(Greek Phílippoi , Latin Philippi ).
Philippi was a Macedonian town, on the borders of Thracia. Situated on the summit of a hill, it dominated a large and fertile plain, intersected by the Egnatian Way. It was north-west of Mount Pangea, near the River Gangites, and the Ægean Sea. In 358 B. C. it was taken, enlarged, and fortified by the King of Macedonia, Philip II, hence its name Philippi. Octavius Augustus (42 B. C. ) conferred on it his jus Italicum ( Acts 14:12 ), which made the town a miniature Rome, and granted it the institutions and privileges of the citizens of Rome. That is why we find at Philippi, along with a remnant of the Macedonians, Roman colonists together with some Jews, the latter, however, so few that they had no synagogue, but only a place of prayer ( proseuché ). Philippi was the first European town in which St. Paul preached the Faith. He arrived there with Silas, Timothy, and Luke about the end of 52 A. D. , on the occasion of his second Apostolic voyage. The Acts mention in particular a woman called Lydia of Thyatira, a seller of purple, in whose house St. Paul probably dwelt during his stay at Philippi. His labours were rewarded by many conversions ( Acts 16 ), the most important taking place among women of rank, who seem to have retained their influence for a long time. The Epistle to the Philippians deals in a special manner with a dispute that arose between two of them, Evodia and Syntyche (iv, 2). In a disturbance of the populace, Paul and Silas were beaten with rods and cast into prison, from which being miraculously delivered, they set out for Thessalonica. Luke, however, continued to work for five years.
The Philippians remained very attached and grateful to their Apostle and on several occasions sent him pecuniary aid (twice to Thessalonica, Philippians 4:14-16 ; once to Corinth, 2 Corinthians 11:8-9 ; and once to Rome, Philippians 4:10-18 ). See EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS ). Paul returned there later; he visited them on his second journey, about 58, after leaving Ephesus ( Acts 20:1-2 ). It is believed that he wrote his Second Epistle to the Corinthinas at Philippi, whither he returned on his way back to Jerusalem, passing Easter week there ( Acts 20:5-6 ). He always kept in close communication with the inhabitants. Having been arrested at Cæsarea and brought to Rome, he wrote to them the Epistle we have in the New Testament, in which he dwells at great length on his predilection for them (i, 3, 7; iv, 1; etc.). Paul probably wrote them more letters than we possess; Polycarp, in his epistle to the Philippians (II, 1 sq.), seems to allude to several letters (though the Greek word, ’epistolaí , is used also in speaking of a single letter), and Paul himself (Phil., iii, 1) seems to refer to previous writings. He hoped (i, 26; ii, 24) to revisit Philippi after his captivity, and he may have written there his First Epistle to Timothy (Tim., i, 3). Little is known of the subsequent history of the town. Later it was destroyed by the Turks ; today nothing remains but some ruins.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online