The oldest of the three major cities (with Laodicea and Hierapolis) in the Lycus Valley, in the southwestern part of ancient Phrygia. It was mentioned by both Herodotus and Xenophon. Although it was on one of the routes from Antioch in Pisidia to ephesus, it does not seem that Paul visited the Christian community there (Col. 1.6–8). It had been evangelized by the Colossian Epaphras (Col1.6–8; 4.12–13). Jewish, Greek, and ancient Phrygian elements composed the population; the Christians were mainly of Gentile origin. The city was abandoned in the 8th century, and the site has not yet been excavated.
Bibliography: s. e. johnson, "Laodicea and Its Neighbors," The Biblical Archaeologist 13 (1950) 1–18. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 1907–53) 3.2:2339–42. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, tr. and adap. by l. hartman (New York 1963), from a. van den born, Bijbels Woordenboek 407–08.
[e. h. maly]