Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Salt, surge on the shore
Strong's Concordance #G4529

Salamis is a port city located on the eastern end of the island of Cyprus. For many years, it was a major trading hub, shipping timber, copper and agricultural products to Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Salamis is noteworthy as the first area Paul evangelized after he and Barnabas were "set apart" in Syrian Antioch to begin their missionary work.

Why did Paul and Barnabas, in 44 A.D., select Cyprus as the first area to visit in what would become five missionary journeys? The Life and Epistles of Paul states the following regarding why these two, along with John Mark, came to Salamis.

"It could not be unnatural to suppose that the truth would be welcomed in Cyprus, when it was brought by Barnabas and his kinsman Mark to their own connections of friends. Moreover, the Jews were numerous in Salamis . . .

"The Jews, as we should have been prepared to expect, were numerous in Salamis. This fact is indicated to us in the sacred narrative; for we learn that this city had several synagogues, while other cities had often only one" (Life and Epistles of Paul by Conybeare and Howson, chapter 5).

Location of Salamis on Cyprus Map
Location of Salamis


One Christian tradition places the death of Barnabas on Cyprus near Salamis.

"On the west of Salamis, in the direction of Paphos, Pococke saw a church and monastery dedicated to Barnabas, and a grotto where he is said to have been buried, after suffering martyrdom in the reign of Nero" (ibid.).

Important Verses

Acts 13:1 - 5
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost (Spirit), departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John (John Mark) to their minister.

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).