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Bitte, N.T. Epistle of Paul. English 1845
EXPLANATORY AND PRACTICAL
EPISTLES OF PAUL
THESSALONIANS, TO TIMOTHY, TO TITUS,
AND TO PHILEMON.
BY ALBERT BARNES.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by
ALBERT BARNES, in the office of the clerk of the District Court of the Eastern District
J. Fagan, Stereotyper.
THESSALONICA was a city and sea-port of Macedonia. It was at the head of the bay Thermaicus, or the Gulf of Thessalonica (see the map prefixed to the Notes on the Acts of the Apostles), and was, therefore, favourably situated for commerce. It was on the great Egnatian Way; was possessed of an excellent harbour, and had great advantages for commerce through the Hellespont, and with Asia Minor and the adjacent countries. It was south-west of Philippi and Amphipolis, and a short distance north-east of Berea. Macedonia was an independent country until it was subdued by the Romans. The occasion of the wars which led to its conquest by the Romans was, an alliance which was formed by Philip II. with Carthage, during the second Punic war. The Romans delayed their revenge for a season; but Philip having laid siege to Athens, the Athenians called the Romans to their aid, and they declared war against the Macedonians. Philip was compelled to sue for peace, to surrender his vessels, to reduce his army to 500 men, and to defray the expenses of the war. Perseus, the successor of Philip, took up arms against the Romans, and was totally defeated at Pydna by Paulus Æmilius, and the Romans took possession of the country. Indignant at their oppression, the Macedonian nobility and the whole nation rebelled under Andriscus; but, after a long struggle, they were overcomne by Quintus Cæcilius, surnamed, from his conquest, Macedonius, and the country became a Roman province, B. C. 148. It was divided into four districts, and the city of Thessalonica was made the capital of the second division, and was the station of a Roman governor and questor. At the time, therefore, that the gospel was preached there, this whole country was subject to Roman authority.
The city, called, when Paul visited it, Thessalonica, was anciently called Therme, and by this name was known in the times of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Æschines. We are informed by Strabo that Cassander changed the name of Therme to Thessalonica, in honour of his wife, who was a daughter of Philip. Others have said that the name was given to it by