Acts 28:13

Acts 28:13

And from thence we fetched a compass
About the isle of Sicily, from Syracuse to Pachinus, the promontory of the island:

and came to Rhegium;
a city in Calabria, called by Ptolomy F11 Regium Julium; it was built, as Solinus F12 says, by the Chalcidensians, and was formerly a city of the Brutians F13; it is now called Reggio: it is said F14 to have its name from its being broken off from the main continent, for it lies in the straits of Sicily; and formerly Sicily was joined to Italy, but was separated from it by the violence of the sea at this place:

and after one day the south wind blew;
they stayed one day at Rhegium, and when they departed from thence, they had a south wind, which was favourable to them: whether the apostle preached here, or no, is not certain, since his stay was so short; some Popish writers tell some idle stories about the apostle's preaching; how that the fishes came to the shore to hear him; that the grasshoppers were commanded by him to be silent, and have never been seen in that place since; that a stone pillar was set on fire by the flame of a candle, by which miracle the inhabitants present were converted and baptized; and one Stephen, that was in company, was made by him their first bishop: but in ecclesiastical history we meet with no account of any church in this place, until the fifth century; when the bishop of it, with others, subscribed a letter of Leo the First, sent into the east; and about the year 440, there was a synod of thirteen bishops convened in this place, on account of a certain ordination; and in the "seventh" century, a bishop of the church at Rhegium was present in the sixth council at Constantinople; in the "eighth", Constantine, bishop of Rhegium, was in the Nicene synod {o}:

and we came the next day to Puteoli;
the Syriac version adds, "a city of Italy"; it was formerly called Dicearchia F16, from the strict justice used in the government of it: it had its name of Puteoli, either "a putore", from the rankness and ill smell of the waters of it, through the "sulphur" and "alum" in them; or "a puteis", from the wells about it, the waters of which, by Pausanias, are said F17 to be so hot, as in time to melt the leaden pipes through which they flow, who calls it a town of the Tyrrhenians; by Pliny F18 it is placed in Campania, and so Jerom F19 says, Puteoli a city, a colony of Campania, the same that is called Dicearchia. Josephus F20 also speaks of it as in the same country; for he says, that Herod and Herodias both came to Dicearchia, (or Puteoli), and found Caius (the emperor) at Baiai, which is a little town in Campania, about five furlongs from Dicearchia; and he also in another F21 place says, the Italians call Dicearchia, (potiolouv) , "Potioli"; which is the same word the apostle here uses, and which is the Latin "Puteoli" corrupted; it is said to be first built by the Samians: frequent mention is made by writers F23, of "pulvis Puteolanus", the dust of Puteoli; which being touched by the sea water, hardens into a stone; and was therefore used to bank the sea, break the waves, and repel the force of them: that it was a place by the sea side, may be learned from the sea being called after its name, "mare Puteolanum" F24, the sea of Puteoli; so Apollonius Tyaneus is said F25 to sail from this place to Rome, whither he came in three days; to this port the ships of Alexandria particularly used to come, and hither persons were wont to go to take shipping for Alexandria F26; it is now called by the Italians Pozzuolo, and lies about eight miles from Naples; and according to the following story of the Jews', must be an hundred and twenty miles from Rome; who tell us F1, that

``Rabban Gamaliel, and R. Eleazar ben Azariah, and R. Joshua, and R. Akiba, went to Rome, and they heard the noise of the multitude at Rome, from Puteoli, an hundred and twenty miles:''

the story is a fable designed to signify the vast number of people at Rome, and the noise, hurry, and tumult there; but perhaps the distance between the two places may not be far from truth: and as fabulous is the account which R. Benjamin F2 gives of this place Puteoli, when he says it was called Surentum, a great city which Tzintzan Hadarezer built, when he fled for fear of David.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 Geograph. l. 3. c. 1.
F12 Polyhistor. c. 8.
F13 Mela, l. 2. c. 11.
F14 Philo quod mundus p. 963. & de mundo, p. 1171. Vid. Justin. l. 4. c. 1. & Sallust. fragment. p. 147.
F15 Ib. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 7. c. 9. p. 508. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 5. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 5.
F16 Plin. l. 3. c. 5.
F17 Pausan. Messenica vel. 1. 4. p. 285. & Arcadica vel. l. 8. p. 465.
F18 Nat. Hist. l. 31. c. 2.
F19 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 76. G.
F20 Antiqu. l. 18. c. 8. sect. 2.
F21 In Vita sua, sect. 3. p. 905.
F23 Plin. l. 35. c. 13. Alex. ab Alex. l. 5. c. 9. Isidor. de origin l. 16. c. 1. p. 135.
F24 A. Gell. noct. Attic. l. 7. c. 9.
F25 Philostrat. Vit. Apollon. l. 7. c. 8.
F26 Philo in Flaccum, p. 968. & de leg. ad Caium, p. 1018. Senec. cp. 77.
F1 Echa Rabbati, fol. 59. 4. & T. Bab. Maccot, fol. 24. 1.
F2 Itinerar. p. 14.
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