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Bible Dictionaries
Lycia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

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(Λυκία, Eth. Λύκιος)

Lycia was a secluded mountain-land in the S.W, of Asia Minor, bounded on the W. by Caria, on the N. by Phrygia and Pisidia, on the N.E. by Pamphilia, and on the S. by the Lycian Sea. It was ‘beyond the Taurus’ (ἐκτὸς τοῦ Ταύρου). The ribs of that huge backbone of the country extended from N. to S. (in some places over 10,000 ft. in height), and between them were well-watered and fertile valleys, the homes of a highly civilized race, who in their love of peace and freedom resembled the Swiss. They were not Greek by race, but they were early hellenized. They had many overlords-Persians, Seleucids, Ptolemys, Romans-but for the most part their autonomy was undisturbed, and they had one of the finest constitutions in ancient times.

As the Lycians were suspected of favouring the Imperial party in the Civil Wars of Rome, Brutus and Cassius almost annihilated the beautiful city of Xanthus (43 b.c.), and the country never recovered its old prosperity. Pliny says that in his time the cities of Lycia, formerly 70 in number, had been reduced to 36 (Historia Naturalis (Pliny) v. 28). In a.d. 43 it was made a Roman province, and in a.d. 74 Vespasian formed the united province of Lycia-Pamphylia. Lycia is named in 1 Maccabees 15:23 as one of the Free States to which the Romans sent letters in favour of the Jewish settlers. Two of its principal seaports-Patara and Myra-are mentioned in Acts (Acts 21:1; Acts 27:5). But it appears to have been one of the last parts of Asia Minor to accept Christianity. Among the provinces addressed in 1 Peter 1:1 as having been partly evangelized, neither Lycia nor Pamphylia-both south of the Taurus-finds a place.

Literature.-C. Fellows, Discoveries in Lycia during 2nd Excursion in Asia Minor, 1841; T. A. B. Spratt and E. Forbes, Travels in Lycia, Milyas, and the Cibyratis, 1847; Benndorf-Niemann, Reisen in südwestl. Kleinasien, i.: ‘Reisen in Lykien und Karien,’ 1884.

James Strahan.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lycia'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdn/​l/lycia.html. 1906-1918.
 
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