Antioch of Syria was the capital of the Roman province of Syria. Along with Rome and Alexandria, it ranked as one of three major cities in the Roman Empire during the first century. Antioch was built on the eastern bank of the Orontes River (1) and originally included an island (2). Several miles downstream from the city was the port of Seleucia. Antioch could boast of its hippodrome (3) for horse and chariot racing, one of the largest at the time. Antioch was well-known for its immense colonnaded street (4), which Herod the Great paved with marble. Later, Tiberius Caesar added roofed colonnades and decorated the street with mosaics and statues. This multicultural city had a large Jewish community (5). From this group, many became Christians. Antioch was the first place where Jesus’ disciples were called Christians. (Ac 11:26) In time, many Gentiles became believers. About 49 C.E., the question of circumcision arose, so a delegation, including Paul and Barnabas, was sent to the governing body in Jerusalem to receive direction. (Ac 15:1, 2, 30) The apostle Paul used Antioch as a home base for all three of his missionary tours. (Ac 13:1-3; 15:35, 40, 41; 18:22, 23) This map includes a composite illustration of the city walls as they appeared over a number of centuries.