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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
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").
(1)was so called to distinguish it from the many other cities of the same name founded by Seleucus Nicator (301-280 BC) and called after his father Antiochus. It was situated in a strong position, on a plateau close to the western bank of the river Anthios, which flows down from the Sultan Dagh to the double lake called Limnai (Egerdir Gol). It was planted on the territory of a great estate belonging to the priests of the native religion; the remaining portions of this estate belonged later to the Roman emperors, and many inscriptions connected with the cult of the emperors, who succeeded to the Divine as well as to the temporal rights of the god, have survived. (See Sir W. M. Ramsay’s paper on "The Tekmoreian Guest-Friends" in Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Roman Provinces, 1906.) The plateau on which Antioch stood commands one of the roads leading from the East to the Meander and Ephesus; the Seleucid kings regularly founded their cities in Asia Minor at important strategical points, to strengthen their hold on the native tribes.
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
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
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
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.