Map of the Roman Empire - Philippi

Philippi
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Philippi. A city of Macedonia which was rebuilt by Philip II of Macedon and named Philippi. It became a Roman colony and after the assassination of Julius Caesar his avengers Marc Anthony and Octavian fought Marcus Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in a nearby plain west of Philippi in 42 BC. The Bible mentions that Philippi was visited by Paul, Acts 16:12ff.; Acts 20:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:2; Philippians 1:1ff.; Philippians 4:15. Today the Greeks call the city Philippoi and the Arabs call it Felibedjik.

Acts. 16:12ff. - And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, [and] a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

Acts. 20:6 - And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.

1 Thess. 2:2 -But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

Phil. 1:1ff. - Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Phil. 4:15 - Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

Philippi (Φίλιπποι). A city of Macedonia, now Filibah. It was situated on the river Gangas or Gangites, and was founded by Philip on the site of an older town, Crenides (?????de?). In the vicinity were productive gold mines. Here Octavianus and Antony won a decisive victory over Brutus and Cassius in B.C. 42, and here the Apostle Paul first preached in Europe, in A.D. 53. The seaport of Philippi was Datus or Datum on the Strymonic Gulf. - Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.

Philippi (in Greek Φίλιπποι/ Philippoi) was a city in eastern Macedonia, established by Philip II in 356 BC and abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest. The present municipality Filippoi is located near the ruins of the ancient city and it is part of the periphery of East Macedonia in Greece.

History of Philippi. The city reappears in the sources during the Roman civil war that followed the assassination of Julius Caesar. His heirs Mark Antony and Octavian confronted the assassins of Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus and Cassius, at the Battle of Philippi in the plain to the west of the city in October, 42 BC. Antony and Octavian were victorious in this final battle against the partisans of the Republic. They released some of their veteran soldiers, probably from legion XXVIII and colonized them in the city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In 30 BC, Octavian became Roman emperor, reorganized the colony, and established more settlers there, veterans possibly from the Praetorian Guard and other Italians. The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January, 27 BC, when Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate. Following this second renaming, and perhaps after the first, the territory of Philippi was centuriated (divided into squares of land) and distributed to the colonists. The city kept its Macedonian walls, and its general plan was modified only partially by the construction of a forum, a little to the east of the site of Greek agora. It was a "miniature Rome," under the municipal law of Rome and governed by two military officers, the duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome. The colony recognized its dependence on the mines that brought it its privileged position on the Via Egnatia. This wealth was shown by the many monuments that were particularly imposing considering the relatively small size of the urban area: the forum, laid out in two terraces on both sides of the main road, was constructed in several phases between the reigns of Claudius and Antoninus Pius, and the theatre was enlarged and expanded in order to hold Roman games. There is an abundance of Latin inscriptions testifying to the prosperity of the city. In AD 49 or 50, the city was visited by the apostle Paul who was guided there by a vision (Acts 16:9-10). Accompanied by Silas, Timothy and possibly Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, he preached for the first time on European soil in Philippi (Acts 16:12-40) and baptized Lydia, a purple dye merchant, in a river to the west of the city. While in Philippi, his exorcism of a demon from a slave girl caused a great uproar in the city, which led to their (Paul and Silas) arrest and public beating (Acts 16:16-24). An earthquake caused their prison to be opened. When the jailer awoke, he prepared to kill himself, thinking all the prisoners had escaped and knowing that he would be severely punished. Paul stopped him, indicating that all the prisoners were in fact still there. The jailer then became one of the first Christians in Europe (Acts 16:25-40). At this time, there was barely a Jewish community and no synagogue (Acts 16:13). Those Jews present did not seem to include any men and met by the river, a common meeting place in the absence of a synagogue. Paul visited the city on two other occasions, in 56 and 57. The Epistle to the Philippians dates from around 61-62 and shows the immediate impact of Paul's instruction. The subsequent development of Christianity in Philippi is well-attested, notably by a letter from Polycarp of Smyrna addressed to the community in Philippi around 160 and by funerary inscriptions. - Wikipedia

