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Dictionaries :: Neapolis

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International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Neapolis:

ne-ap'-o-lis (Neapolis; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, Nea Polis): A town on the northern shore the Aegean, originally belonging to Thrace but later falling within the Roman province of Macedonia. It was the seaport of Philippi, and was the first point in Europe at which Paul and his companions landed; from Troas they had sailed direct to Samothrace, and on the next day reached Neapolis (Ac 16:11). Paul probably passed through the town again on his second visit to Macedonia (Ac 20:1), and he certainly must have embarked there on his last journey from Philippi to Troas, which occupied 5 days (Ac 20:6). The position of Neapolis is a matter of dispute. Some writers have maintained that it lay on the site known as Eski (i.e. "Old") Kavalla (Cousinery, Macedoine, II, 109 ff), and that upon its destruction in the 6th or 7th century AD the inhabitants migrated to the place, about 10 miles to the East, called Christopolis in medieval and Kavalla in modern times. But the general view, and that which is most consonant with the evidence, both literary and archaeological, places Neapolis at Kavalla, which lies on a rocky headland with a spacious harbor on its western side, in which the fleet of Brutus and Cassius was moored at the time of the battle of Philippi (42 BC; Appian Bell. Civ. iv.106). The town lay some 10 Roman miles from Philippi, with which it was connected by a road leading over the mountain ridge named Symbolum, which separates the plain of Philippi from the sea.

The date of its foundation is uncertain, but it seems to have been a colony from the island of Thasos, which lay opposite to it (Dio Cassius xlvii.35). It appears (under the name Neopolis, which is also borne on its coins) as member both of the first and of the second Athenian confederacy, and was highly commended by the Athenians in an extant decree for its loyalty during the Thasian revolt of 411-408 BC (Inser. Graec., I, Suppl. 51). The chief cult of the city was that of "The Virgin," usually identified with the Greek Artemis. (See Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, III, 180; Cousinery, Voyage dans la Macedoine, II, 69 ff, 109 ff; Heuzey and Daumet, Mission archeol. de Macedoine, 11 ff.)

Written by Marcus N. Tod

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