30 Facts About Antioch


Antioch on the Orontes was a Hellenistic city on the eastern side of the Orontes River.

FactSnippet No. 525,823

Antioch was founded near the end of the fourth century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals.

FactSnippet No. 525,824

The city's location offered geographical, military, and economic benefits to its occupants; Antioch was heavily involved in the spice trade and lay within easy reach of the Silk Road and the Royal Road.

FactSnippet No. 525,825

Antioch was one of the most important cities in the eastern Mediterranean half of the Roman Empire.

FactSnippet No. 525,826

Antioch was called "the cradle of Christianity" as a result of its longevity and the pivotal role that it played in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity.

FactSnippet No. 525,827

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.

FactSnippet No. 525,828

Antioch soon rose above Seleucia Pieria to become the Syrian capital.

FactSnippet No. 525,829

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.

FactSnippet No. 525,830

Antioch had a mixed pagan and Christian population, which Ammianus Marcellinus implies lived quite harmoniously together.

FactSnippet No. 525,831

Antioch shut up the chief Christian church of the city, before the investigations proved that the fire was the result of an accident.

FactSnippet No. 525,832

Antioch was a chief center of early Christianity during Roman times.

FactSnippet No. 525,833

Evangelized, among others, by Peter himself, according to the tradition upon which the Patriarch of Antioch still rests its claim for primacy, and certainly later by Barnabas and Paul.

FactSnippet No. 525,834

John Chrysostom writes that when Ignatius of Antioch was bishop in the city, the demos, probably meaning the number of free adult men and women without counting children and slaves, numbered 200, 000.

FactSnippet No. 525,835

Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, is an Oriental Orthodox Church with autocephalous patriarchate founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the 1st century, according to its tradition.

FactSnippet No. 525,836

Antioch divided the Roman Empire, and since then Antioch was under Constantinople's rule.

FactSnippet No. 525,837

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.

FactSnippet No. 525,838

Antioch's body was brought to the city and buried in a building erected under the emperor Leo.

FactSnippet No. 525,839

In 637, during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, Antioch was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate during the Battle of the Iron Bridge.

FactSnippet No. 525,840

Tancred expanded the territory of Antioch by conquering Byzantine Cilicia, Tarsus, and Adana in 1101 and founding the principality, Byzantine Latakia, in 1103.

FactSnippet No. 525,841

In 1107 Bohemond enraged by an earlier defeat when he, allianced with Edessa, attacked Aleppo, and Baldwin of Bourcq and Joscelin of Courtenay were briefly captured, as well as the Byzantines recapturing of Cilicia and the harbor and lower town of Lattakieh, he renamed Tancred as the regent of Antioch and sailed for Europe with the intent of gaining support for an attack against the Greeks.

FactSnippet No. 525,842

Louis refused to help Antioch defend against the Turks and to lead an expedition against Aleppo, and instead decided to finish his pilgrimage to Jerusalem rather than focus on the military aspect of the Crusades.

FactSnippet No. 525,843

Antioch was held captive for sixteen years, and as the stepfather of the Empress Maria, he was ransomed by Manuel for 120, 000 gold dinars in 1176.

FactSnippet No. 525,844

Leo made a failed attempt at capturing Antioch believing the city would be weakened with the absence of Bohemond.

FactSnippet No. 525,845

However, on the other hand, the city commune of Antioch supported Bohemond IV of Antioch, on the grounds that he was the closest blood relative to the last ruling prince, Bohemond III.

FactSnippet No. 525,846

In 1216 Leo installed Raymond-Roupen as prince of Antioch, and ending all military aspect of the struggle between Tripoli and Lesser Armenia, but the citizens again revolted against Raymond-Roupen in c and Bohemond of Tripoli was recognised as the fourth prince of that name.

FactSnippet No. 525,847

Antioch was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the conquest of Syria in 1516.

FactSnippet No. 525,848

Between 1831 and 1840, Antioch was the military headquarters of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt during the Egyptian occupation of Syria, and served as a model site for the modernizing reforms he wished to institute.

FactSnippet No. 525,849

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, Wellesley College, and later the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University and its affiliate Dumbarton Oaks.

FactSnippet No. 525,850

Principal excavations of Mosaics at Antioch led by Princeton University in March 1932 recovered nearly 300 mosaics.

FactSnippet No. 525,851

The majority of the Antioch mosaics are from the fourth and fifth centuries, Antioch's golden age, though others from earlier times have survived as well.

FactSnippet No. 525,852