(Μιτυλήνη, Ac 20:14; written also Mytile'ne, Μυτιλήνη, which is the older and more accurate form [see Tzchucke, ad Mel. II, 2:484 ; of uncertain etymology), the capital of the isle of Lesbos (Ptolemy, 4:2, 29), in the AEgean Sea, about seven and a half miles from the opposite point on the coast of Asia Minor. It was a well-built town, with two harbors, but unwholesomely situated (Vitruvius, De Architect. 1:6). It was the native place of Pittacus, Theophanes, Theophrastus, Sappho, Alcaeus, and Diophanes, and was liberally supplied with literary advantages (Strabo, 13:617; Senec. Helv. 9; Pliny, 5:37; comp. Veil. Paten. 2:18). The town was celebrated for the beauty of its buildings (" Mitlene pulchra," Horace, Epist. I, 11:17; see Cicero, Rull. 2:16). It had the privileges of a free city (Pliny, N.H. 5:39). The apostle Pal touched at Mitylene overnight between Assos and Chios, during his third apostolical journey, on the way from Corinth to Judaea (Ac 20:14). It may be gathered from the circumstances of this voyage that the wind was blowing from the N.W. , and it is worth while to notice that in the harbor or in the roadstead of Mitylene the ship would be sheltered from that wind. Moreover, it appears that Paul was there at the time of dark moon, and this was a sufficient reason for passing the night there before going through the intricate passages to the southward (see Conybeare and Howson's Life of St. Paul, 2:210). It does not appear that any Christian Church was established at this place in the apostolic age. No mention is made of it in ecclesiastical history until a late period; and in the 2d century heathenism was so rife in Mitylene that a man was annually sacrificed to Dionysus. In the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries, however, we find bishops of Mitylene present at several councils (Magdeburg, Hist. Eccles. Cent. 2:195; 5:6; 6:6; 7:4, 253, 254; 8:6). Mitylene still exists, under the designation of Metelin, and has given its name, in the form of Miftilni, to the whole island; but it is now a place of no importance (Tournefort, Trav. 2:115; Olivier, Voyage, 2:93; Sonnini, Travels in Greece, page 366). The town contains about 700 Greek houses, and 400 Turkish; its streets are narrow and filthy (Turner, Tours the Levant, 3:299). See, generally, Pauly's Realencyklop. 5:372 sq.; Anthon's Class. Dict. s.v.; Smith's Dict. of Class. Geography, s.v.; M'Culloch's Gazetteer, s.v.

Bible concordance for MITYLENE.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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