Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Twice per Century Event?

The last major tome dedicated to the history of Antioch was by Glanville Downey over half a century ago now. Not that there haven't been specialised/focused publications on sub-themes (e.g. Liebeschutz, A.F. Norman or Waldemar Ceran) in the meantime.

It is clearly time for a new infusion of comment and reassessment. The tragedy is though that scarcely any meaningful excavation has been been done since Downey's work. We certainly hope we must not wait another 50 years for some extensive work to be undertaken.

The latest addition to the short list of works is:  Antioch - A History by Andrea U. De Giorgi & A. Asa Eger, 2021 published by Routledge, which should be out at the end of May. 

ISBN 9780367633042, 610 Pages with 198 B/W Illustrations

A glance at the chapter headings shows that it goes beyond the Graeco-Roman/Byzantine focus of Downey and covers right up to the current times. The Table of Contents reads:

1 The Eagle of Zeus Arrives (303BCE–64BCE)

2 Orientis Apex Pulcher: The Roman "Beautiful Crown of the East" in the making (64 BCE–192CE)

3 From Capital to Crisis: Antioch in the Late Roman Empire (193–458)

4 Theoupolis, the City of God (458–638)

5 Anṭākiya, Mother of the Cities (638–969)

6 The Byzantine Duchy of Antioch (969–1085)

7 The Saljūqs: An Interlude (1084–1098)

8 The Crusader Principality of Antioch (1098–1268)

9 A Mamlūk Entrepot (1268–1516)

10 Ottoman Antakya (1516–1918)

11 A Frontier Town Once More (1920–2020)

For us, it will be particularly interesting to see the take on the shambolic and destructive evolution of Antakya since 1938. 

The new edition is available online here: