The traveler of Hierapolis

The tomb of a merchant named Flavius Zeuxis at Hierapolis is often called the “Traveler’s Tomb.” The marble inscription above the entrance states that he circumnavigated the southern cape of Peloponnesus 72 times on his way to Italy. It has been estimated that this would have amounted to about 150,000 miles.

The tomb of Flavius Zeuxis at Hierapolis. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The tomb of Flavius Zeuxis at Hierapolis. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This gentleman was roughly contemporary with the Apostle Paul, but he traveled more miles than Paul.

Paul spoke of the dangers associated with his many journeys.

I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers (2 Corinthians 11:26)

One response to “The traveler of Hierapolis

  1. The actual inscription reads something like “Flavius Zeuxis, a man loving hard toil at his trade, engaged in the good bussiness of mariner, between Malea, the dangerous cape Mary, and Italy, having made in his lifetime seventy-two voyages, causes the erection of the memorial sepulchre.”

    The man was a sea captain who traveled 72 times or 36 roundtrips between Cape Malea in Greece and Italy. Most likely his destination was the closest port in Italy probably Hydruntum. This would be a trip of 819 kilometers or 508 miles. A little further North would be Brundisium 878 km. or 545 miles. In the first case 72 trips would give us 36,576 miles and if Brundisium was the destination 545 would give us 39,240 miles. This must have been a fantastic amount of travel for the man to put it on his tombstone as the one fact about his life.
    The trip from Jerusalem to Rome itself is 2344 miles. The other trips would give us a total of at least 10,000 miles.

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