Hitchcock's Bible NamesIconium
Smith's Bible DictionaryIconium
(little image), the modern Konieh , was the capital of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor. It was a large and rich city, 120 miles north from the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Taurus mountains, and on the great line of communication between Ephesus and the western coast of the peninsula on one side, and Tarsus, Antioch and the Euphrates on the other. Iconium was a well-chosen place for missionary operations. (Acts 14:1,3,21,22; 16:1,2; 18:23) Paul's first visit here was on his first circuit, in company with Barnabas; and on this occasion he approached it from Antioch in Pisidia, which lay to the west. The modern Konieh is between two and three miles in circumference and contains over 30,000 inhabitants. It contains manufactories of carpets and leather.
ATS Bible DictionaryIconium
A large and opulent city of Asia Minor now called Konieh. The provinces of Asia Minor varied so much at different times, that Iconium is assigned by different writers to Phrygia, to Lycaonia, and to Pisidia. Christianity was introduced here by Paul, A. D. 45. But he was obliged to flee for his life for a persecution excited by unbelieving Jews, Acts 13:51 14:1-6. They pursued him to Lystra, where he was nearly killed, but afterwards, A. D. 51, he revisited Iconium, Acts 14:19-21 2 Timothy 3:11. The church continued in being here for eight centuries, but under the Mohammedan rule was almost extinguished. At present, Konieh is the capital of Caramania. It is situated in a beautiful and fertile country, 260 miles southeast of Constantinople, and 120 from the Mediterranean. It is very large, and its walls are supported by 108 square towers, forty paces distant from each other. The inhabitants, 40,000 in number, are Turks, Armenians, Greeks, and Jews.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaICONIUM
i-ko'-ni-um (Ikonion, also Eikonion, on inscriptions): Iconium was visited by Paul on his first and on his second missionary journey (Acts 13:51; Acts 16:2), and
if the "South Galatian theory" be correct, probably also on his third journey. His sufferings there are referred to in 2 Timothy 3:11.
1. Topographical Position:
The topographical position of Iconium is clearly indicated in Acts, and the evidence of Acts has been confirmed by recent research. Was Iconium in Phrygia or in Lycaonia, and in what sense can it be said to have belonged to one ethnical division or the other? The majority of our ancient authorities (e.g. Cicero, Strabo, Pliny), writing from the point of view of Roman provincial administration, give Iconium to Lycaonia, of which geography makes it the natural capital. But Xenophon, who marched with Cyrus' expedition through Phrygia into Lycaonia, calls Iconium the last city of Phrygia. The writer of Acts 14:6 makes the same statement when he represents Paul and Barnabas as fleeing from Iconium to the cities of Lycaonia-implying that the border of Phrygia and Lycaonia passed between Iconium and Lystra, 18 miles to the South. Other ancient authorities who knew the local conditions well speak of Iconium as Phrygian until far into the Roman imperial period. At the neighboring city of Lystra (Acts 14:11), the natives used the "speech of Lycaonia." Two inscriptions in the Phrygian language found at Iconium in 1910 prove that the Phrygian language was in use there for 2 centuries after Paul's visits, and afford confirmation of the interesting topographical detail in Acts (see Jour. Hell. Stud., 1911, 189).
2. In Apostolic Period:
In the apostolic period, Iconium was one of the chief cities in the southern part of the Roman province Galatia, and it probably belonged to the "Phrygian region" mentioned in Acts 16:6. The emperor Claudius conferred on it the title Claudiconium, which appears on coins of the city and on inscriptions, and was formerly taken as a proof that Claudius raised the city to the rank of a Roman colonia. It was Hadrian who raised the city to colonial rank; this is proved by its new title, Colonia Aelia Hadriana Iconiensium, and by a recently discovered inscription, which belongs to the reign of Hadrian, and which mentions the first duumvir who was appointed in the new colonia. Iconium was still a Hellenic city, but with a strong pro-Roman bias (as proved by its title "Claudian") when Paul visited it.
3. Later History:
About 295 A.D., an enlarged province, Pisidia, was formed, with Antioch as capital, and Iconium as a "sort of secondary metropolis." The Byzantine arrangement, familiar to us in the Notitiae Episcopatuum, under which Iconium was the capital of a province Lycaonia, dates from about 372 A.D. Iconium, the modern Konia, has always been the main trading center of the Lycaonian Plain. Trade attracted Jews to the ancient Phrygio-Hellenic city (Acts 14:1), as it attracts Greeks and Armenians to the modern Turkish town.
Paul's experiences at Iconium form part of theme of the semi-historical legend of Thekla, on which see Professor Ramsay's Church in the Roman Empire, 380.
Ramsay Historical Commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, 214; Cities of Paul, 317. To the literature referred to in the notes to the latter book (pp. 448) add Ath. Mitth., 1905, 324; Revue de Philologie, 1912, 48; Journal Hellenic Studies, 1911, 188.
W. M. Calder
Easton's Bible Dictionary
The capital of ancient Lycaonia. It was first visited by Paul and Barnabas from Antioch-in-Pisidia during the apostle's first missionary journey (Acts 13:50
, 51). Here they were persecuted by the Jews, and being driven from the city, they fled to Lystra. They afterwards returned to Iconium, and encouraged the church which had been founded there (14:21
, 22). It was probably again visited by Paul during his third missionary journey along with Silas (18:23
). It is the modern Konieh, at the foot of Mount Taurus, about 120 miles inland from the Mediterranean.