What is the link between Gaddafi and the Bible?
Sirte (also spelt Syrtis)
This is the city of Gaddafi’s birth and at the time of writing remains a stronghold against the National Transitional Council forces. This very same town is mentioned in the Book of Acts (as pointed out by the Bible places blog, here and Peter Kirk’s blog, here).
“But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. And running under the shelter of an island called Claudia, we secured the skiff with difficulty. When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven” (Acts 27:14-17, NKJV).
For someone who is about to teach a course on Coastal Geomorphology these Syrtis Sands sound intriguing. Here is a short article on the Syrtis Sands by Gordon Franz. Basically, the Syrtis Sands were greatly feared by sailors because of their shifting sandbars and treacherous shallows. They had a horrible reputation as a sailors’ graveyard saying the name alone struck terror in those who heard it (see some historical references in Gordon Franz’s article).
Here is a sea floor map of the area in question: