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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
COLONY . The word colonia is a pure Latin word, which is written in Greek letters in the only place where it occurs in the Bible ( Acts 16:12 ), and expresses a purely Roman institution. It is a piece of Rome transported bodily out of Rome itself and planted somewhere in the Roman Empire. In other words, it is a collection of Roman citizen-soldiers settled on a military road to keep the enemies of the Empire in check. These retained their citizenship of Rome and constituted the aristocracy of every town in which they were situated. Their constitution was on the model of Rome and the Italian States. A number of places are mentioned in the NT which were really coloniÅ“ , but only one, Philippi, is so named , and the reason for this naming is no doubt that the author of Acts was proud of this city, with which he had some connexion. Pisidian Antioch, Lystra, Corinth, and Ptolemais, not to mention others, were coloniÅ“ . Sometimes these coloniÅ“ were merely settlements of veterans for whom their generals had to find a home.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Colony'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/c/colony.html. 1909.