Anatolian city Lycaonia in the Bible
Last Updated: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 12:21:15 +0000


Anatolian Region Lycaonia in the Bible


Acts 14:6
But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country,
Acts 14:11
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”

LYCAONIA - lik-a-o'-ni-a, li-ka-o'-ni-a (Lukaonia (Acts 14:6), Lukaonisti, (Acts 14:11, "in the speech of Lycaonia"); Lycaonia is meant, according to the South Galatian view, by the expression ten Galatiken choran, in Acts 18:23, and the incidents in Acts 16:1-4 belong to Lycaonia): Was a country in the central and southern part of Asia Minor whose boundaries and extent varied at different periods. In the time of Paul, it was bounded on the North by Galatia proper (but lay in the Roman province Galatia), on the East by Cappadocia, on the South by Cilicia Tracheia, and on the West by Pisidia and Phrygia. The boundary of Phrygia and Lycaonia passed between Iconium and Lystra (see ICONIUM). Lycaonia consists of a level plain, waterless and treeless, rising at its southern fringe for some distance into the foothills of Taurus, and broken on its eastern side by the volcanic mass of Kara-Dagh and by many smaller hills. Strabo informs us that King Amyntas of Galatia fed many flocks of sheep on the Lycaonian plain. Much of the northern portion of Lycaonia has been proved by recent discovery to have belonged to the Roman emperors, who inherited the crown lands of Amyntas.
In Acts 14:6 Lycaonia is summed up as consisting of the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the district (including many villages) lying around them. This description refers to a particular division of Lycaonia, which alone is mentioned in the Bible. In the time of Paul, Lycaonia consisted of two parts, a western and an eastern. The western part was a "region" or subdivision of the Roman province Galatia; the eastern was called Lycaonia Antiochiana, after Antiochus of Commagene under whom it had been placed in 37 AD. This non-Roman portion was traversed by Paul; but nothing is recorded of his journey through it (see DERBE). It included the important city of Laranda; and when Lycaonia is described as consisting of the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding district, the writer is clearly thinking only of the western portion of Lycaonia, which lay in, and formed a "region" of, the province Galatia. This is the tract of country which is meant in Acts 18:23, where it is called the "region" of Galatia, and placed side by side with Phrygia, another region of Galatia. The province Galatia was divided into districts technically known as "regions," and Roman Lycaonia is called the "region of Galatia" in implied contrast with Antiochian Lycaonia, which lay outside the Roman province. Of the language of Lycaonia. (see LYSTRA) nothing survives except some personal and place names, which are discussed in Kretschmar's Einleitung in die Gesch. der griech. Sprache.
W. M. Calder




Tags: holy, asia, minor, asia minor, lands, anatolia, turkey, christian, bible, city, cities, lycaonia, lystra, derbe