Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Achaia (Ἀχαΐα) was, in the classical period, merely a strip of fertile coast-land stretching along the south of the Gulf of Corinth, from the river Larisus, which separated it from Elis, to the Sythas, which divided it from Sicyonia, while the higher mountains of Arcadia bounded it on the south. Its whole length was about 65 miles, its breadth from 12 to 20 miles, and its area about 650 sq. miles.
The Achaeans were probably the remnant of a Pelasgian race ones distributed over the whole Peloponnesus. Though they were celebrated in the heroic age, they rarely figured in the great Hellenic period, keeping themselves as far as possible aloof from the conflicts between the Ionian and Doric States, happy in their own almost uninterrupted prosperity. It is not till the last struggle for Hellenic independence that they appear on the stage of history.
The cities which formed the famous Achaean League became the most powerful political body in Greece; and, when the Romans subdued the country (146 b.c.), they at once honoured the brave confederation and spared the feelings of all the Hellenes by culling the new province not Greece but Achaia. As constituted by Augustus in 27 b.c., the province included Thessaly, aetolia, Acharnania, and part of Epirus (Strabo, XVII. iii. 25), being thus almost co-extensive with the modern kingdom of Greece. As a senatorial province Achaia was governed by a proconsul, who was an ex-praetor. In a.d. 15 Tiberius took it from the Senate, adding it to Macedonia to form an Imperial province under the government of a legatus ; but in 44 Claudius restored it to the Senate. ‘Proconsul’ (ἀνθύπατος, Acts 18:12) was therefore the governor’s correct official title at the time of St. Paul’s residence in Corinth. Nero, as ‘a born ‘Philhellene,’ wished to make Greece absolutely free.
‘In gratitude for the recognition which his artistic contributions had met with in the native land of the Muses … [he] declared the Greeks collectively to be rid of Roman government, free from tribute, and, like the Italians, subject to no governor. At once there arose throughout Greece movements, which would have been civil wars, if these people could have achieved anything more than brawling; and after a few months Vespasian re-established the provincial constitution, so far as it went, with the dry remark that the Greeks had unlearned the art of being free’ (Mommsen, Provinces , i. 262).
To the end of the empire Achaia remained a senatorial province. The administrative centre was Corinth ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ), where the governor had his official residence. During a prolonged mission in that city, St. Paul was brought into contact with the proconsul Gallio ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ), the brother of Seneca. The rapid progress of the gospel in Achaia is partly explained by the fact that Judaism had already for centuries been working as a leaven in many of the cities of Greece. Sparta and Sicyon are named among the numerous free States to which the Romans sent letters on behalf of the Jews about 139 b.c. ( 1 Maccabees 15:23), and Philo’s Legatio ad Gaium (§ 36) testifies to the presence of Jews in Bœotia, aetolia, Attica, Argos, and Corinth. Only three Achaean cities are mentioned in the NT-Athens, Corinth, and Cenchreae-but the address of 2 Cor. to ‘all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia,’ and the liberality of ‘the regions of Achaia’ ( 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10), prove that there must have been many other unnamed centres of Christian faith and life in the province. While 1 Corinthians 16:15 refers to the house of Stephanas as ‘the firstfruits of Achaia,’ Acts 17:34 rather indicates that the Apostle’s brief visit to Athens had already borne some fruit, ‘Dionysius, Damaris, and others with them’ being Achaean believers. Athens ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) was either reckoned by itself or else entirely overlooked.
Literature.-The Histories of Polybius and Livy; A. Holm, History of Greece , Eng. translationLondon, 1894-98, vol. iv.; T. Mommsen, The Provinces of the Roman Empire 2, Eng. translation, London, 1909, i. 290 ff.; J. Marquardt, Röm. Staatsverwaltung , new ed., Leipzig, 1885, i. 321f.; C. v. Weizsäcker, Apostolic Age , Eng. translationi.2 [London, 1897] p. 303ff.; A. C. McGiffert, Apostolic Age , Edinburgh, 1897, p. 256 ff.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
In the days of the Roman Empire, Achaia was the southern of two Greek provinces, the other being Macedonia ( Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:8). Formerly, in the days of the Greek Empire, Macedonia was the centre of Greek power, but under the Romans the political situation had changed and the name Achaia was usually identified with Greece ( Acts 18:27; Acts 20:2; see Greece ). The administrative centre of Achaia was Corinth, and the educational centre, Athens ( Acts 17:21; Acts 18:1; Acts 18:12; 2 Corinthians 1:1).
