ANTIOCH, city name given to a number of Seleucid foundations.

Antioch in Persis, a settlement founded or refounded in Persis (Fārs) by the Seleucid king Antiochus I (324-263 B.C.). The city is attested in two Greek inscriptions from Magnesia on the Maeander. In the earlier of these Antiochus I applies to the people of Magnesia to re-colonize Antioch in Persis, which was not flourishing. The Magnesians gave effective support to this request (Dittenberger, ed., Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, Leipzig, 1901, p. 233). The second inscription relates that the people of Magnesia sent representatives to Antiochus III (242-187 B.C., q.v.), who was then residing at Antioch in Persis, to ask if the king would lend his patronage to athletic games to be held in Magnesia (C. B. Wells, Royal Correspondence in the Hellenistic Period, New Haven, 1934, no. 31). Because the interior of Fārs had been lost to the control of a local Persian dynasty of Persis by the period of Antiochus III, it has been deduced that Antioch in Persis should be located on the coastal plain of Fārs which was then still under Seleucid administration. Herzfeld (Klio 8, 1908. p. 14) places Antioch on the Bushire peninsula and identifies it with the “Greek town,” Ioneca, located at that part of the Persian coast on Ptolemy’s map of Persia. One may also note a passage in Arrian (Indica 34.1-3) referring to the voyage of Nearchus, who sailed along the Persian coast of the Gulf. Nearchus comes to a peninsula called Mesambria (identified with the Bushire peninsula). After this his ship anchored at Taoce inland from which there was an Achaemenid royal palace. This Taoce has been associated with the Achaemenid settlement of Tamukkan attested in the Persepolis fortification texts; the Sasanian capital of Tavak; and the early Islamic town of Tavvaǰ (J. Markwart, Provincial Capitals, pp. 19, 94-95). Possibly the important site of Taoce may have been refounded by Antiochus I and called Antioch in Persis. It has been suggested by Bivar that the extensive archeological site called Zīra, located on the Šāpūr river north of Bushire, may represent the former settlement of Tavvaǰ/Taoce (BSOAS 34, 1971, p. 160).

Antioch on the Tigris, see Mēšān.

Antioch in Margiana, the city of Marv (q.v.) in Central Asia which was refounded as an Antioch by the Seleucid king Antiochus I.

Antioch in Scythia. Nothing is known of this foundation, which is among the cities of that name listed by Stephanus Byzantinus (Ethnica, s.v. Antiochia). Tarn suggests that the city may have been Alexandria Eschate on the Jaxartes refounded or, alternatively, the capital of Seleucid Sogdiana (W. W. Tarn, The Greeks in Bactria and India, Cambridge, 1938, p. 8 and n. 3).

Bibliography: Given in the text.

(J. Hansman)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 5, 2011

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