(τὰ Μύρα), one of the chief towns of Lycia, in Asia Minor (Ptol. 5:3, 6). It is "interesting to us as the place where Paul, on his voyage to Rome (Ac 27:5), was removed from the Adramyttian ship which had brought him from Csesarea, and entered the Alexandrian ship in which he was wrecked on the coast of Malta. SEE ADRAMYTIUM. The travellers had availed themselves of the first of these vessels because their course to Italy necessarily took them past the coasts of the province of Proconsular Asia (verse 2), expecting in some harbor on these coasts to find another vessel bound to the westward. This expectation was fulfilled (verse 6). It might be asked how it happened that an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy was so far out of her course as to be at Myra. This question is easily answered by those who have some acquaintance with the navigation of the Levant. Myra is nearly due north of Alexandria, the harbors in the neighborhood are numerous and good, the mountains high and easily seen, and the current sets along the coast to the westward (Smith's Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul). Moreover, to say nothing of the possibility of landing or taking in passengers or goods, the wind was blowing about this time continuously and violently from the N.W., and the same weather which impeded the Adramyttian ship (verse 4) would be a hindrance to the Alexandrian (see verse 7; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, chapter 23). Some unimportant MSS. having Λύστρα in this passage, Grotius conjectured that the true reading might be Λίμυρα (Bentleii Crifica Sacra [ed. A. A. Ellis]). This supposition, though ingenious, is quite unnecessary. Both Limyra and Myra were well known among the maritime cities of Lycia. The harbor of the latter was strictly Andriace, distant from it between two and three miles, but the river was navigable to the city (Appian, B.C. 4:82)." Myra lay about a league from the sea (in N. lat. 360 18', E. long. 30°), upon rising ground, at the foot of which flowed (a (navigable river with an excellent harbor (Andriace) at its mouth (Strabo, 14, page 665; Pliny, Hist. Nat. 32:8). In later times the emperor Theodosius raised it to the rank of the capital of Lycia (Hierocl. page 684). The town still exists, although in decay, and bears among the Greek inhabitants the ancient name of Myra; but the Turks call it Dembre (see Forbiger, Alte Geogr. 2:256). It is remarkable for its fine remains of antiquity (Leake, Asia Minor, page 183), which have been minutely described by Fellows (Discoveries in Lycia, page 169 sq.) and Texier (Descrip. de l'Asie Mineure; comp. Spratt and Forbes, Travels in Lycia, 1:131 sq.). "The tombs, enriched with ornament, and many of them having inscriptions in the ancient Lycian character, show that it must have been wealthy in early times. Its enormous theatre attests its considerable population in what may be called its Greek age. In the deep gorge which leads into the mountains is a large Byzantine church, a relic of the Christianity which may have begun with Paul's visit. It is reasonable to conjecture that this may have been a metropolitan church, inasmuch as Myra was the capital of the Roman province. In later times it was curiously called the port of the Adriatic, and visited by Anglo-Saxon travellers (Bohn's Early Travels in Palestine, pages 33, 138). Legend says that St. Nicholas, the patron saint of the modern Greek sailors, was born at Patara, and buried at Myra, and his supposed relics were taken to St. Petersburg by a Russian frigate during the Greek revolution." SEE ASIA MINOR.

Bible concordance for MYRA.

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