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Antioch on the Orontes (Greek: Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ Μεγάλη; Latin: Antiochia ad Orontem; also Great Antioch or Syrian Antioch; Arabic:انطاکیه) was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.

Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and was a cradle of gentile Christianity.[1] It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents were known as Antiochenes.

Contents

Geography

Location of Antioch, in present Turkey.

Two routes from the Mediterranean, lying through the Orontes gorge and the Beilan Pass, converge in the plain of the Antioch Lake (Balük Geut or El Bahr) and are met there by

  1. the road from the Amanic Gates (Baghche Pass) and western Commagene, which descends the valley of the Kara Su,
  2. the roads from eastern Commagene and the Euphratean crossings at Samosata (Samsat) and Apamea Zeugma (Birejik), which descend the valleys of the Afrin and the Kuwaik, and
  3. the road from the Euphratean ford at Thapsacus, which skirts the fringe of the Syrian steppe. A single route proceeds south in the Orontes valley.

History

Prehistory

The settlement of Meroe pre-dated Antioch. A shrine of Anat, called by the Greeks the "Persian Artemis," was located here. This site was included in the eastern suburbs of Antioch. There was a village on the spur of Mount Silpius named or Iopolis. This name was always adduced as evidence by Antiochenes (e.g. Libanius) anxious to affiliate themselves to the Attic Ionians--an eagerness which is illustrated by the Athenian types used on the city's coins. Io may have been a small early colony of trading Greeks (Javan). John Malalas mentions also an archaic village, Bottia, in the plain by the river.

According to most of the writers, this is the city that is mentioned in the Quran 36:13.

Foundation by Seleucus I

Alexander the Great is said to have camped on the site of Antioch, and dedicated an altar to Zeus Bottiaeus, it lay in the northwest of the future city. This account is found only in the writings of Libanius, a 4th century AD orator from Antioch, and may be legend intended to enhance Antioch's status. But the story is not unlikely in itself.[2]

After Alexander's death in 323 BC, his generals divided up the territory he had conquered. Seleucus I Nicator won the territory of Syria, and he proceeded to found four "sister cities" in northwestern Syria, one of which was Antioch. Like the other three, Antioch was named by Seleucus for a member of his family. He is reputed to have built sixteen Antiochs.[3]

Seleucus founded Antioch on a site chosen through ritual means. An eagle, the bird of Zeus, had been given a piece of sacrificial meat and the city was founded on the site to which the eagle carried the offering. He did this in the twelfth year of his reign. Antioch soon rose above Seleucia Pieria to become the Syrian capital.

Hellenistic age

The original city of Seleucus was laid out in imitation of the grid plan of Alexandria by the architect Xenarius. Libanius describes the first building and arrangement of this city (i. p. 300. 17). The citadel was on Mt. Silpius and the city lay mainly on the low ground to the north, fringing the river. Two great colonnaded streets intersected in the centre. Shortly afterwards a second quarter was laid out, probably on the east and by Antiochus I, which, from an expression of Strabo, appears to have been the native, as contrasted with the Greek, town. It was enclosed by a wall of its own. In the Orontes, north of the city, lay a large island, and on this Seleucus II Callinicus began a third walled "city," which was finished by Antiochus III. A fourth and last quarter was added by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BC); and thenceforth Antioch was known as Tetrapolis. From west to east the whole was about 6 km in diameter and little less from north to south, this area including many large gardens.

The new city was populated by a mix of local settlers that Athenians brought from the nearby city of Antigonia, Macedonians, and Jews (who were given full status from the beginning). The total free population of Antioch at its foundation has been estimated at between 17,000 and 25,000, not including slaves and native settlers.[2] During the late Hellenistic period and Early Roman period, Antioch population reached its peak of over 500,000 inhabitants (estimates vary from 400,000 to 600,000) and was the third largest city in the world after Rome and Alexandria. By the 4th century, Antioch's declining population was about 200,000 according to Chrysostom, a figure which again does not include slaves.

About 6 km west and beyond the suburb Heraclea lay the paradise of Daphne, a park of woods and waters, in the midst of which rose a great temple to the Pythian Apollo, also founded by Seleucus I and enriched with a cult-statue of the god, as Musagetes, by Bryaxis. A companion sanctuary of Hecate was constructed underground by Diocletian. The beauty and the lax morals of Daphne were celebrated all over the western world; and indeed Antioch as a whole shared in both these titles to fame. Its amenities awoke both the enthusiasm and the scorn of many writers of antiquity.

Antioch became the capital and court-city of the western Seleucid empire under Antiochus I, its counterpart in the east being Seleucia on the Tigris; but its paramount importance dates from the battle of Ancyra (240 BC), which shifted the Seleucid centre of gravity from Asia Minor, and led indirectly to the rise of Pergamum.

The Seleucids reigned from Antioch.[4] We know little of it in the Hellenistic period, apart from Syria, all our information coming from authors of the late Roman time. Among its great Greek buildings we hear only of the theatre, of which substructures still remain on the flank of Silpius, and of the royal palace, probably situated on the island. It enjoyed a reputation for letters and the arts (Cicero pro Archia, 3); but the only names of distinction in these pursuits during the Seleucid period, that have come down to us, are Apollophanes, the Stoic, and one Phoebus, a writer on dreams. The mass of the population seems to have been only superficially Hellenic, and to have spoken Aramaic in non-official life. The nicknames which they gave to their later kings were Aramaic; and, except Apollo and Daphne, the great divinities of north Syria seem to have remained essentially native, such as the "Persian Artemis" of Meroe and Atargatis of Hierapolis Bambyce.

