(f2187) The nautical difficulties of this narrative have been successfully explained by two independent inquirers; and, so far as we are aware, by no one else. A practical knowledge of seamanship was required for the elucidation of the whole subject; and none of the ordinary commentators seem to have looked on it with the eye of a sailor. The first who examined St. Paul’s voyage in a practical spirit was the late Admiral Sir Charles Penrose, whose life has been lately published (Murray, 1851). His MSS. have been kindly placed in the hands of the writer of this chapter, and they are frequently referred to in the notes. A similar investigation was made subsequently, but independently, and more minutely and elaborately, by James Smith, Esq., of Jordanhill, whose published work on the subject (Longmans, 1848) has already obtained a European reputation. Besides other valuable aid, Mr. Smith has examined the sheets of this chapter, as they have passed through the press. We have also to express our acknowledgments for much kind assistance received from the late Admiral Moorsom and other naval officers.
(f2188) The reference here is to the Dissertation on "The Ships of the Ancients" in Mr. Smith’s work on the Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, pp. 140-202. The treatise may be regarded as the standard work on the subject, not only in England, but in Europe. It has been translated into German by H. Thiersch, and it is adduced in Hermann’s well-known work on Greek Antiquities as the decisive authority on the difficult points connected with the study of ancient ship-building. It is hardly necessary to refer to any of the older works on the subject. A full catalogue is given in Mr. Smith’s Appendix.
(f2189) See Humboldt’s Kosmos, vol. ii., for the main facts relating to the history of the compass.
(f2190) We have no information of any nautical instruments at the time when we read of Ptolemy’s mural quadrant at Alexandria; nor is it likely that any more effectual means of taking exact observations at sea, than the simple quadrant held in the hand, were in use before the invention of the reflecting quadrants and sextants by Hooke and Hadley. The want of exact chronometers must also be borne in mind.
(f2191) The first nautical charts were perhaps those of Marinus of Tyre (A. D. 150), whom Forbiger regards as the founder of mathematical geography. See the life of Ptolemy in Dr. Smith’s Dictionary. "We are apt to consider the ancients as timid and unskilful sailors, afraid to venture out of sight of land, or to make long voyages in the winter. I can see no evidence that this was the case. The cause of their not making voyages after the end of summer arose, in a great measure, from the comparative obscurity of the sky during the winter, and not from the gales which prevail at that season. With no means of directing their course, except by observing the heavenly bodies, they were necessarily prevented from putting to sea when they could not depend on their being visible." — Smith, p. 180.
(f2192) See again what is said below in reference to Acts 27:12.
(f2193) "As both ends were alike, if we suppose a full-built merchant-ship of the present day, cut in two, and the stern half replaced by one exactly the same as that of the bow, we shall have a pretty accurate notion of what these ships were." — Smith, p. 141.
(f2194) For a full description and explanation of ancient triremes, &c, see Mr. Smith’s Dissertation.
(f2195) See Vorsaee on the Danes and Northmen in England. He does not describe the structure of their ships; but this peculiarity is evident in the drawing given at p. 111, from the Bayeux tapestry.
(f2196) "The fastenings of the rudders." The fact of "rudders" being in the plural is lost sight of in the English version; and the impression is conveyed of a single rudder, worked by tiller-ropes, which, as we shall see, is quite erroneous. Compare the use of "guberna" in Lucretius; and see Smith, p. 143, and Dr. Smith’s Dictionary of Antiquities, under "Gubernaculum."
(f2197) Smith, p. 146. He traces the representation of ancient rudders from Trajan’s column to the gold nobles of our king Edward III., and infers that "the change in the mode of steering must have taken place about the end of the thirteenth, or early in the fourteenth century."
(f2198) See Vorsaee, as above, and the representations of classical ships in Mr. Smith’s work.
(f2199) By this it is not meant that topsails were not used, or that there were never more masts than one. Topsails (suppara) are frequently alluded to: and we shall have occasion hereafter to refer particularly to a second mast, besides the mainmast. See Mr. Smith’s Dissertation, p. 151, and the engraving there given from M. Jal’s Archeologie Navale.
(f2200) See Smith, p. 63.
(f2201) Laxis laterum compagibus omnes Accipiunt inimicum imbrem, rimisque fatiscunt.
(f2202) Life, c. 3. Mr. Smith remarks here (p. 62) that, since Josephus and some of his companions saved themselves by swimming, "the ship did not go down during the gale, but in consequence of the damage she received during its continuance." For the meaning of the word "Adria," see below.
(f2203) Probably with the aid of floating spars, &c. See note on 2Corinthians 11:25.
(f2204) This is what is called "frapping" by seamen in the English navy, who are always taught how to frap a ship. The only difference is, that the practice is now resorted to much less frequently, and that modern ships are not supplied with "undergirders" specially prepared. The operation and its use are thus described in Falconer’s Marine Dictionary:"To frap a ship is to pass four or five turns of a large cable-laid rope round the hull or frame of a ship, to support her in a great storm, or otherwise, when it is apprehended that she is not strong enough to resist the violent efforts of the sea." In most of the European languages the nautical term is, like the Greek, expressive of the nature of the operation. Fr. ceintrer; Ital. cingere; Germ. umgurten; Dutch omgorden; Norw. omgyrte; Portug. cintrar. In Spanish the word is tortorar: a circumstance which possesses some etymological interest, since the word used by Isidore of Seville for a rope used in this way is tormentum. See the next note.
(f2205) The excavations were made in the year 1834; and the inscriptions were published, in 1840, at Berlin, by A. Bockh. A complete account is given of every thing with which the Athenian ships were supplied, with the name of each vessel, &c.; and we find that they all carried "undergirders," which are classed among the hanging gear, as opposed to what was constructed of timber. In commenting on one passage having reference to the ships which were on service in the Adriatic, and which carried several "undergirders," Bockh shows that these were ropes passed round the body of the ship, but he strangely supposes that they were passed from stem to stern.
(f2206) See below on the traffic between the provinces and Rome .
(f2207) Described in Athenaeus.
(f2208) From the length and breadth of this ship as given by Lucian, Mr. Smith infers that her burden was between 1,000 and 1,100 tons, pp. 147-150.
(f2209) "The ship must have been of considerable burden, as we find there were no less than 276 persons embarked on board her. To afford fair accommodation for troops in a transport expressly fitted for the purpose, we should allow at the rate of a ton and a half to each man, and as the ship we are considering was not expressly fitted for passengers, we may conclude that her burden was fully, or at least nearly double, the number of tons to the souls on board, or upwards of 500 tons." — Penrose, MS.
(f2210) Life, c. 3.
(f2211) As it is essential, for the purpose of elucidating the narrative, that this language should be clearly understood, a compass has been inserted at p. 619, and some words of explanation are given, both here and below. This will be readily excused by those who are familiar with nautical phraseology
(f2212) Yet we sometimes find the mistake when we should hardly expect it. Thus, Hemsen says, in reference to Acts 27:7, that it is "doubtful whether the ancients were acquainted with the way of sailing against the wind."
(f2213) The classical passages relating to these winds — the monsoons of the Levant — are collected in Forbiger’s work on Ancient Geography,
(f2214) See Smith, p. 178.
(f2215) "Lisdem ventis in contrarium navigator prolatis pedibus." — H. N. 2:48.
(f2216) Smith, p. 178.
(f2217) See above, p. 610, n. 8.
(f2218) Plin. H. N. 15:20. We may observe that the interval of time need not be regarded as so much as three entire days.
(f2219) This is one of the passages which will be referred to hereafter, in considering the boundaries of the sea called Adria (Acts 27:27).
(f2220) Herodotus reckons a day and a night’s sail in the summer time, and with a favorable wind, at 1, 300 stadia, or 162 Roman miles.
(f2221) For the chniskov, a tall ornament at the stern or prow, in the form of the neck of a water-fowl, see Smith, p. 142, and the Dictionary of Antiquities, under "Aplustre."
