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The Word “Euroclydon”


What does it Really mean?






The small island Clauda is located at E24° N35° and Malta is located at E14°30’ N36°. Accordingly, Malta is located in a direction just slightly north from true west relative to the location of Clauda. If the sail less sailing ship Paul was sailing in was drifting straight along with the wind the Euroclydon would have been coming out of a direction between east and east south east, i.e. an easterly or E.S.E wind, but it is certainly possible that the captain, fearing the infamous Syrtis, was attempting what he could to reach a more northerly latitude, thus making up for the apparently southerly touch of the east wind. On the other hand, who is to say that the Euroclydon is not the name for any tempestuous storm wind coming from an easterly direction? After all, that seems to be all that is necessarily indicated by the roots of the word Euroclydon itself.

Nonetheless, below are found some considerations re the words in the New Testament translated Euroclydon (and Syrtis,) a conclusion, a few pertinent references, and common definitions pertaining to the word Euroclydon as used in:


Act 27:14 KJV  But1161 not3756 long4183 after3326 there arose906 against2596 it846 a tempestuous5189 wind,417 called2564 Euroclydon.2148






Textus Receptus, the most reliable New Testament manuscripts, is using the Greek words translated “Euroclydon” and “Syrtis” (or “quicksands” (KJV,)) only once.


It appears as though Strong’s G4950, in defining this Greek word as Syrtis Major, is basing its definition upon a belief that Euroclydon is a northeasterly wind rather than an easterly or east south easterly wind, but is this a correct definition?

Strong’s G4950: ”σύρτις, surtis, soor'-tis. From G4951; a shoal (from the sand drawn thither by the waves), that is, the Syrtis Major or great bay on the North coast of Africa.”


Webster’s Third International Dictionary is taking a more uncommitted stand stating merely:

euroclydon… fr. eur- (fr. euros east wind) + (assumed) Gk akylon north wind, fr. L aquilon-, aquilo…”


Possibly there could be a translation problem here based upon an original Hebrew manuscript? Could it be that the ending -oclydon is somehow derived out of the Hebrew word for “east wind,” קדים, (pronounced ‘kaw-deem'”) perhaps in combination with the Hebrew word for “complete” כּלל (pronounced kaw-lal') as in perfectly east?


Strong’s H6921:

קדם    קדים

qâdîym  qâdim

kaw-deem', kaw-deem'

From H6923; the fore or front part; hence (by orientation) the East (often adverbially eastward, for brevity the East wind)






A primitive root; to complete


Additionally the ending -oclydon is reminiscent of the word “cyclon.”According to Pliny the Elder, the name of the east south easterly wind is called Eurus and the winters are characterized by winds out of east north east. The time of the events recorded in Acts 27 is clearly the first part of winter. Therefore, and considering also the fact that the wind referenced in Acts 27:14 was driving the ship, with its sail taken down, in a direction between west and west north west it would make sense if the word Euroclydon were to be derived out a combination of a word meaning “east” or “true east” and a word meaning “gale” or “storm,” i.e. eur- + ocyklone, would it not?




Based solely on the facts as recorded in Acts 27-28:1, I conclude that, in the case of the events recorded in Acts 27-28:1, the word translated “Euroclydon” represents an almost true easterly storm wind, and the word translated “Syrtis” or “the quicksands” references Syrtis Minor. Cf. below!









References and Definitions:



Quotes out of Pliny the Elder, The Natural History:

(eds. John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S., H.T. Riley, Esq., B.A.)






