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English Bible Dictionary

Puteoli

 

(sulphurous springs), the great landing-place of travelers to Italy from the Levant, and the harbor to which the Alexandrian corn-ships brought their cargoes. (Acts 27:13) The celebrated bay which is now the Bay of Naples was then called "Sinus Puteolanus." The city was at the northeastern angle of the bay. The name Puteoli arose from the strong mineral springs which are characteristic of the place. It was a favorite watering-place of the Romans its hot springs being considered efficacious for cure of various diseases. Here also ships usually discharged their passengers and cargoes, partly to avoid doubling the promontory of Circeium and partly because there was no commodious harbor nearer to Rome. Hence the ship in which Paul was conveyed from Melita landed the prisoners at this place, where the apostle stayed a week. (Acts 28:13,14)--Whitney, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The associations of Puteoli with historical personages are very numerous. Scipio sailed from this place to Spain; Cicero had a villa in the neighborhood; here Nero planned the murder of his mother; Vespasian gave to this city peculiar privileges; and here Adrian was buried. In the fifth century it was ravaged by both Alaric and Genseric, and it never afterward recovered its former eminence. It is now a fourth-rate Italian town, still retaining the name of Pozzuoli. The remains of Puteoli are worthy of mention. Among them are the aqueduct the reservoirs, portions (probably) of the baths the great amphitheatre and the building called the temple of Serapis. No Roman harbor has left as solid a memorial of itself as this one, at which St. Paul landed in Italy.

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