The epithet, "Golden," suggests that the external appearance of Antioch was impressive, but the city needed constant restoration owing to the seismic disturbances to which the district has always been subjected. The first great earthquake in recorded history was related by the native chronicler John Malalas. It occurred in 148 BC and did immense damage.

Local politics were turbulent. In the many dissensions of the Seleucid house the population took sides, and frequently rose in rebellion, for example against Alexander Balas in 147 BC, and Demetrius II in 129 BC. The latter, enlisting a body of Jews, punished his capital with fire and sword. In the last struggles of the Seleucid house, Antioch turned against its feeble rulers, invited Tigranes of Armenia to occupy the city in 83 BC, tried to unseat Antiochus XIII in 65 BC, and petitioned Rome against his restoration in the following year. Its wish prevailed, and it passed with Syria to the Roman Republic in 64 BC, but remained a civitas libera.

Roman period

The Roman emperors favoured the city from the first, seeing it as a more suitable capital for the eastern part of the empire than Alexandria could be, because of the isolated position of Egypt. To a certain extent they tried to make it an eastern Rome. Julius Caesar visited it in 47 BC, and confirmed its freedom. A great temple to Jupiter Capitolinus rose on Silpius, probably at the insistence of Octavian, whose cause the city had espoused. A forum of Roman type was laid out. Tiberius built two long colonnades on the south towards Silpius. Agrippa and Tiberius enlarged the theatre, and Trajan finished their work. Antoninus Pius paved the great east to west artery with granite. A circus, other colonnades and great numbers of baths were built, and new aqueducts to supply them bore the names of Caesars, the finest being the work of Hadrian. The Roman client, King Herod, erected a long stoa on the east, and Agrippa encouraged the growth of a new suburb south of this.

This argenteus was struck in Antioch mint, under Constantius Chlorus.

At Antioch Germanicus died in 19 AD, and his body was burnt in the forum.

An earthquake that shook Antioch in AD 37 caused the emperor Caligula to send two senators to report on the condition of the city. Another quake followed in the next reign.

Titus set up the Cherubim, captured from the Jewish temple, over one of the gates.

In 115, during Trajan's sojourn in the place with his army of Parthia, the whole site was convulsed by an earthquake, the landscape altered, and the emperor himself forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. He and his successor restored the city.

Commodus had Olympic games celebrated at Antioch.

Edward Gibbon wrote:

Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capital of the East.[5]

The Antioch Chalice, first half of 6th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 256 the town was suddenly raided by the Persians, who slew many in the theatre.

In 526, after minor shocks, the calamity returned in a terrible form; the octagonal cathedral which had been erected by the emperor Constantius II suffered and thousands of lives were lost, largely those of Christians gathered to a great church assembly. Especially terrific earthquakes on November 29, 528 and October 31, 588 are also recorded.

Late Antiquity

Christianity

Antioch was a chief center of early Christianity. The city had a large population of Jewish origin in a quarter called the Kerateion, and so attracted the earliest missionaries[6]. Evangelized, among others, by Peter himself, according to the tradition upon which the Antiochene patriarchate still rests its claim for primacy,[7] and certainly later[8] by Barnabas and Paul during Paul's first missionary journey. Its converts were the first to be called Christians.[9] This is not to be confused with Antioch in Pisidia, to which the early missionaries later travelled.[10]

A bronze coin from Antioch depicting the emperor Julian. Note the pointed beard.

The population was estimated by Chrysostom at about 100,000 people at the time of Theodosius I. Between 252 and 300, ten assemblies of the church were held at Antioch and it became the seat of one of the four original patriarchates, along with Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Rome (see Pentarchy). Today Antioch remains the seat of a patriarchate of the Oriental Orthodox churches. One of the canonical Eastern Orthodox churches is still called the Antiochian Orthodox Church, although it moved its headquarters from Antioch to Damascus, Syria, several centuries ago (see list of Patriarchs of Antioch), and its prime bishop retains the title "Patriarch of Antioch," somewhat analogous to the manner in which several Popes, heads of the Roman Catholic Church remained "Bishop of Rome" even while residing in Avignon, France in the 14th century.

During the 4th century, Antioch was one of the three most important cities in the eastern Roman empire (along with Alexandria and Constantinople), which led to it being recognized as the seat of one of the five early Christian patriarchates (see Pentarchy).

The age of Julian

When the emperor Julian visited in 362 on a detour to Persia, he had high hopes for Antioch, regarding it as a rival to the imperial capital of Constantinople. Antioch had a mixed pagan and Christian population, which Ammianus Marcellinus implies lived quite harmoniously together. However Julian's visit began ominously as it coincided with a lament for Adonis, the doomed lover of Aphrodite. Thus, Ammianus wrote, the emperor and his soldiers entered the city not to the sound of cheers but to wailing and screaming.

