Ancient Antioch

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Antioch was founded at the end of the fourth century B.C.  Located near the Mediterranean Sea, the city quickly grew into a large military and commercial centre of the Near East.  For its wealth and fine architecture Antioch received the name of “The Queen of the East”.  Caravans traveling along the Great Silk Road stopped in the city and made it rich.

Antioch played an important role in the spread of the Gospel.  Apostle Paul stopped there on his missionary journeys.  Tradition says that Apostle Peter preached and taught in Antioch between 47 and 54 A.D.  In Antioch, the followers of Christ were called Christians for the first time.  Early churches, where Christians had their secret meetings, were in caves.  As Christianity spread, many beautiful churches were built, and the city became a celebrated (прославленный) centre of religious learning.  At the time of St. John Chrysostom, the population of the city was about two hundred thousand.  Nowadays, Antioch is located in Turkey and is named Antakya.