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an'-ti-ok, pi-sid'-i-a (Antiocheia pros Pisidia, or aAntiocheia he Pisidia = "Pisidian").

1. History:

(1) Antioch of Pisidia was so called to distinguish it from the many other cities of the same name founded by Seleucus Nicator (301-280 B.C.) 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 Acts 13:14, 50, and by an inscription of Apollonia, a neighboring city, mentioning a Jewess Deborah, whose ancestors had held office in Antioch (if Ramsay's interpretation of the inscription, The Cities of Paul, 256, is correct). In 189 B.C., after the peace with Antiochus the Great, the Romans made Antioch a "free city"; this does not mean that any change was made in its constitution but only that it ceased to pay tribute to the Seleucid kings. Antony gave Antioch to Amyntas of Galatia in 39 B.C., and hence it was included in the province Galatia (see GALATIA) formed in 25 B.C. out of Amyntas' kingdom. Not much before 6 B.C., Antioch was made a Roman colony, with the title Caesareia Antiocheia; it was now the capital of southern Galatia and the chief of a series of military colonies founded by Augustus, and connected by a system of roads as yet insufficiently explored, to hold down the wild tribes of Pisidia, Isauria and Pamphylia.

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 Acts 16:6, and 18:23. Other authorities assign Antioch to Pisidia, and it admittedly belonged to Pisidia after the province of that name was formed in 295 A.D. In the Pauline period it was a city of Galatia, in the district of Galatia called Phrygia (to distinguish it from other ethnical divisions of Galatia, e.g. Lycaonia). This view is certain on a study of the historical conditions (see Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 25); and is supported by the fact that Phrygian inscriptions (the surest sign of the presence of a Phrygian population, for only Phrygians used the Phrygian language) have been found around Antioch. See PISIDIA. This corner of Phrygia owed its incorporation in the province Galatia to the military situation in 39 B.C., when Amyntas was entrusted with the task of quelling the disorderly Pisidian tribes. No scheme of military conquest in the Pisidian mountains could omit this important strategical point on the Northwest. This fact was recognized by Seleucus when he rounded Antioch, by Antony when he gave Antioch to Amyntas, and by Augustus when he made Antioch the chief of his military colonies in Pisidia. A military road, built by Augustus, and called the Royal Road, led from Antioch to the sister colony of Lystra. According to the story preserved in the legend of "Paul and Thekla," it was along this road that Paul and Barnabas passed on their way from Antioch to Iconium (Acts 13:51; compare 2 Timothy 3:11; see Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 27-36).

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 A.D. 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 Acts 13:49, that Paul's mission radiated over the whole region. (On the technical meaning of "region" here, see PISIDIA.) The "devout and honorable women" (the King James Version) and the "chief men" of the city, to whom the Jews addressed their complaint, were perhaps the Roman colonists. The publicity here given to the action of the women is in accord with all that is known of their social position in Asia Minor, where they were often priestesses and magistrates. The Jews of Antioch continued their persecution of Paul when he was in Lystra (Acts 14:19). Paul passed through Antioch a second time on his way to Perga and Attalia (Acts 14:21). He must have visited Antioch on his second journey (Acts 16:6; Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 74), and on his third (Acts 18:23; ibid., 96).


Antioch was identified by Arundel, Discoveries in Asia Minor, I, 281, 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, 1815-25; CIL, III, 289; Sterrett, Epigraphical Journey in Asia Minor, 121; Wolfe Expedition in Asia Minor, 218; 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.

W. M. Calder


pi-sid'-i-a (ten Pisidian (Acts 14:24); in Acts 13:14, Codices Sinaitica, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Ephraemi give Antiocheian ten Pisidian, "the Pisidian Antioch," the other manuscripts, Antiocheian tes Pisidias, "Antioch of Pisidia." The former, but not the latter, reading correctly describes the condition of affairs at the time when Paul traveled in the country; see below):

