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ATTALIA (ăt'a-lī'a). A seaport of Pamphylia near Perga, mentioned in Acts.14.25. On Paul’s first missionary journey he landed at Perga, several miles inland, but on his return he and Barnabas sailed for Antioch in Syria from Attalia, the main seaport on the Gulf of “Adalia,” as it is spelled today. The city was founded by and named for Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergammum from 159 to 138 b.c.


ATTALIA ăt’ ə lī’ ə (̓Ατταλεία, city of Attalus). A seaport in Pamphylia (q.v.) in the S of Asia Minor.

Returning to Antioch from their missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas embarked at Attalia (Acts 14:25), where they had presumably landed on their way from Paphos to Perga (13:13).

The city was founded by Attalus II of Pergamum between 165 and 138 b.c., and subsequently passed under Rom. domination. It became an important seaport, minting its own coins, and in the time of Paul was apparently in the province of Lycia-Pamphylia.

Attalia later became a Rom. colony, and today, with the name Andaliya (Antalya, Adalia), it is one of the principal seaports of Turkey.

There was another city called Attalia near Thyatira.


A. H. M. Jones, The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces (1937), 130-145.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Attalia: A city on the southern coast of Asia Minor in ancient Pamphylia which, according to Ac 14:25, was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the way to Antioch during their first missionary journey. The city was founded by Attalus II Philadelphus (159-138 BC), hence, its name Attalia, which during the Middle Ages was corrupted to Satalia; its modern name is Adalia. Attalia stood on a flat terrace of limestone, about 120 ft. high, near the point where the Catarrhactes River flowed into the sea. The river now, however, has practically disappeared, for the greater part of its water is turned into the fields for irrigation purposes. The early city did not enjoy the ecclesiastical importance of the neighboring city of Perga; but in 1084 when Perga declined, Attalia became a metropolis. In 1148 the troops of Louis IV sailed from there to Syria; in 1214 the Seljuks restored the city walls, and erected several public buildings. The city continued to be the chief port for ships from Syria and Egypt, and the point of entry to the interior until modern times, when the harbor at Mersine was reopened; it has now become a place of little importance.

The town possesses considerable which is of archaeological interest. The outer harbor was protected by ancient walls and towers now in ruins; its entrance was closed with a chain. The inner harbor was but a recess in the cliff. The city was surrounded by two walls which were constructed at various times from material taken from the ruins of the ancient city; the outer wall was protected by a moat. The modern town, lying partly within and partly without the walls is thus divided into quarters. In the southern quarter live the Christians; in the northern the Moslems. Among other objects of archaeological interest still to be seen may be mentioned the inscribed arched gateway of Hadrian and the aqueduct. Rich gardens now surround the town; the chief exports are grain, cotton, licorice root and valonia or acorn-cups.

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