corner graphic

Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Antioch in Syria

Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

an´ti -ok , (Ἀντιόχεια , Antiócheia ).

(2) Antioch in Syria. - I n 301 bc, shortly after the battle of Ipsus, which made him master of Syria, Seleucus Nicator rounded the city of Antioch, naming it after his father Antiochus. Guided, it was said, by the flight of an eagle, he fixed its site on the left bank of the Orontes (the El-'Asi) about 15 miles from the sea. He also rounded and fortified Seleucia to be the port of his new capital. The city was enlarged and embellished by successive kings of the Seleucid Dynasty, notably by Seleucus Callinicus (246-226 bc), and Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 bc). In 83 bc, on the collapse of the Seleucid monarchy, Antioch fell into the hands of Tigranes, king of Armenia, who held Syria until his defeat by the Romans fourteen years later. In 64 bc the country was definitely annexed to Rome by Pompey, who granted considerable privileges to Antioch, which now became the capital of the Roman province of Syria. In the civil wars which terminated in the establishment of the Roman principate, Antioch succeeded in attaching itself constantly to the winning side, declaring for Caesar after the fall of Pompey, and for Augustus after the battle of Actium. A R oman element was added to its population, and several of the emperors contributed to its adornment. Already a splendid city under the Seleucids, Antioch was made still more splendid by its Roman patrons and masters. It was the "queen of the East," the third city, after Rome and Alexandria, of the Roman world. About five miles distant from the city was the suburb of Daphne, a spot sacred to Apollo and Artemis. This suburb, beautified by groves and fountains, and embellished by the Seleucids and the Romans with temples and baths, was the pleasure resort of the city, and "Daphnic morals" became a by-word. From its foundation Antioch was a cosmopolitan city. Though not a seaport, its situation was favorable to commercial development, and it absorbed much of the trade of the Levant. Seleucus Nicator had settled numbers of Jews in it, granting them equal rights with the Greeks (Ant. , XII , iii, 1). Syrians, Greeks, Jews, and in later days, Romans, constituted the main elements of the population. The citizens were a vigorous, turbulent and pushing race, notorious for their commercial aptitude, the licentiousness of their pleasures, and the scurrility of their wit. Literature and the arts, however, were not neglected.

In the early history of Christianity, Antioch occupies a distinguished place. The large and flourishing Jewish colony offered an immediate field for Christian teaching, and the cosmopolitanism of the city tended to widen the outlook of the Christian community, which refused to be confined within the narrow limits of Judaism. Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch, was one of the first deacons (Acts 6:5 ). Antioch was the cradle of Gentile Christianity and of Christian missionary enterprise. It was at the instance of the church at Antioch that the council at Jerusalem decided to relieve Gentile Christians of the burden of the Jewish law (Acts 15). Antioch was Paul's starting-point in his three missionary journeys (Acts 13:1 ; Acts 15:36 ; Acts 18:23 ), and thither he returned from the first two as to his headquarters (Acts 14:26 ; Acts 18:22 ). Here also the term "Christian," doubtless originally a nickname, was first applied to the followers of Jesus (Acts 11:26 ). The honorable record of the church at Antioch as the mother-church of Gentile Christianity gave her a preeminence which she long enjoyed. The most distinguished of her later sons was John Chrysostom. The city suffered severely from earthquakes, but did not lose its importance until the Arab conquest restored Damascus to the first place among Syrian cities. Antioch still bears its ancient name (Antakiyeh), but is now a poor town with a few thousand inhabitants.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and were generously provided by the folks at WordSearch Software.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Antioch in Syria'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/a/antioch-in-syria.html. 1915.

Search for…
Enter query in the box:
 or 
Choose a letter to browse:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M 
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  Z 

 
Prev Entry
Antimony
Next Entry
Antioch of Pisidia
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology