City (pop., 2000: 216,382), south-central Turkey. It is located near the Mediterranean Sea coast. Settled from Neolithic times, it was razed and rebuilt circa 700 BC by the Assyrian king Sennacherib. Later, Achaemenid and Seleucid rule alternated with periods of autonomy. In 67 BC it was absorbed into the new Roman province of Cilicia, becoming one of the principal cities of the Eastern and Byzantine empires. It was the site of the first meeting in 41 BC between Mark Antony and Cleopatra and was the birthplace of St. Paul. It remained a leading industrial and cultural centre through the early Byzantine period. It came under various powers in the 10th–15th century and passed to the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century. Modern Tarsus is a prosperous agricultural and cotton-milling centre.
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(born April 24, 1581, Pouy, France—died Sept. 27, 1660, Paris; canonized 1737; feast day September 27) French religious leader. Educated by the Franciscans at Dax, he was ordained in 1600 and graduated from the University of Toulouse in 1604. It is said that he was captured at sea by Barbary pirates but escaped. In 1625 he founded the Congregation of the Mission (also called Lazarists or Vincentians) in Paris as a preaching and teaching order. He also established the Confraternities of Charity, associations of laywomen who nursed the sick. With St. Louise de Marillac he cofounded the Daughters of Charity (Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul).
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(born AD 10?, Tarsus in Cilicia—died 67?, Rome) Early Christian missionary and theologian, known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. Born a Jew in Tarsus, Asia Minor, he was trained as a rabbi but earned his living as a tentmaker. A zealous Pharisee, he persecuted the first Christians until a vision of Jesus, experienced while on the road to Damascus, converted him to Christianity. Three years later he met St. Peter and Jesus' brother James and was henceforth recognized as the 13th Apostle. From his base in Antioch, he traveled widely, preaching to the Gentiles. By asserting that non-Jewish disciples of Christ did not have to observe Jewish law, he helped to establish Christianity as a separate religion rather than a Jewish sect. On a journey to Jerusalem, he aroused such hostility among the Jews that a mob gathered, and he was arrested and imprisoned for two years. The circumstances of his death are unknown. Paul's ministry and religious views are known largely from his letters, or epistles, collected in the New Testament, which are the first Christian theological writing and the source of much Christian doctrine. It was due to Paul more than anyone else that Christianity became a world religion.
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Tarsus (from the Greek ταρσός, for "flat basket") may refer to: