Antioch United States
Antioch on the Orontes (; Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou; also Syrian Antioch) was an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the current city of Antakya, Turkey, to which the ancient city lends its name.
Antioch was founded near the end of the fourth century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals. The city's geographical, military, and economic location benefited its occupants, particularly such features as the spice trade, the Silk Road, and the Royal Road. It eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East. The city was the capital of the Seleucid Empire until 63 BC, when the Romans took control, making it the seat of the governor of the province of Syria. From the early fourth century, the city was the seat of the Count of the Orient, head of the regional administration of sixteen provinces. It was also the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch was one of the most important cities in the eastern Mediterranean half of the Roman Empire. It covered almost 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) within the walls of which one quarter was mountain, leaving 750 acres (3.0 km2) about one-fifth the area of Rome within the Aurelian Walls.
Antioch was called "the cradle of Christianity" as a result of its longevity and the pivotal role that it played in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. The Christian New Testament asserts that the name "Christian" first emerged in Antioch. It was one of the four cities of Seleucis of Syria, and its residents were known as Antiochenes. The city may have had up to 250,000 people during Augustan times, but it declined to relative insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes, and a change in trade routes, which no longer passed through Antioch from the far east following the Mongol invasions and conquests.