From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]


Cappadocia was an elevated table-land, with ill-defined and varying boundaries, in the east centre of Asia Minor. It was drained chiefly by the Halys and its tributaries, and intersected by great mountains, the highest of which, Argaeus, is 13,000 feet above the sea. ‘Persons who ascend it (but they are not many) say that both the Euxine and the Sea of Issus may be seen from it in clear weather’ (Strabo, xii. ii. 7). Cappadocia was traversed by the great road of commerce from Ephesus to the Euphrates, by the pilgrims’ route from Constantinople to Jerusalem, and by roads from the Cilician Gates to the cities of the Euxine. It was an excellent country for corn and pasturage, and it had some important centres of commerce. Jews had found their way into the country before the Maccabaean period, and in 139 b.c. the Roman a Senate sent a letter to Ariarathes, King of Cappadocia, directing him ‘not to seek their hurt’ ( 1 Maccabees 15:19;  1 Maccabees 15:22). Philo ( Leg. ad Gaium , 36) also refers to Jews in Cappadocia. On the death of King Archelaus in a.d. 17, the country was formed into a Roman province (Tacitus, Ann . ii. 42). It was administered by a procurator until the time of Vespasian, who joined it to Armenia and placed it under a legatus .

Jews of Cappadocia were sojourning in Jerusalem at the time of the first Christian Pentecost ( Acts 2:9). The elect of the Dispersion in the province of Cappadocia are addressed in  1 Peter 1:1. Pagan Cappadocia was devoted chiefly to the cult of Ma, and the strength of its anti-Christian forces is indicated in Strabo’s description of two leading cities, Comana and Morimene.

The priest of Comana ‘presides over the temple, and has authority over the hierodouli belonging to it, who, at, the time I was there, exceeded in number 6000 persons, including men and women. A large tract of land adjoins the temple, the revenue of which the priest enjoys. He is second in rank in Cappadocia after the king, and in general the priests are descended from the same family as the kings’ (xii. ii. 3). ‘In Morimene, among the Venasii, is a temple of Jupiter, with buildings capable of receiving nearly 3000 hierodouli. It has a tract of sacred land attached to it.… The priest is appointed for life like the priest of Comana, and is next to him in rank’ (xii. ii. 7).

Yet Christianity made rapid progress in Cappadocia, and its triumph in Caesarea, the capital, so offended Julian the Apostate that he deprived the city of its freedom. Some of the other cities of Cappadocia-Nyssa, Nazianzus, Tyana, Samosata-are celebrated in Church history.

Literature.-W. M. Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire , London, 1893, p. 445ff; Th. Mommsen, Provinces of the Rom. Empire 2, Eng. translation, do. 1909, i. 323f., 332f., ii. 19, 41, 63; E. Chantre, Mission en Cappadocie , Paris, 1898; G. Long, in DGRG [Note: GRG Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography.], i. 506ff.; article‘Cappadocia’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) and Encyclopaedia Biblica .

James Strahan.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

 Acts 2:9 1 Peter 1:1

Although the extent of Cappadocia varied through the centuries depending on the currently dominant empire, it lay south of Pontus and stretched about 300 miles from Galatia eastward toward Armenia, with Cilicia and the Taurus Mountains to the south. Although mountainous country, its mostly rural population raised good crops, cattle, and horses. While in New Testament times its mines were still producing some minerals, a large number of tablets written in cuneiform script discovered in 1907 at Tanish, now known as Kultepe, revealed that Assyrians were mining and exporting silver ore from Cappadocia about 1900 B.C.

From  Acts 2:9 we know that Jews from Cappadocia were in Jerusalem when Peter preached at Pentecost. Those converted to Christianity that day must have given a good witness when they returned home because in   1 Peter 1:1 believers there are mentioned along with others in Pontus. The Christian message was probably carried to Pontus by way of the highway that went northward across Cappadocia from Tarsus through the narrow mountain pass known as the Cilician Gates. In the second century A.D. the famous historian Eusebius reported that the church at Rome sent financial aid to churches in the Near East, including Cappadocia. Two centuries later two sons of a prominent and wealthy Cappadocian family, Basil and Gregory, along with a close friend also named Gregory, took their Christian commitment quite seriously and became influential defenders and interpreters of the faith.

