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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

si-re'-ne (Kurene "wall"):

1. Location:

Cyrene was a city of Libya in North Africa, lat. 32 degrees 40' North, long. 22 degrees 15' East. It lay West of ancient Egypt, from which it was separated by a portion of the Libyan desert, and occupied the territory now belonging to Barca and Tripoli. It was situated upon an elevated plateau about 2,000 ft. above the sea, from which it was distant some 10 miles. A high range of mountains lies to the South, about 90 miles inland. This shelters the coast land from the scorching heat of the Sahara. The range drops down toward the North in a series of terrace-like elevations, thus giving to the region a great variety of climate and vegetation. The soil is fertile.

2. History:

Cyrene was originally a Greek colony rounded by Battus in 630 B.C. Because of the fertility of the soil, the great variety in climate and vegetation, together with its commercial advantages in location, the city soon rose to great wealth and importance. Greater fame, however, came to it through its distinguished citizens. It was the home of Callimachus the poet, Carneacles the founder of the New Academy at Athens, and Eratosthenes the mathematician. To these must be added, from later times, the elegant ancient Christian writer Synesius. So important did this Greek colony become that, in little more than half a century, Amasis II of Egypt formed an alliance with Cyrene, marrying a Greek lady of noble, perhaps royal, birth (Herod. ii.181). Ptolemy III (Euergetes I), 231 B.C., incorporated Cyrene with Egypt. The city continued, though with much restlessness, a part of the Egyptian empire until Apion, the last of the Ptolemies, willed it to Rome. It henceforth belonged to a Roman province.

In the middle of the 7th century, the conquering Saracens took possession of Cyrene, and from that time to this it has been the habitation of wandering tribes of Arabs.

3. Biblical Importance:

Cyrene comes into importance in Biblical history through the dispersion of the Jews. Ptolemy I, son of Lagus, transported Jews to this and other cities of Libya (Josephus, CAp, II, 4) and from this time on Jews were very numerous there. By the return of the Jews of the Dispersion to the feasts at Jerusalem, Cyrenians came to have a conspicuous place in the New Testament history. "A man of Cyrene, Simon by name," was caught by the Roman soldiers and compelled to bear the cross of Jesus (Matthew 27:32; compare Mark 15:21 Luke 23:26). See CYRENIAN. Jews from Cyrene were among those present on the day of Pentecost. Their city appears as one of the important points in the wide circle of the Dispersion described by Peter in his sermon on that occasion (Acts 2:10). Cyrenian Jews were of sufficient importance in those days to have their name associated with a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). And when the persecution arose about Stephen, some of these Jews of Cyrene who had been converted at Jerusalem, were scattered abroad and came with others to Antioch and preached the word "unto the Jews only" (Acts 11:19, 20 the King James Version), and one of them, Lucius, became a prophet in the early church there. In this case, as in so many others, the wise providence of God in the dispersion of the Jews in preparation for the spread of the gospel of the Messiah is seen.

4. Archaeology:

In the ruins of Cyrene are to be seen the remains of some beautiful buildings, and a few sculptures have been removed. The most interesting remains of the wondrous civilization of this Greek colony are in a great system of tombs, some built, but the finest cut in the solid rock of the cliff. Doric architecture and brilliant decorative painting adorn these tombs.


Herodotus ii; Josephus, Apion; Thrige, Res Cyrenensium.

M. G. Kyle

2956. Kurenaios -- of Cyrene
... of Cyrene. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Kurenaios Phonetic Spelling:
(koo-ray-nah'-yos) Short Definition: belonging to Cyrene, a Cyrenaean ...
// - 6k

2957. Kurene -- Cyrene, a city in N. Africa
... Cyrene, a city in N. Africa. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: Kurene
Phonetic Spelling: (koo-ray'-nay) Short Definition: Cyrene Definition: Cyrene ...
// - 6k

223. Alexandros -- Alexander, a son of Simon of Cyrene, also a ...
... Alexander, a son of Simon of Cyrene, also a coppersmith, also two Jews. Part of
Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Alexandros Phonetic Spelling: (al-ex'-an ...
// - 6k

4504. Rhouphos -- "red," Rufus, a Christian at Rome
... fos) Short Definition: Rufus Definition: Rufus, a Christian man in Rome, probably
to be identified with the brother of Alexander and son of Simon of Cyrene. ...
// - 6k

3066. Loukios -- Lucius, the name of two Christians
... Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Loukios Phonetic Spelling:
(loo'-kee-os) Short Definition: Lucius Definition: Lucius, (a) of Cyrene, an early ...
// - 6k


Simon of Cyrene
... LXVII SIMON OF CYRENE. Luke xxiii.20-26. This Simon, the Cyrenian, was just
a plain man, coming into town on his own business, and ...
/.../peabody/mornings in the college chapel/lxvii simon of cyrene.htm