(f2222) "Whose sign was Castor and Pollux," Acts 28:11. This might be abundantly illustrated from classical authors.
(f2223) Compare pp. 19, 20.
(f2224) See the passage in Pitt’s speeches, referred to in Milman’s Gibbon, 1:p. 70.
(f2225) For example, the amber trade of the Baltic, and the importing of provisions and rough cloths from Cisalpine Gaul.
(f2226) We may refer here, in illustration, to the coin representing Ostia below, p. 743. It was about this time that the new harbor of Portus (a city not unconnected with ecclesiastical history was completed by Nero on the north side of the mouth of the Tiber. See the article "Ostia" in Dr. Smith’s Dict. of Geography.
(f2227) There seem to have been two great lines of inland trade through Asia Minor, one near the southern shore of the Black Sea, through the districts opened by the campaigns of Pompey, and the other through the center of the country from Mazaca, on the Euphrates, to Ephesus.
(f2228) See pp. 8, 9, 33, 407.
(f2229) See the history of this trade in Dean Vincent’s Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients.
(f2230) One of them is given (from Mr. Smith’s work) on the titlepage.
(f2231) Joseph. War, 7:2, 1.
(f2232) Suet. Titus c. 5.
(f2233) Joseph. Life, c. 3.
(f2234) The words "meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia" (v. 2) should rather be applied to the ship ("about to sail," &c). They seem to imply that she was about to touch at several places on her way to Adramyttium. Probably she was a small coaster, similar to those of the modern Greeks in the same seas: and doubtless the Alexandrian corn-ship mentioned afterwards was much larger.
(f2235) This we infer, partly because it is reasonable to suppose that they expected to reach Italy before the winter, partly because of the delays which are expressly mentioned before the consultation at Fair Havens. See p. 696.
(f2236) For the meaning of the word "Asia" in the New Testament, we need only refer again to p. 205, &c. It is of the utmost consequence to bear this in mind. If the continent of Asia were intended, the passage would be almost unmeaning. Yet Falconer says (Diss. on St. Paul’s Voyage, on the wind Euroclydon, and the Apostle’s shipwreck on the Island Melita, by a Layman. Oxf. 1817), "They who conducted the ship meant to sail on their return by the coasts of Asia; accordingly, the next day after they set sail, they touched at Sidon," p. 4. Nor are we to suppose Asia Minor intended, which seems to be the supposition even of some of the most careful commentators.
(f2237) P. 240; and see p. 596. We need hardly allude to the error of Grotius, who supposed Adrumetum, on the African coast, to be meant. Mr. Lewin assumes that the intention of Julius was to proceed (like those who afterwards took Ignatius to his martyrdom) by the Via Egnatia through Macedonia; but the narrative gives no indication of such a plan: and indeed the hypothesis is contradicted by the word in Acts 27:1.
(f2238) A short notice of it is given by Sir. C. Fellows (A. M. p. 39). Mr. Weston, in his MS. journal, describes it as a filthy town, of about 1,500 houses, 150 of which are inhabited by Greeks, and he saw no remains of antiquity. It was a flourishing seaport in the time of the kings of Pergamus; and Pliny mentions it as the seat of a conventus juridicus. In Pococke’s Travels (II. 2:16), it is stated that there is much boat-building still at Adramyti.
(f2239) See above.
(f2240) See the quotation already given from Norie’s Sailing Directions in this volume, p. 605, n. 4. A similar statement will be found in Purdy, p. 59. Mr. Smith (pp. 22, 23, 27, 41) gives very copious illustrations of this point, from the journal written by Lord de Saumarez, on his return from Aboukir, in the months of August and September, 1798. He stood to the north towards Cyprus, and was compelled to run to the south of Crete. "The wind continues to the westward. I am sorry to find it almost as prevailing as the trade-winds (July 4)… We have just gained sight of Cyprus, nearly the track we followed six weeks ago; so invariably do the westerly winds prevail at this season (Aug. 19)… We are still off the island of Rhodes. Our present route is to the northward of Candia (Aug. 28)… After contending three days against the adverse winds which are almost invariably encountered here, and getting sufficiently to the northward to have weathered the small islands that lie more immediately between the Archipelago and Candia, the wind set in so strong from the westward, that I was compelled to desist from that passage, and to bear up between Scarpanto and Saxo."
(f2241) "They probably stopped at Sidon for the purposes of trade." — Smith, p. 23. "It may be concluded that they put in because of contrary winds." — Penrose MS.
(f2242) See what has been said above on these two cities, Ch. 20. p. 613, &c.
(f2243) A compendious account of Fakriddin will be found in the Modern traveler.
(f2244) For the history of Sidon during the Middle Ages, see Dr. Robinson’s third volume.
(f2245) Strabo, xvi.
(f2246) See p. 370.
(f2247) See the preceding chapter.
(f2248) See Ch. 20.
(f2249) This is the strict meaning of the term. So it is used below, v. 7, and the sense is the same, v. 16. It is a confusion of geographical ideas to suppose that a south shore is necessarily meant. Falconer, who imagines the south coast of Cyprus to be intended, was misled by his view of the meaning of the word "Asia." They sailed, in fact, so that the wind blew from the island towards the ship. The idea of sailing near the coast is no doubt included: but the two things are distinct.
(f2250) Through or across. The meaning is similar in v. 27. We should observe the order in which the following words occur. Cilicia is mentioned first.
(f2251) "From Syria to the Archipelago there is a constant current to the westward, slightly felt at sea, but very perceptible near the shore, along this part of which [Lycia] it runs with considerable but irregular velocity: between Adratchan Cape and the small adjacent island we found it one day almost three miles an hour… The great body of water, as it moves to the westward, is intercepted by the western coast of the Gulf of Adalia; thus pent up and accumulated, it rushes with augmented violence towards Cape Khelidonia, where, diffusing itself in the open sea, it again becomes equalized." Beaufort’s Karamania, p. 41. See pp. 127, 606. [Of two persons engaged in the merchant-service, one says that he has often "tricked other fruit-vessels" in sailing westward, by standing to the north to get this current, while they took the mid-channel course; the other, that the current is sometimes so strong between Cyprus and the main, that he has known "a steamer jammed" there, in going to the East.]
(f2252) It is said in the Sailing Directory (p. 243), but "at night the great northern valley contacts the land-wind from the cold mountains of the interior to the sea;" and again (p. 241), that "Capt. Beaufort, on rounding Cape Khelidonia, found the land-breezes, which had generally been from the west, or south-west, coming down the gulf of Adalia from the northward."
(f2253) The vessel would [probably] have to beat up to Myra. This is indicated in the map. The wind is assumed to be N. W.:and the alternate courses marked are about N. N. E. on the larboard tack, and W. S. W. on the starboard tack.
(f2254) Lycia was once virtually a part of the province of Asia (p. 207); but shortly before the time of St. Paul’s voyage to Rome it seems to have been united under one jurisdiction with Pamphylia (p. 209). The period when it was a separate province, with Myra for its metropolis, was much later.
(f2255) The two best accounts of Myra will be found in Fellows’s Asia Minor, pp. 194, &c., and Spratt and Forbes’s Lycia, vol. 1, ch. iii.
(f2256) This gorge is described in striking language, both by Sir C. Fellows and by Spratt and Forbes.
(f2257) See note 4.
(f2258) Mr. Cockerell remarks that we may infer something in reference to the population of an ancient city from the size of its theatre. A plan of this theatre is given in Leake’s Asia Minor, and also in Texier’s Asie Mineure,
(f2259) It is well known that there is much difference of opinion concerning the history of Lycian civilization, and the date of the existing remains.
(f2260) Early Travels in Palestine, quoted by Mr. Lewin, vol. 2, p. 716. It is erroneously said there that Myra was at that time the metropolis of Lycia, on the authority of the Synecdemus, which belongs to a period much later. The river Andriaki is also incorrectly identified with the Limyrus.
(f2261) The relics of St. Nicholas were taken to St. Petersburg by a Russian frigate during the Greek revolution, and a gaudy picture sent instead. Sp. & F. Compare Fellows.
