Antioch of Pisidia
ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA ăn’ tĭ ŏk, pĭ sĭd ĭ ə (̓Αντιόχεια τη̂ς Πισιδίας, the city of Antiochus by [?] Pisidia). Roman colony near Yalvac in S-central Turkey.
Lying strictly in Phrygia beyond the limits of Pisidia, which, as Acts 14:24 correctly implies, comes between it and Pamphylia, Antioch is, nevertheless, in a controlling position “near” Pisidia (so Strabo, xii 577). To distinguish it from the other Antioch in Phrygia it is popularly said to be “of” Pisidia, or, as in the reading of the oldest codices of Acts 13:14, “Pisidian.” A great wedge of mountain ranges, based to the W on Lycia and to the E on Cilicia Tracheia, embraces Pamphylia, and converges in Pisidia to its N. E-W traffic is here ruled out by the terrain, but routes, such as that followed by Paul, run N into the interior up the river valleys. Where they emerge into the lake-studded plateau that marks the limit of Pisidia, stands Antioch, astride the southernmost of the great E-W highways of Asia Minor, that was to carry Paul on to Lycaonia (Acts 14:6). Immediately to the N again is the range now known as Sultan Dag, which in antiquity gave to its “slopes” on either side the name of Phrygia Paroreios. This tract, which centers on Antioch, was incorporated in the new Rom. province of Galatia in 25 b.c. Thus, on the “South Galatian” theory, Antioch is one of the places to which the epistle to the Galatians was addressed.
B. Levick, Roman Colonies in Southern Asia Minor (1967).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
an’-ti-ok, pi-sid’-i-a (Antiocheia pros Pisidia, or aAntiocheia he Pisidia = "Pisidian").
There is no evidence that a Greek city existed on the site of Antioch before the foundation of Seleucus. Ramsay must be right in connecting Strabo’s statement that Antioch was colonized by Greeks from Magnesia on the Meander with the foundation by Seleucus; for it is extremely unlikely that Greeks could have built and held a city in such a dangerous position so far inland before the conquest of Alexander. Pre-Alexandrian Greek cities are seldom to be found in the interior of Asia Minor, and then only in the open river valleys of the west. But there must have been a Phrygian fortress at or near Antioch when the Phrygian kings were at the height of their power. The natural boundary of Phrygian territory in this district is the Pisidian Mts., and the Phrygians could only have held the rich valley between the Sultan Dagh and Egerdir Lake against the warlike tribes of the Pisidian mountains on condition that they had a strong settlement in the neighborhood. We shall see below that the Phrygians did occupy this side of the Sultan Dagh, controlling the road at a critical point.
The Seleucid colonists were Greeks, Jews and Phrygians, if we may judge by the analogy of similar Seleucid foundations. That there were Jews in Antioch is proved by Ac 13:14,50, and by an inscription of Apollonia, a neighboring city, mentioning a Jewess Deborah, whose ancestors had held office in Antioch (if Ramsay’s interpretation of the inscription, The Cities of Paul, 256, is correct). In 189 BC, after the peace with Antiochus the Great, the Romans made Antioch a "free city"; this does not mean that any change was made in its constitution but only that it ceased to pay tribute to the Seleucid kings. Antony gave Antioch to Amyntas of Galatia in 39 BC, and hence it was included in the province Galatia (see Galatia) formed in 25 BC out of Amyntas’ kingdom. Not much before 6 BC, Antioch was made a Roman colony, with the title Caesareia Antiocheia; it was now the capital of southern Galatia and the chief of a series of military colonies founded by Augustus, and connected by a system of roads as yet insufficiently explored, to hold down the wild tribes of Pisidia, Isauria and Pamphylia.
2. Pisidian Antioch:
Much controversy has raged round the question whether Antioch was in Phrygia or in Pisidia at the time of Paul. Strabo defines Antioch as a city of Phrygia toward Pisidia, and the same description is implied in Ac 16:6, and 18:23. Other authorities assign Antioch to Pisidia, and it admittedly belonged to Pisidia after the province of that name was formed in 295 AD. In the Pauline period it was a city of Galatia, in the district of Galatia called Phrygia (to distinguish it from other ethnical divisions of Galatia, e.g. Lycaonia). This view is certain on a study of the historical conditions (see Ramsay, The Church in the , 25 f); and is supported by the fact that Phrygian inscriptions (the surest sign of the presence of a Phrygian population, for only Phrygians used the Phrygian language) have been found around Antioch. See Pisidia. This corner of Phrygia owed its incorporation in the province Galatia to the military situation in 39 BC, when Amyntas was entrusted with the task of quelling the disorderly Pisidian tribes. No scheme of military conquest in the Pisidian mountains could omit this important strategical point on the Northwest. This fact was recognized by Seleucus when he rounded Antioch, by Antony when he gave Antioch to Amyntas, and by Augustus when he made Antioch the chief of his military colonies in Pisidia. A military road, built by Augustus, and called the Royal Road, led from Antioch to the sister colony of Lystra. According to the story preserved in the legend of "Paul and Thekla," it was along this road that Paul and Barnabas passed on their way from Antioch to Iconium (Ac 13:51; compare 2Ti 3:11; see Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 27-36).
3. Language and Religion:
Latin continued to be the official language of Antioch, from its foundation as a Roman colony until the later part of the 2nd century AD. It was more thoroughly Romanized than any other city in the district; but the Greek spirit revived in the 3rd century, and the inscriptions from that date are in Greek. The principal pagan deities were Men and Cybele. Strabo mentions a great temple with large estates and many hierodouloi devoted to the service of the god.
4. Paul at Antioch:
Antioch, as has been shown above, was the military and administrative center for that part of Galatia which comprised the Isaurian, Pisidian and Pamphylian mountains, and the southern part of Lycaonia. It was hence that Roman soldiers, officials, and couriers were dispatched over the whole area, and it was hence, according to Ac 13:49, that Paul’s mission radiated over the whole region. (On the technical meaning of "region" here, see Pisidia.) The "devout and honorable women" (the ) and the "chief men" of the city, to whom the Jews addressed their complaint, were perhaps the Roman colonists. The publicity here given to the action of the women is in accord with all that is known of their social position in Asia Minor, where they were often priestesses and magistrates. The Jews of Antioch continued their persecution of Paul when he was in Lystra (Ac 14:19). Paul passed through Antioch a second time on his way to Perga and Attalia (Ac 14:21). He must have visited Antioch on his second journey (Ac 16:6; Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 74 ff), and on his third (Ac 18:23; ibid., 96).
LITERATURE. Antioch was identified by Arundel, Discoveries in Asia Minor, I, 281 f, with the ruins north of Yalovadj. A full account of the city in the Greek and Roman periods is given in Ramsay,. The Cities of Paul, 247-314. The inscriptions are published in CIG, 3979-81; LeBas, III, 1189 ff, 1815-25; CIL, III, 289 ff; Sterrett, Epigraphical Journey in Asia Minor, 121 ff; Wolfe Expedition in Asia Minor, 218 ff; Ephem. Epigr., V, 575; Athen. Mirth., XIV, 114. Add to this list (borrowed from Pauly-Wissowa) the inscriptions published in Ramsay’s article on "The Tekmoreian Guest-Friends," referred to above. For the Phrygian inscriptions of the Antioch district, see Ramsay’s paper in Jahresh. Oest. Arch. Inst., VIII, 85.