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Reference: Pamphylia


A province of Asia Minor, having Cilicia east. Lycia west, Pisidia north, and the Mediterranean south. It is opposite to Cyprus, and the sea between the coast and the island is called the "sea of Pamphylia." The chief city of Pamphylia was Perga, where Paul and Barnabas preached, Ac 13:13; 14:24.

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Paul and his company, loosing from Paphos, sailed north-west and came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia (Ac 13:13-14), a province about the middle of the southern sea-board of Asia Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east. There were strangers from Pamphylia at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:10).

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Southern province of Asia Minor, bounded on the N. by Pisidia, from which it was separated by the Taurus range, W. by Lycia, E. by Cilicia, S. by the Levant. In Paul's time it with Lycia formed a province under the emperor Claudius. His "peril of robbers" was in crossing Taurus, the Pisidians being notorious for robbery. He visited Pamphylia at his first missionary tour, sailing from Paphos in Cyprus to Perga in Pamphylia on the river Cestrus, where Mark forsook him (Ac 13:13; 15:38). They stayed only a short time then, but on their return front the interior "they preached the word" (Ac 14:24-25). Then they "went down (sea being lower than land) to Attalia," the chief seaport of Pamphylia. The minute accuracy of the geographical order, confirming genuineness, is observable, when, in coasting westward, he is said to "sail over the sea of Cilicia, and Pamphylia." Also Ac 13:13-14, "from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia," and Ac 14:24, "after Pisidia ... to Pamphylia," in returning to the coast from inland.

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The name of a district on the S. coast of Asia Minor, lying between Lycia and Cilicia. Strictly speaking, it consisted of a plain 80 miles long and (at its widest part) 20 miles broad, lying between Mt. Taurus and the sea. After a.d. 74 the name was applied to a Roman province which included the mountainous country to the N., more properly called Pisidia, but until that time it was used only in the narrower sense. The plain was shut in from all N. winds, but was well watered by springs from the Taurus ranges. Through lack of cultivation it has in modern times become very malarious, and in ancient times, though better cultivated, the district was never favourable to the development of a vigorous population. Moreover, it was very isolated except by sea, for the mountains to the N. had no good roads, and were infested by brigands. Even Alexander had to fight his way through them.

The name is probably derived from the Pamphyli, one of the three Dorian tribes, and it is likely that Dorian settlers entered Pamphylia at the time of the other Dorian migrations. But the Greek element never prevailed, and though Side and Aspendos were half-Greek cities in the 5th cent. b.c., the Greek that they spoke was very corrupt and was written in a corrupt alphabet. Side is said to have earned its prosperity as the market of Cilician pirates. The town of Attalia was founded in the 2nd century. But more important was the native town of Perga, situated inland and having apparently a port of its own on the river Cestrus at a distance of 5 miles. It was a religious centre., where a goddess 'Artemis of Perga' was worshipped, her rites corresponding to those associated with Diana of the Ephesians, and being therefore more Asiatic than Greek. The ruins of the city date from the period of the Seleucid kings of Syria. Pamphylia was in turn subject to Persia, Macedonia, Syria, Pergamus, and Rome.

Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey crossed from Cyprus to Perga, but seem to have gone straight on to Antioch without preaching. It was at Perga that John Mark left them (Ac 13:13). On the return journey, before taking ship at Attalia, they preached at Perga (Ac 14:25), but by this time they had definitely determined to 'turn to the Gentiles' (cf. Ac 13:46). Christianity was slow in taking hold of Pamphylia,

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District in the south of Asia Minor, having Cilicia on the east and Lycia on the S.W. Ac 2:10; 13:13; 14:24; 15:38; 27:5.

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(of every tribe), one of the coast-regions in the south of Asia Minor, having Cilicia on the east and Lycia on the west. In St. Paul's time it was not only a regular province, but the emperor Claudius had united Lycia with it, and probably also a good part of Pisidia. It was in Pamphylia that St. Paul first entered Asia Minor, after preaching the gospel in Cyprus. He and Barnabas sailed up the river Cestrus to Perga.

Ac 13:13

The two missionaries finally left Pamphylia by its chief seaport Attalia. Many years afterward St. Paul sailed near the coast.

Ac 27:5

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PAMPHYLIA, a province of Asia Minor which gives name to that part of the Mediterranean Sea which washes its coast, Ac 27:5. To the south it is bounded by the Mediterranean, and to the north by Pisidia; having Lycia to the west, and Cilicia to the east. Paul and Barnabas preached at Perga, in Pamphylia, Ac 13:13; 14:24.

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