Antioch


Antioch
Antiochian /an'tee oh"kee euhn/, n., adj.
/an"tee ok'/, n.
1. Arabic, Antakiya. Turkish, Antakya. a city in S Turkey: capital of the ancient kingdom of Syria 300-64 B.C. 66,520.
2. a city in W California. 43,559.

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City (pop., 1997: 139,046), southern Turkey.

Founded in 300 BC by the Seleucid dynasty, Antioch was the centre of the Seleucid power until 64 BC, when it became the capital of the province of Syria under the Roman Republic and Empire. An early centre of Christianity, the city was the headquarters of St. Paul с AD 47–55. Despite being briefly occupied by the Persians in the 6th century, it remained part of the Byzantine Empire until the Arab invasion of the 7th century. Thereafter it returned to Byzantine rule (969) and was seized by the Turkish Seljūq dynasty (1084) before being captured by the Crusaders in 1098. (See Crusades.) From 1268 it was ruled by the Mamlūk dynasty, and it was absorbed by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. The city remained under their control until World War I (1914–18), when it was transferred to Syria. It was made part of the Republic of Turkey in 1939. The economy of the modern town is based on agriculture and light manufacturing.

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      city, Contra Costa county, western California, U.S. Lying on the San Joaquin River, it was founded as Smith's Landing in 1849. In 1851 it was renamed for the biblical Antioch, and it developed from a small agricultural community into a major industrial complex. Many national manufacturers have large plants there, producing paper and fibreboard, chemicals, and steel. The city hosts an annual jamboree and a blues festival. Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, which was closed to the public for 16 years, protects the habitat of several endangered species. Immediately to the northwest, at the mouth of the Sacramento River, is the Delta region, which supports fruit orchards and facilities for water sports, fishing, and hunting. Inc. 1872. Pop. (1990) 62,195; (2000) 90,532.

▪ ancient city, west-central Turkey
also called  Antioch Pisidian,  Greek  Antiocheia Pisidias,  

      ancient city in Phrygia, near the Pisidian border, close to modern Yalvaç, in west-central Turkey. Founded by Seleucus I Nicator (c. 358–281 BC), it was made a free city in 189 BC by the Romans, who took direct control about 25 BC; soon thereafter the emperor Augustus made it a colony with the name Caesarea Antiochia. It became the centre of civil and military administration in southern Galatia, and in the time of the emperor Claudius I (reigned AD 41–54), St. Paul (Paul, the Apostle, Saint) made it one of the centres of his mission in that province. Antioch was finally assigned to Pisidia under the emperor Diocletian's provincial reorganization. Its ruins include a large rock cutting which may have held the temple of Men Ascaënus, the local Phrygian deity.

▪ medieval principality, Turkey
      a principality centred on the city of Antioch, founded by European Christians in territory taken from the Muslims in 1098, during the First Crusade. It survived as a European outpost in the East for nearly two centuries.

      Antioch's territory included the well-fortified, predominantly Christian city, the leading commercial centre of the Latin East, and an area that stretched north into Cilicia, east to the frontiers of Edessa and Aleppo, and south into central Syria. Its first prince, Bohemond I (reigned 1098–1111), and regents, Tancred (1104–12) and Roger, prince of Antioch (regent from 1112 to 1119), were successful in their attempts to expand the state, but the Muslims thwarted their campaigns to conquer Aleppo. Antioch's princes often died in battle, leaving heirs too young to rule; succession disputes were frequent, and the king of Jerusalem often intervened to restore order.

      The state prospered economically despite domestic unrest and Muslim onslaughts. Because trade was vital to Christians and Muslims alike, agreements were reached that enabled trade to continue despite religious differences. Spices, dyes, silk, and porcelain came on caravans from the East and were shipped to European markets. Nearby orchards and olive groves supplied sweet lemons and olive oil for export, and wood from the forests of Lebanon was traded to the Egyptians in return for fine cloth.