1. Situation and History:

Pisidia, as a strict geographical term, was the name given to the huge block of mountain country stretching northward from the Taurus range where the latter overlooked the Pamphylian coast land, to the valleys which connected Apamea with Antioch, and Antioch with Iconium. It was bounded by Lycia on the West, by the Phrygian country on the North, and by Isauria on the East; but there is no natural boundary between Pisidia and Isauria, and the frontier was never strictly drawn. The name is used in its geographical sense in the Anabasis of Xenophon, who informs us that the Pisidians were independent of the king of Persia at the end of the 5th century B.C. Alexander the Great had difficulty in reducing the Pisidian cities, and throughout ancient history we find the Pisidian mountains described as the home of a turbulent and warlike people, given to robbery and pillage. The task of subjugating them was entrusted by the Romans to the Galatian king Amyntas, and, at his death in 25 B.C., Pisidia passed with the rest of his possessions into the Roman province Galatia. Augustus now took seriously in hand the pacification of Pisidia and the Isaurian mountains on the East Five military colonies were founded in Pisidia and the eastern mountains-Cremna, Comama, Olbasa, Parlais and Lystra-and all were connected by military roads with the main garrison city Antioch, which lay in Galatian Phrygia, near the northern border of Pisidia. An inscription discovered in 1912 shows that Quirinius, who is mentioned in Luke 2:2 as governor of Syria in the year of Christ's birth, was an honorary magistrate of the colony of Antioch; his connection with Antioch dates from his campaign against the Homonades-who had resisted and killed Amyntas-about 8 B.C. (see Ramsay in The Expositor, November, 1912, 385;, 406). The military system set up in Pisidia was based on that of Antioch, and from this fact, and from its proximity to Pisidia, Antioch derived its title "the Pisidian," which served to distinguish it from the other cities called Antioch. It is by a mistake arising from confusion with a later political arrangement that Antioch is designated "of Pisidia" in the majority of the manuscripts.

Pisidia remained part of the province Galatia till 74 A.D., when the greater (southern) part of it was assigned to the new double province Lycia-Pamphylia, and the cities in this portion of Pisidia now ranked as Pamphylian. The northern part of Pisidia continued to belong to Galatia, until, in the time of Diocletian, the southern part of the province Galatia (including the cities of Antioch and Iconium), with parts of Lycaonia and Asia, were formed Into a province called Pisidia, with Antioch as capital. Antioch was now for the first time correctly described as a city "of Pisidia," although there is reason to believe that the term "Pisidia" had already been extended northward in popular usage to include part at least of the Phrygian region of Galatia. This perhaps explains the reading "Antioch of Pisidia" in the Codex Bezae, whose readings usually reflect the conditions of the 2nd century of our era in Asia Minor. This use of the term was of course political and administrative; Antioch continued to be a city of Phrygia in the ethnical sense and a recently discovered inscription proves that the Phrygian language was spoken in the neighborhood of Antioch as late as the 3rd century of our era (see also Calder in Journal of Roman Studies, 1912, 84).

2. Paul in Pisidia:

Paul crossed Pisidia on the journey from Perga to Antioch referred to in Acts 13:14, and again on the return journey, Acts 14:24. Of those journeys no details are recorded in Acts, but it has been suggested by Conybeare and Howson that the "perils of rivers" and "perils of robbers" mentioned by Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:26 refer to his journeys across Pisidia, and Ramsay has pointed out in confirmation of this view that a considerable number of Pisidian inscriptions refer to the armed policemen and soldiers who kept the peace in this region, while others refer to a conflict with robbers, or to an escape from drowning in a river (The Church in the Roman Empire, 23 f; compare Journal of Roman Studies, 1912, 82). Adada, a city off Paul's route from Perga to Antioch, is called by the Turks Kara Baulo; "Baulo" is the Turkish pronunciation of "Paulos," and the name is doubtless reminiscent of an early tradition connecting the city with Paul. Pisidia had remained unaffected by Hellenic civilization, and the Roman occupation at the time of Paul was purely military. It is therefore unlikely that Paul preached in Pisidia. Except on the extreme Northwest, none of the Christian inscriptions of Pisidia-in glaring contrast with those of Phrygia-date before the legal recognition of Christianity under Constantine.


Murray, Handbook of Asia Minor, 150;; Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 18;; Lanckoronski, Stadte Pamphyliens und Pisidiens; Sterrett, Epigraphical Journey and Wolfe Expedition. A few inscriptions containing Pisidian names with native inflections have been published by Ramsay in Revue des universites du midi, 1895, 353;.

