From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]


Seleucia was the seaport of Antioch and the maritime stronghold of the Macedonian monarchy in Syria. It lay 5 miles to the north of the mouth of the Orontes, on the southern skirts of Mt. Pieria, whence it was called Σελεύκεια ἡ ἐν Πιερίᾳ, in distinction from the many other foundations of the same name. It was one of the cities which formed the Syrian Tetrapolis, the others being Antioch, Apameia, and Laodicea. ‘They were called sisters from the concord which existed between them. They were founded by Seleucus Nicator. The largest bore the name of his father, and the strongest his own. Of the others, Apameia had its name from his wife Apama, and Laodicea from his mother’ (Strabo, XVI. ii. 4).

Seleucia overlooked a bay ‘not unlike the Bay of Naples and scarcely less beautiful’ (G. L. Bell, Syria, the Desert and the Sown, 1908, p. 329). It was built partly at the foot and partly on the top of precipitous cliffs, the lower and the upper city being connected by a cutting through the solid rock 1100 yards long. Strongly protected by nature and by fortifications, Seleucia was regarded as the key of Syria (Polybius, v. 58). Ptolemy Energetes seized it in 246 b.c., and Antiochus III. (the Great) achieved renown recapturing it in 220. Ptolemy Philometor took it in 146 b.c. and ‘put on himself the diadem of Asia’ ( 1 Maccabees 11:8;  1 Maccabees 11:13), but after his death the city had to be restored to the Seleucids (ib. 18, 19). When Syria came under the sway of the Romans, they male Seleucia a free city-‘Seleucia libera, Pieria appellate’ (Pliny, Historia Naturalis (Pliny)v. xviii. 21).

Seleucia had great importance as an emporium of Levantine commerce. The Orontes was navigable as far as Antioch (Strabo, XVI. ii. 7), but only for smaller craft, while the harbour of Seleucia received the largest transport ships of Egypt, Phcenicia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy. From this seaport St. Paul and Barnabas sailed on their first missionary journey ( Acts 13:4), and at the end of the adventure they ‘sailed to Antioch’ (14:26), landing probably at Seleucia.

The remains of Seleucia-citadel, amphitheatre, temples, etc.-are numerous and impressive. ‘Some day there will be much to disclose here, but excavation will be exceedingly costly owing to the deep silt’ (G. L. Bell, op. cit., p. 334).

Literature.-E. R. Bevan, The House of Seleucus, 2 vols., 1902, i. 208 ff.; Murray’s Handbook to Syria and Palestine, 1903, p. 390 f.; C. Baedeker, Palestine and Syria4, 1906, p. 358 f.

James Strahan.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

SELEUCIA . on the coast of Syria, at the mouth of the river Orontes, was the port of the great Antioch. It was strongly fortified. Situated on the S. side of Mt. Pieria, and on thelevel ground at its foot, it was protected on three sides both naturally and by fortifications. It was captured by Ptolemy Euergetes ( 1Ma 11:8 ), and afterwards recovered (in b.c. 219) by Antiochus the Great. Its greatness increased in Roman times. Then it was a ‘free city.’ Commercially its importance in the Levantine trade was of the highest. Extensive remains of the ancient city exist.

A. Souter.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

Antioch's seaport. The Orontes passes Antioch, and falls into the sea near Seleucia, 16 miles from Antioch. Paul and Barnabas at their first missionary tour sailed from that port ( Acts 13:4), and landed there on returning ( Acts 14:26). Named from the great Alexander's successor, Seleucus Nicator, its founder, who died 280 B.C. The two piers of the old harbour still remain, bearing the names of Paul and Barnabas; the masonry is so good that it has been proposed to clear out and repair the harbour.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

A seaport some sixteen miles from Antioch in Syria, from whence Paul and Barnabas embarked on their first missionary journey; doubtless they landed there on their return.  Acts 13:4;  Acts 14:26 . It was founded by Seleucus Nicator, the successor in Syria to Alexander the Great. There are two piers in the old harbour still called Paul and Barnabas. The modern village is called es Suweidiyeh, 36 15' N, 35 50' E .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Seleucia ( Se-Lrû'Shĭ-Ah ; Lat. Sĕl'Eu-Sî'A ).  Acts 13:4;  Acts 14:26. The seaport of Antioch, and the place at which Paul and Barnabas embarked, and to which they returned on their first missionary journey. It was on the Mediterranean, about five miles north of the river Orontes, and was founded by Seleucus Nicator, died b.c. 280.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

a city of Syria, situated upon the Mediterranean, near the place where the Orontes discharges itself into the sea. St. Paul and Barnabas were at this place when they embarked for Cyprus,  Acts 13:4 . The same city is mentioned in 1Ma_11:8 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Acts 13:4Seleucids

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

 Acts 13:4

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

sḗ - lū´shi - a ( Σελευκία , Seleukı́a ): The seaport of Antioch from which it   Isaiah 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 Mūsa , a spur of the Amanus Range. Built by Seleucus Nicator (died 280 BC) 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 BC, when it was recovered for the Seleucids by Antiochus the Great, who then richly adorned it. Captured again by Ptolemy Philometor in 146 BC, it remained for a short time in the hands of the Egyptians. Pompey made it a free city in 64 Bc 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 Ad 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 ,  Acts 15:39 , 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  Isaiah 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 AD. It   Isaiah 3,074 ft. long, has an average breadth of 20 ft., and is in some places 120 ft. deep. Two portions of 102,293 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.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

Seleu´cia, 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. Paul and Barnabas on their first journey embarked at this port for Cyprus .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Seleucia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.