Settlements > Antioch

Antioch

Background

Founded in 300BC by a former general of Alexander the Great, Antioch was one of the ancient world’s great centres. The capital of the Seleucid Kingdom until 64AD, it was later one of the Roman Empire’s principle outposts and the place where St Paul basically founded modern Christianity. At its height, the city was home to half a million people – making it larger than modern-day Atlanta or Miami. Unlike some on this list, we also know where its ruins lie: just outside Antakya in modern Turkey. But good luck trying to find its most-famous landmarks.

Thanks to an unfortunate position on the Orontes River, it’s thought that most of Antioch’s grand buildings now lie beneath a thick layer of mud. The Imperial Palace and Constantine’s Great Church have never been located, and urban expansion in north Antakya has led to acres of smaller ruins being bulldozed over. At current rates, it won’t be long before Antioch truly is lost forever.

Sources

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