      In 1187 Bohemond III (reigned 1163–1201) of Antioch obtained guarantees for the principality from the Muslim leader Saladin (reigned 1169–93), after Saladin had conquered a large part of the kingdom of Jerusalem. After Bohemond's death, Antioch was torn by wars over the succession, and, though peace was restored, these disputes gave the Muslims time to gather their forces. By 1268 Antioch's territory had been severely diminished, and the city itself surrendered to the attacking army of Baybars I (1260–77), Mamlūk sultan of Egypt and Syria.

▪ modern and ancient city, south-central Turkey

      populous city of ancient Syria, and now a major town of south-central Turkey. It lies near the mouth of the Orontes River, about 12 miles (19 km) northwest of the Syrian border.

      Antioch was founded in 300 BC by Seleucus I Nicator, a former general of Alexander the Great. The new city soon became the western terminus of the caravan routes over which goods were brought from Persia and elsewhere in Asia to the Mediterranean. Antioch's strategic command of north-south and east-west roads across northwestern Syria greatly contributed to its growth and prosperity in Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine times. The suburb of Daphne, five miles to the south, was a favourite pleasure resort and residential area for Antioch's upper classes; and the seaport Seleucia Pieria, at the mouth of the Orontes River, was the city's harbour.

      Antioch was the centre of the Seleucid kingdom until 64 BC, when it was annexed by Rome and made the capital of their province of Syria. It became the third largest city of the Roman Empire in size and importance (after Rome and Alexandria) and possessed magnificent temples, theatres, aqueducts, and baths. The city was the headquarters of the Roman garrison in Syria, one of whose principal duties was the defense of the empire's eastern border from Persian attacks. Antioch was also one of the earliest centres of Christianity; it was there that the followers of Christ were first called Christians, and the city was the headquarters of the missionary St. Paul about AD 47–55.

      In the 4th century AD Antioch became the seat of a new Roman office that administered all the provinces on the empire's eastern flank. Because the church of Antioch had the distinction of having been founded by the Apostles Peter and Paul, its bishop ranked with the bishops of the other apostolic foundations, Jerusalem, Rome, and Alexandria (Constantinople was accepted in this category later). The bishops of Antioch thus became influential in theology and ecclesiastic politics.

      Antioch prospered in the 4th and 5th centuries from nearby olive plantations, but the 6th century brought a series of disasters from which the city never fully recovered. A fire in 525 was followed by earthquakes in 526 and 528, and the city was captured temporarily by the Persians in 540 and 611. Antioch was absorbed into the Arab caliphate in 637. Under the Arabs, it shrank to the status of a small town. The Byzantines recaptured the city in 969, and it served as a frontier fortification until taken by the Seljuq Turks in 1084. In 1098 it was captured by the Crusaders, who made it the capital of one of their principalities, and in 1268 the city was taken by the Mamlūks, who razed it to the ground. Antioch never recovered from this last disaster, and it had declined to a small village when taken by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. It remained part of the Ottoman Empire until after World War I, when it was transferred to Syria under French mandate. France allowed the town and surrounding area to rejoin Turkey in 1939.

      Remarkably few remains of the ancient city are now visible, since most of them lie buried beneath thick alluvial deposits from the Orontes River. Nevertheless, important archaeological discoveries have been made in the locality. Excavations conducted in 1932–39 in Daphne and Antioch uncovered a large number of fine mosaic floors from both private houses and public buildings. Dating largely from the Roman imperial period, many of the floors represent copies of famous ancient paintings which otherwise would have been unknown. The mosaics are now exhibited in the local Archaeological Museum.

      The activities of the modern town are based mainly on the agricultural produce of the adjacent area, including the intensively cultivated Amik plain. The chief crops are wheat, cotton, grapes, rice, olives, vegetables, and fruit. The town has soap and olive-oil factories and cotton ginning and other processing industries. Silk, shoes, and knives are also manufactured. Pop. (2000) 144,910.

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Universalium. 2010.

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