“…some persons have added a wind… between Eurus and Notos, named Euronotus10




“The spring opens the seas for the navigators. In the beginning of this season the west winds soften, as it were, the winter sky, the sun having now gained the 25th degree of Aquarius; this is on the sixth day before the Ides of February2

“After these the south winds become more frequent, until the appearance of Arcturus12 , which rises eleven days before the autumnal equinox. At this time Corus sets in; Corus is an autumnal wind, and is in the opposite direction to Vulturnus. After this, and generally for forty-four days after the equinox, at the setting of the Vergiliæ, the winter commences, which usually happens on the third of the Ides of November13 . This is the period of the winter north wind, which is very unlike the summer north wind, and which is in the opposite direction to Africus. For seven days before the winter solstice, and for the same length of time after it, the sea becomes calm, in order that the king-fishers may rear their young; from this circumstance they have obtained the name of the halcyon days14 ; the rest of the season is winterly15 .”


10 The four winds here mentioned, added to eight others, making, in the whole, twelve, will give us the following card:--

N. Septemtrio.

S. Notos or Auster.

N.N.E. Boreas or Aquilo.

S.S.W. Libonotos.

E.N.E. Cæcias.

W.S.W. Libs or Africus.

E. Apeliotes or Subsolanus.

W. Zephyrus or Favonius.

E.S.E. Eurus or Vulturnus.

W.N.W. Argestes or Corus.

S.S.E. Euronotus or Phœnices.

N.N.W. Thrascias.

We are informed by Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 330, that there is an ancient dial plate in the Vatican, consisting of twelve sides, in which the names of the twelve winds are given both in Greek and in Latin. They differ somewhat from those given above, both absolutely and relatively; they are as follows:-

aparkti/aj, Septemtrio.

no/toj, Auster.

bore/aj, Aquilo.

aibo/notoj, Austroafricus.

kaiki/aj, Vulturnus.

ai\y, Africus.

afhliw/thj, Solanus.

ze/furoj, Zephyrus.

eu=roj, Eurus.

ia/puc, Corus.

eu)ro/notoj, Euronotus.

qraski/aj, Circius.

12 This will be on the 13th of September, as, according to our author, xviii. 24, the equinox is on the 24th.

13 This corresponds to the 11th of November; forty-four days before this will be the 29th of September.

14 Or Halcyonides. This topic is considered more at length in a subsequent part of the work; x. 47.

15 The author, as it appears, portions out the whole of the year into fourteen periods, during most of which certain winds are said to blow, or, at least, to be decidedly prevalent. Although the winds of Italy are less irregular than those of England, Pliny has considerably exaggerated the real fact.







“…The winds that bring snow are Aquilo and Septemtrio; Septemtrio brings hail, and so does Corus…”





Quotes re ”Euroclydon” from various Dictionaries:






n. 1. A tempestuous northeast wind which blows in the Mediterranean. See Levanter.

A tempestuous wind called Euroclydon.

- Acts xxvii. 14.



Euroclydon - south-east billow, the name of the wind which blew in the Adriatic Gulf, and which struck the ship in which Paul was wrecked on the coast of Malta (Acts 27:14; R.V., "Euraquilo," i.e., north-east wind). It is called a "tempestuous wind," i.e., as literally rendered, a "typhonic wind," or a typhoon. It is the modern Gregalia or Levanter. (Comp. Jonah 1:4.)






Online Encyclopedia

EUROCLYDON (Gr. eupos, east wind; KM)bwv, wave)





Euroclydon [yûr"uklī'don]

Euroclydon , in the New Testament, east or northeast storm wind that caused Paul's shipwreck on Malta.





Meaning: southeast billow

the name of the wind which blew in the Adriatic Gulf, and which struck the ship in which Paul was wrecked on the coast of Malta (Acts 27:14; R.V., "Euraquilo," i.e., northeast wind)

It is called a "tempestuous wind," i.e., as literally rendered, a "typhonic wind," or a typhoon. It is the modern Gregalia or Levanter. (Compare Jonah 1:4.)






From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


A cyclonic tempestuous northeast wind which blows in the Mediterranean. It is the modern Gregalia (Gregale) or Levanter.





http://www.bartleby.com/65/eu/Euroclyd.html and


The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.  2001-05.


(yûr´´kl´dn) (KEY) , in the New Testament, east or northeast storm wind that caused Paul’s shipwreck on Malta.




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