Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Clyde E. Fant and Mitchell G. Reddish

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195139174.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 June 2021

Myra

Myra

Chapter:
Myra
Source:
A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey
Author(s):

Clyde E. Fant

Mitchell G. Reddish

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780195139174.003.0039

At one time one of the most important cities in Lycia, Myra almost has passed into obscurity. In addition to some interesting tombs and a theater, the most enduring legacy of ancient Myra is the tradition that developed around its most famous resident and bishop, St. Nicholas, who was the historical person behind the legend of Santa Claus. Popular etymology explained the name of the city as being derived from the Greek word for myrrh, an aromatic spice, but this is unlikely. Myra was a city in the Lycian region of Anatolia, along the Mediterranean coast approximately 85 miles southeast of modern Antalya. The ruins of ancient Myra lie about a mile north of Demre (or Kale), a small town along highway 400, the coastal road. Signs in the town point the way to Myra. The ancient city was considered a port city, even though it was about 3.5 miles from the coast. Its port was actually Andriace, but the name Myra often included the city proper and its port at Andriace. Thus, for example, when Acts 27:5 states that the ship carrying Paul landed at Myra, the actual port would likely have been Andriace. Whether Paul and the others with him went to Myra after disembarking from the ship is not known. The Myrus, or Andracus, River (Demre Çayï) flowed past the city on its way to the Mediterranean. Settled probably as early as the 5th century B.C.E., Myra became one of the leading cities of the Lycian League by the 2nd century B.C.E. Myra was one of the six most important members of the league, which consisted of twenty-three cities. As such, it was entitled to three votes in the league (the maximum allowed). In spite of its importance, the city does not seem to have played a major role in ancient history. During Roman times the city apparently enjoyed good relations with Rome. Augustus (and after him, Tiberius as well) was honored by the people of Myra by their bestowing on him the title of “imperator of land and sea, benefactor and savior of the whole universe.”

Keywords:   Andriace, Demre, Hadrian, Lysimachus, Thecla, Trajan

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .