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|Veria, Macedonia, Greece
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Saint Paul the Apostle having his Macedonian vision.
|This is one of the large mosaics on the monument / shrine to Saint Paul the Apostle at the place thought to be Veria's Vima, where he preached Christianity around 49-51 AD (see previous page).
The mosaic depicts Paul having his vision in which, according to the Book of Acts in the Bible's New Testament, "a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us'". (Acts, chapter 16, verse 9. See History of Veria.)
The vision prompted Paul and his companions to cross the Northern Aegean Sea by ship from Troas (Troy) in Asia Minor, via Samothraki to Macedonia, to preach Christianity there.
This scene is depicted in paintings and mosaics in churches around Macedonia, including at Kavala (ancient Neapolis), where Paul first landed on the European mainland and spent the night.
Saint Paul's ship
The "man of Macedonia" appears to Saint Paul in his vision.
|In the mosaic Paul is shown sleeping in a cave among rocks beneath the walls of Alexander Troas, which in Paul's time was a Roman-ruled city, near the site of ancient Troy.
It is notable that he is shown sleeping outside the city, roughing it in a cave, rather than staying in a more comfortable inn in the town. His face looks sleepy, tired, care-worn, and the scroll by his side tells us that he has been studying, perhaps the scriptures or one of letters exchanged between him and other Christian groups (churches), such as that at Ephesus.
The apostle is dressed in the traditional Greek manner, with a long blue tunic, covered by a red himation (a long woollen blanket folded as an outer garment).
The Macedonian man, in a billowing green robe and cloak, and with curly blonde hair (similar to depictions of Alexander the Great), appears to his left and delivers his appeal for the apostle to travel to his land. Is he floating, or standing on the rocks in the left of the picture, which may represent the mountains of Macedonia to which he is indicating with his right hand. Behinf him rays of heavenly light stream down onto the scene.
In the background a ship sails across the Northern Aegean Sea. This presumably represents the vessel which Paul was to take to Macedonia, or at least as far as Samothraki island, where he may have had to change ships for the mainland.
Saint Paul dreams of a holiday in Macedonia after a hard week in the office.
Mosaic on the right wing of the Saint Paul monument, depicting the apostle
preaching to an attentive group of Verians at the city's vima. The group
includes Jewish elders, a soldier and women. At the feet of the elderly Jewish
gentleman on the left of the group lies an open book, presumably the Torah,
so that he can verify or question Paul's Biblical references - chapter and verse.
In the background are the walls of the city, over which stand pagan Roman
temples and a statue on a tall column.
|More photos and information about mosaics|
on My Favourite Planet
Hellenistic mosaics in Pella, Macedonia, Greece
A mosaic of Dionysos and "Sleeping Ariadne" from Ephesus,
now in the Izmir Archaeological Museum, Turkey:
Selcuk photo gallery 2
The "Alexander Mosaic" from Pompeii, depicting
Alexander the Great in battle with King Darius III:
Alexander the Great
in our People section
A Hellenistic mosaic, signed by Hephaistion, from Pergamon,
now in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany:
Pergamon photo gallery 2
Ancient mosaics depicting the Gorgon Medusa
Mosaics from Pompeii signed by Dioskourides of Samos
Mosaics at Dion Archaeological Site, Macedonia, Greece:
Dion: garden of the Gods
at the Cheshire Cat Blog
Choklakia pebble mosaics on Kastellorizo island, Greece:
Kastellorizo photo gallery
Mosaics of Saint John the Theologian, on Patmos, Greece:
Patmos photo gallery
See also a mosaic mural made by the author of this guide:
|Photos, maps and articles: © David John
Some of the information and photos in this guide to Veria
originally appeared in 2004 on davidjohnberlin.de.
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in Kavala's historic Panagia District