Not long after, the Christian population railed at Julian for his favour to Jewish and pagan rites, and, outraged by the closing of its great church of Constantine, burned down the temple of Apollo in Daphne. Another version of the story had it that the chief priest of the temple accidentally set the temple alight because he had fallen asleep after lighting a candle. In any case Julian had the man tortured for negligence (for either allowing the Christians to burn the temple or for burning it himself), confiscated Christian property and berated the pagan Antiochenes for their impiety.

Julian found much else about which to criticize the Antiochenes. Julian had wanted the empire's cities to be more self-managing, as they had been some 200 years before. However Antioch's city councilmen showed themselves unwilling to shore up Antioch's food shortage with their own resources, so dependent were they on the emperor. Ammianus wrote that the councilmen shirked their duties by bribing unwitting men in the marketplace to do the job for them.

The city's impiety to the old religion was clear to Julian when he attended the city's annual feast of Apollo. To his surprise and dismay the only Antiochene present was an old priest clutching a chicken.

The Antiochenes in turn hated Julian for worsening the food shortage with the burden of his billeted troops, wrote Ammianus. The soldiers were often to be found gorged on sacrificial meat, making a drunken nuisance of themselves on the streets while Antioch's hungry citizens looked on in disgust. The Christian Antiochenes and Julian's pagan Gallic soldiers also never quite saw eye to eye.

Even Julian's piety was distasteful to the Antiochenes retaining the old faith. Julian's brand of paganism was very much unique to himself, with little support outside the most educated Neoplatonist circles. The irony of Julian's enthusiasm for large scale animal sacrifice could not have escaped the hungry Antiochenes. Julian gained no admiration for his personal involvement in the sacrifices, only the nickname axeman, wrote Ammianus.

The emperor's high-handed, severe methods and his rigid administration prompted Antiochene lampoons about, among other things, Julian's unfashionably pointed beard.[11]

Valens and after

Julian's successor, Valens, who endowed Antioch with a new forum, including a statue of Valentinian on a central column, reopened the great church of Constantine, which stood till the Persian sack in 538 by Chosroes.

In 387, there was a great sedition caused by a new tax levied by order of Theodosius I, and the city was punished by the loss of its metropolitan status.

Justinian I, who renamed it Theopolis ("City of God"), restored many of its public buildings after the great earthquake of 526, whose destructive work was completed by the Persian king, Khosrau I, twelve years later. Antioch lost as many as 300,000 people. Justinian I made an effort to revive it, and Procopius describes his repairing of the walls; but its glory was past.

Antioch gave its name to a certain school of Christian thought, distinguished by literal interpretation of the Scriptures and insistence on the human limitations of Jesus. Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia were the leaders of this school. The principal local saint was Simeon Stylites, who lived an extremely ascetic life atop a pillar for 40 years some 65 km east of Antioch. His body was brought to the city and buried in a building erected under the emperor Leo.

Arab period

The ramparts of Antioch climbing Mons Silpius during the Crusades (lower left on the map, above left)

In 637, during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, Antioch was conquered by the Arabs in the caliphate of al-Rashidun during the Battle of Iron Bridge. The city became known in Arabic as أنطاكيّة (Antākiyyah). Since the Umayyad dynasty was unable to penetrate the Anatolian plateau, Antioch found itself on the frontline of the conflicts between two hostile empires during the next 350 years, so that the city went into a precipitous decline.

In 969, the city was recovered for the Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas by Michael Bourtzes and Peter the Eunuch. It soon became the seat of a doux, who commanded the forces of the local themes and was the most important officer on the Empire's eastern border, held by such men as Nikephoros Ouranos. In 1078, Armenians seized power until the Seljuk Turks captured Antioch in 1084, but held it only fourteen years before the Crusaders arrived.

Crusader era

The Crusaders' Siege of Antioch conquered the city, but caused significant damage during the First Crusade. Although it contained a large Christian population, it was ultimately betrayed by Islamic allies of Bohemund, prince of Taranto who, following the defeat of the Turkish garrison, became its overlord. It remained the capital of the Latin Principality of Antioch for nearly two centuries. It fell at last to the Egyptian Mamluk Sultan Baibars, in 1268, after another siege. Baibars proceeded to massacre the Christian population.[12] In addition to the ravages of war, the city's port became inaccessible to large ships due to the accumulation of sand in the Orontes river bed. As a result, Antioch never recovered as a major city, with much of its former role falling to the port city of Alexandretta (Iskenderun).

Archaeology

Few traces of the once great Roman city are visible today aside from the massive fortification walls that snake up the mountains to the east of the modern city, several aqueducts, and the Church of St Peter (St Peter's Cave Church, Cave-Church of St. Peter), said to be a meeting place of an early Christian community.[13] The majority of the Roman city lies buried beneath deep sediments from the Orontes River, or has been obscured by recent construction.

The Tyche of Antioch, Galleria dei Candelabri, Vatican Museums.
Purchasing silkworm cocoons in Antioch, circa 1895.

Between 1932 and 1939, archaeological excavations of Antioch were undertaken under the direction of the "Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and Its Vicinity," which was made up of representatives from the Louvre Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Worcester Art Museum, Princeton University, and later (1936) also the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University and its affiliate Dumbarton Oaks.