W. M. Calder

4099. Pisidia -- Pisidia, a region of Asia Minor
... 4098, 4099. Pisidia. 4100 . Pisidia, a region of Asia Minor. Part of Speech:
Noun, Feminine Transliteration: Pisidia Phonetic Spelling ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4099.htm - 6k

490. Antiocheia -- Antioch, the name of two cities
... Short Definition: Antioch Definition: Antioch, (a) Antioch on the river Orontes,
capital of the Province Syria, (b) Pisidian Antioch, not in Pisidia, but near ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/490.htm - 6k

3794. ochuroma -- a stronghold, fortress
... Pompey inflicted a crushing defeat upon their navy off the rocky stronghold of
Coracesium on the confines of Cilicia and Pisidia" (, 833).]. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3794.htm - 7k

1053. Galatia -- Galatia, a district in Asia Minor or a larger ...
... Pontus Galaticus, Galatia (in the narrower sense, which some still think is intended
in the NT), Phrygia Galatica, Lycaonia Galatica, Pisidia and Isaurica. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1053.htm - 6k


The Epistle to the Galatians
... is employed in an official, political sense, however, to designate the Roman province
which included Galatia proper, a part of Phrygia, Pisidia and Lycaonia. ...
/.../drummond/introduction to the new testament/the epistle to the galatians.htm

From Antioch to the Destruction of Jerusalem.
... They reached Pamphylia and Pisidia in Asia. John Mark left them in Pamphylia and
returned home. In the cities of Pisidia Paul was persecuted and opposed. ...
/.../tidwell/the bible period by period/chapter xx from antioch to.htm

Of what Bishops were at this Time Distinguished in Asia and Pontus ...
... In Pisidia Optimus, [798] in Lycaonia Amphilochius, [799] fought in the front rank
on behalf of their fathers' faith, and repelled the enemies' assaults. ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/chapter xxvii of what bishops were.htm

His Missionary Travels
... Change of his Name. 82-87. The Mainland of Asia Minor. 83. Desertion of Mark.84.
Antioch-in-Pisidia and Iconium. 86-87. Lystra and Derbe. 88. Return. 89-108. ...
/.../stalker/the life of st paul/chapter vi his missionary travels.htm

Heralds of the Gospel
... After the departure of Mark, Paul and Barnabas visited Antioch in Pisidia and
on the Sabbath day went into the Jewish synagogue and sat down. ...
/.../white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 17 heralds of the.htm

Gospel Missions
... It was not enough for him to have it handed down that he was the Apostle of Pisidia,
but he must go also to Pamphylia; it was not enough that he should be the ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 2 1856/gospel missions.htm

Imperial Tombs.
... made by Suetonius and Velleius, and also by the copies which have come down to us,
not from Rome or Italy, but from the remote provinces of Galatia and Pisidia ...
/.../lanciani/pagan and christian rome/chapter iv imperial tombs.htm

Exalting the Cross
... Before pressing forward into new territory, Paul and his companions visited the
churches that had been established in Pisidia and the regions round about. ...
/.../white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 20 exalting the cross.htm

To the Regions Beyond
... in Perga, or anywhere along the coast, but that the two evangelists seem to have
gone at once across the great mountain range of Taurus to Antioch of Pisidia. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/to the regions beyond.htm

Preaching among the Heathen
... From Antioch in Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium. ... Churches were duly organized
in all places in Lycaonia and Pisidia where there were believers. ...
/.../white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 18 preaching among the.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

pitch; pitchy

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(pitchy) was a district in Asia Minor north of Pamphylia, and reached to and was partly included in Phrygia. Thus Antioch in Pisidia was sometimes called a Phrygian town. St. Paul passed through Pisidia twice, with Barnabas, on the first missionary journey, i.e., both in going from Perga to Iconium, (Acts 13:13,14,51) and in returning. (Acts 14:21,24,25) comp. 2Tim 3:11 It is probable also that he traversed the northern part of the district, with Silas and Timotheus, on the second missionary journey, (Acts 18:8) but the word Pisidia does not occur except in reference to the former journey.

