Free Online Bible Library | Mysia

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MYSIA (mĭsh'ĭ-a, Gr. Mysia). A district occupying the NW end of Asia Minor bounded (proceeding clockwise from the west) by the Aegean, the Hellespont (i.e., the Dardanelles), the Propontis (i.e., the Sea of Marmora), Bithynia, Phrygia, and Lydia. There were five areas: (1) Mysia Minor along the northern coast. (2) Mysia Major, the SE hinterland, with Pergamum as its chief city. (3) Troas, a geographical unit in the NW angle between Mount Ida and the sea, the name deriving from the legend that it was under the rule of Troy, whose stronghold was a few miles inland at the entrance to the strait. It was a strategic area, a fact that no doubt accounted for the Achaean assault on Troy. It was also the scene of Alexander’s first clash with the Persians (on the Granicus River). (4) Aeolis or Aeolia. This was the southern part of the western coast, a linguistic and ethnological, rather than a geographical, unit. Near the end of the second millennium before Christ, Aeolian Greeks from Boeotia and Thessaly had migrated to this area by way of Lesbos and Tenedos. (Troas was not occupied by Greeks until much later.) Until the Persian conquest the political organization of this Hellenized district was a league of small city-states. (5) Teuthrania was the SW angle between Temnus and the Lydian frontier. The aboriginal or early inhabitants of Mysia, the Mysi, had Tracian affinities and were probably, like the Trojans and the Hittites, an early wave of Indo-European invaders. The Hellespont made no fundamental racial division in early times.

From 280 b.c. Mysia formed part of the kingdom of Pergamum and fell to the Romans in 133 by the will and testament of Attalus III. It thereafter formed part of the province of Asia. The area was traversed by Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts.16.7-Acts.16.8), but no work was done. There is, however, evidence of very early church foundations.——EMB


MYSIA mĭsh’ ĭ ə (Μύσια). A region in western Asia Minor bounded by the Aegean, the Hellespont, the Propontis, Bithynia, Phrygia and Lydia, including the historic Troas and the areas of Aeolian Gr. settlement on the Aegean coast. In Gr. times it shared the fortunes of the western stub of the peninsula, fell to the Romans in 133 b.c. as part of the royal legacy of Attalus III, and in Rom. days was part of the province of Asia. This is why Mysia, never itself an independent political entity, lacks precise boundaries. It was a mountainous and, in early times, well-forested region, traversed by some of the main trade routes. The Troas area was part of Mysia, and Pergamum itself lay within its somewhat vague boundaries. The early inhabitants of Mysia were prob. of Thracian origin. Like the Trojans, who held their strategic foothold in Mysia near the entrance to the Hellespont, and the Hittites, whose great empire at times held dominance this far, they prob. were an Indo-European stock, an early wave of the great invasions of the peoples who, with their kindred dialects, were to settle all Europe. Mysia was traversed by Paul in the course of his second journey (Acts 16:7, 8), but no pause was made there save at Troas. There is evidence, however, of church foundations of a very early date.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A country in the northwestern part of Asia Minor, which formed an important part of the Roman province of Asia. Though its boundaries were always vague, it may be said to have extended on the North to the Sea of Marmora on the East to Bithynia and Phrygia, on the South to Lydia, and on the West to Hellespont. According to some authors it included the Troad. Its history is chiefly that of important cities, of which Assos, Troas, and Adramyttium on the border of Lydia, are mentioned in the New Testament. When Mysia became a part of the Roman province of Asia in 190 BC, its old name fell into disuse, and it was then generally known as the Hellespontus. According to Ac 16:7,8, Paul passed through the country, but without stopping to preach, until he reached Troas on the coast, yet tradition says that he founded churches at Poketos and Cyzicus. Onesiphorus, who was martyred some time between 109 and 114 AD, during the proconsulate of Adrian, is supposed to have evangelized this part of Asia. See The Expository Times, IX, 495 f.

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