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, Ac 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.
In Asia Minor, bounded on the N. by Phrygia, on the W. by Phrygia and Lycia, S. by Pamphylia, E. by Lycaonia and Cilicia. It stretched along the Taurus range. Paul passed through Pisidia twice on his first missionary tour; in going from Perga to Iconium, and in returning (Ac 13:13-14,51; 14:21,24-25; 2Ti 3:11). The wild and rugged nature of the country makes it likely that it was the scene of Paul's "perils of robbers" and "rivers" (2Co 11:26). Antioch of Pisidia was the scene of Paul's striking sermon, Ac 13:16-41.
The name applied to a district about 120 miles long and 50 miles broad, immediately N. of the plains of Pamphylia. It is entirely occupied by the numerous ranges into which the Taurus here breaks, with the deep intersecting valleys. The name was not applied to a definite political division, and nothing is known of the race inhabiting Pisidia. Until the time of Augustus they were wild mountaineers and brigands. Augustus began their reduction about b.c. 25 by establishing a chain of Roman posts which included on the N. side Antioch and Lystra, reconstituted as colonies. The name 'Pisidian Antioch' (Ac 13:14) would seem to record this fact, since Antioch was never included in Pisidia. The civilization of the district seems to have been effected by about a.d. 74. Until then it was dealt with as part of the province of Galatia, but at that date Vespasian attached a considerable portion of it to Pamphylia, in which province no great military force was maintained.
Paul and Barnabas traversed the district twice in the first missionary journey (Ac 13:13; 14:24). It was probably still a dangerous locality, and it is plausibly conjectured that St. Paul refers to it when he speaks of 'perils of robbers' (2Co 11:26). The route which they followed is uncertain, but the most likely theory is that of Prof. Ramsay (see Church in the Roman Empire, ch. 2Co 2:2), that they went through Adada, the ruins of which bear the name Kara Bavlo (i.e. Paulo). The dedication of the church to St. Paul may have been due to some surviving tradition of his passing by that way, but we are not informed that he preached at all in Pisidia. There is no evidence that Christianity made any progress in Pisidia before the time of Constantine. From the time of Diocletian we find the name Pisidia applied differently, namely, to a Roman province including Phrygia Galatica, Lycaonia, and the part of Phrygia round Apamea.
A. E. Hillard.
(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,
and in returning.
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,
but the word Pisidia does not occur except in reference to the former journey.