CNIDUS (nī'dŭs). A city of Caria at the SW corner of Asia Minor, past which Paul sailed on his journey to Rome (Acts.27.7). It was situated at the end of a long, narrow peninsula projecting between the islands Cos and Rhodes, and had two excellent harbors. It had the rank of a free city. Jews lived there as early as the second century b.c. Only ruins are left of a once-flourishing city, especially noted for its temple of Venus and a statue of the goodness by Praxiteles.
CNIDUS nī’ dəs (Κνίδος, G3118). Cnidus was an Argive Gr. colony on the SW tip of Asia Minor, a trading city with connections, with both Egypt and Italy, as early as the 6th cent. b.c. It housed a medical school, possessed the famous statue of Aphrodite by Praxiteles, and was the home of the astronomer Eudoxus. Cnidus fell under Pers. domination in common with all Asia Minor in the 6th cent., and in the 5th was a member of the Athenian-dominated Delian League. Its subsequent history, in Hell. and Rom. times, is not well known. It was a free city in the province of Asia. There were Jewish inhabitants as early as the 2nd cent. From Cnidus the best course for westbound maritime traffic was by one of the routes across the Aegean. The steady thrust of the meltemi, blowing out of Thrace, precluded this navigation at the time of Paul’s voyage (Acts 27:7), but provided a following wind for the shipmaster’s daring attempt to sail S or SW and move W under the lee of Crete. Situated as it was on the end of a long peninsula thrusting seaward between the islands of Cos and Rhodes, Cnidus, with its two harbors, was admirably equipped to form the port and point of departure for such traffic. A few ruins of the temple of Aphrodite are still to be seen.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
ni’-dus, kni’-dus (Knidos, "age"): A city of Caria in the Roman province of Asia, past which, according to Ac 27:7, Paul sailed. At the Southwest corner of Asia Minor there projects for 90 miles into the sea a long, narrow peninsula, practically dividing the Aegean from the Mediterranean. It now bears the name of Cape Crio. Ships sailing along the southern coast of Asia Minor here turn northward as they round the point. Upon the very end of the peninsula, and also upon a small island off its point was the city of Cnidus. The island which in ancient times was connected with the mainland by a causeway is now joined to it by a sandy bar. Thus were formed two harbors, one of which could be closed by a chain. Though Cnidus was in Caria, it held the rank of a free city. There were Jews here as early as the 2nd century BC.
The ruins of Cnidus are the only objects of interest on the long peninsula, and as they may be reached by land only with great difficulty, few travelers have visited them; they may, however, be reached more easily by boat. The nearest modern village is Yazi Keui, 6 miles away. The ruins of Cnidus are unusually interesting, for the entire plan of the city may easily be traced. The sea-walls and piers remain. The acropolis was upon the hill in the western portion of the town; upon the terraces below stood the public buildings, among which were two theaters and the odeum still well preserved. The city was especially noted for its shrine of Venus and for the statue of that goddess by Praxiteles. Here in 1875-78 Sir C. Newton discovered the statue of Demeter, now in the British Museum. See also the Aphrodite of Cnidus in the South Kensington Museum, one of the loveliest statues in the world. From here also came the huge Cnidian lion. The vast necropolis West of the ruins contains tombs of every size and shape, and from various ages.