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Derbe is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
RegionKaraman Province
Coordinates37°21′03″N 33°16′17″E / 37.3508333333°N 33.2713888911°E / 37.3508333333; 33.2713888911Coordinates: 37°21′03″N 33°16′17″E / 37.3508333333°N 33.2713888911°E / 37.3508333333; 33.2713888911

Derbe (Greek: Δέρβη) was a city in the Roman province of Galatia in Asia Minor, and in the ethnic region of Lycaonia. It is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles at 14:6, 14:20, 16:1 and 20:4.


In 1956, on the basis of an inscription dating to 157 BC, Michael Ballance fixed the site of Derbe at a mound known as Kerti Hüyük, some 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Karaman (ancient Laranda), near Ekinözü village in modern day Turkey.[1] Although subject to controversy, this is considered the most likely site.[2][3]


Antipater of Derbe, a friend of Cicero,[4] was ruler of Derbe, but was killed by Amyntas of Galatia, who added Derbe to his possessions.[5][6]

Claudioderbe was a special title given to Derbe during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius; it appears on second century coins from Derbe.[1]

The apostles Paul and Barnabas came to Derbe after escaping a disturbance and attempted stoning in Iconium, about 60 miles away,[7] and successfully evangelized there.[8] Paul and Barnabas returned there after being stoned again in Lystra.[9] On these experiences, Paul commented, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."[10] He and Silas later visited Derbe again.[11]

The Bishopric of Derbe became a suffragan see of Iconium. It is not mentioned by later Notitiae Episcopatuum. Just four bishops are known, from 381 to 672.[12]

Derbe is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.[13]


  1. ^ a b Fant, Clyde E.; Reddish, Mitchell G. (2003-10-23). A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-988145-1.
  2. ^ Bastian Van Elderen, Some Archaeological Observations on Paul’s First Missionary Journey, 157-159.
  3. ^ Steve Singleton, Derbe Satellite View Archived 2011-07-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Cicero, Ad Familiares, xiii. 73
  5. ^ Strabo, XII,i, 4; vi, 3
  6. ^ Dio Cassius, XLIX, xxxii)
  7. ^ Bastian Van Elderen, Some Archaeological Observations on Paul’s First Missionary Journey, 157-159.
  8. ^ Acts 14:6-21
  9. ^ Acts 14:20
  10. ^ Acts 14:22
  11. ^ Acts 16:1
  12. ^ "Derbe". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
  13. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 880