|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
The sea-port of Antioch, near the mouth of the Orontes. Paul and his companions sailed from this port on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). This city was built by Seleucus Nicator, the "king of Syria." It is said of him that "few princes have ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas." Seleucia became a city of great importance, and was made a "free city" by Pompey. It is now a small village, called el-Kalusi.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
se-lu'-shi-a (Seleukia): The seaport of Antioch from which it is 16 miles distant. It is situated 5 miles North of the mouth of the Orontes, in the northwestern corner of a fruitful plain at the base of Mt. Rhosus or Pieria, the modern Jebel Musa, a spur of the Amanus Range. Built by Seleucus Nicator (died 280 B.C.) it was one of the Syrian Tetrapolis, the others being Apameia, Laodicea and Antioch. The city was protected by nature on the mountain side, and, being strongly fortified on the South and West, was considered invulnerable and the key to Syria (Strabo 751; Polyb. v.58). It was taken, however, by Ptolemy Euergetes (1 Maccabees 11:8) and remained in his family till 219 B.C., when it was recovered for the Seleucids by Antiochus the Great, who then richly adorned it. Captured again by Ptolemy Philometor in 146 B.C., it remained for a short time in the hands of the Egyptians. Pompey made it a free city in 64 B.C. in return for its energy in resisting Tigranes (Pliny, NH, v.18), and it was then greatly improved by the Romans, so that in the 1st century A.D. it was in a most flourishing condition.
On their first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas passed through it (Acts 13:4; Acts 14:26), and though it is not named in Acts 15:30, 39, this route is again implied; while it is excluded in Acts 15:3.
The ruins are very extensive and cover the whole space within the line of the old walls, which shows a circuit of four miles. The position of the Old Town, the Upper City and the suburbs may still be identified, as also that of the Antioch Gate, the Market Gate and the King's Gate, which last leads to the Upper City. There are rock-cut tombs, broken statuary and sarcophagi at the base of the Upper City, a position which probably represents the burial place of the Seleucids. The outline of a circus or amphitheater can also be traced, while the inner harbor is in perfect condition and full of water. It is 2,000 ft. long by 1,200 ft. broad, and covers 47 acres, being oval or pear-shaped. The passage seaward, now silted up, was protected by two strong piers or moles, which are locally named after Barnabas and Paul. The most remarkable of the remains, however, is the great water canal behind the city, which the emperor Constantius cut through the solid rock in 338 A.D. It is 3,074 ft. long, has an average breadth of 20 ft., and is in some places 120 ft. deep. Two portions of 102 and 293 ft. in length are tunneled. The object of the work was clearly to carry the mountain torrent direct to the sea, and so protect the city from the risk of flood during the wet season.
Church synods occasionally met in Seleucia in the early centuries, but it gradually sank into decay, and long before the advent of Islam it had lost all its significance.
W. M. Christie
Seleucia (1 Occurrence)
Acts 13:4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia. From there they sailed to Cyprus. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)