The excavation team failed to find the major buildings they hoped to unearth, including Constantine's Great Octagonal Church or the imperial palace. However, a great accomplishment of the expedition was the discovery of high-quality Roman mosaics from villas and baths in Antioch, Daphne and Seleucia. One mosaic includes a border that depicts a walk from Antioch to Daphne, showing many ancient buildings along the way. The mosaics are now displayed in the Hatay Archaeological Museum in Antakya and in the museums of the sponsoring institutions.

A statue in the Vatican and a number of figurines and statuettes perpetuate the type of its great patron goddess and civic symbol, the Tyche (Fortune) of Antioch – a majestic seated figure, crowned with the ramparts of Antioch's walls, with the river Orontes as a youth swimming under her feet.

In recent years, what remains of the Roman and late antique city have suffered severe damage as a result of construction related to the expansion of Antakya. In the 1960s, the last surviving Roman bridge was demolished to make way for a modern two-lane bridge. The northern edge of Antakya has been growing rapidly over recent years, and this construction has begun to expose large portions of the ancient city, which are frequently bulldozed and rarely protected by the local museum.

Notable people

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ "The mixture of Roman, Greek, and Jewish elements admirably adapted Antioch for the great part it played in the early history of Christianity. The city was the cradle of the church." Encyclopedia Biblica
  2. ^ a b Glanville Downey, Ancient Antioch (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1963)
  3. ^ This article incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897), a publication now in the public domain.
  4. ^ Antioch, Article from the 1911 Encyclopedia
  5. ^ Gibbon, Edward, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 24, p. 800.
  6. ^ Acts 11:19
  7. ^ Acts 11
  8. ^ Acts 11:22
  9. ^ Acts 11:26
  10. ^ Acts 13:14–50
  11. ^ Ridebatur enim ut Cercops...barbam prae se ferens hircinam Ammianus XXII 14
  12. ^ New scourge from Egypt, A History of Armenia by Vahan M. Kurkjian
  13. ^ Sacred Destinations retrieved July 1, 2008

External references

External links

Coordinates: 36°12′N 36°09′E / 36.2°N 36.15°E / 36.2; 36.15


Travel guide

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANTIOCH. There were sixteen cities known to have been founded under this name by Hellenistic monarchs; and at least twelve others were renamed Antioch. But by far the most famous and important in the list was Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ (mod. Antakia), situated on the left bank of the Orontes, about 20 m. from the sea and its port, Seleucia of Pieria (Suedia). Founded as a Greek city in 300 B.C. by Seleucus Nicator, as soon as he had assured his grip upon western Asia by the victory of Ipsus (301), it was destined to rival Alexandria in Egypt as the chief city of the nearer East, and to be the cradle of gentile Christianity. The geographical character of the district north and north-east of the elbow of Orontes makes it the natural centre of Syria, so long as that country is held by a western power; and only Asiatic, and especially Arab, dynasties have neglected it for the oasis of Damascus. The two easiest routes from the Mediterranean, lying through the Orontes gorge and the Beilan Pass, converge in the plain of the Antioch Lake (Balük Geul or El Bahr) and are met there by (I) the road from the Amanic Gates (Baghche Pass) and western Commagene, which descends the valley of the Kara Su, (2) the roads from eastern Commagene and the Euphratean crossings at Samosata (Samsat) and Apamea Zeugma (Birejik), which descend the valleys of the Afrin and the Kuwaik, and (3) the road from the Euphratean ford at Thapsacus, which skirts the fringe of the Syrian steppe. Travellers by all these roads must proceed south by the single route of the Orontes valley. Alexander is said to have camped on the site of Antioch, and dedicated an altar to Zeus Bottiaeus, which lay in the northwest of the future city. But the first western sovereign practically to recognize the importance of the district was Antigonus, who began to build a city, Antigonia, on the Kara Su a few miles north of the situation of Antioch; but, on his defeat, he left it to serve as a quarry for his rival Seleucus. The latter is said to have appealed to augury to determine the exact site of his projected foundation; but less fantastic considerations went far to settle it. To build south of the river, and on and under the last east spur of Casius, was to have security against invasion from the north, and command of the abundant waters of the mountain. One torrent, the Onopniktes ("donkey-drowner"), flowed through the new city, and many other streams came down a few miles west into the beautiful suburb of Daphne. The site appears not to have been found wholly uninhabited. A settlement, Meroe, boasting a shrine of Anait, called by the Greeks the "Persian Artemis," had long been located there, and was ultimately included in the eastern suburbs of the new city; and there seems to have been a village on the spur (Mt. Silpius), of which we hear in late authors under the name lo, or lopolis. This name was always adduced as evidence by Antiochenes (e.g. Libanius) anxious to affiliate themselves to the Attic Ionians - an anxiety which is illustrated by the Athenian types used on the city's coins. At any rate, Io may have been a small early colony of trading Greeks (Javan). John Malalas mentions also a village, Bottia, in the plain by the river.

