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Beroea

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Beroe'a (Βέροια, also written Βέῤῥοια according to Vossius, Thucyd. 1, 61, the Macedonian for Φέροια ), the name of two cities mentioned in Scripture.

1. A city in the north of Palestine, mentioned in 2 Maccabees 13:4, in connection with the invasion of Judaea by Antiochus Eupator, as the scene of the miserable death of Menelaus. This seems to be the city in which Jerome says that certain persons lived who possessed and used Matthew's Hebrew Gospel (De Vir. Illust. c. 3). This city (the name of which is written also Βερόη ; comp. Beroansis, Pliny 5, 23) was situated in Syria (Strabo, 16:751), about midway between Antioch and Hieropolis (Ptol. 5, 15), being about two days' journey from each (Julian, Epist. 27; Theodoret, 2 22). Chosroes, in his inroad upon Syria, A.D. 540, demanded a tribute from Beroea, which he remitted afterward, as the inhabitants were unable to pay it (Procop. Bell. Pers. 2, 7; Le Beau, Bas Empire, 9, 13).; but in A.D. 611 he occupied this city (Gibbon, 8:225). It owed its Macedonian name Beroea to Seleucus Nicator (Niceph. Hist. Eccl. 14, 39), and continued to be called so till the conquest of the Arabs under Abu Obeidah, A.D. 638, when it resumed its ancient name, Chaleb or Chalybon (Schultens, Index Geogr. s.v. Haleb). It afterward became the capital of the sultans of the race of Hamadan, but in the latter part of the tenth century was united to the Greek empire by the conquests of Zimisces, emperor of Constantinople, with which city it at length fell into the hands of the Saracens. It is now called by Europeans Aleppo (Hardouin, ad Pliny 2, 267), but by the natives still Halab, a famous city of the modern Orient (Mannert, VI, 1, 514 sq.; Busching, Erdbeschr. V, 1, 285). The excavations a little way eastward of the town are the only vestiges of ancient remains in the neighborhood; they are very extensive, and consist of suites of large apartments, which are separated by portions of solid rock, with massive pilasters left at intervals to support the mass above (Chesney, Euphrat. Exped. 1, 435). Its present population is somewhat more than 100,000 souls (see Penny Cyclopaedia, s.v. Haleb; M'Culloch, Geogr. Dict. s.v. Aleppo; Russel's Nat. Hist. of Aleppo, passim). (See HELBON).

2. A city of Macedonia, to which the apostle Paul retired with Silas and Timotheus, in the course of his first visit to Europe, on being persecuted in Thessalonica (Acts 17:10), and from which, on being again persecuted by emissaries from Thessalonica, he withdrew to the sea for the purpose of proceeding to Athens (ib. 14, 15). The community of Jews must have been considerable in Beroea, and their character is described in very favorable terms (ib. 11; see Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, 1, 339). Sopater, one of Paul's missionary companions, was from this place (Βεροιαῖος, Acts 20:4; comp. Beroeus, Liv. 23, 39). Beroea was situated in the northern part of the province of Macedon (Pliny 4, 10), in the district called Emathia (Ptolem. 3, 13, 39), on a river which flows into the Haliacmon, and upon one of the lower ridges of Mount Bermius (Strabo, vii, p. 390). It lay 30 Roman miles from Pella (Peut. Tab.), and 51 from Thessalonica (Itin. Antonin.), and is mentioned as one of the cities of the thema of Macedonia, (Constant. De Them. 2, 2). Coins of it are rare (Rasche, 1, 1492; Eckhel, 2, 69). Beroea was attacked, but unsuccessfully, by the Athenian forces under Callias, B C. 432 (Thucyd. 1, 61). It surrendered to the Roman consul after the battle of Pydna (Liv. 44, 45), and was assigned, with its territory, to the third region of Macedonia (Liv. 45, 29). B.C. 168. It was a large and populous town (Lucian, Asinus, 34), being afterward called Irenopolis (Cellarii Notit. 1, 1038), and is now known as Verria or Kara-Verria, which has been fully described by Leake (Northern Greece, 3, 290 sq.) and by Cousinery (Voyage dans la Macedoine, 1, 69 sq.). Situated on the eastern slope of the Olympian mountain range, with an abundant. supply of water, and commanding an extensive view of the plain of the Axius and Haliacmon, it is regarded as one of the most agreeable towns in Rumili, and has now 15,000 or 20,000 inhabitants. A few ancient remains, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine, still exist here. Two roads are laid down in the itineraries between Thessalonica and Beroea, one passing by Pella. Paul and his companions may have traveled by either of them. Two roads also connect Beroea with Dium, one passing by Pydna. It was probably from Dium that Paul sailed to Athens, leaving Silas and Timotheus behind; and possibly 1 Thessalonians 3:2 refers to a journey of Timotheus from Beroea, not from Athens. (See TIMOTHY).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Beroea'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/b/beroea.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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