ATS Bible Dictionary

A province of Asia Minor, separated from the Mediterranean by Pamphylia, lying on Mount Taurus and the high table land north of it, and running up between Phrygia and Lycaonia as far as Antioch its capital. The Pisidians, like most of the inhabitants of the Taurus range, were an unsubdued and lawless race; and Paul in preaching the gospel at Antioch and throughout Pisidia, Acts 13:14; 14:24, was in peril by robbers as well as by sudden storms and floods in the mountain passes. Churches continued to exist here for seven or eight centuries.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A district in Asia Minor, to the north of Pamphylia. The Taurus range of mountains extends through it. Antioch, one of its chief cities, was twice visited by Paul (Acts 13:14; 14:21-24).
Pisidia (2 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ANTIOCH, OF PISIDIA. an'-ti-ok, pi-sid'-ia
(Antiocheia pros Pisidia, or aAntiocheia he Pisidia = "Pisidian"). ...
/p/pisidia.htm - 21k

Antioch (21 Occurrences)
... (2.) In the extreme north of Pisidia; was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the first
missionary journey (Acts 13:14). ... CH Thomson. ANTIOCH, OF PISIDIA. ...
/a/antioch.htm - 27k

Pisid'ia (2 Occurrences)
Pisid'ia. Pisidia, Pisid'ia. Pisidian . ... Acts 14:24 And having passed through
Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia, (See RSV). Pisidia, Pisid'ia. Pisidian . ...
/p/pisid'ia.htm - 6k

Pamphylia (6 Occurrences)
... pam-fil'-ia (Pamphulia): A country lying along the southern coast of Asia Minor,
bounded on the North by Pisidia, on the East by Isauria, on the South by the ...
/p/pamphylia.htm - 12k

Galatia (6 Occurrences)
... a large province of the Roman empire, including not merely the country Galatia,
but also Paphlagonia and parts of Pontus, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia and Isauria ...
/g/galatia.htm - 23k

Iconium (6 Occurrences)
... It was first visited by Paul and Barnabas from Antioch-in-Pisidia during
the apostle's first missionary journey (Acts 13:50, 51). ...
/i/iconium.htm - 12k

Passing (177 Occurrences)
... (WEY). Acts 13:14 But they, passing on from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia. ... Acts
14:24 Then passing through Pisidia they came into Pamphylia; (WEY). ...
/p/passing.htm - 36k

Passed (329 Occurrences)
... Acts 13:14 But they, passing on from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia. ... (See RSV).
Acts 14:24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. ...
/p/passed.htm - 34k

Minor (2 Occurrences)
... Other roads lead from the bay of Adalia to Antioch in Pisidia or to Apameia, or
to Laodicea on the Lycus and thence down the Meander to Ephesus. ...
/m/minor.htm - 62k

Asia (22 Occurrences)
... Other roads lead from the bay of Adalia to Antioch in Pisidia or to Apameia, or
to Laodicea on the Lycus and thence down the Meander to Ephesus. ...
/a/asia.htm - 71k

Bible Concordance
Pisidia (2 Occurrences)

Acts 13:14 But they, passing on from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia. They went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.

Acts 14:24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia.



Pisidia: Paul Visits

Related Terms

Antioch (21 Occurrences)

Pisid'ia (2 Occurrences)

Pamphylia (6 Occurrences)

Galatia (6 Occurrences)

Iconium (6 Occurrences)

Passing (177 Occurrences)

Passed (329 Occurrences)

Minor (2 Occurrences)

Asia (22 Occurrences)

Lystra (6 Occurrences)

Lycaonia (2 Occurrences)

Pamphyl'ia (5 Occurrences)

Perga (3 Occurrences)

Pisidian (1 Occurrence)

Phrygia (4 Occurrences)

Pishon (1 Occurrence)

Sabbath-day (23 Occurrences)

Separate (115 Occurrences)

Arrived (129 Occurrences)

Throughout (291 Occurrences)

Entering (124 Occurrences)

Synagogue (52 Occurrences)

Proselyte (2 Occurrences)

Philippi (8 Occurrences)

Departed (270 Occurrences)

Seated (252 Occurrences)

Sat (222 Occurrences)

Entered (291 Occurrences)

Messenger (235 Occurrences)


Sabbath (126 Occurrences)

Language (112 Occurrences)

Acts (271 Occurrences)

Tabeel (2 Occurrences)

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