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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Perga

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PERGA. An inland city of Pamphylia about 12 miles from Attalia on the coast, but possessing a river harbour of its own on the Cestrus 5 miles away. Its walls date from the 3rd century b.c. It was the chief native city of Pamphylia, and never seems to have come much under Greek influence, but it had a coinage of its own from the 2nd cent. b.c. to a.d. 276. ‘Artemis of Perga’ was the chief object of worship, and she resembled ‘Diana of the Ephesians’ in her rites and images, being sometimes represented like the Greek Artemis as goddess of the chase, but more often by a pillar of stone, the top of which was rounded or roughly carved to represent a head. Her worship was more Asiatic than Greek. Her temple probably possessed the right of sanctuary.

St. Paul passed through Perga twice on his first missionary journey. See Pamphylia. But Christianity did not take root there easily. Perga is not mentioned in early martyrologies. When the Empire became Christian, it was the seat of a metropolitan bishop, but after the blow suffered by the Byzantine Empire at the battle of Manzikert, a.d. 1071, Perga seems to have fallen into the hands of the Turks. In a.d. 1084 we find Attalia made a metropolitan bishopric, and it is the only bishopric in Pamphylia now. The modern name of the site of Perga is Murtana .

A. E. Hillard.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Perga'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/p/perga.html. 1909.

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