A church was founded in Corinth during Paul’s second missionary journey, and another at the port of Cenchreae nearby ( Acts 18:1-18; Romans 16:1; 1 Corinthians 16:15; see Corinth ). There were also Christians in Athens ( Acts 17:34; see Athens ). Paul revisited the area during his third missionary journey ( Acts 19:21; Acts 20:1-3), when he collected money that the churches of Achaia, like other churches, had put aside to help the poor Christians in Judea ( Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:1-2). Some years later, Paul planned to spend a winter at Nicopolis, on Achaia’s west coast, but the Bible does not record whether he was able to fulfil his plans ( Titus 3:12).
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
ACHAIA . This name was originally applied to a strip of land on the N. coast of the Peloponnese. On annexing Greece and Macedonia as a province in b.c. 146, the Romans applied the name Achaia to the whole of that country. In b.c. 27 two provinces were formed, Macedonia and Achaia; and the latter included Thessaly, Ã†tolia, Acarnania, and some part of Epirus, with EubÅ“a and most of the Cyclades. It was governed in St. Paul’s time by a proconsul of the second grade, with headquarters at Corinth ( Acts 18:12 ). ‘Hellas’ ( Acts 20:2 ) is the native Greek name corresponding to the Roman ‘Achaia.’ There were Jewish settlements in this province, at Corinth, Athens, etc. ( Acts 17:17; Acts 18:4; Acts 18:7 ), and the work of St. Paul began amongst them and was carried on by Apollos (1 and 2 Cor. passim , Acts 17:16 ff., Acts 17:18; Acts 19:1 ).
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Achaia ( A-Kâ' Yah or A-Kä'Yah ). This was the original name of a district in the northwest of the Peloponnesus: in New Testament times it had a wider signification; for the Roman provinces of Achaia and Macedonia comprehended the whole of Greece. It is in this larger sense that Achaia must be understood. Acts 18:12; Acts 18:27; Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8. Achaia was first a senatorial province, and had proconsuls. Tiberius changed it into a province imperial under procurators; and Claudius restored it to the senate. Hence Gallio, before whom Paul appeared, was proconsul. Corinth was the capital city.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Acha'ia. (Trouble). Signifies in the New Testament, a Roman province which included the whole of the Peloponnesus and the greater part of Hellas proper, with the adjacent islands. This province, with that of Macedonia, comprehended the while of Greece; hence Achaia and Macedonia are frequently mentioned together in the New Testament to indicate all Greece. Acts 18:12; Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8. In the time of the emperor Claudius, it was governed by a proconsul, translated in the Authorized Version "deputy," of Achaia. Acts 18:12.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
In New Testament, a Roman province, including the whole Peloponnese, and most of Hellas proper, with the islands. This province, with Macedonia, comprehended all Greece ( Acts 18:12; Acts 19:21). The name was given by the Romans, when they took Corinth and destroyed the Achaian League (146 D.C.), which, beginning with the narrow northern region of the Peloponnese called Achaia, afterward included several Grecian states. In Acts 18:12 Gallio, with the minute propriety that marks historical truth, called "deputy" (proconsul). Achaia had only just been restored under Claudius to the senate, whose representatives in the provinces were proconsuls, from having been an imperial province under Tiberius, whose representatives were procurators.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
This with Macedonia embraced the whole of Greece in the N.T.; but with the poets Achaia often referred to the whole of Greece. Under the Romans it was divided into two districts, Achaia being a senatorial province. Tiberias united the two districts into an imperial province under procurators; but Claudius again restored it to the senate under a proconsul, so that Luke was correct in calling Gallio a proconsul (ἀνθύπατος)or deputy. Acts 18:12; Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:15 , etc.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
Is used in the New Testament for the whole region of Greece south of Macedonia, including the Peloponnesus, or Morea, and some territory north of the gulf of Corinth, Acts 18:12; 19:21; 1 Corinthians 11:10 . Achaia Proper, however, was a province of Greece, of which Corinth was the capital, and embraced the northwestern part of the Pelopennesus. See Greece .
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
This name is used to denote the whole of Greece, as it existed as a Roman province; or Achaia Proper, a district in the northern part of the Peloponnesus, on the bay of Corinth, and in which the city of that name stood. It appears to have been used in the former sense in 2 Corinthians 11:10; and in the latter, in Acts 19:21 .
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Acts 18:12,27 19:21 Romans 15:26 16:5 Acts 18:12
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Acts 18:12 Acts 18:27-28
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
a - kā´ya ( Ἀχαιά , Achaiá ): The smallest country in the Peloponnesus lying along the southern shore of the Corinthian Gulf, north of Arcadia and east of Elis. The original inhabitants were Ionians, but these were crowded out later by the Acheans, who came from the East. According to Herodotus, the former founded twelve cities, many of which retain their original names to this day. These cities were on the coast and formed a confederation of smaller communities, which in the last century of the independent history of Greece attained to great importance (Achaean League). In Roman times the term Achaia was used to include the whole of Greece, exclusive of Thessaly. Today Achaia forms with Elis one district, and contains a population of nearly a quarter of a million. The old Achean League was renewed in 280 bc, but became more important in 251, when Aratus of Sicyon was chosen commander-in-chief. This great man increased the power of the League and gave it an excellent constitution, which our own great practical politicians, Hamilton and Madison, consulted, adopting many of its prominent devices, when they set about framing the Constitution of the United States. In 146 bc Corinth was destroyed and the League broken up (see 1 Macc 15:23); and the whole of Greece, under the name of Achaia, was transformed into a Roman province, which was divided into two separate provinces, Macedonia and Achaia, in 27 bc.