The original city of Seleucus was laid out in imitation of the "gridiron" plan of Alexandria by the architect, Xenarius. Libanius describes the first building and arrangement of this city (i. p. 300.17). The citadel was on Mt. Silpius and the city lay mainly on the low ground to the north, fringing the river. Two great colonnaded streets intersected in the centre. Shortly afterwards a second quarter was laid out, probably on the east and by Antiochus I., which, from an expression of Strabo, appears to have been the native, as contrasted with the Greek, town. It was enclosed by a wall of its own. In the Orontes, north of the city, lay a large island, and on this Seleucus Callinicus began a third walled "city," which was finished by Antiochus III. A fourth and last quarter was added by Antiochus IV. Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.); and thenceforth Antioch was known as Tetrapolis. From west to east the whole was about 4 m. in diameter and little less from north to south, this area including many large gardens. Of its population in the Greek period we know nothing. In the 4th century A.D. it was about 200,000 according to Chrysostom, who probably did not reckon slaves. About 4 m. west and beyond the suburb, Heraclea, lay the paradise of Daphne, a park of woods and waters, in the midst of which rose a great temple to the Pythian Apollo, founded by Seleucus I. and enriched with a cult-statue of the god, as Musagetes, by Bryaxis. A companion sanctuary of Hecate was constructed underground by Diocletian. The beauty and the lax morals of Daphne were celebrated all over the western world; and indeed Antioch as a whole shared in both these titles to fame. Its amenities awoke both the enthusiasm and the scorn of many writers of antiquity.

Antioch became the capital and court-city of the western Seleucid empire under Antiochus I., its counterpart in the east being Seleucia-on-Tigris; but its paramount importance dates from the battle of Ancyra (240 B.C.), which shifted the Seleucid centre of gravity from Asia Minor, and led indirectly to the rise of Pergamum. Thenceforward the Seleucids resided at Antioch and treated it as their capital par excellence. We know little of it in the Greek period, apart from Syria (q.v.), all our information coming from authors of the late Roman time. Among its great Greek buildings we hear only of the theatre, of which substructures still remain on the flank of Silpius, and of the royal palace, probably situated on the island. It enjoyed a great reputation for letters and the arts (Cicero pro Archia, 3); but the only names of distinction in these pursuits during the Seleucid period, that have come down to us, are Apollophanes, the Stoic, and one Phoebus, a writer on dreams. The mass of the population seems to have been only superficially Hellenic, and to have spoken Aramaic in non-official life. The nicknames which they gave to their later kings were Aramaic; and, except Apollo and Daphne, the great divinities of north Syria seem to have remained essentially native, such as the "Persian Artemis" of Meroe and Atargatis of Hierapolis Bambyce. We may infer, from its epithet, "Golden," that the external appearance of Antioch was magnificent; but the city needed constant restoration owing to the seismic disturbances to which the district has always been peculiarly liable. The first great earthquake is said by the native chronicler John Malalas, who tells us most that we know of the city, to have occurred in 148 B.C., and to have done immense damage. The inhabitants were turbulent, fickle and notoriously dissolute. In the many dissensions of the Seleucid house they took violent part, and frequently rose in rebellion, for example against Alexander Balas in 147 B.C., and Demetrius II. in 129. The latter, enlisting a body of Jews, punished his capital with fire and sword. In the last struggles of the Seleucid house, Antioch turned definitely against its feeble rulers, invited Tigranes of Armenia to occupy the city in 83, tried to unseat Antiochus XIII. in 65, and petitioned Rome against his restoration in the following year. Its wish prevailed, and it passed with Syria to the Roman Republic in 64 B.C., but remained a civitas libera.

The Romans both felt and expressed boundless contempt for the hybrid Antiochenes; but their emperors favoured the city from the first, seeing in it a more suitable capital for the eastern part of the empire than Alexandria could ever be, thanks to the isolated position of Egypt. To a certain extent they tried to make it an eastern Rome. Caesar visited it in 47 B.C., and confirmed its freedom. A great temple to Jupiter Capitolinus rose on Silpius, probably at the instance of Octavian, whose cause the city had espoused. A forum of Roman type was laid out. Tiberius built two long colonnades on the south towards Silpius. Agrippa and Tiberius enlarged the theatre, and Trajan finished their work. Antoninus Pius paved the great east to west artery with granite. A circus, other colonnades and great numbers of baths were built, and new aqueducts to supply them bore the names of Caesars, the finest being the work of Hadrian. The Roman client, King Herod, erected a long stow on the east, and Agrippa encouraged the growth of a new suburb south of this. Under the empire we chiefly hear of the earthquakes which shook Antioch. One, in A.D. 37, caused the emperor Caligula to send two senators to report on the condition of the city. Another followed in the next reign; and in 115, during Trajan's sojourn in the place with his army of Parthia, the whole site was convulsed, the landscape altered, and the emperor himself forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. He and his successor restored the city; but in 526, after minor shocks, the calamity returned in a terrible form, and thousands of lives were lost, largely those of Christians gathered to a great church assembly. We hear also of especially terrific earthquakes on the 29th of November 528 and the 31st of October 588.

At Antioch Germanicus died in A.D. 19, and his body was burnt in the forum. Titus set up the Cherubim, captured from the Jewish temple, over one of the gates. Commodus had Olympic games celebrated at Antioch, and in A.D. 266 the town was suddenly raided by the Persians, who slew many in the theatre. In 387 there was a great sedition caused by a new tax levied by order of Theodosius, and the city was punished by the loss of its metropolitan status. Zeno, who renamed it Theopolis, restored many of its public buildings just before the great earthquake of 526, whose destructive work was completed by the Persian Chosroes twelve years later. Justinian made an effort to revive it, and Procopius describes his repairing of the walls; but its glory was past.

