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Antakya(äntäk`yä), city (1990 pop. 124,443), capital of HatayHatay
, formerly sanjak of Alexandretta,
province (1990 pop. 1,002,252), 2,141 sq mi (5,545 sq km), S Turkey, including the cities of Antioch (now Antakya) and Alexandretta (now Iskenderun).
..... Click the link for more information. prov., S Turkey, on the Orontes (Asi) River, near the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of Mt. Silpius. Antioch is the trade center for a region where grains, cotton, grapes, olives, and vegetables are grown. The city's manufactures include processed foods, textiles, and leather goods. There is an archaeological museum.
Modern Antioch occupies only a fraction of the area of the ancient city, most of which is buried under alluvial deposits. Important archaeological finds in the area include the Great Chalice of Antioch (see chalicechalice
[Lat.,=cup], ancient name for a drinking cup, retained for the eucharistic or communion cup. Its use commemorates the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Celebrated examples are the Great Chalice of Antioch (Syriac), of embossed silver, excavated there in 1910 and
..... Click the link for more information. ), said by some to be the Holy Grail, and, at Daphne, an ancient suburban resort, splendid Roman mosaics (1st–6th cent. A.D.), mostly copies of lost paintings and held to represent the height of mosaic art.
The city was founded c.300 B.C. by Seleucus I, king of Syria, and named for his father Antiochus, a Macedonian general. Situated at the crossing of north-south and east-west trade routes, the city soon became a rich commercial center. Antioch was occupied by Pompey in 64 B.C. and quickly became an important Roman military, commercial, and cultural center. The Romans built great temples, a forum, a theater, baths, aqueducts, and other public buildings. The two main streets, at right angles to each other, were lined with marble colonnades and adorned with temples, palaces, and statues.
Antioch was an early center of Christianity; Peter and Paul preached there. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called Christians after they severed themselves from the synagogue about 20 years after Jesus' death. Antioch is one of the three original patriarchates (see patriarchpatriarch,
in Christian churches, title of certain exalted bishops, implying authority over a number of other bishops. There were originally three patriarchates: the West, held by the bishop of Rome (the pope; see papacy; Benedict XVI dropped the title in 2006), Alexandria, and
..... Click the link for more information. ). Aurelian, who recovered the city from Shapur I of Persia, erected (3d cent.) more magnificent buildings and churches. The city played a significant role in the theological controversies of the early Christian church (see ChristianityChristianity,
religion founded in Palestine by the followers of Jesus. One of the world's major religions, it predominates in Europe and the Americas, where it has been a powerful historical force and cultural influence, but it also claims adherents in virtually every country of
..... Click the link for more information. ). St. John Chrysostom estimated its population (4th cent.) at 200,000, excluding children and slaves.
In 526 the city suffered a severe earthquake. It was again captured by Persia in 540 and taken by the Arabs in 637. Nicephorus II reconquered it (969) for the Byzantine Empire, but in 1085 it fell, through treason, to the Seljuk Turks. The army of the First Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade
In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
..... Click the link for more information. ) captured Antioch in 1098 after a half-year siege. Bohemond I was made prince of Antioch. His principality, which extended from Iskenderun (Alexandretta) southward beyond Latakia, was one of the most powerful of the Crusaders' states. In 1268 the Mamluks captured and sacked the city; it was further damaged by Timur in 1401.
In 1516 Antioch, by then much reduced in importance, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. The city was held (1832–40) by Muhammad Ali of Egypt, and in 1872 it was badly damaged by an earthquake. After World War I, Antioch was held as part of French Syria under a League of Nations mandate. In 1939 it was restored to Turkey.