Syrtis (Σύρτις, "quicksands," Ac 28:17). There were two quicksands on the coast of North Africa,.; between Cyrene and Carthage, whose shoals and eddies the ancient mariners greatly feared (Horace, Odes, 1, 22, 5; Ovid, Fast. 4:499; Tibull. 2, 4, 91). The greater of these was named Syrtis Major, or Magna and the lesser Syrtis Minor; and old geographers used to tell many marvels respecting them (Strabo, 2,:123; 17:834; Ptolemy, 4:3: Pliny, 5, 4;. Solin. 27; Mela, 1, 7 4; Sallust, Jug. 78). Modern explorations find both of them to be highly dangerous bays, where the treacherous sandy shore is barely covered with water, and where terrific clouds of sand are suddenly raised by the wind, obscuring then sight and overwhelming men and even ships, The Greater Syrtis is now called the Gulf of Sidra, between Tripoli and Barea; and the Lesser the Gulf of Cabes. The former is specially intended in the account of Paul's shipwreck (q.v.). See Smith, Dict. of Class. Geog. s.v. SEE QUICKSAND. Syrus, in Greek mythology, was a son of Apollo and Sinope, who is said to have given name to the Syrians.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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