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empire city capital center

Antioch (pop. 94,900), ancient city in Asia Minor, now known as Antakya, in southern Turkey on the Orontes River. Founded by Seleucus I in 301 B.C., it became the capital of the Seleucid Empire and was one of the great commercial centers of the ancient world. In 64 B.C. control of the city passed to Rome, which made “Antioch the Golden” capital of the empire in Asia, surpassed in splendor only by Rome and Alexandria. It was the most important center of early Christianity outside Palestine. After the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire, Antioch came under Arab and then Ottoman Turkish rule. After World War I, it was incorporated into French-administered Syria, but in 1939 it was restored to Turkey. The city is a trade and agricultural center.

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