The Rules


Some of them make sense. Others I had to wonder about.

Millions of people visit the Acropolis in Athens each year. It is one of the busiest tourist sites in the world. If each person took a pebble home as a souvenir, there wouldn’t be much left at the end of the year. Not to mention the issues of walking off with part of Greek cultural heritage.

Maybe some of the other rules are just matters of translation. It is forbidden to make moving pictures without permission, but I saw lots of people using their phones to shoot video. I doubt anyone asked for permission first. Maybe the rule applies only to commercial productions. I don’t see how they would enforce it otherwise.

I’m not sure how they would stop someone from using their pictures in an ad campaign if they so desired. With so many tourists on site, if one is holding a bottle of their favourite beverage, who is going to notice – until the photo appears on billboards.

There is at least one cat on the Acropolis – I saw it, though I didn’t get a picture. So someone has introduced animals to the site.  An d short of searching purses and backpacks, I don’t know how you would keep food off the hill. I saw people eating. Maybe what they meant was “don’t litter.” I don’t recall seeing garbage cans, but then I didn’t have food with me so I wasn’t looking.

I also wonder what is wrong with singing? Or even loud noises for that matter? Causing a disturbance, yes, I understand why there are rules about that. But what is wrong with singing?

It makes me wonder if there have been problems in the past, if maybe choirs were trooping up to the Acropolis to give impromptu concerts. I didn’t think to ask, I just kept my mouth shut while visiting. Didn’t even hum a few bars.

Rules are a necessary part of life. Except for the part about souvenirs and vandalism, I found these ones more amusing than useful.




  1. Neil Abramson · · Reply

    There’s a difference between having rules and whether people actually observe them. Should we only have rules that fit people’s existing behavior, or can we not hope for better? The Lord, for example, offered up ten rules. The one about not killing gets broken all the time and not just in wars, and not just people. The one about not coveting your neighbor’s possessions surely doesn’t fit our materialistic culture. It seems utterly anti-capitalistic. Should we petition the Lord for more realistic commandments, or just try to improve our own act, and let the Lord take care of the stragglers?

    1. Of course we don’t seem to trust the Lord to take care of the stragglers – we always want to do it ourselves.

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