Category Archives: Geography

History and Geography: Two Antiochs

Now that we are reading about the missionary journeys of St. Paul to many places Father Linsky has also traveled, I was inspired to do a little research and make sure that I at least know the locations of Antioch of Syria and Antioch of Pisidia. We have been to Rome, Athens, and Corinth but never to Egypt, Turkey, or Israel.

I’ll start with this map which is a screen shot from Google Maps and covers the whole area as it is today from Jerusalem to Rome (~1400 miles) and from Alexandria to Istanbul (~700 miles). As we look at this map, we can meditate about the difficulties and suffering involved in traveling those distances 2000 years ago to spread the Gospel of Jesus.

I found excellent maps coordinated with Paul’s journeys and the letters he wrote at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, a totally digital library of Christian Classics including the works of Albert the Great, Pope Alexander, Ambrose, Anselm, Athanasius, and Augustine just to pick a few from the A’s. So, don’t be turned off by the fact that the library offices are housed at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and that they publish works of Reformers as well. If you are suspicious or curious about the site, you can read about it and its founder here.

Anyway, geography is geography and history is history even though coastlines, borders, and even continents move around, countries change names, and history can certainly be slanted by the winners who write it.

So here is a link to the information I found. I includes 21 maps illustrating all the travels of Paul and associated verses from The New Testament,  putting Paul’s epistles in context with respect to where and when they were written.

Just as a teaser, I am copying and pasting below the very first map in the series and the first one that shows both Antiochs. It is easy to scroll back and forth between this map and the Google shot for comparisons.

And below is the first map in the series which shows both Antiochs. Note the caption which refers to what we learn from today’s 1st reading.

Please don’t feel that I am being patronizing. This is very educational and helpful for me. And, I may not remember much of this but at least from now on will have a quick and easy way to look it up. Besides that, in spite of how much easier the travel would be now than it was when St. Paul made the trip, I really don’t have any desire to follow his paths.