(f2262) See the description of this grand and solitary building, and the vignette, in Spratt and Forbes. They remark that "as Myra was the capital of the bishopric of Lycia for many centuries afterwards, and as there are no remains at Myra itself indicating the existence of a cathedral, we probably behold in this ruin the head-church of the diocese, planted here from motives of seclusion and security." — Vol. 1, p. 107.
(f2263) Hierocl. Synecd. See Wesseling’s note, p. 684.
(f2264) The inscription on the granary is given by Beaufort.
(f2265) See above p. 608, n. 7.
(f2266) See the references to Socrates, Sozomen, and Philo, in Wetstein. It is possible, as Kuinoel suggests, that the ship might have brought goods from Alexandria to Lycia, and then taken in a fresh cargo for Italy; but not very probable, since she was full of wheat when the gale caught her. [A captain in the merchant-service told the writer, that, in coming from Alexandria in August, he has stood to the north towards Asia Minor for the sake of the current, and that this is a very common course.]
(f2267) Mr. Lewin supposes that the plan of Julius was changed, in consequence of this ship being found in harbor here. "At Myra the centurion most unluckily changed his plan," &c., vol. 2:p. 716.
(f2268) See above, p. 685.
(f2269) A quotation to this effect is given by Wetstein.
(f2270) The Greek word here is only imperfectly rendered by "scarce" in the English version. It is the same word which is translated "hardly" in v. 8, and it occurs again in v. 16.
(f2271) Their direct course was about W. by S.:and, when they opened the point, they were under very unfavorable circumstances even for beating. The words "the wind not suffering us," Mr. Smith understands to mean that the wind would not allow the vessel to hold on her course towards Italy, after Cnidus was passed. So Sir C. Penrose, in whose MS. we find the following:"The course from Myra towards Italy was to pass close to the Island of Cythera (Cerigo), or the south point of the Morea; the Island of Rhodes lying in the direct track. It appears that the ship passed to the northward of that island, having sailed slowly many days from the light and baffling winds, usual in those seas and at that season. Having at last got over against Cnidus (C. Crio), the wind not suffering them to get on in the direct course, it having become steady from the west or north-west, they sailed southwards, till, coming near to the east end of Crete, they passed," &c.
The words at first sight seem to mean that the wind would not allow them to put into the harbor of Cnidus: and so they are understood by Meyer, De Wette, Humphry, and Hackett. But in a case of this kind nautical considerations must be taken into account. A friend remarks in a letter that "a ship on a weather-shore could not come to and warp it." If, however, it were true that they could not get into Cnidus, it would equally follow that he wind was blowing hard from the N. W.
(f2272) See above.
(f2273) If the words "the wind not suffering us" really mean that the wind would not allow them to enter the harbor of Cnidus, these re marks become unnecessary.
(f2274) For a view of this remarkable promon tory, which is the more worthy of notice, since St. Paul passed it twice (Acts 21:1, 27:7), see the engraving in the Admiralty Chart, No 1604.
(f2275) See above, p. 604.
(f2276) We can hardly avoid making some allusion here to the celebrated Venus of Praxiteles This object of universal admiration was at Cnidus when St. Paul passed by.
(f2277) It was afterwards made "a free city."
(f2278) The ruins are chiefly on the east side of the Isthmus (see Hamilton, as referred to below). Pausanias says that the city was divided into two parts by an Euripus, over which a bridge was thrown; one half being towards the Triopian promontory, the other towards the east.
(f2279) Beaufort’s Karamania, p. 81. The fullest account of the ruins will be found in the third volume of the Transactions of the Dilettanti Society, and in Hamilton’s Asia Minor, vol. i pp. 39-45.
(f2280) It was Sostratus of Cnidus who built the Pharos of Alexandria. The same place gave birth to Ctesias and Agatharchides, and others who have contributed much to geographical knowledge.
(f2281) Here and above we quote from Beaufort. See his Sketch of the Harbor. The same maybe seen in the Admiralty Chart, No. 1533. Another chart gives a larger plan of the ruins, &c. Other references might easily be given. Perhaps there is no city in Asia Minor which has been more clearly displayed, both by description and engravings.
(f2282) Hamilton, p. 39.
(f2283) For what may be necessary to explain the nautical terms, see the compass on p. 619.
(f2284) Smith, p. 35.
(f2285) See above. It is of importance to observe here that the pronoun "it" in v. 8 refers, not to Salmone, but to Crete. With the wind from the N. W. they would easily round the point: but after this they would "beat up with difficulty along the coast" to the neighborhood of Cape Matala.
(f2286) In our larger editions, a view is given from Schranz’s drawing, in Mr. Smith’s work.
(f2287) It is no doubt the same place which is mentioned by Pococke (2:250) under the name of Limeonev Kalouv, and also the Calis-mene spoken of in the voyage of Rauwolf (is Ray’s Collection), and the Calis Miniones of Fynes Morison. In ancient sailing directions, Dutch and French, it is described as "een schoone bay, — une belle baie." See all these references in Smith, pp. 30, 38, 44. The place was visited by Mr. Pashley, but is not described by him. Meyer considers the name euphemistic. As regards wintering, the place was cer tainly "not commodious;" but as regards shelter from some winds ‘including N. W) was a good anchorage.
(f2288) Mr. Smith says that Lasaea is not mentioned by any ancient writer. It is, however, probably the Lasia of the Peutingerian Tables, stated there to be sixteen miles to the east of Gortyna.
[We are now able with great satisfaction to state that the city of Lasaea has been discovered. The Revelation G. Brown, with some companions, has recently visited this coast in the yacht St. Ursula; and a letter written by him from Fair Havens on January 18th, 1856, supplies the following facts. When the party landed at Pair Havens the question was asked, "Where is Lassea?" to which it was answered at once, that it was now a deserted place about two hours to the eastward, close to Cape Leonda. On receiving this information they ran along the coast before a S. W. wind; and just after passing the Cape, the eye of one of the party was caught by "two white pillars standing on a brae-side near the shore." On approaching and landing, the beach was found to be lined with masses of masonry, and various remains of a considerable town were discovered. The peasants who came down from the hills said that the name of the place was Lassea. Cape Leonda lies five miles east of Pair Havens. Mr. Brown’s letter has been placed at our disposal by Mr. Smith, who will give fuller details in the second edition of his work on St. Paul’s Shipwreck. (This edition is now published. 1861.)]
(f2289) The allusion is, in truth, an instance of the autoptic style of St. Luke, on which we have remarked in the narrative of what took place at Philippi.
(f2290) When they left Caesarea they had every reasonable prospect of reaching Italy before the stormy season; but since then "much time had been spent."
(f2291) Just so Theophrastus reckons from a Heathen festival, when he says "that the sea is navigable after the Dionysia."
(f2292) Authorities are given in the larger editions.
(f2293) See v. 10, and v. 21.
(f2294) Observe the vagueness of the words "a certain island."
(f2295) The same word is translated "shipmaster" in Revelation 18:17.
(f2296) He might be the skipper, or little more than supercargo.
(f2297) The imperfect tense is used here. [It appears from Mr. Brown’s letter that St. Paul’s counsel was not unwise even in the nautical sense. For further details we must again refer to Mr. Smith’s second edition. We may just add that Mr. Brown was told at Lutro that the "Holy Apostle Paul" had visited Calolimounias and baptized many people there; and that near the latter place he saw the ruins of a monastery bearing the Apostle’s name. ]
(f2298) So the name is written by St. Luke and by Strabo. See below. The name was probably derived from the palm-trees, which are said by Theophrastus and Pliny to be indigenous in Crete.
