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The chief city of Cyrenaica (now Tripoli), or the Libyan pentapolis (five cities) in N. Africa, between Egypt and Carthage, S., across the sea, of Crete and the Greek Peloponnese. A Dorian Greek colony, reigned over by Battus and his family 630 B.C. Afterward joined to its eastern neighbor Egypt. A table land descending by terraces to the sea. Famed for luxuriant vegetation and grandeur of its hills; for its intellectual activity in philosophy and poetry; and for its commerce. Jews in large number were settled there, and had a synagogue at Jerusalem, some of whose members took part against Stephen (Acts 6:9).
        Others were hearers of Peter and witnesses of the Spirit's miraculous effusion on Pentecost (Acts 2:10). Being converted, and subsequently scattered at the persecution of Stephen, they preached to the Greeks at Antioch, at which time and place believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:19-20). Simeon, who bore Jesus' cross, was of Cyrene (Luke 23:26). Among "the prophets and teachers" at Antioch who ministered to the Lord was Lucius of Cyrene (Acts 13:1), whom some identify with Luke the evangelist and physician. Certainly, it is from Luke alone that we hear so much of Cyrene. (But (See LUKE.) Cyrene was a great center from which the gospel afterwards went forth, raising the famous N. African churches.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'cyrene' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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