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Philippi
PHILIPPI (Φίλιπποι: Eth. F????ppe??, F???pp?s???,), a city of Macedonia, which took its name from its founder, Philip, the father of Alexander. Origin. ally, it had been called CRENIDES (?????de?, Strab. vii. p.331; Appian, App. BC 4.105, 107; Steph. B. sub voce s. v F???pp??), or the “Place of Fountains,” from the numerous streams in which the Angites takes its source. Near Crenides were the principal mines of gold in a hill called, according to Appian (l.c.) DIONYSI COLLIS (??f?? ?????s??), probably the same mountain as that where the Satrae possessed an oracle of Dionysus interpreted by the Bessi. (Hdt. 7.111.) Crenides does not appear to have belonged to the Thasians in early times although it was under their dominion in the 105th Olympiad (B.C. 360). When Philip of Macedon got possession of the mines, he worked them with so much success, that they yielded 1000 talents a year, although previously they had not been very productive. (Diod. 16.4-8.) The old city was enlarged by Philip, after the capture of Amphipolis, Pydna, and Potidaea, and fortified to protect his frontier against the Thracian mountaineers. On the plain of Philippi, between Haemus and Pangaeus, the last battle was lost by the republicans of Rome. Appian (l.c.) has given a clear description of Philippi, and the position on which Cassius and Brutus encamped. The town was situated on a steep hill, bordered to the N. by the forests through which the Cassian army advanced,--to the S. by a marsh, beyond which was the sea, to the E. by the passes of the Sapaei and Corpili, and to the W. by the great plains of Myrcinus, Drabescus, and the Strymon, which were 350 stadia in length. Not far from Philippi, was the hill of Dionysus, containing the gold mines called Asyla; and 18 stadia from the town, were two other heights, 8 stadia asunder; on the one to the N. Brutus pitched his camp, and Cassius on that to the S. Brutus was protected on his right by rocky hills, and the left of Cassius by a marsh. The river Gangas or Gangites flowed along the front, and the sea was in the rear. The camps of the two leaders, although separate, were enclosed within a common entrenchment, and midway between them was the pass, which led like a gate from Europe to Asia. The galleys were at Neapolis, 70 stadia distant, and the commissariat in Thasos, distant 100 stadia. Dio Cassius (47.35) adds, that Philippi was near Pangaeus and Symbolum, and that Symbolum, which was between Philippi and Neapolis, was so called because it connected Pangaeus with another mountain stretching inland; which indentifies it with the ridge which stretches from Právista to Kavála, separating the bay of Kavála from the plain of Philippi. The Pylae, therefore, could be no other than the pass over that mountain behind Kavála. M. Antonius took up his position on the right, opposite to that of Cassius, at a distance of 8 stadia from the enemy. Octavius Caesar was opposed to Brutus on the “left hand of the even field.” Here, in the autumn of B.C. 42, in the first engagement, Brutus was successful against Octavius, while Antonius had the advantage over Cassius. Brutus, incompetent to maintain the discipline of his troops, was forced to fight again; and in an engagement which took place on the same ground, twenty days afterwards, the Republic perished. Regarding the battle a curious mistake was repeated by the Roman writers (Manil. 1.908; Ovid, Ov. Met. 15.824; Flor. 4.42; Lucan 1.680, 7.854, 9.271; Juv. 8.242), who represented it as fought on the same ground as Pharsalia,--a mistake which may have arisen from the ambiguity in the lines of Virgil (Georg. 1.490), and favoured by the fact of the double engagement at Philippi. (Merivale, Hist. of Roman Empire, vol. iii. p. 214.) Augustus afterwards presented it with the privileges of “a colonia,” with the name “Col. Jul. Aug. Philip.” (Orelli, Inscr. 512, 3658, 3746, 4064; and on coins ; Rasche, vol. iii. pt. 2. p. 1120), and conferred upon it the “Jus Italicum.” (D. C. 51.4.) It was here, in his second missionary journey, that St. Paul, accompanied by Silas, came into contact with the itinerant traders in popular superstitions (Acts, 16.12--40); and the city was again visited by the Apostle on his departure from Greece. (Acts, 20.6.) The Gospel obtained a home in Europe here, for the first time; and in the autumn of A.D. 62, its great teacher, from his prison, under the walls of Nero's palace, sent a letter of grateful acknowledgment to his Macedonian converts. Philippi was [2.600] on the Egnatian road, 33 M. P. from Amphipolis, and 21 M. P. from Acontisma. (Itin. Anton.; Itin. Hierosol.) The Theodosian Table presents two roads from Philippi to Heracleia Sintica. One of the roads passed round the N. side of the lake Cercinitis, measuring 55 M. P., the other took the S. side of the lake, and measured 52 M. P. When Macedonia was divided into two provinces by Theodosius the Younger, Philippi became the ecclesiastical head of Macedonia Prima (Neale, Hist. of East. Church, vol. i. p. 92), and is mentioned in the Handbook of Hierocles.

The site, where there are considerable remains of antiquity, is still known to the Greeks by its ancient name; by the Turks the place is called Felibedjik. For coins of Philippi, see Eckhel, vol.ii. p. 75. (Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 215-223.)   - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.

 

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