A city and province of Libya, west of Egypt, between the Great Syrtis and the Mareotis, at present called Cairoan, in the province of Barca. It was sometimes called PENTAPOLIS, from the five principal cities that it contained-Cyrene, Apollonia, Arsinoe, Berenice, and Ptolemais. From hence came Simon the Cyrenian, father of Alexander and Rufus, on whom the Roman soldiers laid a part of our Savior's cross, Mt 27:32; Lu 23:26. There were many Jews in the province of Cyrene, a great part of whom embraced the Christian religion, though others opposed it with much obstinacy, Ac 6:9; 11:20; 13:1.
a city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a colony of Greeks (B.C. 630). It contained latterly a large number of Jews, who were introduced into the city by Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, because he thought they would contribute to the security of the place. They increased in number and influence; and we are thus prepared for the frequent references to them in connection with the early history of Christianity. Simon, who bore our Lord's cross, was a native of this place (Mt 27:32; Mr 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Ac 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Ac 6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to the formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch (Ac 11:20). Among "the prophets and teachers" who "ministered to the Lord at Antioch" was Lucius of Cyrene (Ac 13:1).
The chief city of Cyrenaica (now Tripoli), or the Libyan pentapolis (five cities) in N. Africa, between Egypt and Carthage, S., across the sea, of Crete and the Greek Peloponnese. A Dorian Greek colony, reigned over by Battus and his family 630 B.C. Afterward joined to its eastern neighbor Egypt. A table land descending by terraces to the sea. Famed for luxuriant vegetation and grandeur of its hills; for its intellectual activity in philosophy and poetry; and for its commerce. Jews in large number were settled there, and had a synagogue at Jerusalem, some of whose members took part against Stephen (Ac 6:9).
Others were hearers of Peter and witnesses of the Spirit's miraculous effusion on Pentecost (Ac 2:10). Being converted, and subsequently scattered at the persecution of Stephen, they preached to the Greeks at Antioch, at which time and place believers were first called Christians (Ac 11:19-20). Simeon, who bore Jesus' cross, was of Cyrene (Lu 23:26). Among "the prophets and teachers" at Antioch who ministered to the Lord was Lucius of Cyrene (Ac 13:1), whom some identify with Luke the evangelist and physician. Certainly, it is from Luke alone that we hear so much of Cyrene. (But (See LUKE .) Cyrene was a great center from which the gospel afterwards went forth, raising the famous N. African churches.
Capital of Libya (Tripoli) in N. Africa (Ac 2:10), the home of numerous Jews who with the 'Libertines' (freedmen from Rome?) and Alexandrians had a synagogue of their own at Jerusalem (Ac 6:9). Many of these became Christians, as Simon and his sons (doubtless), Mr 15:21; Lucius, Ac 13:1; and those in Ac 11:20 who preached to the 'Greeks' (v.l. 'Hellenists').
A. J. Maclean.
Cyre'ne Cyrenians. Cyre'nians
Greek city, capital of the classic Cyrenaica, in the north of Africa, and the inhabitants of the same. Some from thence were present on the day of Pentecost, and they had a synagogue in Jerusalem. Simon who bore the cross of the Lord was a Cyrenian. Mt 27:32; Mr 15:21; Lu 23:26; Ac 2:10; 6:9; 11:20; 13:1.
the principal city of that part of northern Africa which was sufficiently called Cyrenaica, lying between Carthage and Egypt, and corresponding with the modern Tripoli. Though on the African coast, it was a Greek city, and the Jews were settled there in large numbers. The Greek colonization of this part of Africa under Battus began of early as B.C. 631. After the death of Alexander the Great it became a dependency of Egypt, and a Roman province B.C. 75. Simon, who bore our Saviour's cross,
was a native of Cyrene. Jewish dwellers in Cyrenaica were in Jerusalem at Pentecost,
and gave their name to one of the synagogues in Jerusalem.
Christian converts from Cyrene were among those who contributed actively to the formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch.
CYRENE was a city of Lybia in Africa, which, as it was the principal city of that province, gave to it the name of Cyrenaica. This city was once so powerful as to contend with Carthage for preeminence. In profane writers, it is mentioned as the birthplace of Eratosthenes the mathematician, and Callimachus the poet; and in holy writ, of Simon, whom the Jews compelled to bear our Saviour's cross, Mt 27:32; Lu 23:26. At Cyrene resided many Jews, a great part of whom embraced the Christian religion; but others opposed it with much obstinacy. Among the most inveterate enemies of Christianity, Luke reckons those of this province, who had a synagogue at Jerusalem, and excited the people against St. Stephen, Ac 11:20.