The principal seaport of NW Asia Minor from which Paul departed on his first visit to Macedonia, and to which he later returned on occasions. It was located about twenty miles (32 kilometers) S of the Hellespont (Dardanelles) and somewhat more than half that distance S of the traditional site of ancient Troy. In fact, Troas drew its name from Troad, the term applied to that part of Mysia that surrounded Troy.
The city of Troas was first built during the latter part of the fourth century B.C.E. by Antigonus, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. In 133 B.C.E. it came under Roman control,and thereafter the region of Mysia became part of the Roman province of Asia. Julius Caesar for a time considered transferring the seat of the Roman government to Troas. Emperor Augustus further favored the city by making it a colonia, independent of the provincial governor of Asia, and by exempting its citizens from both land and poll taxes.
On Paul’s second journey, probably in the spring of 50 C.E., and after passing through Phrygia and Galatia, the apostle and his companions came to Troas, for “the spirit of Jesus did not permit them” to go into Bithynia. (Acts 16:6-8) Here in Troas, Paul had an unusual vision, one of a man calling to him: “Step over into Macedonia and help us.” Immediately it was concluded “that God had summoned us to declare the good news to them.” The occurrence of “us” in this text (and “we” in the following verses) must mean that, here in Troas, Luke first joined Paul’s party and made the voyage with them across the Aegean to Neapolis.—Acts 16:9-12.
After leaving Ephesus on his third journey, Paul stopped in Troas and there preached the good news about the Christ, for, as he says, “a door was opened to me in the Lord.” But after an undisclosed period of time, the apostle became concerned that Titus had not arrived, and so he departed for Macedonia, hoping to find him there.—Acts 20:1; 2 Cor. 2:12, 13.
Evidently Paul spent that winter in Greece before returning again to Troas in the spring of 56 C.E. (Acts 20:2-6) This time Paul stayed seven days ministering and spiritually building up the Christian brothers in Troas. When assembled with them the night before leaving, and while Paul “prolonged his speech until midnight,” a young man named Eutychus, who was seated at the third-story window, fell asleep about midnight and tumbled to his death. The apostle miraculously brought the boy back to life and continued conversing to the assembly until daybreak.—Acts 20:6-12.
It is likely that Paul visited Troas again after being released in 61 C.E. from house arrest in Rome. Paul wrote to Timothy during the apostle’s second imprisonment in Rome, about the year 65 C.E., asking that Timothy bring a cloak and certain scrolls and parchments that Paul had left with Carpus in Troas. It seems very unlikely that such a request would have been made some nine years later, as the case would be, if Paul’s last visit to Carpus’ home was on his third journey in 56 C.E.—2 Tim. 4:13.