Derbe (Diocese)

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The Diocese of Derbe is an ancient bishopric located at Derbe in the Roman province of Galatia in Asia Minor, and in the ethnic region of Lycaonia. It flourished through the Roman and Byzantine empires, being dissolved on the invasion of the Seljuks at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The diocese was nominally refounded as a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church in the 17th century, although the area had never actually been catholic in profession.


Christianity came to Derbe very early. The apostles Paul and Barnabas came to Derbe after escaping a disturbance and attempted stoning in Iconium, about 60 miles away,[1] and successfully evangelized there.[2] Paul made many convers at Derbe[3] including future church leaders[4] Paul and Barnabas returned there after being stoned again in Lystra.[5] On these experiences, Paul commented, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."[6] He and Silas later visited Derbe again.[7]

Ancient Bishopric[edit]

Derbe became a suffragan see of Iconium but is not mentioned by later Notitiae Episcopatuum. Only four bishops are known, from 381 to 672.[8] we know but four bishops, from 381 to 672.[9]

Bishop Anastasius Hartmann
Bishop franzegon.

Titular see[edit]

Today, Derbe is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.[14] The Roman Catholic Church holds the bishopric of Derbe to be a titular see in the province of Lycaonia. Although Titular bishops have been appointed since the 17th century the see is currently empty.


  1. ^ Bastian Van Elderen, Some Archaeological Observations on Paul’s First Missionary Journey, 157-159.
  2. ^ Acts 14:6-21
  3. ^ Acts 20:6.
  4. ^ Acts 20:4.
  5. ^ Acts 14:20
  6. ^ Acts 14:22
  7. ^ Acts 16:1
  8. ^ "Derbe". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  9. ^ Le Quien, Oriens Christ., I, 1081.
  10. ^ Michel Le Quien, Oriens christianus (ex Typographia Regia, 1740). p1082.
  11. ^ Michel Le Quien, Oriens christianus (ex Typographia Regia, 1740). p1081.
  12. ^ Richard Price, Michael Gaddis, The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, Volume 1 (Liverpool University Press, 2005) p143.
  13. ^ Michel Le Quien, Oriens christianus (ex Typographia Regia, 1740). p1081.
  14. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 880