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DALMATIA (dăl-mā’sha, Gr. Dalmatia, deceitful). A mountainous province on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea. Christianity, implanted under Titus (2Tim.4.10), continues until today. It was ruled by Rome as early as a.d. 160. Paul may have visited in the province (Rom.15.19); in his time it was regarded as part of Illyricum.

DALMATIA dăl mā’ shə (Δαλματία, G1237). Dalmatia (2 Tim 4:10) was a district in the southern part of Illyricum, a somewhat vaguely defined area of coast and mountain hinterland that lay E of the Adriatic Sea confronting Italy. Rome first compelled the warlike tribes of this area to acknowledge her sovereignty in the middle years of the 2nd cent. b.c. Subjugation was precarious and far from complete, and the Dalmatians remained a military problem until Octavian, the future emperor Augustus, brought the area more firmly under Rom. control. The Pax Romana was finally established by his successor, Tiberius. It was a vital area in the prosecution of Rome’s project of a Rhine-Danube frontier.

Paul’s brief and unexplained reference to Illyricum in writing to Rome (Rom 15:19) may mean that the apostle himself had founded Christian churches in the southern and more Hellenized parts of the region. He possibly visited the area from Macedonia after his Ephesian ministry (Acts 20:1).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A district of the Roman empire lying on the eastern shore of the Adriatic. Writing from Rome to Timothy during his second imprisonment (in 66 or 67 AD, according to Ramsay’s chronology), Paul records the departure of Titus to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10). No mention is made of his special mission, and we cannot tell whether his object was to traverse regions hitherto unevangelized or to visit churches already formed. Nor can we determine with certainty the meaning of the word Dalmatia as here used. Originally it denoted the land of the barbarous Dalmatae or Delmatae, a warlike Illyrian tribe subjugated by the Romans after a long and stubborn resistance; it was then applied to the southern portion of the Roman province of Illyricum, lying between the river Titius (modern Kerka) and the Macedonian frontier; later the name was extended to the entire province. On the whole it seems most probable that the apostle uses it in this last sense. See further under the word ILLYRICUM.

Marcus N. Tod