This is a region where the connection between geography and history is more clearly seen than perhaps in any other. It consists of a relatively narrow strip of land between the sea and the desert, divided into zones by mountain ranges which run from north to south, separating the fertile plains and in places presenting a formidable obstacle to travel inland from the coast. Paul normally traversed the region only on his visits to Jerusalem, a city which owed its importance not to its site-for it was not on an important route or in a place of strategic significance-but simply to the fact that King David chose it as his capital, presumably for political reasons, and that the building of the Temple there made it an important cult centre. At the beginning of his career he travelled on one of the inland routes, from Jerusalem north to Damascus, and thence to Arabia. Later, however, when he had become committed to the hellenistic world, he used the route along the coast.