PHILIPPI (ACTS 16:11-12). From Troas the missionaries put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace; its mountains made the island easily visible and a landmark. They sailed on the next day to Neapolis (Newtown), one of the two best ports in Macedonia. They had passed from the continent of Asia to Europe. The voyage covered 150 miles and took two days. The winds were very favorable; for the trip normally took three days and five days in the reverse direction. Neapolis was the port of Philippi, which lay about ten miles to the northwest across Mt. Symbolum.
From there they traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. Philippi was located in eastern Macedonia in a plain east of Mt. Pangaeus between the Strymon and Nestos Rivers. The site was first inhabited by colonists from the island of Thasos, who worked the gold mines. It was known for its springs. The city was enlarged by a colony of Roman army veterans. Because it was a Roman colony, it had a form of government independent of the provincial administration.
Philippi was more an agricultural than commercial center. Hence, the Jewish population at Philippi was extremely small or nonexistent. There was no synagogue; it required ten Jewish men.
At Philippi, Paul first preached in Europe. He encounters a religious woman with an open heart, a slave girl with a possessed heart, and a man with a hard heart.