From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]


Samos is one of the fairest and most fertile islands of the aegean, 27 miles long from E. to W. and 14 miles at its greatest breadth, separated from the mainland by the strait of Mycale (the Little Boghaz), seven stadia in width, in which the Greek fleet gained a great victory over the Persians in 479 b.c. The island attained its highest prosperity in the days of Polycrates, and held for a time the naval supremacy of the aegean. It was the birthplace of Pythagoras, and a Samian mariner, ‘not without divine direction’ (Herod. iv. 152), was the first to sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Its chief city, also called Samos, was a libera civitas in St. Paul’s time. Situated in the S.E. of the island, it had the largest temple Herodotus ever saw (iii. 60), and disputed with Smyrna and Ephesus the title ‘first city of Ionia.’ There were many Jews in the island ( 1 Maccabees 15:23), which was visited by Herod in a.d. 14 (Jos. Ant. XVI. ii. 2).

In a voyage down the aegean the ship in which St. Paul was sailing left Chios on a Wednesday morning, ‘struck across to Samos’-here probably the island is meant-and rounded either the west or the east extremity. The Revised Versionrendering, ‘touched at Samos,’ conveys the idea of a stoppage, which is not implied in the Greek (παρεβάλομεν εἰς Σάμον,  Acts 20:15). Probably the attempt was made to get as far as Miletus the same day, but when Trogyllium, a promontory 5 miles E. of the city of Samos, was reached, the aegean N. wind apparently died away, as it generally does in the late afternoon throughout the summer months, and the passage had to be completed next day with the aid of the fresh breeze that springs up in the early morning. The clause in the Bezan text regarding Trogyllium, which is found in the Authorized Versionbut relegated to the margin of the Revised Version, was in all probability omitted by the scribes of the great uncials under the mistaken notion that a night had been spent at the city of Samos, and that a second anchorage only 5 miles farther east was out of the question.

Literature.-Strabo, XIV. i. 12-18; H. P. Tozer, The Islands of the aegean, 1890; W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, 1895, p. 293 f.

James Strahan.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [2]

An island of the Archipelago, on the coast of Asia Minor, opposite Lydia, from which it is separated by a narrow strait. The island was devoted to the worship of Juno, who had there a magnificent temple, fragments of which still exist. It was also celebrated for its valuable potteries, and as the birthplace of Pythagoras. The Romans wrote to the governor in favor of the Jews in the time of Simon Maccabaeus. Paul landed here when going to Jerusalem, A. D. 58,  Acts 20:15 . It now contains about fifty thousand inhabitants; and though ill-cultivated, is fruitful in oranges, grapes, and olives, and exports corn and wine.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Samos ( Sâ'Mos ), A Height. An island in the Ægean Sea, a few miles from the main land, and 42 miles southwest of Smyrna. The island is 27 miles long, ten miles wide, and has an area of 165 square miles. It was the seat of Juno-worship, the birthplace of Pythagoras, and noted for its valuable pottery. Paul visited the island on his third missionary journey.  Acts 20:15. Samos was then the capital of the island.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

SAMOS was an important island in the Ægæan Sea off the coast of Ionia. It was a centre of luxury, art, and science. In b.c. 84 it was united to the province of Asia, and in b.c. 17 was made a free State by Augustus. This it was when St. Paul touched here (  Acts 20:15 ) on his way home from his third journey. There were many Jewish residents on the island, and it was one of the places addressed by the Romans in favour of the Jews ( 1Ma 15:23 ).

