Tag Archives: Serapis

Some famous Sinopeans

Sinop was a city of the Roman province of Pontus (1 Peter 1:1) in Asia Minor (now Turkey). The city not only had a long and storied history, but also was home to some famous people.

Statue of Diogenes at Sinop, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Statue of Diogenes at Sinop, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Diogenes the Cynic (4th century B.C.). Diogenes was born in Sinop, but later moved to Athens and became the leader of a group called Cynics. His contempt for the cultural conventions of society earned him the name dog. Several stories are mentioned in books I have read. One says that Alexander the Great offered him anything he wanted. Diogenes is credited with saying, “Stand aside, you’re in my light.”

Sign on the Statue of Diogenes, Sinop, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Sign on the Statue of Diogenes, Sinop, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Diogenes is said to have walked around with a lamp in the daytime looking for an honest man.

Some writers say that Diogenes spent some of his latter years in Corinth serving as a tutor.

Serapis. We should not think of Serapis as a real person, but the “god” may have an association with Sinop. Clement of Alexandria writes several times indicating that Serapis was brought from Sinop to Alexandria, Egypt (Fathers of the Second Century in ANF Volume 2). Clement asks,

why should I speak … of the fugitive Serapis chased from Sinope to Alexandria…

McDonagh credits the Roman historian Tacitus as saying that “the worship of Serapis started in Sinope and was introduced into Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter (367-283 BC)” (Blue Guide: Turkey).

Serapis. Bust in Vatican Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Bust of Serapis in the Vatican Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

More famous Sinopeans to follow.