Ancient Routes


"Finally we arrive at Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. After exiting the
narrow gorge, we are a day crossing the hilly foothills to the west of Kabul.
Cultivation is apparent everywhere one looks. Orchards and small wheat fields,
irrigated by several small streams coming down the mountain side. The land is
terraced in many places, the streams trained to follow and irrigate them in

A ridge runs through Kabul from the northwest to the south east, and is
split in two by the Kabul River which here runs due east. Called Asmai heights
on the north and Sher Darwaza heights to the south, this break in the ridge is
guarded by a fortress, and here the local governor resides. Passing the
fortress, and then another smaller ridge trending east, we pass the city proper
and pitch our tents on the valley floor. To the north of Kabul lies Wazirabad

Kabul lies at an altitude of 6000 feet, surrounded by mountains, and is
isolated by snow in winter, usually by the end of October. In winter, December
to March, Kabul is very cold, although heavy snow is not normal. The Arghandeh
Pass southwest to Kandahar is closed. The passes west to Bamian are also closed.
While travel to the east is possible, the trail is again closed before reaching
the head of the Panjshir valley. Then in spring, March through May when this
snow melts, trails are still treacherous as they must often cross streams in the
valley they follow. Summer is nice though…"

The Silk Road
© 2001, Rodney R. Baird

[via MeFi]

4 thoughts on “Ancient Routes

  1. My husband, Dr. Ben Witherington, is a NT professor at Asbury Seminary. Right now, we are working on extensive powerpoint presentations of the journeys of Paul. I’m doing most of the actual work. Right now, I’m trying to track every movement of Paul along the ancient roads, Roman and otherwise. Most I’ve found thanks to one rather unlikely source, Roman Bridges by Colin O’Connor (Cambridge, 1993). Right now I’m trying to track Paul’s movements during the third journey, especially his route from Pisidian Antioch to Ephesus. There seems to be two possibilities: an upper route (shorter, steeper way through the Cayster River Valley; the main Royal Road??) and a lower route (longer, flatter course over a pass south of Ephesus and then following the Meander and Lycus Rivers up through Laodicea to Ephesus; the lower Royal Road??). My research seems to favor the upper road. What cities would he have passed through on his way to Ephesus? How long would the trip take?

    Also: Who is Rodney R. Baird? His work is outstanding.

    Ann Witherington

  2. Yes, just who is Rodney R. Baird and where can I get more information on his background? While his work is impressive, I have not been able to find any information to show he is in fact a real person. Things like where he resides, where he went to school, what degrees he has received. I have search the net and come up with nothing. Is he a real human being or just a name some group has made up?

  3. A little more searching. Rodney Baird appears to have been (in 2003) a reporter for the La Junta, Colorado, Tribune Democrat. It’s late now, and I’ve done all the sleuthing I’m going to for tonight. I think Mr. and Mrs. Baird are real people who put together as a hobby because they were/are interested in places they aren’t able to travel to.

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