A. Souter.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [5]

("a height".) (Especially By The Sea Shore.) An island off the boundary line between Ionia and Caria, three or four miles from the mainland. Mentioned in Paul's return from his third missionary journey ( Acts 20:15), on his way from Chios to Miletus. He spent the night at the anchorage of Trogyllium in the strait between Samos and the extremity of the ridge of Mycale on the mainland. The Greeks conquered the Persians in the sea fight of Mycale, B.C. 479.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Samos. A Greek island off that part of Asia Minor, where Ionia touches Caria. Samos comes before our notice in the detailed account of St. Paul's return from his third missionary journey.  Acts 20:15.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

An island in the AEgean Sea, a few miles south-west of Ephesus, only incidently mentioned in the return of Paul's third missionary journey.  Acts 20:15 . It is still called Samos.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [8]

Here the apostle Paul in his voyage landed; (see  Acts 20:15) It was an island of the Archipelago.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 Acts 20:15

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Acts 20:15

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

sā´mos ( Σάμος , Sámos , "height," "mountain" (see Strabo 346,457)): One of the most famous of the Ionian islands, third in size among the group which includes Lesbos, Chios (which see) and Cos (which see). It is situated at the mouth of the bay of Ephesus, between the cities of Ephesus and Miletus (which see), and separated from the mainland of Ionia by the narrow strait where the Greeks met and conquered the Persian fleet in the battle of Mycale, 479 Bc ( Herodotus ix.100 ff). The surface of the island is very rugged and mountainous, Mt. Kerki (modern name) rising to a height of 4,700 ft., and it was due to this that the island received its name (see above). See also Samothrace .

Samos was renowned in antiquity as one of the noted centers of Ionjan luxury, and reached its zenith of prosperity under the rule of the famous tyrant Polycrates (533-522 BC), who made himself master of the Aegean Sea. He carried on trade with Egypt, and his intercourse with that country, his friendship with Amasis, the famous "ring" story and the revolting manner of the death of Polycrates arere all told in one of the most interesting stories of Herodotus ( Herod. iii. 39 ff).

In 84 BC, the island was joined to the province of Asia, and in 17 Bc it became a civitas libera , through the favor of Augustus (Dio Cass. liv. 9; Pliny, Nh , v. 37). Both Marcus Agrippa and Herod visited the island; and according to Josephus ( Ant. , Xvi , ii, 2; Bj , I, xxi, 11) "bestowed a great many benefits" on it. In the Apocrypha, Samos is mentioned among the places to which Lucius, consul of the Romans, wrote, asking their good will toward the Jews ( 1 Maccabees 15:23 ).

In the New Testament, Paul touched here, after passing Chios (which see), on his return from his third missionary journey ( Acts 20:15 ). In Textus Receptus of the New Testament, we find in this passage καὶ μείναντες ἐν Τρωγυλλίῳ , kaı́ meı́nantes en Trōgullı́ō ("and having remained in Trogyllium"). This reading is wanting in the oldest manuscripts, and may be a sort of gloss, or explanation; due to the technical use of parabállein , "to touch land" (compare Josephus, Ant. , Xviii , vi, 4), and not necessarily "to make a landing." Trogyllium lay on the mainland opposite Samos, at the end of the ridge of Mycale. Still there is no particular reason why this reading should be supported, especially as it is not found in the earliest of authorities. Soden's 1913 text, however, retains the reading in brackets.


Tozer, Islands of the Aegean (1890). Herodotus and Pausanias have rather full accounts of Samos, and Encyclopedia Brit (11th edition) gives a good bibliography of works both ancient and modern.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Sa´mos, an island in the Aegean Sea, near the coast of Lydia, in Asia Minor, and separated only by a narrow strait from the promontory which terminates in Cape Trogyllium. The apostle Paul touched at the island in his voyage from Greece to Syria . Samos contained, some years ago, about 60,000 people, inhabiting eighteen large villages, and about twenty small ones.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [13]

A fertile island in the Ægean Sea, about 30 m. long and 8 wide, separated from the coast of Ionia, three-quarters of a mile wide; had an extensive trade with Egypt and Crete; came through various fortunes under the chief Powers of ancient and mediæval Europe till it became subject to Turkey; had a capital of the same name, which in the fifth century B.C. was one of the finest cities in the world.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Samos'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.