Louis De Clercq Walls and Rocks Touching the Porte-de-Fer, Antioche
Medium Waxed paper negative
Photo Date 1859 Print Date 1859
Dimensions 11-1/2 x 8-13/16 in. (292 x 224 mm)
Photo Country Turkey
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Number 4 is written into the negative. The stairway reportedly represents the first dividing line between Jewish and Moslem communities. See: Mayer, Louis De Clercq: Voyage en Orient, Album 1, pl.4. Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Continuously inhabited since then, it became the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the nearer East and was a cradle of gentile Christianity. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. The new city was populated by a mix of local settlers that Athenians brought from the nearby city of Antigonia, Macedonians, and Jews (who were given full status from the beginning). During the late Hellenistic period and Early Roman period, Antioch population reached its peak of over 500,000 inhabitants (estimates vary from 400,000 to 600,000) and was the third largest city in the world after Rome and Alexandria. The ruler Demetrius II actually enlisted a body of Jews to punish his capital with fire and sword, after the general population's rebellion against his rule in 129 B.C.
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