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Bible Cities: Cilicia
Ancient Cilicia

Map of Ancient Cilicia


Cilicia in Easton's Bible Dictionary a maritime province in the south-east of Asia Minor. Tarsus, the birth-place of Paul, was one of its chief towns, and the seat of a celebrated school of philosophy. Its luxurious climate attracted to it many Greek residents after its incorporation with the Macedonian empire. It was formed into a Roman province, B.C. 67. The Jews of Cilicia had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). Paul visited it soon after his conversion (Gal. 1:21; Acts 9:30), and again, on his second missionary journey (15:41), "he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches." It was famous for its goat's-hair cloth, called cilicium. Paul learned in his youth the trade of making tents of this cloth.

Cilicia in Fausset's Bible Dictionary A province S.E. of Asia Minor, having the Mediterranean on the S., Pamphylia on the W., the Taurus and Antitaurus range on the N., separating it from Lycaonia and Cappadocia, and on the E. the range of Areanus separating it from Syria. The eastern portion is level, well watered, and fruitful; the western rugged, and chiefly fit for pasture. Tarsus, on the Cydnus, capital of the E., became a favorite residence of the Greeks and seat of learning under the Graeco-Macedonian empire. Many Jews were settled there and had their synagogue (Acts 6:9). Paul belonged to Tarsus, and there acquired his knowledge of the Greek poets, three of whom he quotes: Aratus of Cilicia, Menander, and Epimenides (Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Titus 1:12). He naturally visited it after his conversion, and probably founded the church there. Cilicia was the high road between Syria and the W.; from Syria into Cilicia by the gates of Amanus, a pass at the head of the valley of Pinarus; from Cilicia by the gates of Cilicia, near the sources of Cydnus, through the Antitaurus into Lycaonia and Cappadocia, the pass whereby Paul crossed into Lycaonia (Acts 15:41). The goats' hair cloth, called cilicium, was one of its products. Paul, according to the excellent Jewish custom that all boys should learn a trade, wrought at; making tents of this hair cloth procurable in every large town of the Levant, a profitable trade in those days of traveling. The hair cloth is still manufactured in Asia Minor, and the word still retained in French, Spanish, and Italian (cilicio). Theodore of Mopsus in Cilicia was another of its eminent Christian writers.

Cilicia in Hitchcock's Bible Names which rolls or overturns

Cilicia in Naves Topical Bible (A maritime province of Asia Minor) -Jews live in Ac 6:9 -The congregations of Ac 15:23,41; Ga 1:21 -Sea of Ac 27:5

Cilicia in Smiths Bible Dictionary ( the land of Celix), a maritime province int he southeast of Asia Minor, bordering on Pamphylia in the west, Lycaonia and Cappadocia in the north, and Syria in the east. Ac 6:9 Cilicia was from its geographical position the high road between Syria and the west; it was also the native country of St. Paul, hence it was visited by him, firstly, soon after his conversion, Ac 9:30; Ga 1:21 and again in his second apostolical journey. Ac 15:41

Cilicia in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE si-lish'-i-a (he Kilikia): An important province at the Southeast angle of Asia Minor, corresponding nearly with the modern Turkish vilayet of Adana; enfolded between the Taurus mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, with the Amanus range on the East and Pamphylia on the West; chief rivers, the Pyramus, Sarus, Cydnus and Calycadnus. The character of Cilician history has been largely determined by the physical features of the province. It is divided by nature into a mountainous part to the West, called Tracheia, and a broad, alluvial plain, hot and fertile, toward the East, termed Campestris or Pedias. Cilicia has always been isolated from its neighbors by land by its encircling mountains, save for its two famous mountain passes, the "Syrian Gates," which offer an easy road to Antioch and the South, and the wonderful "Cilician Gates," which open a road to central and western Asia Minor. Through these passes the armies and the pilgrims, the trade and the travel of the centuries have made their way. Alexander was one of the most renowned leaders of such expeditions, and at Issus he met and shattered the power of the Persian empire. The early settlers of Cilicia are held to have been Semitic Syrians and Phoenicians, but in the still earlier days the inhabitants must have been Hittites. While few Hittite remains have been brought to light in Cilicia proper, the province was so surrounded by Hittites, and such important works of Hittite art and industry remain on the outskirts of the province, as at Ivriz, Marash, Sinjirli and Sakche Geuzi, that the intervening territory could hardly fail to be overspread with the same civilization and imperial power. See Professor John Garstang's The Land of the Hittites. Cilicia appears as independent under Syennesis, a contemporary of Alyattes of Lydia, 610 BC. Later it passed under the Persian sway, but retained its separate line of kings. After Alexander the Seleucid rulers governed Cilicia from Antioch. The disturbances of the times enabled the pirates so to multiply and establish themselves in their home base, in Cilicia, Tracheia, that they became the scourge of the Mediterranean until their power was broken by Pompey (67-66 BC). Cilicia was by degrees incorporated in the Roman administration, and Cicero, the orator, was governor (51-50 BC). The foremost citizen of the province was Saul of Tarsus (Acts 21:39; 22:3; 23:34). Students or pilgrims from Cilicia like himself disputed with Stephen (Acts 6:9). Some of the earliest labors of the great apostle were near his home, in Syria and Cilicia (Gal 1:21; Acts 15:23,11). On his voyage to Rome he sailed across the sea which is off Cilicia (Acts 27:5). Constantinople and Antioch may be regarded as the front and back door of Asia Minor, and as the former was not founded till the 4th century, Asia Minor may be regarded as fronting during apostolic days on Antioch. Cilicia was intimately connected with its neighbor province on the South. The first Christian apostles and evangelists followed the great highways, through the famous mountain passes, and carried the religion of Jesus to Asia Minor from Antioch as a base. Armenians migrating from the North founded kingdom in Cilicia under Roupen which was terminated by the overthrow of King Levon, or Leo, by the conquering Turks in 1393. A remnant of this kingdom survives in the separate Armenian catholicate of Sis, which has jurisdiction over few bishoprics, and Armenians are among the most virile of the present inhabitants of the province.

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 15:23 And they wrote [letters] by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren [send] greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 21:39 But Paul said, I am a man [which am] a Jew of Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 22:3 I am verily a man [which am] a Jew, born in Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 23:34 And when the governor had read [the letter], he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that [he was] of Cilicia;

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 27:5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, [a city] of Lycia.

Cilicia Scripture - Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Cilicia Scripture - Galatians 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

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