Facts about Antioch in Christian history include that the city's church was founded by the apostles Peter and Paul and that it served as a major target for Christian kingdoms and holy orders during the Crusades. The city was also a member of the Pentarchy along with Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem and Alexandria, meaning its bishop was the head of one of the five ecclesiastical and political districts or sees of the early Christianity.Continue Reading
The city was originally founded in 300 B.C. by one of Alexander the Great's generals, and it served as the capital of the Seleucid Empire before it was conquered by Rome. Because of the city's large Jewish population and the efforts of Peter and Paul to convert the local population, Antioch became an early center of Christianity; it was here that the term "Christian" was first used to describe the disciples of Jesus.
In 637 A.D. the city was captured by the Rashidun Caliphate, and while it was recovered by the Byzantine Empire in 969, it was seized again by the Seljuk Turks in 1084. The First Crusade saw the establishment of the Principality of Antioch, a Christian crusader state, but it was eventually overrun by the Muslim Mamluks who razed the city to the ground in 1268. Eventually it was acquired by the Ottoman Empire, and today it is part of Syria and known as Antakya. Relics from the original city can be seen in its museum.Learn more about Christianity