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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Ἀττάλεια ), a maritime city of Pamphylia (near Lycia, to which it is assigned by Stephen of Byzantium), in Asia Minor, near the mouth of the river Catarrhactes (see Wesseling, ad Antonin. Itin. p. 579, 670). It derived its name from its founder, Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamus (Strabo, 14:657), who ruled over the western part of the peninsula from the north to the south, and was in want of a port which should be useful for the trade of Egypt and Syria, as Troas was for that of the AEgean. All its remains are characteristic of the date of its foundation. It was visited by Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary tour, being the place from which they sailed on their return to Antioch from their journey into the inland parts of Asia Minor (Acts 14:25). It does not appear that they made any stay, or attempted to preach the Gospel in Attalia (see Conybeare and Howson's St. Paul, 1, 200).

This city, however, though comparatively modern at that time, was a place of considerable importance in the first century. Its name in the twelfth century appears to have been Satalia, a corruption, of which the crusading chronicler, William of Tyre, gives a curious explanation. It still exists under the name of Adalia (Busching, Erdbeschr. 11, 1, 121), and extensive and important ruins attest the former consequence of the city (Leake's Asia Minor, p. 193). This place stands on the west of the Catarrhactes, where Strabo (14, 4) places it; Ptolemy, however (v. 5, 2), places the ancient city on the east of the river, on which accounts Admiral Beaufort (Karamania, p. 135) held the present Laara to be the representative of Attalia, and the modern Adalia (or Satalia) to be the site of the ancient Olbia, which Mannert (Geog. 6, 130) thought to be the same with Attalia (see Forbiger, Alte Geogr. 2, 268); but Spratt and Forbes (Lycia, 1, 217) have found the remains of Olbia farther west, and it is therefore probable that the bed of the Catarrhactes changed at different times (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v.).

The situation of this place made it a natural port of the adjacent region, and hence Paul readily found here a vessel coasting to Antioch, in Syria. See Lewin, Life and Letters of St. Paul, i, 155. .

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Attalia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Attala (or Attalas), st.
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