Tarsus, the birthplace of Saul (later the apostle Paul), was the principal city of the region of Cilicia in the southeast corner of Asia Minor, part of modern-day Turkey. (Ac 9:11; 22:3) Tarsus was a large, prosperous trading city, strategically located along a prime E-W overland trade route that threaded through the Taurus Mountains and the Cilician Gates (a narrow gorge with a wagon road cut through the rock). The city also maintained a harbor that connected the Cydnus River with the Mediterranean Sea. Tarsus was a center of Greek culture and had a sizable Jewish community. This photograph shows some of the ancient ruins that remain in the modern-day settlement of the same name, situated about 16 km (10 mi) from where the Cydnus River empties into the Mediterranean Sea. During the city’s history, a number of noted personalities visited Tarsus, including Mark Antony, Cleopatra, and Julius Caesar, as well as several emperors. Roman statesman and writer Cicero was the city’s governor from 51 to 50 B.C.E. Tarsus was famous as a seat of learning in the first century C.E., and according to the Greek geographer Strabo, as such it outranked even Athens and Alexandria. With good reason, Paul described Tarsus as “no obscure city.”—Ac 21:39.