Syrtis (Suhr´tuhs)

Ancient name of two bays on the northern coast of Africa south of Sicily, between Cyrene and Carthage. The Greater Syrtis, now the Gulf of Sidra off Libya, was to the east; the Lesser Syrtis, now the Gulf of Gabes, to the west. Both held navigational dangers dreaded by sailors in antiquity (Acts 27:17); the Greater Syrtis was shallow and full of shifting banks of quicksand, and the Lesser had rough winds and surf.

Opposite: The reading of the Torah, perhaps by Ezra; panel from the third-century CE synagogue at Dura-Europos.

Acts 27:17

17After hoisting it up they took measures to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they would run on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and so were driven ... View more

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