(f2299) At the time when Mr. Smith’s work was published, our information regarding the coast of Crete was very imperfect; and he found it to be the general impression of several officers acquainted with the navigation of those seas [and the writer of this note may add that he has received the same impression from persons engaged in the merchant-service, and familiar with that part of the Levant], that there are no ship-harbors on the south side of the island. Mr. Smith’s conviction, however, was that at Lutro there was a harbor satisfying all the conditions, and the writer of this note was enabled, in April, 1852, to confirm this conviction in a very satisfactory manner. The Admiralty drawings of the south coast of Crete had just then arrived, and the soundings of Lutro were decisive. These were exhibited in our earlier editions from a tracing made at the Admiralty. The position of the harbor is shown by the anchor in the chart opposite p. 698.
Previously, however, Mr. Smith had received a letter from Mr. Urquhart, M. P., alluding to what occurred to him, when on board a Greek ship of war and chasing a pirate. "Lutro is an admirable harbor. You open it like a box; unexpectedly, the rocks stand apart, and the town appears within… We thought we had cut him off, and that we were driving him right upon the rocks. Suddenly he disappeared; — and, rounding in after him, like a change of scenery, the little basin, its shipping and the town, presented themselves… Excepting Lutro, all the roadsteads looking to the southward are perfectly exposed to the south or east." For a view of Lutro, see Pashley’s Travels in Crete.
[The earlier part of this note remains as it was in the first edition. It is confirmed in every particular by Mr. Brown’s letter. In the first place, when they were in search of Lutro, they ran past it, partly because of an error in the chart, and partly because "the port in question makes no appearance from the sea." Next, on reaching the place, and inquiring from an old Greek what was its ancient name, "he replied, without hesitation, Phoeniki, but that the old city exists no longer." A Latin inscription relating to the Emperor Nerva (who was of Cretan extraction) is mentioned as being found on the point which defends the harbor on the south. The harbor itself is described thus:"We found the shores steep and perfectly clean. There are fifteen fathoms in the middle of the harbor, diminishing gradually to two close to the village. As the beach is extremely narrow, and the hills immediately behind steep and rocky, the harbor cannot have altered its form materially since the days of the Apostle." The health-officer said, that "though the harbor is open to the East, yet the easterly gales never blow home, being lifted by the high land behind; and that even in storms the sea rolls in gently (piano, piano)… it is the only secure harbor, in all winds, on the south coast of Crete; and, during the wars between the Venetians and the Turks, as many as twenty and twenty-five war-galleys have found shelter in its waters."
Further interest is given to this narrative by the circumstance that this yachting party was caught by the Euroclydon (see below, p. 700), so that some of them who landed were unable to rejoin the vessel, and detained a night on shore. The sailors said that it was "no wonder that St. Paul was blown off the coast in such weather" (see pp. 700, 701), and they added that "no boat could have boarded them in such a sea" (see p. 701).
It is a curious fact that this same party, on returning from Alexandria, were again caught in a gale on this coast, on February 19th, 1856, and obliged to run with three-reefed mainsail and fore-staysail into the harbor of Lutro, where, the writer says, "we spent as quiet a night as if we were in a millpond. It is a small place," he continues, "and it was queer, in looking up the after-companion, to see olive trees and high rocks overhanging the taffrail."]
(f2300) This is the literal meaning of the original, which is inadequately translated in the English version.
(f2301) Observe the parenthetic way in which the description of Phoenix is introduced, v. 12.
(f2302) The details are given in the larger editions. Moreover Strabo says that Phoenix is in the narrowest part of Crete, which is precisely true of Lutro; and the longitudes of Ptolemy harmonize with the same result See Smith, p. 51.
The chart on the opposite page is takes from Mr. Smith’s work, with some modifications. The part near Lutro is corrected from the tracing mentioned above. The spot marked "Spring and Church of St. Paul" is from the English Admiralty surrey. The cape marked "C. St. Paul" is so named on the authority of Lapie’s map and last French government chart of the eastern part of the Mediterranean. The physical features are after Lapie and Pashley. For a notice of St. Paul’s fountain, see Pashley, 2:259.
(f2303) It seems strange that this view should not have occurred to the commentators. For discussion regarding the Greek preposition used here, we must refer to the larger editions.
Such a harbor would have been very "commodious to winter in;" and it agrees perfectly with Lutro, as delineated in the recent survey. To have recommended a harbor because the south-west and north-west winds blew into it would have been folly. But, whether the commentators felt this or not, they have generally assumed that the harbor was open to these winds.
(f2304) See what is said below in reference to lowering the gear, v. 17.
(f2305) This is certain, from v. 16.
(f2306) Their experience, however, might have taught them that there was some cause for fear. Capt. J. Stewart, R. N. (as quoted by Mr. Smith, p. 60), observes, in his remarks on the Archipelago:"It is always safe to anchor under the lee of an island with a northerly wind, as it dies away gradually; but it would be extremely dangerous with southerly winds, as they almost invariably shift to a violent northerly wind." [During the revision of these pages for the press (March 4, 1856), the following communication from Capt. Spratt was received in a letter from Mr. Smith:"We left Fair Havens with a light southerly wind and clear sky — every thing indicative of a fine day, until we rounded the cape to haul up for the head of the bay. Then we saw Mount Ida covered with a dense cloud, and met a strong northerly breeze (one of the summer gales, in fact, so frequent in the Levant, but which in general are accomplished by terrific gusts and squalls from those high mountains), the wind blowing direct from Mount Ida."]
(f2307) The verb is in the imperfect.
(f2308) The Greek here denotes that the wind came "down from it," i.e. Crete, not "against it," i.e. the ship. [Sir C. Penrose, without reference to the Greek, speaks of the wind as "descending from the lofty hills in heavy squalls and eddies, and driving the now almost helpless ship far from the shore, with which her pilots vainly attempted to close."]
(f2309) Literally, "to look at the wind." See above, p. 704. We see the additional emphasis in the expression, if we remember that an eye was painted on each side of the bow, as we have mentioned above. Even now the "eyes" of a ship is a phrase used by English sailors for the bow.
(f2310) "A typhonic wind." [See above, p. 699, n. 4.]
(f2311) Whatever we may determine as to the etymology of the word Euroclydon, it seems clear that the term implies a violent agitation of the water.
(f2312) "We let her drive."
(f2313) Mr. Smith argues in favor of another reading which denotes a N. E. wind. But we have a strong impression that Euroclydon is the correct reading. The addition of the words "which was called" seems to us to show that it was a name popularly given by the sailors to the wind; and nothing is more natural than that St. Luke should use the word which he heard the seamen employ on the occasion. Besides it is the more difficult reading.
(f2314) Falconer supposes that the wind came from the southward, and clumsily attempts to explain why (on this supposition) the vessel was not driven on the Cretan coast.
(f2315) The use of the imperfect shows that they were sailing near the shore when the gale seized the vessel. Thus we do not agree with Mr. Smith in referring "not long after" to the time when they were passing round Cape Matala, but to the time of leaving Fair Havens. The general result, however, is the same. [It appears from Capt. Spratt’s information that a ship can stand quite close to Cape Matala.]
(f2316) There is no difficulty in identifying Clauda. It is the Claudos of Ptolemy and the Synecdemus, and the Gaudus of Pomponius Mela. Hence the modern Greek Gaudonesi, and the Italian corruption into Gozo.
(f2317) We may observe here, once for all, that the Authorized Version, "the quicksands," does not convey the accurate meaning. The word denotes the notoriously dangerous bay between Tunis and the eastern part of Tripoli.
(f2318) These arguments are exhibited with the utmost clearness by Mr. Smith. Adopting the reading Eujrakulwn, he has three independent arguments in proof that the wind was E. N. E. 1/4 N.; (1) the etymological meaning of the word; (2) the fact that the vessel was driven to Clauda, from a point a little west of C. Marala; (3) the fear of the sailors lest they might be driven into the Syrtis.
The view of Admiral Penrose is slightly different. He supposes that the wind began from some of the northern points, and drew gradually to the eastward, as the ship gained an offing; and continued nearly at East, varying occasionally a point or two to the North or South. He adds that a Levanter, when it blows with peculiar violence some points to the North of East, is called a Gregalia [compare "which is called Euroclydon"], and that he had seen many such.
