An island in the Aegean Sea near the W coast of Asia Minor. Paul apparently stopped briefly at Samos on the return from his third missionary tour.—Ac 20:15.
A strait about 1.5 km (1 mi) long separates this mountainous island from the Asian promontory named Samsun Dagi. Samos was SW of Ephesus and NW of Miletus. It is about 43 km (27 mi) in length and 23 km (14 mi) in width. At the time of Paul’s missionary journeys, it was a free state. Its major city and port was also named Samos. The island was celebrated for the cult of Hera (Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth) and had a temple to her that vied in splendor and celebrity with the temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
According to the Scriptural account, the ship Paul was on when returning to Jerusalem stopped opposite Chios, sailed some 105 km (65 mi) down the coast of Asia Minor and ‘touched at Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.’ (Ac 20:15) Certain manuscripts add an expression that leads to the rendering “we touched at Samos and, after stopping at Trogyllium, made Miletus the next day.” (JB) This has been understood to mean that the ship did not remain in port at Samos but, instead, crossed the strait and anchored in the protection of the high promontory. However, the oldest and most reliable manuscripts omit the expression about “Trogyllium,” and it was rejected by Westcott and Hort as well as Nestle and Aland in preparing their master texts. The ship Paul was on evidently docked briefly at Samos and then traveled on to Miletus.