An Embassage in Cyrene and Asia to Caesar, Concerning the ...
... CHAPTER 6. An Embassage In Cyrene And Asia To Caesar, Concerning The Complaints
They Had To Make Against The Greeks; With Copies Of The Epistles Which Caesar ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 6 an embassage in.htm

Simon of Cyrene. Third Fall of Jesus.
... CHAPTER XXXIII. Simon of Cyrene. Third Fall of Jesus. The procession had
reached an arch formed in an old wall belonging to the ...
/.../chapter xxxiii simon of cyrene.htm

Concerning Jonathan, one of the Sicarii, that Stirred up a ...
... CHAPTER 11. Concerning Jonathan, One Of The Sicarii, That Stirred Up A Sedition
In Cyrene, And Was A False Accuser [Of The Innocent]. ...
/.../chapter 11 concerning jonathan one.htm

Jesus Led to Calvary. --Simon of Cyrene. --The Words of Christ to ...
... CHAPTER VI. THE TRIAL AND CONDEMNATION. Section 289. Jesus led to
Calvary."Simon of Cyrene."The Words of Christ to the Weeping Women. ...
/.../section 289 jesus led to.htm

The Calamities of the Jews During Trajan's Reign.
... [974] 2. For in Alexandria and in the rest of Egypt, and also in Cyrene, [975] as
if incited by some terrible and factious spirit, they rushed into seditious ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter ii the calamities of the.htm

How Crassus came into Judea, and Pillaged the Temple; and Then ...
... to fight against Mithridates, he sent Lucullus to put an end to a sedition that
our nation, of whom the habitable earth is full, had raised in Cyrene; where he ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 7 how crassus came.htm

Your Apology Says that There are Three Opinions as to the Origin ...
... Every one is asking this question, but you say nothing about it; nobody asks the
other, but to that you direct your answer. Of Cyrene. ... Of Cyrene. ...
/.../30 your apology says that.htm

Acts xi. 19
... "But some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they were come to Antioch,
spake unto ... "And some of them, which were men of Cyprus and Cyrene," etc. ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on acts and romans/homily xxv acts xi 19.htm

Claim of Missions on Ministers of Influence.
... Now there were in the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers;
as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen ...
/.../dibble/thoughts on missions/chapter vi claim of missions.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

a wall; coldness; the floor

Smith's Bible Dictionary

the principal city of that part of northern Africa which was sufficiently called Cyrenaica, lying between Carthage and Egypt, and corresponding with the modern Tripoli. Though on the African coast, it was a Greek city, and the Jews were settled there in large numbers. The Greek colonization of this part of Africa under Battus began of early as B.C. 631. After the death of Alexander the Great it became a dependency of Egypt, and a Roman province B.C. 75. Simon, who bore our Saviour's cross, (Matthew 27:32) was a native of Cyrene. Jewish dwellers in Cyrenaica were in Jerusalem at Pentecost, (Acts 2:10) and gave their name to one of the synagogues in Jerusalem. (Acts 6:9) Christian converts from Cyrene were among those who contributed actively to the formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch. (Acts 11:20)

ATS Bible Dictionary

A city and province of Libya, west of Egypt, between the Great Syrtis and the Mareotis, at present called Cairoan, in the province of Barca. It was sometimes called PENTAPOLIS, from the five principal cities that it contained-Cyrene, Apollonia, Arsinoe, Berenice, and Ptolemais. From hence came Simon the Cyrenian, father of Alexander and Rufus, on whom the Roman soldiers laid a part of our Savior's cross, Matthew 27:32 Luke 23:26. There were many Jews in the province of Cyrene, a great part of whom embraced the Christian religion, though others opposed it with much obstinacy, Acts 6:9 11:20 13:1.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a colony of Greeks (B.C. 630). It contained latterly a large number of Jews, who were introduced into the city by Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, because he thought they would contribute to the security of the place. They increased in number and influence; and we are thus prepared for the frequent references to them in connection with the early history of Christianity. Simon, who bore our Lord's cross, was a native of this place (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at Jerusalem (6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to the formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch (11:20). Among "the prophets and teachers" who "ministered to the Lord at Antioch" was Lucius of Cyrene (13:1).
Cyrene (7 Occurrences)
... Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had
a synagogue at Jerusalem (6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to ...
/c/cyrene.htm - 13k

Cyrenian (3 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (a.) Pertaining to Cyrene, in Africa; Cyrenaic.
2. (n.) A native or inhabitant of Cyrene. 3. (n.) One ...
/c/cyrenian.htm - 8k

Lucius (2 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Of Cyrene, a Christian teacher at Antioch (Acts
13:1), and Paul's kinsman (Romans 16:21). His name is ...
/l/lucius.htm - 9k