(f2319) See vv. 16, 17.
(f2320) "The ship, still with her boat towing at her stern, was, however, enabled to run under the lee of Clauda, a small island about twenty miles from the south coast of Crete, and with some rocks adjacent, affording the advantage of smooth water for about twelve or fifteen miles, while the ship continued under their lee. Advantage was taken of this comparative smooth water, with some difficulty to hoist the boat into the ship, and also to take the further precaution of undergirding her by passing cables or other large ropes under the keel and over the gunwales, and then drawing them tight by means of pulleys and levers." — Penrose, MS. It is interesting to observe the coincidence of this passage with what is said by Mr. Smith.
Sir C. Penrose proceeds to mention another reason for the vessel being undergirded. "This wise precaution was taken, not only because the ship, less strongly built than those in modern days, might strain her planks and timbers, and become leaky, but from the fears, that if the gale continued from the north-east, as it probably began, they might be driven into the deep bight on the coast of Africa, where were situated the greater and lesser Syrtis, so much dreaded by the ancients, and by these means of security be enabled to keep together longer, should they be involved in the quicksands."
(f2321) Smith, p. 64.
(f2322) Frapping would be of little use in stopping a leak. It was rather a precaution to prevent the working of the planks and timbers: and thus, since the extensive application of iron in modern ship-building, this contrivance has rarely been resorted to. Besides the modern instances adduced by Mr. Smith, the writer has heard of the following:(1) A Canadian timber vessel in the year 1846 came frapped to Aberdeen. (2) In 1809 or 1810, a frigate (the Venus?) came home from India with hawsers round her. (3) The same happened to a merchant vessel which came from India, apparently in the same convoy. (4) Lord Exmouth (then Captain Pellew) brought home the Arethusa in this state from Newfoundland. (5) At the battle of Navarin, the Albion man-of-war received so much damage during the action, that it became necessary to have recourse to frapping, and the vessel had chain cables passed round her under the keel, which were tightened by others passed horizontally along the sides interlacing them; and she was brought home in this state to Portsmouth. See the next note.
[Since the publication of the first edition, two other instances have come to the writer’s knowledge. One is that of the bark Highbury, which is stated in the Royal Cornwall Gazette of May 26, 1854, to have just arrived in this state, i.e. "with a chain cable round the ship’s bottom," off the Lizard Point, after a voyage of five months, from Port Adelaide, with a cargo of copper ore, wool, and gold. The other case is described by the captain of the ship, as follows:"I sailed from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, on the 12th of December, 1837, in the schooner St. Croix, 53 tons, bound for Kingston, Jamaica, with cargo of boards in the hold and shingles on deck, with a few spars. On the 20th of same month encountered a severe gale from S. W., and lay to for seven days [see below, p. 703]. On the 26th shipped a heavy sea, which took away about one-third of deck-load; found the balance shifting from side to side, top of vessel spreading, that the seams in water-ways were open from 1 and a half to 2 inches, much water running down the seams Found it necessary, for the preservation of crew and vessel, and balance of deck-load, to secure top of ship; took a coil of four-inch Manilla rope, commenced forward, passing it round and round the vessel, after which cut up some spars, made heavers, and hove the warp as tight as possible. Fearing the warp would chafe off and part, took one of the chains, passed it round and before with tackles and heavers, and secured the top of the vessel, so that the leak in the water-ways was partially stopped. In this state I reached Port Royal, when I took off the warp and chain, and arrived at Kingston on the 12th January, 1338. Had I not taken the means I did, I am of opinion the vesssel could not have been got into port."]
(f2323) Among classical instances we may select Thueyd. 1:29, where Dr. Arnold says, in his note, that "the Russian ships taken in the Tagus in 1808 were kept together in this manner, in consequence of their age and unsound condition."
(f2324) The same verb is used below (v. 30) in reference to lowering the boat into the water.
(f2325) This suggestion is partly due to a criticism in the English Review (June, 1850. Notice of Mr. Smith’s work), based on Isaiah 33:23 (LXX.). In reference to which passage, we may remark that the verb is equally applicable to the spreading of a sail which is lowered from a yard, and to the lowering of a yard with whatever belongs to it. The reviewer lays stress on the circumstance that St. Paul’s ship had probably no sail set when she reached Clauda; and, as he justly remarks, the Alexandrian origin of the Septuagint version should be recollected.
(f2326) Such is Mr. Smith’s view.
(f2327) i.e. the gear connected with the fair-weather sails. See Smith, p. 69. We are here allowed to quote from a letter addressed to Mr. Smith by Capt. Spratt,
R. N. After saying that the translation of the word into "gear" is borne out by its application among the modern Greek sailors to the ropes, &c, he proceeds:"Ships so rigged as those of the ancients, with only one large square sail, would require very heavy masthead gear; i.e. very large ropes rove there, to support the yard and sail; so that, even when the latter was lowered, considerable top-weight would remain, to produce much uneasiness of motion as well as resistance to the wind. Two such combined evils would not be overlooked by sailors, who had a thought about drifting on a lee shore. Presuming the main-sail and yard to be down, and the vessel snug under a storm-sail, the heavy skeuh, or ropes, being no longer of use aloft, would naturally be unrove or lowered, to prevent drift, as a final resource, when the sailors saw that the gale was likely to be strong and lasting."
(f2328) i.e. the hull of the vessel is in a direction oblique to the length of the wave. The following extract from Falconer’s Marine Dictionary, under the article Trying (an equivalent term), may be useful to those who are not familiar with sea-phrases:— "The intent of spreading a sail at this time is to keep the ship more steady; and, by pressing her side down in the water, to prevent her from rolling violently; and also to turn her bow towards the direction of the wind, so that the shock of the waves may fall more obliquely on her flank than when she lies along the trough of the sea… In this position she advances very little according to the line of her length, but is driven considerably to leeward."
(f2329) See p. 682.
(f2330) It is not to be understood, however, that the same absolute position in reference to the wind is continually maintained. When a ship is laid to in a gale, a kind of vibration takes place. To use the technical expression, she comes up and falls off — oscillating perhaps between five points and nine points.
(f2331) See Smith, pp. 64, 68, and compare the following:"I ought to assign the reason why I consider the ship to have drifted with her starboard side toward the wind, or on the starboard tack, as a sailor expresses it. When the south wind blew softly, the ship was slowly sailing along the coast of Crete, with her starboard side towards the land, or to the North.
"The storm came on her starboard side, and in this manner, with her head to the Westward, she drifted, first to the South West under Clauda, and as the wind drew more to the Eastward her head pointed more towards the North, the proper tack to keep farther from the quicksands, whether adopted from necessity or from choice." — Penrose MS.
(f2332) See the two naval authorities quoted by Mr. Smith, p. 84. The same estimate is given in the MS. of Admiral Penrose. "Allowing the degree of strength of the gale to vary a little occasionally, I consider that a ship would drift at the rate of about a mile and a half per hour."
(f2333) A reference to the compass on p. 619, with the following extracts from Falconer’s Marine Dictionary, will make the meaning clear. "LEE-WAY is the lateral movement of a ship to leeward of her course, or the angle which the line of her way makes with the keel, when she is close-hauled. This movement is produced by the mutual effort of the wind and sea upon her side, forcing her to leeward of the line on which she appears to sail." "CLOSE-HAULED (aw plus pres, Fr.). The general arrangement of a ship’s sails, when she endeavors to make a progress in the nearest direction possible towards that point of the compass from which the wind bloweth… In this manner of sailing, the keel commonly makes an angle of six points with the line of the wind. The angle of lee-way, however, enlarges in proportion to the increase of the wind and sea."
(f2334) Again, our two authorities are in substantial agreement. "Supposing the Levanter (as is most probable, it being most usual) after the heavy Gregalia, which first drove the ship off the coast of Crete, and under the lee of Clauda, took upon the average the direction of East, — the mean direction of the drift of such a ship, lying to, as before described, would be between W. N. W. and W. by N.; and such is nearly the bearing of the North coast of Malta from the South side of Clauda." — Penrose MS. Compare Smith.
