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Holman Bible Dictionary
(guh lay' shuh) Geographical name derived from Gaul because its inhabitants were Celts or Galli (Gauls). The original settlement was in central Asia Minor. See Asia Minor. King Nicomedes of Bithynia invited the Celtic warriors across the Bosporus River to help him fight his brother in 278 B.C. The invaders fought on their own capturing cities until stopped by Antiochus I in 275 B.C. They then occupied the northern part of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Pontus and Bithynia, on the east by Tavium and Pessinus in the west. For the most part, true Galatians lived in open areas, leaving city occupation to their predecessors, the Phrygians. The true Galatians constantly switched sides in ongoing battles in the area. Finally, in 25 B.C. Rome made Galatia a province of the empire and extended its borders, adding Lycaonia, Isauria, and Pisidia with Ancyra serving as the governmental center. Various Roman rulers added and subtracted territory from the province, so its precise boundaries are difficult to draw. Paul visited Galatia (Acts 16:6
; Acts 18:23
), though his precise route is not clear. Did he visit Phrygian-dominated cities or the true Galatians in the countryside? Was his letter addressed to the original territory in the north or to the Roman province with its southern additions? See Galatians. Compare 1 Corinthians 16:1
; 2 Timothy 4:10
, where some manuscripts have Gaul, and 1 Peter 1:1
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Galatia'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/g/galatia.html. 1991.