© Erich Lessing

Paul may have sailed on a ship like this one during one of his journeys. Carved in relief on a mausoleum in Pompeii, Italy, this vessel is typical of merchant ships plying the Mediterranean in the first century A.D.

A female figurehead adorns the bow, left. Such figureheads sometimes represented the name of the ship. The stern, right, scoops gracefully into a gooseneck shape. Sailors clinging to long yardarms extending from the central mast work quickly to furl the sails as the ship enters port. A large oar near the stern, right, was probably one of a pair that served as rudders; they may have been operated separately or rotated together by means of a tiller bar or ropes.

From an inscription on the mausoleum, we learn that the relief was commissioned in the first half of the first century A.D. by Naevoleia Tyche for the tomb of her husband, C. Munatius Faustus, a Pompeii shipper.