The chief interest of Antioch under the empire lies in its relation to Christianity. Evangelized perhaps by Peter, according to the tradition upon which the Antiochene patriarchate still rests its claim for primacy (cf. Acts xi.), and certainly by Barnabas and Saul, its converts were the first to be called "Christians." They multiplied exceedingly, and by the time of Theodosius were reckoned by Chrysostom at about 10o,000 souls. Between 252 and 300 A.D. ten assemblies of the church were held at Antioch and it became the residence of the patriarch of Asia. When Julian visited the place in 362 the impudent population railed at him for his favour to Jewish and pagan rites, and to revenge itself for the closing of its great church of Constantine, burned down the temple of Apollo in Daphne. The emperor's rough and severe habits and his rigid administration prompted Antiochene lampoons, to which he replied in the curious satiric apologia, still extant, which he called Misopogon. His successor, Valens, who endowed Antioch with a new forum having a statue of Valentinian on a central column, reopened the great church, which stood till the sack of Chosroes in 538. Antioch gave its name to a certain school of Christian thought, distinguished by literal interpretation of the Scriptures and insistence on the human limitations of Jesus. Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia were the leaders of this school. The principal local saint was Simeon Stylites, who performed his penance on a hill some 40 m. east. His body was brought to the city and buried in a building erected under the emperor Leo. In A.D. 635, during the reign of Heraclius, Antioch passed into Saracen hands, and decayed apace for more than 300 years; but in 969 it was recovered for Byzantium by Michael Burza and Peter the Eunuch. In 1084 the Seljuk Turks captured it but held it only fourteen years, yielding place to the crusaders, who besieged it for nine months, enduring frightful sufferings. Being at last betrayed, it was given to Bohemund, prince of Tarentum, and it remained the capital of a Latin principality for nearly two centuries. It fell at last to the Egyptian, Bibars, in 1268, after a great destruction and slaughter, from which it never revived. Little remains now of the ancient city, except colossal ruins of aqueducts and part of the Roman walls, which are used as quarries for modern Antakia; but no scientific examination of the site has been made.

A statue in the Vatican and a silver statuette in the British Museum perpetuate the type of its great effigy of the civic Fortune of Antioch - a majestic seated figure, with Orontes as a youth issuing from under her feet.

Antakia, the modern town, is still of considerable importance. Pop. about 25,000, including Ansarieh, Jews, and a large body of Christians of several denominations about 8000 strong. Though superseded by Aleppo as capital of N. Syria, it is still the centre of a large district, growing in wealth and productiveness with the draining of its central lake, undertaken by a French company. The principal cultures are tobacco, maize and cotton, and the mulberry for silk production. Liquorice also is collected and exported. In 1822 (as in 1872) Antakia suffered by earthquake, and when Ibrahim Pasha made it his headquarters in 1835, it had only some 5000 inhabitants. Its hopes, based on a Euphrates valley railway, which was to have started from its port of Suedia (Seleucia), were doomed to disappointment, and it has suffered repeatedly from visitations of cholera; but it has nevertheless grown rapidly and will resume much of its old importance when a railway is made down the lower Orontes valley. It is a centre of American mission enterprise, and has a British viceconsul.

See C. O. Muller, Antiquitates Antiochenae (1839); A. Freund, Beitrage zur antiochenischen. .. Stadtchronik (1882); R. Forster, in Jahrbuch of Berlin Arch. Institute, xii. (1897). Also authorities for Syria. (D. G. H.)

Synods Of Antioch. Beginning with three synods convened between 264 and 269 in the matter of Paul of Samosata, more than thirty councils were held in Antioch in ancient times. Most of these dealt with phases of the Arian and of the Christological controversies. The most celebrated took place in the summer of 341 at the dedication of the golden Basilica, and is therefore called in encaeniis (iv iyKawvLoas), in dedicatione. Nearly a hundred bishops were present, all from the Orient, but the bishop of Rome was not represented. The emperor Constantius attended in person. The council approved three creeds (Hahn, §§ 153-155). Whether or no the so-called "fourth formula" (Hahn, § 156) is to be ascribed to a continuation of this synod or to a subsequent but distinct assembly of the same year, its aim is like that of the first three; while repudiating certain Arian formulas it avoids the Athanasian shibboleth "homoousios." The somewhat colourless compromise doubtless proceeded from the party of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and proved not inacceptable to the more nearly orthodox members of the synod. The twenty-five canons adopted regulate the so-called metropolitan constitution of the church. Ecclesiastical power is vested chiefly in the metropolitan (later called archbishop), and the semi-annual provincial synod (cf. Nicaea, canon 5), which he summons and over which he presides. Consequently the powers of country bishops (chorepiscopi) are curtailed, and direct recourse to the emperor is forbidden. The sentence of one judicatory is to be respected by other judicatories of equal rank; re-trial may take place only before that authority to whom appeal regularly lies (see canons 3, 4, 6). Without due invitation, a bishop may not ordain, or in any other way interfere with affairs lying outside his proper territory; nor may he appoint his own successor. Penalties are set on the refusal to celebrate Easter in accordance with the Nicene decree, as well as on leaving a church before the service of the Eucharist is completed. The numerous objections made by eminent scholars in past centuries to the ascription of these twenty-five canons to the synod in encaeniis have been elaborately stated and probably refuted by Hefele. The canons formed part of the Codex canonum used at Chalcedon in 451 and passed over into the later collections of East and West.

