Neapolis

NEAPOLIS (nē-ăp'ō-lĭs, Gr. Neapolis). A town on the north shore of the Aegean Sea: the seaport of Philippi where Paul and his party sailed after seeing the “Man of Macedonia” at Troas (Acts.16.11-Acts.16.12). Paul may have revisited Neapolis on his return trip to Jerusalem (Acts.20.3-Acts.20.5). The exact location of Neapolis is yet uncertain. However, on the basis of literary and archaeological evidences, it would appear that it is near Kavalla.


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NEAPOLIS nē ăp’ ə lĭs (Νεάπολις, G3736, New Town). Town on the northern shore of the Aegean Sea.

Little is known concerning the founding of Neapolis, but it seems to have been a colony of Thasos and to have served as a harbor giving the islanders access to the mainland. The best evidence places its site at the present Gr. town of Kavalla. Philippi lay about ten m. inland, in a plain separated from the sea by a mountain ridge.

The city belonged first to Thrace, then became part of both the first and second Athenian Confederacy, during which time it was commended for its loyalty. It finally fell within the Roman province of Macedonia. Its harbor provided refuge for the fleet of Brutus and Cassius at the time of the Battle of Philippi (42 b.c.).

Neapolis was the first point in Europe touched by Paul and his companions when they came from Troas (Acts 16:11). From here it was an easy journey to Philippi. It is possible that the apostle passed through the town again when he revisited Macedonia (20:1); and it is almost certain that he embarked from Neapolis on his journey back to Troas (20:6). See also Macedonia.

Bibliography

ISBE Vol. 4 (1915), 2126; Pauly-Wissova, Real-Encyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft (1935), Vol. XVI2, 2110-2112.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A town on the northern shore the Aegean, originally belonging to Thrace but later falling within the Roman province of Macedonia. It was the seaport of Philippi, and was the first point in Europe at which Paul and his companions landed; from Troas they had sailed direct to Samothrace, and on the next day reached Neapolis (Ac 16:11). Paul probably passed through the town again on his second visit to Macedonia (Ac 20:1), and he certainly must have embarked there on his last journey from Philippi to Troas, which occupied 5 days (Ac 20:6). The position of Neapolis is a matter of dispute. Some writers have maintained that it lay on the site known as Eski (i.e. "Old") Kavalla (Cousinery, Macedoine, II, 109 ff), and that upon its destruction in the 6th or 7th century AD the inhabitants migrated to the place, about 10 miles to the East, called Christopolis in medieval and Kavalla in modern times. But the general view, and that which is most consonant with the evidence, both literary and archaeological, places Neapolis at Kavalla, which lies on a rocky headland with a spacious harbor on its western side, in which the fleet of Brutus and Cassius was moored at the time of the battle of Philippi (42 BC; Appian Bell. Civ. iv.106). The town lay some 10 Roman miles from Philippi, with which it was connected by a road leading over the mountain ridge named Symbolum, which separates the plain of Philippi from the sea.

The date of its foundation is uncertain, but it seems to have been a colony from the island of Thasos, which lay opposite to it (Dio Cassius xlvii.35). It appears (under the name Neopolis, which is also borne on its coins) as member both of the first and of the second Athenian confederacy, and was highly commended by the Athenians in an extant decree for its loyalty during the Thasian revolt of 411-408 BC (Inser. Graec., I, Suppl. 51). The chief cult of the city was that of "The Virgin," usually identified with the Greek Artemis. (See Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, III, 180; Cousinery, Voyage dans la Macedoine, II, 69 ff, 109 ff; Heuzey and Daumet, Mission archeol. de Macedoine, 11 ff.)