An inland district of Asia Minor, and, after 25 B.C., a province of the Roman empire. There was a Jewish settlement there, which may have been founded by Antiochus the Great, who sent many Jewish families to Asia Minor as colonists. A proof of the existence of Jews in Galatia, according to many, is given by an edict of Augustus, which, according to Josephus ("Ant." xvi. 6, § 2), was published in Ancyra, the metropolis of Galatia. But the reading of the word "Ancyra" is doubtful. A better proof may be had from some inscriptions found in Galatia relating to Jews ("C. I. G." No. 4129; "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique," vii. 1883; comp. "R. E. J." x. 77). R. Akiba, who is said to have been a great traveler, speaks of "Galia" (), which is generally identified with "Galatia" (R. H. 26a). A teacher named Menahem is said to have come from "Galia" (Tosef., 'Er. viii.; Tosef., Ber. iv. 4; Ket. 60a). The chief proof, however, of the existence of Jews in Galatia is the fact that St. Paul sent thither a general epistle known as the "Epistle to the Galatians." There is a strong disagreement among scholars as regards the parts of Galatia where these correspondents of St. Paul lived. The older opinion was that they were to be found in the northern cities of Galatia, but recent scholars, especially Professor Ramsay, hold that they lived in cities of South or New Galatia, which are actually mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. The progress of Christianity in Galatia, however, may explain the fact that the Jews of this province are never heard of in later history. It remains to be stated that the "Galatians" of I Macc. viii. 2 and II Macc. viii. 20 were Gauls.
Bibliography:J. M. Sc.
- Cheyne and Black, Encyc. Bibl.;
- Neubauer, G. T. p. 317;
- Schürer, Gesch. iii. 17;
- Lightfoot, Epistle to Galatians, Introduction;
- W. M. Ramsay, The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, i. 667 et seq.