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Philippi

The name of two biblical cities

  1. Formerly Crenides, “the fountain,” the capital of the province of Macedonia. It stood near the head of the Sea, about 8 miles northwest of Kavalla. It is now a ruined village, called Philibedjik. Philip of Macedonia fortified the old Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name Philippi (B.C. 359-336). In the time of the Emperor Augustus this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the district recently conquered.

    It was a “miniature Rome,” under the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers, called duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome. Having been providentially guided thither, here Paul and his companion Silas preached the gospel and formed the first church in Europe. (See Lydia.) This success stirred up the enmity of the people, and they were “shamefully entreated” (Acts 16:9-40; 1 Thess. 2:2). Paul and Silas at length left this city and proceeded to Amphipolis (q.v.).

  2. When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he enlarged the city of Paneas, and called it Caesarea, in honor of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and called it Caesarea-Philippi (q.v.).

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