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View looking from west to east across the forum at Philippi. In the foreground is an apse that is perpendicularly attached to the west end basilica that stretches from left (north) to right across the foreground.
A Roman basilica was often used as a court where legal cases were heard. There is a good possibility that Paul and Silas appeared before the Philippian magistrates in this building (Acts 16:19–22, 35–40)!
Because Philippi was a Roman Colony settled by veterans, the magistrates would have been high-ranking military men—or descendants of them. In the NT (Acts 16 they are called στρατηγὸς (= captain, commander, chief magistrate).