(Φρυγία, perhaps from φρύγω, hence parched), an inland province of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Bithynia and Galatia. on the east by Cappadocia and Lycaonia, on the south by Lycia, Pisidia, and Isauria, and on the west by Caria, Lydia, and Mysia. Perhaps there is no geographical term in the New Testament which is less capable of an exact definition. Many maps convey the impression that it was coordinate with such terms as Bithynia, Cilicia, or Galatia. But in fact there was no Roman province of Phrygia till considerably after the first establishment of Christianity in the peninsula of Asia Minor. The word was rather ethnological than political, and denoted, in a vague manner, the western part of the central region of that peninsula. Accordingly, in two of the three places where it is used, it is mentioned in a manner not intended to be precise (διελθότες τὴν Φρυγίαν καὶ τὴν Φαλατικὴν χώραν, Ac 16:6; διερχόμενος καθεξῆς τὴν Γαλατικὴν χώραν καὶ Φρυγίαν, Ac 18:23), the former having reference to the second missionary journey of St. Paul, the latter to the third. Nor is the remaining passage (Ac 2:10) inconsistent with this view, the enumeration of those foreign Jews who came to Jerusalem at Pentecost (though it does follow, in some degree, a geographical order) having no referencs to political boundaries. By Phrygia we must understand an extensive district, which contributed portions to several Roman provinces, and varying portions at different times. In early times Phrygia seems to have comprehended the greater part of the peninsula of Asia Minor. It was subsequently divided into Phrygia Major on the south, and Phrygia Minor or Epictetus (acquired) on the northwest. The Romans divided the province into three districts: Phrygia Salutaris on the east, Phrygia Pacatiana on the west, and Phrygia Katakekaumene (the burnt) in the middle. The country, as defined by the specified limits, is for the most part level, and very abundant in corn, fruit, and wine. It had a peculiar and celebrated breed of cattle, and the fine raven-black wool of the sheep around Laodicca on the Lycus was in high repute. The Maeander and the Hermus were its chief rivers. The Phrygians were a very ancient people, and are supposed to have formed, along with the Pelasgi, the aborigines of Asia Minor. Jews from Phrygia were present in Jerusalem at the Feast of Pentecost (Ac 2:10). All over this district the Jews were probably numerous. They were first introduced there by Antiochus the Great (Josephus, Ant. 12:3, 4); and we have abundant proof of their presence there from Ac 13:14; Ac 14:1,19, as well as from Ac 2:10.

The cities of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colosse, mentioned in the New Testament, belonged to Phrygia, and Antioch in Pisidia was also within its limits (see the names). See Rosenmuller, Bibl. Geog. 3:43-45; Leake, Geog. of Asia Minor; Smith, Dict. of Claus. Geog. s.v. SEE ASIA MINOR.

Bible concordance for PHRYGIA.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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