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Bible Encyclopedias
Lycaonia

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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(Λυκαονία, either from the mythological name Lycaö n, or from λύκος, a wof ), a province of Asia Minor, having Cappadocia on the east, Galatia on the north, Phrygia on the west, and Isauria and Cilicia on the south. These boundaries, however, are differently described by ancient authors (Ptolemy, 6:16; 5:6; Pliny, 5:25; Strabo, 14:663; Livy, 38:38). It extends in length about twenty geographical miles from east to west, and about thirteen in breadth. It was an undulating plain, involved among mountains, which were noted for the concourse of wild asses. The soil was so strongly impregnated with salt that few of the brooks supplied drinkable water, so that good water was sold for money; but sheep throve on the pasturage, and were reared with great advantage (Strabo, 12:568; Pliny, Hist. Nat. 8:69). Lycaonia first appears in history in connection with the expedition of Cyrus the younger (Xenophon, Anab. 1:2,19; 3:2, 23; Cyrop. 6:2, 20). The inhabitants were a hardy race, not subject to the Persians. and lived by plunder and foray (Dionysitus, Per. 857; Prisc. 806; Avien. 1020). With these descriptions modern authors agree (Leake's Journal, page 67 sq.; Rennel, Geog. of West. Asia, 2:99; Cramer, As. Min. 2:63; Mannert, Geog. VI, 2:190 sq.). It was a Roman province when visited by Pau. (Acts 14:6), and its chief towns were Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, of which the first was the capital (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Geog. s.v.). "The speech of Lycaonia" (Acts 14:11) is supposed by some to have been the ancient Assyrian language, also spoken by the Cappadocians (Jablonsky, Disquis. de Lingua Lycaonica, Berlin, 1714; also in his Opusc. 3:3 sq.); but it is more usually conceived to have been a corrupt Greek, intermingled with many Syriac words (Guhling, Dissesrt. de Lingua Lycaonica, Viteb. 1726), since the people appear, from the account in the Acts, to have adopted the Grecian mythology as the basis of their religion (see Sommel, De Lingua Lyc. Lond. 1787). "It is deeply interesting to see these rude country people, when Paul and Barnabas worked miracles among them, rushing to the conclusion that the strangers were Mercury and Jupiter, whose visit to this very neighborhood forms the subject of one of Ovid's, most charming stories (Ovid, Metam. 8:626). Nor can we fail to notice how admirably Paul's address on the occasion was adapted to a simple and imperfectly civilized race (Acts 14:15-17). See Bomer, De Paulo in Lycaonia (Lips. 1708). (See ASIA MINOR); (See PAUL).

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Lycaonia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​l/lycaonia.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
 
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