At Amphipolis, the Strymon River

April 6, 2015

Our recent Greece/Turkey tour included Amphipolis, briefly mentioned in Acts 17:1: “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.” This biblical reference takes up where Paul and his companions left Philippi and were on their way to Thessalonica, 2nd Missionary Journey.

Fant and Reddish observe:

The modern, small village of Amphipolis belies the importance of the ancient city whose name it bears. Located strategically along the Strymon River and on the Via Egnatia, Amphipolis was one of the most important cities of Macedonia in antiquity. The site of ancient Amphipolis is located between Thessaloniki and Kavala, about 65 miles east of Thessaloniki. From highway E90 there are signs that point the way to Amphipolis. The ancient city sits on a bend on the east bank of the Strymon River, surrounded by the river on three sides. This geographical feature gave rise to the name of the city, since Amphipolis means “around the city.”

Here is a view of the Strymon River.

Strymon River at Amphipolis. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Strymon River at Amphipolis. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

In addition to our above Acts 17:1 reference which specifically mentions Amphipolis, Todd Bolen in his notes in his excellent Pictorial Library collection quotes Acts 20:1-3, 6a (KJV) “And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, and there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia…And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread.” Then Bolen notes: “Although no details are given of the stops Paul made during his 3rd missionary journey in this region, it is probable that he passed through Amphipolis, both on his way into and out of Macedonia as he left via Philippi.”

Click photo for larger view.

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