The city of Philippi was a Roman colony ( Acts 16:12 ), i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers and citizens, planted there to keep in subjection a newly-conquered district. A colony was Rome in miniature, under Roman municipal law, but governed by military officers (praetors and lictors), not by proconsuls. It had an independent internal government, the jus Italicum; i.e., the privileges of Italian citizens.
a designation of Philippi, in ( Acts 16:12 ) After the battle of Actium, Augustus assigned to his veterans those parts of Italy which had espoused the cause of Antony, and transported many of the expelled inhabitants to Philippi, Dyrrhachium and other cities. In this way Philippi was made a Roman colony with the "Jus Italicum." At first the colonists were all Roman citizens, and entitled to vote at Rome. [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
kol'-o-ni (kolonia, Greek transliteration of Latin colonia, from the root, col, "cultivate"):
The word occurs but once (Acts 16:12) in reference to Philippi in Macedonia. Roman colonies were of three kinds and of three periods:
(1) Those of the early republic, in which the colonists, established in conquered towns to serve the state as guardians of the frontier, were exempt from ordinary military service. They were distinguished as
(a) c. civium Romanorum, wherein the colonists retained Roman citizenship, also called c. maritumae, because situated on the coast, and
(b) c. Latinae, situated inland among the allies (socii), wherein the colonists possessed the ius Latinum, entitling them to invoke the Roman law of property (commercium), but not that of the family (connubium), and received Roman citizenship only when elected to magistracies.
(2) The colonies of the Gracchan period, established in pursuance of the scheme of agrarian reforms, to provide land for the poorer citizens.
(3) After the time of Sulla colonies were founded in Italy by the Republic as a device for granting lands to retiring veterans, who of course retained citizenship. This privilege was appropriated by Caesar and the emperors, who employed it to establish military colonies, chiefly in the provinces, with various rights and internal organizations. To this class belonged Philippi. Partly organized after the great battle of 42 BC, fought in the neighboring plain by Brutus and Cassius, the champions of the fated Republic, and Antonius and Octavian, it was fully established as a colony by Octavian (afterward styled Augustus) after the battle of Actium (31 BC), under the name Colonia Aug. Iul. Philippi or Philippensis. It received the ius Italicum, whereby provincial cities acquired the same status as Italian cities, which possessed municipal self-government and exemption from poll and land taxes.
William Arthur Heidel
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