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 Anti-
och) was an ancient city on the eastern side of the
Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya,
Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by
Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great’s gener-
als, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief
city of the nearer East and was a cradle of gentile Chris-
tianity. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetra-
polis. Its residents were known as Antiochenes.
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
the road from the Amanic Gates (Baghche Pass) and
western Commagene, which descends the valley of
the Kara Su,
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.
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 sub-
urbs of Antioch. There was a village on the spur of
Mount Silpius named Io, or Iopolis. This name was
always adduced as evidence by Antiochenes (e.g. Libani-
us) 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 sa