Alexandria Troas: A Maritime Marvel on Aegean’s Ancient Trade Routes

Alexandria Troas is a historic city on the Aegean Sea, situated south of the province of Canakkale. One of the main seaports in the Aegean, it served as a maritime line connecting commerce routes from Asia Minor to Neapolis in Macedonia and eventually to Rome via road.

Alexandria Troas A Maritime Marvel on Aegean's Ancient Trade Routes

When the city was first established in 310 BC, Antigonus gave it the name Antigonia Troas. Lysimachus later renamed the city Alexandria Troas, honoring Alexander the Great.

Due to its active harbor, the city saw its heyday during the Roman era, particularly under the reigns of Cesar and subsequently Augustus. This location became a Roman metropolis when Augustus established a colony of Roman soldiers there in the first century BC; it was known as Colonia Alexandria Augusta Troas at that time. A wall extending 8 to 9 kilometers encircled the city, and it had a beautiful aqueduct that brought water from Ida Mountain.

Emperor Constantine contemplated establishing Alexandria as the capital of the Roman Empire during the Byzantine era, but the city eventually lost significance and was abandoned when the Ottomans arrived.

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Alexandria, which the Bible mentions multiple times, is a significant location in the history of Christianity. During his second missionary voyage in the first century AD, Saint Paul stopped briefly at Troas. There, he had a vision of a man calling him to Macedonia to aid them (Acts 16.9). Inspired by this, he sailed to Europe (Acts 16:8–11), where he spoke for the first time.

Luke also joined Paul in Troas, where they carried out their task. During Saint Paul’s lengthy sermon on his third missionary tour, Eutychus collapsed from the building’s third story (Acts 20:6–10). Other biblical allusions to Troas can be found in 2 Corinthians 2:12 and 2 Timothy 4:13. The titular see of the Roman Catholic Church is still Alexandria.

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