(named from Philip of Macedonia), a city of Macedonia about nine miles from the sea, to the northwest of the island of Thasos which is twelve miles distant from its port Neapolis, the modern Kavalla. It is situated in a plain between the ranges of Pangaeus and Haemus. The Philippi which St. Paul visited was a Roman colony founded by Augustus after the famous battle of Philippi, fought here between Antony and Octavius and Brutus and Cassius, B.C. 42. The remains which strew the ground near the modern Turkish village Bereketli are no doubt derived from that city. The original town, built by Philip of Macedonia, was probably not exactly on the same site. Philip, when he acquired possession of the site, found there a town named Datus or Datum, which was probably in its origin a factory of the Phoenicians, who were the first that worked the gold-mines in the mountains here, as in the neighboring Thasos, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The proximity of the goldmines was of course the origin of so large a city as Philippi, but the plain in which it lies is of extraordinary fertility. The position, too, was on the main road from Rome to Asia, the Via Egnatia, which from Thessalonica to Constantinople followed the same course as the existing post-road. On St. Paul's visits to Philippi, see the following article. At Philippi the gospel was first preached in Europe. Lydia was the first convert. Here too Paul and Silas were imprisoned. (Acts 16:23) The Philippians sent contributions to Paul to relieve his temporal wants.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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