Today the region of Cappadocia is in central Turkey, which is ninety-eight percent Muslim.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

The most eastern province of Asia Minor. Jews resident in it were among Peter's hearers at his memorable Pentecostal sermon ( Acts 2:9). To them accordingly, among others, he addressed his First Epistle ( 1 Peter 1:1). Judaism there paved the way for Christianity. Seleucus first introduced Jewish colonists into Asia Minor (Josephus, Ant. 12:3, section 4). Rome, by the civilization and improved roads which it carried with it every where, facilitated the spread first of Judaism, then of Christianity.

The approach to Cappadocia from Palestine and Syria was by the pass called "the Cilician gates," leading up through the Taurus range from the low region of Cilicia. Once Cappadocia reached to the Euxine Sea; but Rome made two provinces of the ancient Cappadocia, Pontus on the N. along the sea, and Cappadocia on the S. Tiberius it was who reduced the Cappadocian Archclaus' kingdom to a province (A.D. 17), of which Caesarea was the capital, afterward the birthplace and see of Basil. Its cities, Nyssa, Nazianzus, Samosata, and Tyana, were noted in church history.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

CAPPADOCIA . A large district in the mid-eastern part of Asia Minor, formed into a Roman province in a.d. 17. It was administered by a procurator sent out by the reigning emperor, being regarded as an unimportant district. In a.d. 70 Vespasian united it with Armenia Minor, and made the two together a large and important frontier province, to be governed by an ex-consul, under the title of legatus Augusti pro prÅ“tore , on the emperor’s behalf. The territory to the N. and W. of Cilicia, the kingdom of the client-king Antiochus, was incorporated in it at the time, and it afterwards received various accessions of territory. Jews from Cappadocia are mentioned in   Acts 2:9 , and their presence there ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 139) is implied in 1Ma 15:22 where a letter in their favour is addressed by the Roman Senate to king Arathes. Cappadocia was not visited by St. Paul, probably as insufficiently Romanized, but it was one of the provinces to which 1Peter (? about a.d. 70 80) was sent.

A. Souter.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

The largest ancient province of Asia Minor; having Pontus on the north, mount Taurus, separating it from Cilicia and Syria, on the south, Galatia on the west, and the Euphrates and Armenia on the east. It was watered by the river Halys, and was noted for its fine pastures and its excellent breed of horses, asses, and sheep. There were many Jews residing in it,  Acts 2:9 . Christianity was early introduced there,  1 Peter 1:1 , among a people proverbial for dullness, faithlessness, and vice. See Crete . Several celebrated Christian fathers flourished in this province, as Basil and the three Gregories; and their churches may be traced as late as the tenth century.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Cappadocia ( Kăp'Pa-D Ô'Shĭ-Ah . The largest and most easterly province of Asia Minor. It was high table-land, intersected by ranges of mountains, sparsely wooded, but good for grain or grazing. Cappadocia was conquered by Cyrus, ruled by Alexander the Great, tributary to the Seleucidæ, and became a Roman province, a.d. 17. Some of its people were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost,  Acts 2:9, and afterward Christians of the province were addressed by Peter.  1 Peter 1:1.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [7]

Cappado'cia. (Province Of Good Horses).  Acts 2:3;  1 Peter 1:1. The largest province in ancient Asia Minor. Cappadocia is an elevated table-land, intersected by mountain chains. It seems always to have been deficient in wood, but it was a good grain country, and particularly famous for grazing. Its Roman metropolis was Caesarea . The native Cappadocians seem to have originally belonged to the Syrian stock.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [8]

is called in Hebrew Caphtor. Cappadocia joined Galatia on the east, and is mentioned in   Acts 2:9 . and by St. Peter, who addresses his First Epistle to the dispersed throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Bithynia, and Asia. The people of this country were formerly infamous for their vices; but after the promulgation of Christianity, it produced many great and worthy men: among these may be reckoned Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory Nyssen, and St. Basil, commonly styled the Great.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [9]

