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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Philip´pi, a city of the proconsular Macedonia, situated eastward of Amphipolis, within the limits of ancient Thrace (;; ). It was anciently called Krenides (fountains) from its many fountains; but having been taken and fortified by Philip of Macedon, he named it, after himself, Philippi. In the vicinity were mines of gold and silver; and the spot eventually became celebrated for the battle in which Brutus and Cassius were defeated. Paul made some stay in this place on his first arrival in Greece, and here founded the church to which he afterwards addressed one of his epistles. It was here that the interesting circumstances related in Acts 16 occurred; and the city was again visited by the Apostle on his departure from Greece (). In the former passage () Philippi is called a colony, and this character it had in fact acquired through many of the followers of Antony having been colonized thither by Augustus (Dion. Cass, xlvii. 432). The fact that Philippi was a colony was formerly disputed; but its complete verification has strongly attested the minute accuracy of the sacred narrative. The plain in which the ruins of Philippi stand is embraced by the parallel arms of mountains extended from the Necrokop, which pour into the plain many small streams, by which it is abundantly watered and fertilized. The acropolis is upon a mount standing out into the plain from the north-east, and the city seems to have extended from the base of it to the south and south-west. The remains of the fortress upon the top consist of three ruined towers and considerable portions of walls of stone, brick, and very hard mortar. The plain below does not now exhibit anything but ruins—heaps of stone and rubbish, overgrown with thorns and briars; but nothing of the innumerable busts and statues, thousands of columns, and vast masses of classic ruins, of which the elder travelers speak. Ruins of private dwellings are still visible; also something of a semicircular shape, probably a forum or market-place, 'perhaps the one where Paul and Silas received their undeserved stripes.' The most prominent of the existing remains is the remainder of a palatial edifice, the architecture of which is grand, and the materials costly. The pilasters, chapiters, etc. are of the finest white marble, and the walls were formerly encased with the same stone. These marble blocks are gradually knocked down by the Turks, and 'wrought into their silly gravestones.' The travelers were informed that many of the ruins are now covered by stagnant water, at the bottom of which they may be seen; but they did not visit this spot.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Philippi'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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