Cyrenians (2 Occurrences)
... si-re'-ni-an (Kurenaios, "a native or inhabitant of Cyrene"): Two Jews of Cyrene
are mentioned in the New Testament, namely, Simon (Mark 15:21 and Luke 23:26 ...
/c/cyrenians.htm - 7k

Libya (4 Occurrences)
...Cyrene was one of its five cities. Int. ... In the New Testament the word "Libya" (Libue)
occurs, in close connection with CYRENE (which see) (Acts 2:10). ...
/l/libya.htm - 8k

Cyre'ne (5 Occurrences)
Cyre'ne. Cyrene, Cyre'ne. Cyrenian . Multi-Version Concordance Cyre'ne (5
Occurrences). ... Cyrene, Cyre'ne. Cyrenian . Reference Bible.
/c/cyre'ne.htm - 7k

Libertines (1 Occurrence)
... In the other were men from two African towns (Cyrene and Alexandria), therefore
the Libertines must have been African also, all forming an African synagogue. ...
/l/libertines.htm - 11k

Rufus (2 Occurrences)
... RUFUS. roo'-fus (Rhouphos): The name is mentioned twice: (1) Simon of Cyrene, who
was compelled to bear the cross of Jesus, is "the father of Alexander and Rufus ...
/r/rufus.htm - 8k

Compelled (22 Occurrences)
... (DBY). Matthew 27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name,
and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross. ...
/c/compelled.htm - 12k

Crete (7 Occurrences)
... Metellus in 67 BC With Cyrene on the North coast of Africa, it was formed
into a Roman province. When Augustus divided the Empire ...
/c/crete.htm - 19k

Bible Concordance
Cyrene (7 Occurrences)

Matthew 27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross.

Mark 15:21 They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross.

Luke 23:26 When they led him away, they grabbed one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it after Jesus.

Acts 2:10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

Acts 6:9 But some of those who were of the Synagogue named that of the Libertines, and some of the men of Cyrene and of Alexandria and those from Cilicia and Asia, had arguments with Stephen.

Acts 11:20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.

Acts 13:1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.



Cyrene: A City in Libya

Cyrene: Contained a Synagogue

Cyrene: Simon and Lucius Belonged To

Related Terms

Cyrenian (3 Occurrences)

Lucius (2 Occurrences)

Cyrenians (2 Occurrences)

Libya (4 Occurrences)

Cyre'ne (5 Occurrences)

Libertines (1 Occurrence)

Rufus (2 Occurrences)

Compelled (22 Occurrences)

Crete (7 Occurrences)

Service (317 Occurrences)

Carry (246 Occurrences)

Alexander (5 Occurrences)

Simeon (48 Occurrences)

Cross (157 Occurrences)

Bear (425 Occurrences)

Antioch (21 Occurrences)

Cyprus (12 Occurrences)

Quicksands (1 Occurrence)

Visitors (1 Occurrence)

Kir (11 Occurrences)

Niger (1 Occurrence)

Obed-edom (16 Occurrences)

Obededom (15 Occurrences)

Jason (5 Occurrences)

Lubim (4 Occurrences)

Libyans (6 Occurrences)

Grabbed (8 Occurrences)


Forced (84 Occurrences)

Foster (2 Occurrences)

Tetrarch (5 Occurrences)

Districts (22 Occurrences)

Manaen (1 Occurrence)

Pamphyl'ia (5 Occurrences)

Passing (177 Occurrences)

Proselytes (2 Occurrences)

Phryg'ia (2 Occurrences)

Phrygia (4 Occurrences)

Proclaiming (63 Occurrences)

Placed (297 Occurrences)

Pamphylia (6 Occurrences)

Belonging (90 Occurrences)

Compel (10 Occurrences)

Converts (9 Occurrences)

Cyrenius (1 Occurrence)

Cretans (3 Occurrences)

Cyrenaeans (2 Occurrences)


Constrained (14 Occurrences)

Arabians (8 Occurrences)

Adjoin (1 Occurrence)

Adria (1 Occurrence)

Argue (21 Occurrences)

Assassins (2 Occurrences)

Argued (20 Occurrences)

Arguments (29 Occurrences)

Africa (1 Occurrence)

Strangers (95 Occurrences)

Salamis (1 Occurrence)

Sojourners (37 Occurrences)

Sojourning (35 Occurrences)


Seized (118 Occurrences)


Hellenists (3 Occurrences)

Either (152 Occurrences)

Assembly (371 Occurrences)

Dispersion (4 Occurrences)

Grecians (4 Occurrences)

Telling (89 Occurrences)

Towards (416 Occurrences)

Led (260 Occurrences)

Simon (75 Occurrences)

Barnabas (33 Occurrences)

Laid (552 Occurrences)

Teachers (87 Occurrences)

Along (500 Occurrences)

Named (428 Occurrences)

Taking (445 Occurrences)

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