District in the east of Asia Minor. Visitors from thence were at Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost, and Peter includes this district when he addresses his first Epistle to the dispersed Jews.  Acts 2:9;  1 Peter 1:1 . The district extended as far eastward as the Euphrates.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 1 Peter 1:1 Acts 2:9

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

( Καππαδοκία , explained by Herod. 7:72, as Persic, and lately thought by Lassen to be found on inscriptions in the form Katpadhula; but Benfey, Monatsnamen, p. 117, interprets as Kappadakja, "province of good horses"), an ancient and the easternmost province of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Pontus, on the east by the Euphrates and Armenia Minor, on the south by Mount Taurus (beyond which are Cilicia and Syria), and on the west by Phrygia and Galatia (Strabo, 12, p. 533 sq.; Ptolemy, 5:6; Pliny, 6:3). The country is mountainous and abounds in water, and was celebrated for the production of wheat, for its fine pastures, and for its excellent breed of horses, asses, and sheep (Strabo, 12:539; Solin. 47). The inhabitants were notorious for their dullness and vice (Isidor. Pelus. 1:281; 4:197; Justin. 38:2; comp. Porphyrog. Them. 1:2). They were called "Syrians" (comp. Jablonsky, De lingua Lycaon. in his Opusc. 3:1 sq.; Gesen. Mon. Phan. p. 11) in the age of Herodotus (1:72; 5:49), and even in Strabo's days they bore the name of Λευκόσυροι , or "White Syrians" (12, p. 544), in contradistinction to those dwelling beyond the Taurus, whose complexion was darkened by the sun (Strabo, 16:737). By the ancient interpreters (see Philo, Opp. 2:676) they were thought to be meant by "the land of Caphtor" (q.v.); but the ancient name of Cappadocia was Katpatuk or Katapatuka (Rawlinson, Jouin. Of The Asiat. Soc. 11:1, 95). Cappadocia was subjugated by the Persians under Cyrus, but after the time of Alexander the Great it had kings of its own, although tributary to the Seleucide. Its geographical limits on the west and north were variable. In early times the name reached as far northward as the Euxine Sea. The region of Cappadocia, viewed in this extent, constituted two satrapies under the Persians, and afterward two independent monarchies. One was Cappadocia on the Pontus, the other Cappadocia near the Taurus. Here we have the germ of the two Roman provinces of Pontus and Cappadocia. (See Pontus).

Several of the monarchs who reigned in Cappadocia Proper bore the name of Ariarathes (q.v.). One of them is mentioned in  1 Maccabees 15:22. The last of these monarchs was called Archelaus (see Joseph. Ant. 16:4, 6). He was treacherously treated by the emperor Tiberius, who reduced his kingdom to a province A.D. 17, including what was anciently called Lesser Armenia (Tacit. Ann. 2:42; Dio Cass. 57:17). Christianity was very early propagated in Cappadocia, for the apostle Peter names it in addressing the Christian churches in Asia Minor ( 1 Peter 1:1). Cappadocians (prop. Καππάδοκες , also Καππαδόκαι ) were present at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:9). The Jewish community in this region doubtless formed the nucleus of the Christian; and the former may probably be traced to the first introduction of Jewish colonists into Asia Minor by Seleucus (Josephus, Ant. 12:3, 4). The Roman period, through the growth of large cities and the construction of roads, would afford increased facilities for the spread both of Judaism and Christianity. It should be observed that Cappadocia was easily approached from the direction of Palestine and Syria by means of the pass called the Cilician Gates, which led up through the Taurus from the low coast of Cilicia, and that it was connected, at least under the later emperors, by good roads with the district beyond the Euphrates (see Penny Cyclopcedia, s.v.; Smith, Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v.). (See Asia Minor).

