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Syracuse, from the Greek Syrakousai, was a Mediterranean (see The Mediterranean Sea) seaport city on the southeast coast of Sicily (see map below). Founded by Greeks in the 8th century BC (see Ancient Empires - Greece, also The Ptolemies and The Seleucids), its two excellent harbors made it the most important, and prosperous, city on the island. With the decline of Greek power (see Daniel's Statue), the city was taken over by the Romans in the second century BC (see Ancient Empires - Rome).

Paul's Journey To Rome

Syracuse is known to Bible History from its single mention in the New Testament when Paul was being taken to Rome as a prisoner after his three major missionary journeys. After surviving a shipwreck on Malta, where he remained for three months, Paul resumed his journey on another ship that stopped at Syracuse for three days during the northward voyage to Rome:

"After three months we set sail in a ship which had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the Twin Brothers as figurehead [Note: "the Twin Brothers" were Castor and Pollux, the "Gemini twins" of Greek and Roman mythology who were the pagan "patron saints" of sailors, hence their carved images on the bows of many Greek and Roman ships].

"Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days."

"And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium; and after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome."

"And the brethren there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them Paul thanked God and took courage. And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him." (Acts 28:11-16 RSV)

Fact Finder: Where did Paul go on each of his three major missionary journeys prior to his being taken as a prisoner to Rome?

Paul's First Missionary Journey
Paul's Second Missionary Journey
Paul's Third Missionary Journey

On The Road To Damascus
Paul In Athens
Paul In Corinth
Paul In Rome

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