(f2335) It is at this point especially that we feel the importance of having St. Paul’s voyage examined in the light of practical seamanship. The two investigators, who have so examined it, have now enabled us to understand it clearly, though all previous commentators were at fault, and while the ordinary charts are still full of error and confusion. The sinuosities in this part of the voyage, as exhibited in the common maps of St. Paul’s Travels, are only an indication of the perplexity of the compilers. The course from Clauda to Malta did not deviate far from a straight line.
(f2336) "We being exceedingly tossed with the tempest."
(f2337) We should observe that the tense is imperfect here, as contrasted with the aorist in the next verse. It denotes "they began to lighten;" or perhaps, "they kept lightening."
(f2338) "We cast out with our own hands." Observe the change from the third person to the first. St. Lake’s hands, and probably St. Paul’s, aided in this work.
(f2339) We cannot determine precisely what is meant here by the "tackle" or "gear" of the ship. Mr. Smith thinks the mainyard is meant, "an immense spar, probably as long as the ship, and which would require the united efforts of passengers and crew to launch overboard," — adding that "the relief which a ship would experience by this, would be of the same kind as in a modern ship when the guns are thrown overboard." But would sailors in danger of foundering willingly lose sight of such a spar as this, which would be capable of supporting thirty or forty men in the water?
(f2340) The narrative of the loss of the "Ramillies" supplies a very good illustration of the state of things on board St. Paul’s vessel during these two days. "At this time she had six feet of water in the hold, and the pumps would not free her, the water having worked out all the oakum. The admiral therefore gave orders for all the buckets to be remanned, and every officer to help towards freeing the ship: this enabled her to sail on… In the evening it was found necessary to dispose of the forecastle and aftermost quarter-deck guns, together with some of the shot and other articles of very great weight; and the frame of the ship having opened during the night, the admiral was next morning prevailed upon, by the renewed and pressing remonstrances of his officers, to allow ten guns more to be thrown overboard. The ship still continuing to open very much, the admiral ordered tarred canvas and hides to be nailed fore and aft, from under the sills of the ports on the main deck and on the lower deck. Her increasing damage requiring still more to be done, the admiral directed all the guns on the upper deck, the shot, both on that and the lower deck, with various heavy stores, to be thrown overboard."
(f2341) "No small tempest lay on us."
(f2342) "All hope that we should be saved was then taken away."
(f2343) Mr. Smith illustrates this by several examples. We may quote an instance from a very ordinary modern voyage between Alexandria and Malta, which presents some points of close resemblance in a very mitigated form; — "The commander came down, saying the night was pitch dark and rainy, with symptoms of a regular gale of wind. This prediction was very speedily verified. A violent shower of hail was the precursor, followed by loud peals of thunder, with vivid flashes of forked lightning, which played up and down the iron rigging with fearful rapidity… She presently was struck by a sea which came over the paddle-boxes, soon followed by another, which, coming over the forecastle, effected an entrance through the skylights, and left four feet of water in the officers’ cabin. The vessel seemed disabled by this stunning blow; the bowsprit and fore part of the ship were for some moments under water, and the officer stationed at that part of the ship described her as appearing during that time to be evidently sinking, and declared that for many seconds he saw only sea. The natural buoyancy of the ship at last allowed her to right herself, and during the short lull (of three minutes) her head was turned, to avoid the danger of running too near the coast of Lybia, which to the more experienced teas the principal cause of alarm; for had the wheels given way, which was not improbable from the strain they had undergone, nothing could have saved us, though we had been spared all other causes for apprehension… With daylight the fearful part of the hurricane gave way, and we were now in the direction of Candia, no longer indeed contending against the wind, but the sea still surging and impetuous, and no lull taking place during twelve hours, to afford the opportunity of regaining our tack, from which we had deviated about 150 miles. The sea had so completely deluged the lower part of the ship, that it was with difficulty that sufficient fire could be made to afford us even coffee for breakfast. Dinner was not to be thought of." — Mrs. Darner’s Diary in the Holy Land, vol. ii.
(f2344) "After long abstinence." See below, the narrative of the meal at daybreak, vv. 33, 44. The commentators have done little to elucidate this, which is in fact no difficulty to those who are acquainted with sea-voyages. The strangest comment is in a book, which devotionally is very useful, — Lectures on St. Paul, by the late Revelation H. Blunt, of Chelsea, — who supposes that a religious fast was observed by the crew during the storm.
(f2345) "Paul stood forth in the midst of them."
(f2346) By this is meant, as we shall see presently, that division of the Mediterranean which lies between Sicily and Malta on the west, and Greece with Crete on the east. See above, p. 680, n. 1; and p. 682, n. 7.
(f2347) The writer has heard of easterly and north-easterly gales lasting for a still longer period, both in the neighborhood of Gibraltar, and to the eastward of Malta. A captain in the merchant-service mentions a fruit-vessel near Smyrna hindered for a fortnight from loading by a gale from the N. E. She was two days in beating up a little bay a mile deep. He adds, that such gales are prevalent there towards winter. Another case is that of a vessel bound for Odessa, which was kept three weeks at Milo with an easterly gale. This, also, was late in the year (October). A naval officer writes thus:— "About the same time of the year, in 1839, I left Malta for the Levant in the ‘Hydra,’ a powerful steam frigate, and encountered Euroclydon (or, as we call it, a Levanter) in full force. I think we were four days without being able to sit down at table to a meal; during which time we saw ‘neither sun nor stars.’ Happily she was a powerful vessel, and we forced her through it, being charged with despatches, though with much injury to the vessel. Had we been a mere log on the water, like St. Paul’s ship, we should have drifted many days."
[We extract the following from the Christian Observer for May, 1853, pp. 324, 325:"Late in the autumn of 1848 we were returning from Alexandria to Malta, and met the wild Euroclydon. The sea was crested with foam over all the wide waste of waters, and a dull impervious canopy of misty cloud was drawn over the sky. A vessel which preceded us had been fifty-six days from Alexandria to Malta; and just in the same way St. Paul’s vessel was reduced to lie to in the gale, and drifted for fourteen days across the sea which separates Crete from Malta… Under the modern name of a Levanter, the same Euroclydon, which dashed down from the gulleys of the Cretan Ida in the autumn of 60 A. D., swept the sea in the autumn of 1848,… just in the same way veering round from north to easterly… Just in the same way, likewise, did our Euroclydon exhaust itself in a violent fall of rain."]
(f2348) This might be translated literally:"The sailors thought they were about to fetch some land." Mr. Smith (p. 78) truly remarks, that this is an instance of "the graphic language of seamen, to whom the ship is the principal object."
(f2349) It is hardly likely that they saw the breakers. To suppose that they became aware of the land by the smell of fragrant gardens (an error found in a recent work) is absurd; for the wind blew from the ship towards the land.
(f2350) "They can now adopt the last resource for a sinking ship, and run her ashore; but to do so before it was day would have been to have rushed on certain destruction: they must bring the ship, if it be possible, to anchor, and hold on till daybreak," &c. — Smith, p. 88.
(f2351) Mr. Smith (p. 91) seems to infer this from the words "fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks." But the words would rather imply that the fear was a general one.
(f2352) We must carefully observe that, in anchoring, — besides the proximate cause, viz., the fear of falling on rocks to leeward, — "they had also an ulterior object in view, which was to run the ship ashore as soon as daylight enabled them to select a spot where it could be done with a prospect of safety: for this purpose the very best position in which the ship could be was to be anchored by the stern." — Smith, p. 92.
(f2353) See Southey’s Life of Nelson:"All the line-of-battle ships were to anchor by the stern, abreast of the different vessels composing the enemy’s line; and for this purpose they had already prepared themselves with cables out of their stern ports."
(f2354) This anecdote is from a private source, and does not appear in any of the printed narratives of the battle.
