Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
Map of the Roman Empire - Paphos
P-8 on the Map
Ancient Paphos This Hellenistic-Roman city was not the same as the oldest ancient Paphos which was destroyed by an earthquake during the time of Augustus (site at Kouklia). Although Old Paphos was rebuilt by Augustus the name was replaced in New Testament times by the new Paphos. This is the Paphos mentioned in the Bible in Acts 13:6-13. It was located on the extreme coast of Cyprus about 6 miles inland. The modern name for this city is Baffo.
Acts 13:6-13 - "And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [was] Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem."
Paphus (Πάφος). The name of two towns on the west coast of Cyprus, called “Old Paphos” (Παλαίπαφος） and “New Paphos” (Πάφος Νέα), the former near the promontory of Zephyrium, ten stadia from the coast; the latter more inland, sixty stadia from the former. Old Paphos was the chief seat of the worship of Aphrodité, who is said to have landed at this place after her birth among the waves, and who is hence frequently called the Paphian goddess (Paphia). Here she had a celebrated temple, the high-priest of which exercised a kind of religious superintendence over the whole island. The priests were supposed to be descendants of Cinyras (q.v.). The image of the goddess was a conical stone (ad Aen. i. 724), which was anointed with oil at the time of worship, and this, with other testimony derived from excavations made since 1887 by English explorers, makes it evident that the cult of the Paphian Aphrodité was Semitic rather than Hellenic. The very temple, with its large open courts and small chambers, had the characteristics of a Phœnician structure. New Paphos, on the other hand, was of Greek foundation, and the traditions ascribed it to Agapenor (Pausan. viii. 5, 2). In the reign of Augustus Old Paphos was destroyed by an earthquake, and when rebuilt by order of the emperor received the name of Augusta (Dio Cass. lxiv. 23). - Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.
Paphos (Greek: Πάφος, Transliteration Pafos Turkish: Baf), sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km (31.07 mi) west of the Limassol (the biggest port in island).Near Palaepaphos (Old Paphos) at the seaside of Petra-tou-Romiou is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty and the founding myth is interwoven with the goddess at every level, so that Old Paphos became the most famous and important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world. In Greco-Roman times Paphos was the island's capital, and it is famous for the remains of the Roman governor's palace, where extensive, fine mosaics are a major tourist attraction. The apostle Paul of Tarsus visited the town during the 1st century AD. - Wikipedia
Paul in Paphos. After landing at Salamis and proclaiming the Word of God in the synagogues , the prophets and teachers Barnabas, Black Symeon, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul of Tarsus traveled along the entire southern coast of the island of Cyprus until they reached Paphos . There, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted after Saul rebuked the Sorcerer Elymas. It was at that point that Saul effectively became the leader. He was from then on called Paul, rather than his former name, Saul. - Wikipedia
Maps are essential for any serious study, they help students of Roman history understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in historical sources.
PAPHUS (Ptol. 8.20.3, &c.: Eth. and Adj. ??f???, Paphius, and Paphiacus), the name of two towns seated on the SW. extremity of the coast of Cyprus, viz., Old Paphos (??f?? pa?a??, Ptol. 5.14.1; or, in one word, ?a?a?paf??, Strab. xiv. p.683; Palaepaphos, Plin. Nat. 5.31. s. 35) and New Paphos (??f?? ??a, Ptol. l.c.; Nea Paphos, Plin. l.c.). The name of Paphos, without any adjunct, is used by poets and by writers of prose to [2.548] denote both Old and New Paphos, but with this distinction, that in prose writers it commonly means New Paphos, whilst in the poets, on the contrary,--for whom the name of Palaepaphos would have--been unwieldy,--it generally signifies Old Paphos, the more peculiar seat of the worship of Aphrodite. In inscriptions, also, both towns are called ??f??. This indiscriminate use is sometimes productive of ambiguity, especially in the Latin prose authors.
