ICONIUM cbc6viop), a large inland city of Asia Minor, situated in the province of Lycaonia, on the military road between Antioch of Pisidia and Derbe. Strabo describes it as a small town, well peopled, and encompassed by a fertile region (xii. 6. According to Cicero, it was the capi tal of Lycaonia (ad Fam. iii. 6. 8); but Xenophon places it on the eastern border of Phrygia (Anab. i. 2. 19), Ammianus Marcellinus reckoned it to Pisidia (xiv. 2), and Pliny states that in his time it was the capital of a distinct territory, governed by a tetrarch (H. N. v. 25). This may be the reason why the sacred writers do not speak of it as belonging to any of the great provinces of Asia Minor. Paul and Barnabas went from Antioch ot Pisidia to Iconium, thus approaching it from the west by the military road which crosses the moun tain chain (Acts )(di. 51). The population, like that of the other great cities of Asia Minor, was then mixed, consisting of play-loving and novelty seeking Greeks, an old established and influential colony of Jews, who exercised their trades during the week, and met in their synagogue to read the Law on the Sabbath, some dignified Roman officials and soldiers, and probably a few of the ancient in habitants of the country (Conybeare and Howson, Life of St. Paul, i. 196, 1st ed.) This explains the nature of the apostles' reception, and the cause of the events which followed. They went first to the synagogue as was their custom. Their preaching was successful, for a great multitude both of Jews and also of the Greeks believed' (Acts xiv. 1). The unbelieving Jews stirred up opposition, and a riot followed—part of the people holding with the Jews, and part with the apostles. This became at leng,th so serious, that the lives of Paul and Barriabas were endangered, and they re tired to Lystra, about twenty miles southward (ver. 6). The bitter hostility of the Jews followed them thither ; they were attacked and stoned, and Paul was left for dead. Restored by a miracle, he soon returned to Iconium, confirming the souls of the disciples' (verses 7-21). Some years after wards it appears that Paul paid another visit to Iconium, accompanied by Silas, travelling from Cilicia through Derbe and Lystra (xvi. 1-3). No particulars are given, and we cannot tell whether the persecutions and afflictions' of which he writes to Timothy came upon him partly in this latter tour or altogether during the former (2 Tim.
Iconium was the scene of the apocryphal story of Paul and Thecla, so often mentioned by Jerome, Augustine, and others of the early Fathers (see Jones On the Canon, where the Acts of Paul ana' Thecia are given in Greek and English, ii. 299, seq.; an abridgment of the legend is given in a note in Conybeare and HOWS011, 1. i97). The church planted by the apostles continued to flourish, and the city itself to increase in importance under the Byzantine monarchs (IIierocles, p. 675). Ico nium having been captured by the Seljukian Turks, became the capita] of one of their dynasties, and may be regarded as the cradle of the Ottoman empire. It is one of the few towns of Asia Minor which have retained to the present day something of their ancient prosperity. Konieh, as it is now called, is a large city, the residence of a pasha, and head of a province. It is surrounded by a wall said to have been erected by the Seljukian sultans, but out of the ruins of older structures, as pieces of marble columns, capitals, and carved cornices appear everywhere in the masonry. Some of its mosques, minarets, palaces, and gateways, are beautiful specimens of Saracenic architecture. There are few remains of the Greek and Roman Iconium, besides the fragments of columns, and Greek inscriptions in the walls.
The situation of Konieh is very fine. It stands on a fertile plain, which towards the east stretches away to the horizon, while immediately behind the city, on the west, it is shut in by a semicircle of snow-capped mountains. Rich gardens and or chards, abundantly stocked with fruit trees, and watered by numerous streams from the neighbour ing mountains, encircle the old city. The suburbs extend far beyond the walls, and, like those of Damascus, have a gay and picturesque appearance at a distance, but do not bear close inspection. The population is still mixed ; and as it contains the tomb of one of the most venerated of Moham medan saints, it is swarming with fanatical Der vishes. (Descriptions of Konieh are given by Kinneir, Travels in Asia Minor ; Leake, Geog. oi Asia Minor ; Hamilton, Researches ; Chesney, Euphrates Expechtion.)—J. L. P.