Cappadocia was one of the seven provinces assigned to the diocese of Pontus, at its erection, by Constantine the Great and Constantius. Under the emperor Valens the province of Cappadocia was divided into the provinces of Cappadocia Prima and Secunda, which last was by the emperor Justinian subdivided, the new province being styled Cappadocia Tertia, and having for its metropolitan see Mocissus, or, as it was thenceforward styled, Justinianopolis. The chief see of the second Cappadocia was Tyana, and of the first, Caesarea, which last church was the mother and head of the whole Pontic diocese. (See Caesarea).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

kap - a - dō´shi - a ( ἡ Καππαδοκία , hē Kappadokı́a ): An extensive province in eastern Asia Minor, bounded by the Taurus mountains on the South, the Anti-Taurus and the Euphrates on the East, and, less definitely, by Pontus and Galatia on the North and West. Highest mountain, Argaeus, over 13,000 ft. above sea-level; chief rivers, the Pyramus now Jihan, Sarus now Sihon, and Halys now the Kuzul; most important cities, Caesarea Mazaca, Comana, Miletene now Malatia, and Tyana now Bor. At Malatia the country unrolls itself as a fertile plain; elsewhere the province is for the most part composed of billowy and rather barren uplands, and bleak mountain peaks and pastures.

The Greek geographers called Cappodax the son of Ninyas, thereby tracing the origin of Cappadocian culture to Assyria. Cuneiform tablets from Kul Tepe (Kara Eyuk), deciphered by Professors Pinches and Sayce, show that in the era of K H̬ammurabi (see H}AMMURABI ) this extensive ruin on the ox-bow of the Halys and near Caesarea Mazaca, was an outpost of the Assyr-Bah Empire. A H ittite civilization followed, from about 2000 bc onward. Malatia, Gurun, Tyana and other old sites contain important and undoubted Hittite remains, while sporadic examples of Hittite art, architecture and inscriptions are found in many places, and the number is being steadily increased by fresh discovery. After the Hittites fade from sight, following the fall of Carchemish, about 718 bc, Cappadocia emerges as a satrapy of Persia. At the time of Alexander the Great it received a top-dressing of Greek culture, and a line of native kings established an independent throne, which lasted until Cappadocia was incorporated in the Roman Empire, 17 ad. Nine rulers bore the name of Ariarathes (the Revised Version (British and American) Arathes) the founder of the dynasty, and two were named Ariobarzanes. One of these kings is referred to in 1 Macc 15:22. The history of this Cappadocian kingdom is involved, obscure and bloody.

Pagan religion had a deep hold upon the population prior to the advent of Christianity. Comana was famous for its worship of the great goddess Ma, who was served, according to Strabo, by 6,000 priestesses, and only second to this was the worship paid to Zeus at Venasa.

Representatives from Cappadocia were present at Pentecost ( Acts 2:9 ), and Peter includes the converts in this province in the address of his letter ( 1 Peter 1:1 ). Caesarea became one of the most important early centers of Christianity. Here the Armenian youth of noble blood, Krikore, or Gregory the Illuminator, was instructed in the faith to which he afterward won the formal assent of his whole nation. Here Basil governed the churches of his wide diocese and organized monasticism. His brother, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzen, lived and labored not far away. Cappadocia passed with the rest of Asia Minor into the Byzantine Empire, but from its exposed position early fell under the domination of the Turks, having been conquered by the Seljukians in 1074.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Cappado´cia, an ancient province of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Pontus, on the east by the Euphrates and Armenia Minor, on the south by Mount Taurus (beyond which are Cilicia and Syria), and on the east by Phrygia and Galatia. The country is mountainous and abounds in water, and was celebrated for the production of wheat, for its fine pastures, and for its excellent breed of horses, asses, and sheep. The inhabitants were notorious for their dullness and vice. Cappadocia was subjugated by the Persians under Cyrus; but after the time of Alexander the Great it had kings of its own, who bore the common name of Ariarathes. It continued to be governed by tributary kings under the Romans till A.D. 17, when Tiberius made it a Roman province. Christianity was very early propagated in Cappadocia, for St. Peter names it in addressing the Christian churches in Asia Minor (). Cappadocians were present at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost ().

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

An ancient country in the heart of Asia Minor, of varied political fortune; a plateau with pastures for immense flocks.