One of my most vivid memories from Greece is sitting in the middle of a row in an overcrowded hydrofoil boat, hurtling from Amorgos to Santorini in stormy waters, holding a gyro sandwich in my hands (that didn’t look so appetizing anymore), and thinking that I made a huge mistake. My friend Rocha was right there with me, and he’ll tell you the same story. That was one hell of a ride. We should have known it would be, since the boat was about two hours late because of the wind and waves it went through to get to us.
I dreaded my trip from Santorini to Rhodes that would happen in the next few days. If Amorgos to Santorini was that bad, I couldn’t imagine an eight hour overnight trip, which essentially would take me all the way across the Aegean to Turkey. (Luckily, I would find out, the ships that make those trips are massive, and you can’t feel any movement at all.)
I say all of this to put ancient travel in perspective. I think I had it bad? Can you imagine Paul’s trip from Caesarea to Rome? Or overland travel, for that matter? The amount of time and danger to get through the Anatolian highlands may have been even worse!
Using Orbis data, I’ve mapped the travel, by foot and boat in the winter, for many of the paths mentioned in Acts. Not every route mentioned in Acts is represented here, but the main ones are.
The study of cities must consider travel between cities and the networks that grow overland and oversea. One day, I’ll try that road trip from Iconium (Konya) to Troas.
Travel Routes in Acts by Jill E. Marshall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.