In Acts 18:12 we are told that the Jews in Corinth made insurrection against Paul when Gallio was deputy of Achaia, and in Acts 18:27 that Apollos was making preparations to set out for Achaia In Romans 16:5 , "Achaia" should read "ASIA" as in the Revised Version (British and American). In Acts 20:2 "Greece" means Achaia, but the oft-mentioned "Macedonia and Achaia" generally means the whole of Greece ( Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; 1 Thessalonians 1:8 ). Paul commends the churches of Achaia for their liberality ( 2 Corinthians 9:13 ).
See Gerhard, Ueber den Volksstamm der A . (Berlin, 1854); Klatt, Forschungen zur Geschichte des achaischen Bundes (Berlin, 1877); M. Dubois, Les ligues étolienne et achéenne (Paris, 1855); Capes, History of the Achean League (London, 1888); Mahaffy, Problems , 177-86; Busolt, Greek Staatsalter , 2nd edition (1892), 347ff; Toeppfer, in Pauly's Realencyclopaedie .
For Aratus see Hermann, Staatsalter , 1885; Krakauer, Abhandlung ueber Aratus (Breslau, 1874); Neumeyer, Aratus aus Sikyon (Leipzig, 1886); Holm, History of Greece .
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( Ἀχαϊ v Α , derivation uncertain), a region of Greece, which in the restricted sense occupied the north-western portion of the Peloponnesus, including Corinth and its isthmus (Strabo, 7, p. 438 sq.). By the poets it was often put for the whole of Greece, whence Ἀχαιοί , Acheans, i.e. Greeks. The cities of the narrow slip of country, originally called Achaia, were confederated in an ancient league, which was renewed in B.C. 280 for the purpose of resisting the Macedonians. This league subsequently included several of the other Grecian states, and became the most powerful political body in Greece; and hence it was natural for the Romans to apply the name of Achaia to the Peloponnesus and the south of Greece when they took Corinth and destroyed the league in B. C. 146 (Pausan. 7:16, 10). Under the Romans Greece was divided into two provinces, Macedonia and Achaia, the former of which included Macedonia proper, with Illyricum, Epirus, and Thessaly; and the latter, all that lay southward of the former (Cellar. 1, p. 1170, 1022). It is in this latter acceptation that the name of Achaia is always employed in the New Testament ( Acts 18:12; Acts 18:16; Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8). In the division of the provinces by Augustus between the emperor and the senate in B.C. 27, Achaia was made a senatorial province (Strabo, 17, p. 840), and, as such, was governed by proconsuls (Dion. Cass. 53, p. 704). In A.D. 16 Tiberius changed the two into one imperial province under procurators (Tacit. Annal. 1, 76); but Claudius restored them to the senate and to the proconsular form of government (Suet. I Claud. 25). Hence the exact and minute propriety with which Luke expresses himself in giving the title of proconsul ( Ἀνθύπατος , "deputy") to Gallio (q.v.), who was appointed to the province (see Smith's Dict. of Class, Ant. s.v.) in the time of Claudius
( Acts 18:12). (See generally Smith's Dict. Of Class. Geog. s.v.)
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Acha´ia, a region of Greece, which in the restricted sense occupied the north-western portion of the Peloponnesus, including Corinth and its isthmus. By the poets it was often put for the whole of Greece, whence Achaioi, the Greeks. Under the Romans, Greece was divided into two provinces, Macedonia and Achaia, the former of which included Macedonia proper, with Illyricum, Epirus, and Thessaly; and the latter, all that lay southward of the former. It is in this latter acceptation that the name of Achaia is always employed in the New Testament ( Acts 18:12; Acts 18:27; Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8). Achaia was at first a senatorial province, and, as such, was governed by proconsuls. Tiberius changed the two into one imperial province under procurators; but Claudius restored them to the senate and to the proconsular form of government. Hence the exact and minute propriety with which St. Luke expresses himself in giving the title of proconsul to Gallio, who was appointed to the province in the time of Claudius ( Acts 18:12).
- Achaia from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Achaia from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Achaia from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Achaia from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Achaia from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Achaia from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Achaia from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Achaia from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature