Nicop'olis (Νικόπολις, city of victory), a city mentioned in Tit 3:12 as the place where, at the time of writing that epistle, Paul was intending to pass the coming winter, and where he wished Titus to meet him. Titus was at this time in Crete (Tit 1:5). The subscription to the epistle assumes that the apostle was at.Nicopolis when he wrote; but we cannot conclude this from the form of expression. We should rather infer that he was elsewhere, possibly at Ephesus or Corinth. He urges that no time should be lost (σπούδασον ἐλθεῖν); hence we conclude that winter was near.

Nothing is to be found in the epistle itself to determine which Nicopolis is here intended. There were cities of this name in Asia, Africa, and Europe, and many of them have been advocated in this connection. The question, however, is in reality confined to three of these places at most. One Nicopolis was in Thrace, near the borders of Macedonia. The subscription (which, however, is of no authority) fixes on this place, calling it the Macedonian Nicopolis: and such is the view of Chrysostom and Theodoret. De Wette's objection to this opinion (Pastoral Briefe, p. 21), that the place did not exist till Trajan's reign, appears to be a mistake. Another Nicopolis was in Cilicia; and Schrader (Der Apostel Paulus, 1:115-119) pronounces for this; but this opinion is connected with a peculiar theory regarding the apostle's journeys. We have little doubt that Jerome's view is correct, and that the Pauline Nicopolis was the celebrated city of Epirus (" scribit Apostolus de Nicopoli, quee in Actiaco littore sita," Jerome, Procmm. 9:195). For arrangements of Paul's journeys, which will harmonize with this, and with the other facts of the Pastoral Epistles, see Birks, Hores Apostolicae, p. 296-304; and Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul (2d ed.), 2:564-573. It is very possible, as is observed there, that Paul was arrested at Nicopolis, and taken thence to Rome for his final trial. It is a curious and interesting circumstance, when we look at the matter from a Biblical point of view, that many of the handsomest parts of the town were built by Herod the Great (Josephus, Ant. 16:5,3). It is likely enough that many Jews lived there. Moreover, it was conveniently situated for apostolic journeys in the eastern parts of Achaia and Macedonia, and also to the northward, where churches perhaps were founded. St. Paul had long before preached the Gospel at least on the confines of Illyricum (Ro 15:19), and 'soon after the very period under consideration Titus himself was sent on a mission to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10).

This city was founded by Augustus in commemoration of the battle of Actium, and stood upon the place where his land-forces encamped before that battle. From the mainland of Epirus, on the north, a promontory projects some five miles in the line of the shore, and is there separated by a channel half a mile wide from the opposite coast. This channel forms the entrance of the Gulf of Ambracius, which lies within the promontory. The naval battle was fought at the mouth of the gulf, and Actium, from which it took its name, and where Antony's camp was stationed, stood on the point forming the south side of the channel. The promontory is connected with the mainland by a narrow isthmus. Upon it Augustus encamped, his tent standing upon a height, from which he could command both the gulf and the sea. After the victory he enclosed the place where his tent was pitched, dedicated it to Neptune, and founded on the isthmus the city of Nicopolis (Dion Cas. li; Strabo, vii, p. 324), and made it a Roman colony. It was not more than some thirty years old when visited by the apostle, and yet it was then the chief city of Western Greece. The prosperity of Nicopolis was of short duration. It had fallen to ruin, but was restored by the emperor Julian. After being destroyed by the Goths, it was again restored by Justinian, and continued for a time the capital of Epirus (Mamertin. Julian, 9; Procopius, Bet. Goth. 4:22). During the Middle Ages the new town of Prevesa was built at the point of the promontory, and Nicopolis was deserted. The remains of the city still visible show its former extent and importance. They cover a large portion of the isthmus. Wordsworth thus describes the site: "A lofty wall spans a desolate plain; to the north of it rises, on a distant hill, the shattered scena of a theater; and to the west the extended, though broken, line of an aqueduct connects the distant mountains with the main subject of the picture — the city itself" (Greece, p. 229 sq.). There are also the ruins of a mediaeval castle, a quadrangular structure of brick, and a small theater, on the low marshy plain on which the city chiefly stood, and which is now dreary and desolate (Journal of R. G. S. 3:92 sq.; Leake, Northern Greece, 1:185 sq.; Cellarius, Geogr. 1:1080). The name given to the ruins is Paleoprevesa, or "Old Prevesa." See Bowen, Athos and Epirus, p. 211; Merivale, Rome, 3:327, 328; Smith, Diet. of Greek and Roman Geogr. s.v.; Lewin, Life and Epistles of St, Paul (4to ed.), 2:353 sq.; Krenkel, Paulus der Apostel (Leipsic, 1869), p. 108.

Bible concordance for NICOPOLIS.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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