Pa'phos (Πάφος, of unknown etymology), a city of Cyprus, at the western extremity of the island, of which it was the chief city during the time of the Roman dominion, and there the governor resided. This functionary is called in the Acts of the Apostles (Ac 13:7) "deputy," and his name is said to have been Sergius Paulus. The word deputy signifies proconsul, and implies that the province administered by such an officer was under the especial rule of the senate. SEE DEPUTY. Cyprus had originally been reserved by the emperor to himself, and governed accordingly by a propragator; but finding the island peaceful; and troops wanted in other parts of the empire, Augustus exchanged it with the senate for a more distant and troubled province, and the governor is therefore correctly styled in the Acts deputy or proconsul. At this time Cyprus was in a state of considerable prosperity; it possessed good roads, especially one running from east to west through the whole length of the island, from Salamis to Paphos, along which Paul and Barnabas traveled; an extensive commerce, and it was the resort of pilgrims to the Paphian shrine from all parts of the world (Fairbairn). The two missionaries found Sergius Paulus, the proconsul of the island, residing here, and were enabled to produce a considerable effect on his intelligent and candid mind. This influence was resisted by Elymas (or Bar-Jesus), one of those Oriental "sorcerers" whose mischievous power was so great at this period, even among the educated classes. Miraculous sanction was given to the apostles, and Elymas was struck with blindness. The proconsul's faith having been thus confirmed, and doubtless a Christian Church having been founded in Paphos, Barnabas and Saul crossed over to the continent and landed in Pamphylia (ver. 13). It is observable that it is at this point that the latter becomes the more prominent of the two, and that his name henceforward is Paul, and not Saul (Σαῦλος ὁ καὶ Παῦλος, ver. 9) (Smith). SEE PAUL.
The name of Paphos, without any adjunct, is used by poets and by writers of prose to denote both Old and New Paphos, but with this distinction, that in prose writers. it commonly means New Paphos, while in the poets, on the contrary — for whom the name Palae-Paphos would have been unwieldy — it generally signifies Old Paphos, the more peculiar seat of the worship of Aphrodite. In inscriptions also both towns are called "Paphos." This indiscriminate use is sometimes productive of ambiguity, especially in the Latin prose authors.
1. Old Paphos (Παλαίπαφος), now Kuk'a or Konuklia (Engel, Kypros, 1:125), was said to have been founded by Cinyras, the father of Adonis (Apollod. iii 14); though, according to another legend preserved by Strabo (11:505) — whose text, however, varies — it was founded by the Amazons. It was seated on an eminence ('celsa Paphos," Virgil, AEn. 10:51), at the distance of about ten stadia, or 11 miles, from the sea, on which, however, it had a roadstead. It was not far distant from the promontory of Lephyrium (Strabo, 14:683) and the mouth of the little river Bocarus (Hesych. s.v. Βώκαρος). — The fable ran that Venus had landed there when she rose from out thesea (Tacit. Hist. 2:3; Mela, 2:7; Lucan, 8:456). According to Pausanias (i 14), her worship was introduced at Paphos from Assyria; but it is much more probable that it was of Phoenician origin. SEE PHOENICIA. It had been very anciently established, and before the time of Homer, as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey (8:362). Here the worship of the goddess centred, not for Cyprus alone, but for the whole earth. The Cinyradae, or descendants of Cinyras — Greek by name, but of Phoenician origin — were the chief priests. Their power and authority were very great; but it may be inferred from certain inscriptions that they were controlled by a senate and an assembly of the people. There was also an oracle here (Engel, I, 483). Few cities have ever been so much sung and glorified by the poets (comp. AEschylus, Suppl. 525; Virgil, AEn. 1:415; Horace, Od. 1:19, 30; 3:26; Stat: Silv. 1:2, 101; Aristoph. Lysis. 833, etc.). The remains of the vast temple of Aphrodite are still discernible, its circumference being marked by huge foundation-walls. After its overthrow by an earthquake, it was rebuilt by Vespasian, on whose coins it is represented, as well as on early and later ones, and especially in the most perfect style on those of Septimius Severus (Engel, 1:130). From these representations, and from the existing remains, Hetsch, an architect of Copenhagen, has attempted to restore the building (Miiller's Archaol. § 239, p. 261; Eckhel, 3:86). SEE VENUS.
2. New Paphos
(Πάφος Νέα), now Baffa, was seated on the sea, near the western extremity of the island, and possessed a good harbor. It lay about sixty stadia, or between seven and eight miles, northwest of the ancient city (Strabo, 14:683). It was said to have been founded by Agapenor, chief of the Arcadians at the siege of Troy (Homer, II. 2:609), who, after the capture of that town, was driven by the storm which separated the Grecian fleet on the coast of Cyprus (Pausan. viii, , § 3). We find Agapenor mentioned as king of the Paphians in a Greek distich preserved in the Analecta: (I, 181, Brunk); and Herodotus (vii- 90) alludes to an Arcadian colony in Cyprus. Like its ancient namesake, Nea Paphos was also distinguished for the worship of Venus, and contained several magnificent temples dedicated to that goddess. Yet in this respect the old city seems to have always retained the pre-eminence; and Strabo tells us, in the passage before cited, that the road leading to it from Nea Paphos was annually crowded with male and female votaries resorting to the more ancient shrine, and coming not only from the latter place itself, but also from the other towns of Cyprus. When Seneca says (Nat. Quest. 6:26, ep. 91) that Paphos was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, it is difficult to say to which of the towns he refers. Dion Cassius (54:23) relates that it was restored by Augustus, and called Augusta in his honor; but though this name has been preserved in inscriptions, it never supplanted the ancient one in popular use. Tacitus (Hist. 2:2,3) records a visit of the youthful Titus to Paphos before he acceded to the empire, who inquired with much curiosity into its history and antiquities (comp. Suetonius, Titus c. 5). Under this name the historian doubtless included the ancient as well as the more modern city; and among other traits of the worship of the temple, he records with something like surprise that the only image of the goddess was a pyramidal stone a relic, doubtless, of Phoenician origin. There are still considerable ruins of New Paphos a mile or two from the sea, among which are particularly remarkable the remains of three temples which had been erected on artificial eminences (Engel, Kypros, Berlin, 1841, 2 vols.). See Pococke, Disc. of the East, 2:325-328; Ross, Reise nach Kos, lalikarnasssos, Rhodos, u. Cyprus, p. 180192; Conybare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul (2d ed.), 1:190, 191; Lewin, St. Paul, 1:130 sq.; and the works cited above. SEE CYPRUS.