Old Paphos, now Kukla or Konuklia (Engel, Kypros, vol. i. p. 125), was said to have been founded by Cinyras, the father of Adonis (Apollod. 3.14); though according to another legend preserved by Strabo (xi. p.505),--whose text, however, varies,--it was founded by the Amazons. It was seated on an eminence ( “celsa Paphos,” Virg. Aen. x. 51), at the distance of about 10 stadia, or 1? mile, from the sea, on which, however, it had a roadstead. it was not far distant from the promontory of Zephyrium (Strab. xiv. p.683) and the mouth of the little river Bocarus. (Hesych. sub voce ???a???.) The fable ran that Venus had landed there when she rose from out the sea. (Tac. Hist. 2.3; Mela, 2.7; Lucan 8.456.) According to Pausanias (1.14), her worship was introduced at Paphos from Assyria; but it is much more probable that it was of Phoenician origin. [PHOENICIA.] It had been very anciently established, and before the time of Homer, as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey (8.362)). Here the worship of the goddess centred, not for Cyprus alone, but for the whole earth. The Cinyradae, or descendants of Cinyras,--Greek by name, but of Phoenician origin,--were the chief priests. Their power and authority were very great; but it may be inferred from certain inscriptions that they were controlled by a senate and an assembly of the people. There was also an oracle here. (Engel, i.p. 483.) Few cities have ever been so much sung and glorified by the poets. (Cf. Aesch. Supp. 525; Verg. A. 1.415; Hor. Od. 1.19, 30, 3.26; Stat. Silv. 1.2. 101; Aristoph. Lysis. 833, &c. &c.) The remains of the vast temple of Aphrodite are still discernible, its circumference being marked by huge foundation walls. After its overthrow by an earthquake, it was rebuilt by Vespasian, on whose coins it is represented, as well as on earlier and later ones, and especially in, the most perfect style on those of Septimius Severus. (Engel, vol. i. p. 130.) From these representations, and from the existing remains, Hetsch, an architect of Copenhagen, has attempted to restore the building. (Müller's Archäol. § 239, p. 261; Eckhel, vol. iii. p. 86.)
New Paphos, now Baffa, was seated on the sea, near the western extremity of the island, and possessed a good harbour. It lay about 60 stadia, or between 7 and 8 miles NW. of the ancient city. (Strab. xiv. p.683.) It was said to have been founded by Agapenor, chief of the Arcadians at the siege of Troy (Hom. II. 2.609), who, after the the capture of that town, was driven by the storm, which separated the Grecian fleet, on the coast of Cyprus. (Paus. 8.5.3.) We find Agapenor mentioned as king of the Paphians in a Greek distich preserved in the Analecta (i. p. 181, Brunk); and Herodotus (7.90) alludes to an Arcadian *colony in Cyprus. Like its ancient namesake, Nea Paphos was also distinguished for the worship of Venus, and contained several magnificent temples dedicated to that-goddess. Yet in this respect the old city seems to have always retained the preeminence; and Strabo tells us, in the passage before cited, that the road leading to it from Nea Paphos was annually crowded with male and female votaries resorting to the more ancient shrine, and coming not only from the latter place itself, but also from the other towns of Cyprus. When Seneca says (N. Q. 6.26, Ep. 91) that Paphos was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, it is difficult to say to which of the towns he refers. Dio Cassius (54.23) relates that it was restored by Augustus, and called Augusta in his honour ; but though this name has been preserved in inscriptions, it never supplanted the ancient one in popular use. Paphos is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (13.6) as having been visited by St. Paul, when it appears to have been the residence of the Roman governor. Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 2.2, 3) records a visit of the youthful Titus to Paphos before he acceded to the empire, who inquired with much curiosity into its history and antiquities. (Cf. Suet. Tit. 100.5.) Under this name the historian doubtless included the ancient as well as the more modern city: and among other traits of the worship of the temple he records, with something like surprise, that the only image of the goddess was a pyramidal stone,--a relic, doubtless of Phoenician origin. There are still considerable, ruins of New Paphos a mile or two from the sea; among which are particularly remarkable the remains of three temples which had been erected on artificial eminences. (Engel, Kypros, 2 vols. Berlin, 1841.) - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.
Map of the Roman Empire - Places