Assos, In the Steps of Paul

November 18, 2015

On Paul’s return trip on his 3rd Missionary Journey, after departing from Troas, he walked on to Assos and rejoined his traveling companions there. Today at noon (ETS meeting, ATL) Dr. Mark Wilson did a very informative presentation on that segment of Paul’s travel.

11 Now when he [Paul] had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man [Eutychus] in alive, and they were not a little comforted. 13 Then we went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene (Acts 20:11-14).

At the acropolis of Assos there are some well-preserved ruins of the temple of Athena.

Assos, temple of Athena. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Assos, temple of Athena. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Here is a view of the Acropolis:

Acropolis of Assos. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Acropolis of Assos. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

While the distance from Troas to Assos as the crow flies is about 20 miles, Dr. Wilson pointed out that the Roman road on which Paul would have traveled would have been about 31 miles, and would have taken two days.

Map by BibleAtlas.org.

Map by BibleAtlas.org.

Mark said that Assos was one of his top 10 favorite places in Turkey to visit. I have to agree!

I have a previous post on Assos here.

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Troas of Biblical Asia Minor

May 12, 2015

In our previous post we referenced Acts 16:11, “So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis.” It was at Troas that Paul saw in a vision a man from Macedonia pleading and urging him to “come over and help us” (16:9). This was on the 2nd Missionary Journey. Today biblical Troas is in western Turkey.

Fant and Reddish have this to say about Troas:

Called Alexandria Troas to distinguish it from other cities named Alexandria, the city is often referred to simply as Troas. (“The Troad” is the name used for the area around the ancient city of Troy.) What was once a large and important city on the western coast of Asia Minor has today been reduced to a few ruins overgrown by trees and shrubs, receiving only a cursory visit from a small number of sightseers. (A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey)

Troas Sign. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Troas Sign. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

While they are correct regarding Troas’ history, Fant and Reddish are not exactly current as to “a few ruins.” When we had opportunity to visit Troas (Mar. 29, 2015), there was cloud cover and not the best lighting, but you can still see some of the recent excavations there.

Troas Excavations. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Troas Excavations. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

When Ferrell Jenkins and I were there in 2006 the Roman road which led down to the harbor was just then being uncovered. More has been excavated since then. It is thought that this is the road that Paul would have walked on to make use of the harbor down below.

Roman Road at Troas. Led down to the harbor below. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Roman Road at Troas. Led down to the harbor below. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Several fragments of Roman columns and other remains have been discovered.

Some of the remains discovered at Troas. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Some of the remains discovered at Troas. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I love to travel in Turkey. While Fant and Reddish may be right about the “small number of sightseers” who visit here, I will assure you that it is a worthwhile stop for any who wish to enhance their understanding of Bible history and geography!

Click on images for larger view.