(f2355) The first of these instances is supplied by a naval officer; the second by a captain who has spent a long life in the merchant-service.
(f2356) A drawing of this is given by Mr. Smith (p. 94), and from him in our larger editions.
(f2357) See v. 40.
(f2358) All that happened after leaving Fair Havens before the ship was undergirded and laid to must evidently have occupied a great part of a day.
(f2359) In the general calculation, Mr. Smith and Sir C. Penrose agree with one another; and the argument derives great force from the slight difference between them. Mr. Smith (pp. 83-89) makes the distance 476.6 miles, and the time occupied thirteen days, one hour, and twenty-one minutes. With this compare the following:"Now, with respect to the distance, allowing the degree of streneth of the gale to vary a little occasionally. I consider that a ship would drift at the rare of about one mile and a half per hour which, at the end of fourteen complete days, would amount to 504 miles; but it does not appear that the calculation is to be made for fourteen entire days: it was on the fourteenth night the anchors were cast off the shores of Melita. The distance from the S. of Clauda to the N. of Malta, measured on the best chart I have, is about 490 miles; and is it possible for coincident calculations, of such a nature, to be more exact? In fact, on one chart, after I had calculated the supposed drift, as a seaman, to be 504 miles, I measured the distance to be 503."
(f2360) See Acts 28:2, "because of the present rain."
(f2361) "About to (seeking to) flee out of the ship."
(f2362) "Unless these remain in the ship, ye cannot be saved." We observe that in the "ye" the soldiers are judiciously appealed to on the source of their own safety. Much has been very unnecessarily written on the mode in which this verse is to be harmonized with the unconditional assurance of safety in ver. 22-24. The same difficulty is connected with every action of our lives. The only difference is, that, in the narrative before us, the Divine purpose is more clearly indicated, whereas we usually see only the instrumentality employed.
(f2363) "To the centurion and to the soldiers."
(f2364) "Lot her fall off." In the words above ("when they had lowered the boat into the sea") it is clear that the boat, which was hoisted on deck at the beginning of the gale, had been half lowered from the davits.
(f2365) The commanding attitude of St. Paul in this and other scenes of the narrative is forcibly pointed out by the reviewer of Mr. Smith’s work in the North British Review for May, 1849.
(f2366) "While the day was coming on," v. 39.
(f2367) It is at this point of the narrative that the total number of souls on board is mentioned.
(f2368) "This is for your safety."
(f2369) Our Lord uses the same proverbial expression, Luke 21:18.
(f2370) "Then were they all of good cheer."
(f2371) "All hands now, crew and passengers, bond or free, are assembled on the deck, anxiously wishing for day, when Paul, taking advantage of a smaller degree of motion [would this necessarily be the case?] in the ship than when drifting with her side to the wares, recommends to them to make use of this time, before the dawn would require fresh exertions, in making a regular and comfortable meal, in order to refresh them after having so long taken their precarious repasts, probably without fire or any kind of cooking. He begins by example, but first by giving God thanks for their preservation hitherto, and hopes of speedy relief. Having thus refreshed themselves, they cast out as much of the remaining part of the cargo (wheat) as they could, to enable them by a lighter draught of water either to run into any small harbor, or at least closer in with dry land, should they be obliged to run the ship on the rocks or beach." — Penrose, MS.
(f2372) The following extract from Sir C. Pen rose’s papers supplies an addition to Mr. Smith’s remarks:"With respect to throwing the wheat into the sea after anchoring, it may be remarked that it was not likely that, while drifting, the hatchways could have been opened for that purpose; and, when anchored by the stern, I doubt not that it was found, that, from the ship having been so long pressed down on one side, the cargo had shifted, i.e. the wheat had pressed over towards the larboard side, so that the ship, instead of being upright, heeled to the larboard, and made it useful to throw out as much of the wheat as time allowed, not only to make her specifically lighter, but to bring her upright, and enable her to be more accurately steered and navigated towards the land at daybreak."
(f2373) "When it was day."
(f2374) The tense is imperfect (v. 39). "They tried to recognize it, but could not." The aorist is used below in Acts 28:1, from which it appears that the island was recognized immediately on landing.
(f2375) It is important to observe that the word for "shore" here has this meaning, as opposed to a rocky coast. We may refer in illustration to Matthew 13:2; Acts 21:5.
(f2376) When they anchored, no doubt the paddle rudders had been hoisted up and lashed, lest they should foul the anchors.
(f2377) For the proof that ajrtemwn is the foresail, we must refer to the able and thorough investigation in Mr. Smith’s Dissertation on Ancient Ships, pp. 153-162. The word does not occur in any other Greek writer, but it is found in the old nautical phraseology of the Venetians and Genoese, and it is used by Dante and Ariosto. The French still employ the word, but with them it has become the mizzen-sail, while the mizzen has become the foresail. [See the woodcut on the titlepage.]
(f2378) The word which implies this in the original is omitted in A. V.
(f2379) "The mainsail [foresail] being hoisted showed good judgment, though the distance was so small, as it would not only enable them to steer more correctly than without it, but would press the ship farther on upon the land, and thus enable them the more easily to get to the shore." — Penrose, MS. [See the following passage in a naval officer’s letter, dated "H. M. S., off the Katcha, Nov. 15," in the Times of Dec. 5, 1855. "The Lord Raglan (merchant-ship) is on shore, but taken there in a most sailor-like manner. Directly her captain found he could not save her, he cut away his mainmast and mizzen, and, setting a topsail on her foremast, ran her ashore stem on."]
(f2380) See below.
(f2382) See v. 43.
(f2383) "To save Paul to the end," literally.
(f2384) The military officer gives the order. The ship’s company are not mentioned. Are we to infer that they fell into she background, in consequence of their cowardly attempt to save themselves?
(f2385) The same strong verb is used in Acts 27:44, 28:1, 4, as in Acts 27:43.
(f2386) See the Chart opposite this page.
(f2387) Smith, pp. 79, 89. "With north-easterly gales, the sea breaks upon this point with such violence, that Capt. Smyth, in his view of the headland, has made the breakers its distinctive character."
(f2388) Smith, p. 91.
(f2389) Smith, p. 91.
(f2390) One place at the opening of the Mestara Valley (see Chart) has still this character. At another place there has been a beach, though it is now obliterated. See the remarks of Mr. Smith, who has carefully examined the bay, and whose authority in any question relating to the geology of coasts is of great weight.
(f2391) This illustration is from Strabo, who uses the very word of the Bosphorus. It would, of course, be equally applicable to a neck of land between two seas, like the Isthmus of Corinth.
(f2392) Though we are not to suppose that by "two seas" two moving bodies of water, or two opposite currents, are meant, yet it is very possible that there might be a current between Salmonetta and the coast, and that this affected the steering of the vessel.
(f2393) Purdy, p. 180. In reference to what happened to the ship when she came aground (ver. 4), Mr. Smith lays stress upon the character of the deposits on the Maltese coast The ship "would strike a bottom of mud, graduating into tenacious clay, into which the fore-part would fix itself, and be held fast, whilst the stern was exposed to the force of the waves." — p. 104.
(f2394) The density of the Maltese population, at the present day, is extraordinary; but this state of things is quite recent. In Boisgelin (Ancient and Modern Malta, 1805) we find it stated that in 1530 the island did not contain quite 15,000 inhabitants, and that they were reduced to 10,000 at the raising of the siege m the grand-mastership of La Valetta. Notwithstanding the subsequent wars, and the plagues of 1592 and 1676, the numbers in 1798 wore 90,000. (Vol. 1:pp. 107, 108.) Similar statements are in Miege, Histoire de Make.
(f2395) The mention of it in Cicero’s Verrine orations is well known.
(f2396) Diodorus Siculus speaks of the manufactures of Malta, of the wealth of its inhabitants, and of its handsome buildings, such as those which are now characteristic of the place. We might also refer to Ovid and Cicero.