The canons are printed in Greek by Mansi ii. 1307 ff., Bruns i. 80 ff., Lauchert 43 ff., and translated by Hefele, Councils, ii. 67 ff. and by H. R. Percival in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, xiv. 108 ff. The four dogmatic formulas are given by G. Ludwig Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbole, 3rd edition (Breslau, 1897), 183 ff.; for translations compare the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, iv. 461 ff., ii. 39 ff., ix. 12, ii. 44, and Hefele, ii. 76 ff. For full titles see Councils. (W. W. R.*)


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Antioch

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Antioch

  1. An ancient city whose remains are in modern Turkey

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  1. In Syria, on the river Orontes, about 16 miles from the Mediterranean, and some 300 miles north of Jerusalem. It was the metropolis of Syria, and afterwards became the capital of the Roman province in Asia. It ranked third, after Rome and Alexandria, in point of importance, of the cities of the Roman empire. It was called the "first city of the East." Christianity was early introduced into it (Acts 11:19, 21, 24), and the name "Christian" was first applied here to its professors (Acts 11:26). It is intimately connected with the early history of the gospel (Acts 6:5; 11:19, 27, 28, 30; 12:25; 15:22-35; Gal 2:11, 12). It was the great central point whence missionaries to the Gentiles were sent forth. It was the birth-place of the famous Christian father Chrysostom, who died A.D. 407. It bears the modern name of Antakya, and is now a miserable, decaying Turkish town. Like Philippi, it was raised to the rank of a Roman colony. Such colonies were ruled by "praetors" (R.V. marg., Acts 16:20, 21).
  2. In the extreme north of Pisidia; was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:14). Here they found a synagogue and many proselytes. They met with great success in preaching the gospel, but the Jews stirred up a violent opposition against them, and they were obliged to leave the place. On his return, Paul again visited Antioch for the purpose of confirming the disciples (Acts 14:21). It has been identified with the modern Yalobatch, lying to the east of Ephesus.
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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The once famous "Queen of the East", which, with its population of more than half a million, its beautiful site, its trade and culture, and its important military position, was a not unworthy rival of Alexandria, the second city of the Roman empire (cf. Josephus, Bel. Jud., III, 2, 4).

Founded in 300 B. C. by Seleucus I (Nicator), King of Syria, Antioch stood on the Orontes (Nahr el Asi), at the point or junction of the Lebanon and of the Taurus ranges. Its harbour, fifteen miles distant, was Seleucia (cf. Acts, xiii, 4). The name by which it was distinguished (’Antiochía ‘e pròs (or ’epi) dáphne, now, Bet el ma, five miles west from Antioch) came from the ill-famed sacred grove, which, endowed with the right of asylum, and so once, by "a rare chance", the refuge of innocence (cf. II Mach., iv, 33 sq.), had become the haunt of every foulness, whence the expression Daphnici mores. However, the vivid description of Antioch's immorality, largely the result of the greater mingling of races and civilizations, may be exaggerated; as said in another connexion [cf. Lepin, Jesus Messie, etc. (2d ed., Paris, 1905), 54, note], les braves gens n'ont pas d'histoire, and of that class there must have been a goodly number (Josephus, Bel. Jud., VII, 33; Acts, xi, 21). The Jews had been among the original settlers, and, as such, had been granted by the founder here, as in other cities built by him, equal rights, with the Macedonians and the Greeks (Jos. Ant., XII, iii, 1; Contra Ap., II, iv). The influence of the Antiochene Jews, living, as in Alexandria, under a governor of their own, and forming a large percentage of the population, was very great (Josephus, Ant. Rom., XII, iii, 1; Bel. Jud., VII, iii, 3, VII, v, 2; Harnack, Mission u. Ausbreitung d. Christenthums, p. 5, note 2). Unknown disciples, dispersed by the persecution in which Stephen was put to death, brought Christianity to Antioch (Acts, xi, 19). Cf. Acts, vi, 5, where the author characteristically mentions the place of origin of Nicholas, one of the seven deacons. In Antioch the new Faith was preached to, and accepted by the Greeks with such success that Christianity received here its name, perhaps originally intended as a nickname by the witty Antiochenes (Acts, xi, 26). The new community, once acknowledged by the mother-church of Jerusalem (Acts, xi, 22 sq.), soon manifested its vitality and its intelligence of the faith by its spontaneous act of generosity toward the brethren of Jerusalem (Acts, xi, 27-30). The place of apprenticeship of the Apostle of the Gentiles (Acts, xi, 26), Antioch, became the headquarters of the great missionaries Paul and Barnabas, first together, later Paul alone. Starting thence on their Apostolic journeys they brought back thither the report of their work (Acts, xiii, 2 sq.; xiv, 25-27; xv, 35 sq.; xviii, 22, 23). Acts, xv (cf. Gal., ii, 1-10) clearly evidences the importance of the Antiochene Church. There arose the great dispute concerning the circumcision, and her resolute action occasioned the recognition of the "catholicity" of Christianity.

II. ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA

Like its Syrian namesake, it was founded by Seleucus Nicator situated on the Sebaste road. This road left the high-road from Ephesus to the East at Apamea, went to Iconium and then southeast through the Cilician Gates to Syria (cf. Acts, xviii, 23). The city lay south of the Sultan Dagh, on the confines of Pisidia, whence its name of "Antioch-towards-Pisidia" (Strabo, XII, 8). Definitively a Roman possession since Amytas's death (25 B. C.), Augustus had made it (6 B. C.) a colony, with a view to checking the brigands of the Taurus mountains (II Cor., xi, 26). Beside its Roman inhabitants and older Greek and Phrygian population, Antioch had a prosperous Jewish colony whose origin probably went back to Antiochus the Great (223-178 B. C.) (cf. Josephus, Ant., XII, iii, 3 sq.), and whose influence seems to have been considerable (cf. Acts, xiii, 45, 50; xiv, 20 sq.; Harnack, "Die Mission", etc., p. 2, note 2 and ref.). Acts, xiii, 14-52 describes at length the sojourn of St. Paul at Antioch. The episode, clearly important to the writer, has been justly compared to Luke, iv, 16-30; it is a kind of programme-scene where Paul's Gospel is outlined. A longer stay of the missionaries is implied in Acts, xiii, 49. On his return from Derbe, St. Paul revisited Antioch (Acts, xiv, 20). Two other visits seem implied in Acts, xvi, 4, 6; xviii, 23.

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.
This article needs to be merged with ANTIOCH (Jewish Encyclopedia).
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Simple English

Antioch on the Orontes[1] was an ancient city on the eastern side (left bank) of the Orontes River on the site of the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.

It was founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals. Antioch became a rival of Alexandria as the chief city of the nearer East and the cradle of gentile Christianity. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis.

The geographical character of the district north and north-east of the elbow of Orontes makes it the perfect natural centre of Syria, so long as that country is held by a western power; and only Asiatic, and especially Arab, dynasties have neglected it for the oasis of Damascus. During the Crusades, the Christian crusaders laid siege to Antioch. One Wijerd Jelckamas ancestors from his father's side of the family had died at the Siege of Antioch.[2] The siege of Antioch (lost by the Crusaders, initially), was a turning point in the Crusades.

History of Antioch

Alexander the Great is said to have camped on the site of Antioch, and dedicated an altar to Zeus Bottiaeus[3]

After Alexander's death in 323 BC, his generals divided up the territory he had conquered. Seleucus I Nicator won the territory of Syria, and he founded four "sister cities" in northwestern Syria - Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea and Laodicea-on-the-Sea. Although Seleucia Pieria was at first the Seleucid capital city in northwestern Syria, Antioch soon rose above it to become the Syrian capital.

The original city of Seleucus was laid out in imitation of the plan of Alexandria by the architect Xenarius. The new city was populated by a mix of local settlers, Athenians brought from the nearby city of Antigonia, Macedonians, and Jews (who were given full status from the beginning). The total free population of Antioch at its foundation has been estimated at between 17,000 and 25,000, not including slaves and native settlers.[3] During the late Hellenistic period and Early Roman period, Antioch population reached its peak of over 500,000 inhabitants (estimates vary from 400,000 to 600,000) and was the third largest city in the world after Rome and Alexandria. By the 4th century, Antioch's declining population was about 200,000 according to Chrysostom, a figure which again does not include slaves.

Antioch became the capital and court-city of the western Seleucid empire under Antiochus I, its counterpart in the east being Seleucia on the Tigris.

The Romans both felt and expressed boundless contempt for the hybrid Antiochenes; but their emperors favoured the city from the first, seeing in it a more suitable capital for the eastern part of the empire than Alexandria could ever be, because of the isolated position of Egypt. To a certain extent they tried to make it an eastern Rome. The chief interest of Antioch under the empire lies in its relation to Christianity.

Evangelized perhaps by Peter, according to the tradition upon which the Antiochene patriarchate still rests its claim for primacy (cf. Acts xi.), and certainly by Barnabas and Paul, who here preached his first Christian sermon in a synagogue, its converts were the first to be called Christians (Acts 11:26).

In 638, during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, Antioch was conquered by the Muslim Arabs during the Battle of Iron Bridge, and became known in Arabic as أنطاكيّة Antākiyyah.

In recent years, what remains of the Roman and late antique city have suffered severe damage as a result of construction related to the expansion of Antakya. In the 1960s, the last surviving Roman bridge was demolished to make way for a modern two-lane bridge. The northern edge of Antakya has been growing rapidly over recent years, and this construction has begun to expose large portions of the ancient city, which are frequently bulldozed and rarely protected by the local museum.

References

  1. Greek: Αντιόχεια η επί Δάφνη, Αντιόχεια η επί Ορόντου or Αντιόχεια η Μεγάλη; Latin: Antiochia ad Orontem; also Antiochia dei Siri, Great Antioch or Syrian Antioch
  2. J.J. Kalma. Grote Pier Van Kimswerd (1970), p. 51. ISBN 90-7001-013-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Glanville Downey, Ancient Antioch (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1963)

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