[some wrongly Seleu'cia] (Σελεύκεια), a city of Syria, situated west of Antioch, on the sea coast, near the mouth of the Orontes; sometimes called Seleucia Pieria, from the neighboring Mount Pierus; and also Seleucia ad Mare, in order to distinguish it from several other cities of the same name, all of them denominated from Seleucus Nicanor. Its ancient name was Rivers of Water (῞Υδατος ποταμοί, Strabo, 16, 2, 8). It is fully described by Polybius (5, 39). It was practically the seaport of Antioch (q.v.), as Ostia was of Rome, Neapolis of Philippi, Cenchreae of Corinth, and the Piraeus of Athens. The river Orontes, after flowing past Antioch, entered the sea not far from Seleucia. The distance between the two towns was about sixteen miles, chiefly of broken ground, with a large mountain called Coryphaeseum on the north near the sea. We are expressly told that Paul, in company with Barnabas, sailed from Seleucia at the beginning of his first missionary circuit (Ac 13:4); and it is almost certain that he landed there on his return from it (14:26). The name of the place shows at once that its history was connected with that line of Seleucidae who reigned at Antioch from the death of Alexander the Great to the close of the Roman republic, and whose dynasty had so intimate a connection with Jewish annals (1 Macc. 11:8; Josephus, Ant. 18, 9, 8). SEE SYRIA. This strong fortress and convenient seaport was, in fact, constructed by the first Seleucus (died B.C. 280), and here he was buried. It was taken by Ptolemy Euergetes on his expedition to Syria, but was recovered by Antiochus Epiphanes. It retained its importance in Roman times, and in Paul's day it had the privileges of a free city (Pliny, H.N. 5, 18). The remains are numerous, the most considerable being an immense excavation extending from the higher part of the city to the sea; but to us the most interesting are the two piers of the old harbor, which still bear the names of Paul and Barnabas. The masonry continues so good that the idea of clearing out and repairing the harbor was entertained, but not executed, by one Ali Pasha, of Aleppo. Accounts of Seleucia were first given by Pococke (Observations in the East, 22, 182), and afterwards in the narrative of the Euphrates Expedition by general Chesney, and in his papers in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (8, 228 sq.), and also in a paper by Dr. Yates in the Museum of Classical Antiquities. The harbor has still more lately been surveyed by captain Allen (Dead Sea, etc.). See also Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, 1, 137; Lewin, St. Paul, 1, 116 sq.; Smith, Dict. of Class. Geog. s.v.

Bible concordance for SELEUCIA.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.