Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River
Orontes River
The Orontes or ‘Āṣī is a river of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.It was anciently the chief river of the Levant, also called Draco, Typhon and Axius...

. It is near the modern city of Antakya
Antakya is the seat of the Hatay Province in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. The mayor is Lütfü Savaş.Known as Antioch in ancient times, the city has historical significance for Christianity, as it was the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians for the first...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...


Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire...

, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 as the chief city of the Near East and was a cradle of Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

History of Christianity
The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, its followers and the Church with its various denominations, from the first century to the present. Christianity was founded in the 1st century by the followers of Jesus of Nazareth who they believed to be the Christ or chosen one of God...

. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis
Syrian tetrapolis
The Syrian Tetrapolis consisted of the cities Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea, and Laodicea in Syria.-References:* Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., s.v. 'Seleucia'....


362    A mysterious fire destroys the temple of Apollo at Daphne outside Antioch.

363    Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which would bring about his own death.

526    An earthquake kills about 300,000 people in Syria and Antiochia.

526    A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000.

969    Byzantine troops occupy Antioch Syria

1098    First Crusade: Antioch falls to the crusaders after an eight-month siege.