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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
ITALY . This word varied in sense from time to time. It first signified only the Southern (the Greek) part of the peninsula; later it included all the country south of the Lombard plain; and finally, before the time of Christ, it had come to bear the meaning which it has now. Its central position in the Mediterranean, the conformation of its coast, and the capabilities of its soil under proper cultivation, fitted it to be the home and centre of a governing race. In the 1st cent. a.d. there was constant communication between the capital Rome and every part of the Empire, by well-recognized routes. Among the routes to the E., which mainly concern the NT student, was that from Rome along the W. coast of Italy to Campania, where it crossed the country and eventually reached Brundisium. From the harbour there the traveller either sailed across the Adriatic to Dyrrhachium, and went by the Egnatian road to Thessalonica and beyond, or sailed across to the Gulf of Corinth, transhipped from LechÃ¦um to CenchreÃ¦ (wh. see), and from there sailed to Ephesus or Antioch or Alexandria, as he desired. The best account of a home journey is in Acts 27:1-44 . The Jews poured into Italy, especially to Rome, and had been familiar to the Italians long before Christianity came.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Italy'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdb/​i/italy.html. 1909.