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 , 13:51
). 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 ( Acts
14:21 , 14:22
). It was probably again visited by Paul during his third missionary journey along
with Silas ( Acts
18:23 ). It is the modern Konieh, at the foot of Mount Taurus, about 120 miles
inland from the Mediterranean.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(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 , 14:3 , 14:21 , 14:22 ; 16:1 , 16:2
; 18:23 ) Pauls 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.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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 ; 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 Ac (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
3. Later History:
About 295 AD, 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 AD. 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
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, capital of lycaonia, define, iconium