|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
The city of Philippi was a Roman colony (Acts 16:12), i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers and citizens, planted there to keep in subjection a newly-conquered district. A colony was Rome in miniature, under Roman municipal law, but governed by military officers (praetors and lictors), not by proconsuls. It had an independent internal government, the jus Italicum; i.e., the privileges of Italian citizens.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A company of people transplanted from their mother country to a remote province or country, and remaining subject to the jurisdiction of the parent state; as, the British colonies in America.
2. (n.) The district or country colonized; a settlement.
3. (n.) A company of persons from the same country sojourning in a foreign city or land; as, the American colony in Paris.
4. (n.) A number of animals or plants living or growing together, beyond their usual range.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
kol'-o-ni (kolonia, Greek transliteration of Latin colonia, from the root, col, "cultivate"): The word occurs but once (Acts 16:12) in reference to Philippi in Macedonia. Roman colonies were of three kinds and of three periods:
(1) Those of the early republic, in which the colonists, established in conquered towns to serve the state as guardians of the frontier, were exempt from ordinary military service. They were distinguished as
(a) c. civium Romanorum, wherein the colonists retained Roman citizenship, also called c. maritumae, because situated on the coast, and
(b) c. Latinae, situated inland among the allies (socii), wherein the colonists possessed the ius Latinum, entitling them to invoke the Roman law of property (commercium), but not that of the family (connubium), and received Roman citizenship only when elected to magistracies.
(2) The colonies of the Gracchan period, established in pursuance of the scheme of agrarian reforms, to provide land for the poorer citizens.
(3) After the time of Sulla colonies were founded in Italy by the Republic as a device for granting lands to retiring veterans, who of course retained citizenship. This privilege was appropriated by Caesar and the emperors, who employed it to establish military colonies, chiefly in the provinces, with various rights and internal organizations. To this class belonged Philippi. Partly organized after the great battle of 42 B.C., fought in the neighboring plain by Brutus and Cassius, the champions of the fated Republic, and Antonius and Octavian, it was fully established as a colony by Octavian (afterward styled Augustus) after the battle of Actium (31 B.C.), under the name Colonia Aug. Iul. Philippi or Philippensis. It received the ius Italicum, whereby provincial cities acquired the same status as Italian cities, which possessed municipal self-government and exemption from poll and land taxes.
See CITIZENSHIP; PHILIPPI; ROMAN.
William Arthur Heidel
Colony (1 Occurrence)
Acts 16:12 and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)