolian Indo-Europeans, compelling Hittites and Luwians to migrate westward, finding refuge along the Aegean Sea shores Phrygia.

Distinctive Lydian Linguistics

Lydian, directly descended from Hittite, introduces unique linguistic features. The phonetics become more intricate with the introduction of nasal vowels [a] and [e], while the consonant system adopts palatals [s], [t], [d], [l

Galen’s Philosophical Insights


Pneuma: The Universal Spirit

Drawing from his philosophical studies, Galen concluded that various bodily functions were influenced by the Pneuma, or universal spirit. He envisioned the pneuma as a fine, spirit-like substance that flowed through the universe, organizing and controlling physical bodies.

Three Types of Spirit

Galen categorized the pneuma into three types of spirit:

Spiritus Vitalis (Life Spirit): Originating in the heart and flowing through the arteries.
Spiritus Animalis (Animal Spirit): Found in the brain and nerves Understanding Human Temperaments.
Spiritus Naturalis (Natural Spirit): Formed in the liver.
Title: Galenic Physiological Theory

Sustaining Life Process

While emphasizing the role of the pneuma, Galen also believed that the life process depended on food, converted into blood in the liver. This blood, originating from the liver, nourished essen

Understanding Human Temperaments


Galen’s Insights

Four Basic Human Temperaments

Building upon Hippocrates’ theory of the four humours, Galen proposed the concept of four basic human temperaments, each linked to the dominance of one of the humours. These temperaments were:

Sanguinicus (Blood Dominance): Cheerful and lively
Flegmaticus (Phlegm Dominance): Calm and tough
Melancholicus (Melancholy Dominance): Worrisome and gloomy
Cholericus (Choler Dominance): Energetic
Galen believed that one’s personality was closely connected to their physical makeup.

Galen’s Contributions to Physiology

Unraveling the Mysteries of Physiology

Galen significantly contributed to the development of human physiological science. In ancient times, the functions of the heart and blood vessels were mysterious. Earlier theories by Alcmaeon of Croton and Aristotle suggested connections between blood, sleep, and the brain. Galen debunked many of th

Doctor of Gladiators


Galen’s Medical Journey

Early Medical Journey

After initially studying philosophy, especially Aristotle, Galen shifted his focus to medicine at the age of seventeen. Traveling through Greece, Asia Minor, and Palestine, he honed his skills and became a doctor in Alexandria, a prominent medical center.

Return to Pergamum and Gymnasium Doctor

Around 159, at 28, Galen returned to Pergamum, his birthplace, and became the doctor at the local gymnasium attached to the sanctuary of Asklepios. Asklepios Galen’s Philosophical Insights, son of the sun god Apollo, was associated with healing.

Imperial Physician and Gladiators’ Care

Moving to the Empire’s capital, Galen became a renowned teacher of medicine and the personal physician to Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. He also tended to the gladiators, treating their wounds, which expanded his anatomical knowledge. This expe

Parthian Prosperity and Eastern Challenges


Parthian Rule in Seleucia

Seleucia, the key commercial center of Iraq, thrived even more under the Parthians than it did under the Seleucids. In the first century A.D., its population reached an impressive 600,000 inhabitants. The Parthians, favoring rural life, left their Greek citizens undisturbed. Interestingly, the Greeks continued to mint coins dating back to Seleucus I’s reign (312 B.C.). Beyond Seleucia, the Parthians established a military camp across the Tigris, laying the foundation for the future city of Ctesiphon Maccabean Struggles and Parthian Rise.

Eastern Frontier Challenges

Mithradates, in his final three years, grappled with issues on the eastern frontier. The Huns, defeating and displacing the Tocharians (Yuezhi), triggered a chain reaction affecting the Parthians. Tocharians moved westward into Central Asia, displacing the Scythians, who subsequently raided Parthian and Bactrian

Maccabean Struggles and Parthian Rise


Jonathan’s Leadership and Tragedy

Both Alexander I and Demetrius II sought allies, leading to favorable peace terms with the Maccabees. Jonathan became the civil and military governor of Judaea. Unfortunately, another contender for the Seleucid throne, Trypho, murdered Jonathan in 142 B.C Parthian Expansion and Seleucid Decline.

Simon Takes Charge

Mattathias’s last living son, Simon, continued Jonathan’s work. In exchange for Jewish support against Trypho’s rebellion, Demetrius II granted full independence, renouncing tribute claims. Simon became the hereditary high priest and king. However, his reign ended tragically; after defeating Antiochus VII, Simon was assassinated by his son-in-law Ptolemy, who aspired to the throne. Ptolemy was defeated by Simon’s son, John Hyrcanus I, who became the next king, leading Israel in new directions.

Parthia’s Philhellenic

Parthian Expansion and Seleucid Decline


Seleucus II’s Eastern Campaign

Initially, the Seleucids were preoccupied with challenges in the west. Around 232 or 231 B.C., Seleucus II ventured eastward to quell a rebellion led by Tiridates. Sensing the superior strength of Seleucus, Tiridates strategically retreated to the steppe, prompting Seleucus to pursue him to the Jaxartes (Syr Dar’ya) River. However, alarming news from Syria compelled Seleucus to turn back, allowing Tiridates to re-occupy the abandoned district and annex Hyrcania along the Caspian Sea Parthian Prosperity and Eastern Challenges.

Challenges Faced by Artabanus I

Artabanus I (211-191) faced significant challenges during the reign of Antiochus the Great. Defeated in battle, Artabanus lost half his kingdom to the Greeks and acknowledged Seleucid overlordship to retain his throne. The succeeding king, Priapathius (191-176), seized the opportunity to recover Hyrcania

A Picnic part 1


Chora Museum