(f2397) See the Essay on Mr. Smith’s work in the North British Review (p. 208) for some remarks on the Maltese language, especially on the Arabic name of what is still called the Apostle’s fountain (Ayn-tal-Ruzzul).
(f2398) It is sufficient to refer to Romans 1:14, 1Corinthians 14:11, Colossians 3:11, for the
meaning of the word in the N. T.
(f2399) P. 173.
(f2400) P. 171.
(f2401) We observe that the name is Roman. In the phrase used here there is every appearance of an official title, more especially as the father of the person called "first of the island" was alive. And inscriptions containing this exact title are said to have been found in the island.
(f2402) Acts 28:7. These possessions must therefore have been very near the
present country residence of the English Governor, near Citta Vecchia.
(f2403) Acts 28:8.
(f2404) "The belief that Malta is the island on which St. Paul was wrecked is so rooted in the common Maltese, and is cherished with such a superstitious nationality, that the government would run the chance of exciting a tumult if it, or its representatives, unwarily ridiculed it. The supposition itself is quite absurd. Not to argue the matter at length, consider these few conclusive facts:— The narrative speaks of the ‘barbarous people,’ and ‘barbarians,’ of the island. Now, our Malta was at that time fully peopled and highly civilized, as we may surely infer from Cicero and other writers. A viper comes out from the sticks upon the fire being lighted: the men are not surprised at the appearance of the snake, but imagine first a murderer, and then a god from the harmless attack. Now, in our Malta, there are, I may say, no snakes at all; which, to be sure, the Maltese attribute to St. Paul’s having cursed them away. Melita in the Adriatic was a perfectly barbarous island as to its native population, and was, and is now, infested with serpents. Besides, the context shows that the scene is in the Adriatic." — Coleridge’s Table Talk, p. 185.
(f2405) Padre Georgi, however, was not the first who suggested that the Apostle was wrecked on Melida in the Adriatic. We find this mistaken theory in a Byzantine writer of the tenth century. [Very recently the same view has been advocated, but quite inconclusively, in Mr. Neale’s Ecclesiological notes on Dalmatia, 1861.]
(f2406) Mr. Smith has effectually disposed of all Bryant’s arguments, if such they can be called. See especially his Dissertation on the island Melita. Among those who have adopted Bryant’s view, we have referred by name only to Falconer.
(f2407) Ovid, for instance, and Horace.
(f2408) Thucydides speaks of the Adriatic Sea in the same way. We should also bear in mind the shipwreck of Josephus, which took place an "Adria." Some (e. g., Mr. Sharpe, the author of the History of Egypt) have identified the two shipwrecks; but it is difficult to harmonize the narratives.
(f2409) Even with charts he might have a difficulty in recognizing a part of the coast which he had never seen before. And we must recollect that the ancient mariner had no charts.
(f2410) Acts 28:1.
(f2411) See above, p. 717, n. 4.
(f2412) See above, note on the population of Malta. Sir C. Penrose adds a circumstance which it is important to take into account in considering this question, viz. that, in the time of the Knights, the bulk of the population was at the east end of the island, and that the neighborhood of St. Paul’s Bay was separated off by a line of fortification built for fear of descents from Barbary cruisers.
(f2413) This statement rests on the authority of an English resident on the island.
(f2414) Some instances are given by Mr. Smith.
(f2415) It happens that the writer once spent an anxious night in Malta with a fellow-traveler, who was suffering precisely in the same way.
(f2416) "If Euroclydon blew in such a direction as to make the pilots afraid of being driven on the quicksands (and there were no such dangers but to the south-west of them), how could it be supposed that they could be driven north towards the Adriatic? In truth, it is very difficult for a well-appointed ship of modern days to get from Crete into and up the Adriatic at the season named in the narrative, the north winds being then prevalent and strong. We find the ship certainly driven from the south coast of Crete, from the Fair Havens towards Clauda (now Gozzi), on the southwest; and during the fourteen-days’ continuance of the gale, we are never told that Euroclydon ceased to blow; and with either a Gregalia or Levanter blowing hard St. Paul’s ship could not possibly have proceeded up the Adriatic." — Penrose, MS. He says again:"How is it possible that a ship at that time, and so circumstanced, could have got up the difficult navigation of the Adriatic? To have drifted up the Adriatic to the island of Melita or Melida, in the requisite curve, and to have passed so many islands and other dangers in the route, would, humanly speaking, have been impossible. The distance from Clauda to this Melita is not less than 780 geographical miles, and the wind must have long been from the south to make this voyage in fourteen days. Now, from Clauda to Malta, there is not any one danger in a direct line, and we see that the distance and direction of drift will both agree."
(f2417) This is clearly shown on the Austrian chart of that part of the Adriatic.
(f2418) From the Adriatic Melida it would have been more natural to have gone to Brundusium or Ancona, and thence by land to Rome; and, even in going by sea, Syracuse would have been out of the course, whereas it is in the direct track from Malta.
(f2419) It is natural to assume that such was its name, if such was its "sign," i.e. the sculptured or painted figures at the prow. It was natural to dedicate ships to the Dioscuri, who were the hero-patrons of sailors. They were supposed to appear in those lights which are called by modern sailors the fires of St. Elmo; and in art they are represented as stars. See below on the coins of Rhegium.
(f2420) The city has now shrunk to its old limit.
(f2421) Mr. Smith’s view that the word here (rendered in A. V. "fetching a compass," i.e. "going round") means simply "beating"is more likely to be correct than that of Mr. Lewin, who supposes that "as the wind was westerly, and they were under shelter of the high mountainous range of AEtna on their left, they were obliged to stand out to sea in order to fill their sails, and so come to Rhegium by a circuitous sweep." He adds in a note, that he "was informed by a friend that when he made the voyage from Syracuse to Rhegium, the vessel in which he sailed took a similar circuit for a similar reason."
(f2422) Macaulay’s Lays of Rome (Battle of Lake Regillus). One of these coins, exhibiting the heads of the twin-divinities with the stars, is given at the end of the chapter.
(f2423) We cannot assume this to have been the case, but it is highly probable. See above. We may refer here to the representation of the harbor of Ostia on the coin of Nero, given below, p. 743. It will be observed that all the ships in the harbor are single-masted.
(f2424) Smith, p. 180.
(f2425) We cannot agree with the N. Brit. Reviewer in doubting the correctness of Mr Smith’s conclusion on this point.
(f2426) See the Sailing Directions, 129-133, with the Admiralty charts, for the appearance of the coast between Cape Spartivento (Pr. Palinurum) and Cape Campanella (Pr. Minervae).
(f2427) The fleet of the "Upper Sea" was stationed at Ravenna, of the "Lower" at Mise-num.
(f2428) So it is described by Martial and others. Strabo describes the mountain as very fertile at its base, though its summit was barren, and full of apertures, which showed the traces of earlier volcanic action.
(f2429) See the younger Pliny’s description of his uncle’s death, Ep. 6:16.
(f2430) Josephus. See above, p. 652.
(f2431) See Juv. Sat. 3:1.
(f2432) It was named either from the springs (a puteis), or from their stench (a putendo).
(f2433) See above on Caesarea, p. 658.
(f2434) Nero had murdered his mother about two years before St. Paul’s coming.
(f2435) Some travelers have mistaken the remains of the mole for those of Caligula’s bridge. But that was only a wooden structure.
(f2436) The pedestal of this statue, with the allegorical representations of the towns, is still extant.
(f2437) The well-known Pozzolana, which is mentioned by Pliny.
(f2438) See p. 685.
(f2439) This is one of the most remarkable ruins at Pozzuoli. It is described in the guide-books.
(f2440) Philo Leg. ad Caium.
(f2441) See ver. 15.
(f2442) It is not clearly stated who urged this stay. Possibly it was Julias himself. It is at all events evident from ver. 15 that they did stay; otherwise there would not have been time for the intelligence of St. Paul’s landing to reach Rome so long before his own arrival there.
(f2443) From the British Museum. The heads and stars are those of Castor and Pollux. See p. 720, n. 6; and 721, n. 3.