Laodicea, in ancient geography, the name of six Greek cities in Asia, situated in Phrygia, Syria, Lycaonia, Ccelesyria, Media, and Mesopotamia, founded by Seleucus Nicator, the first king of Syria, and some of his successors.
Ruins of Laodicea.
Two deserve particular notice.
I. Laodicea On The Lycus, a tributary of the Ma3ander in the S. W. corner of Phrygia, which, however, was claimed by some earlier writers as part of Lydia and Caria. It received its name from Laodice, the queen of Antiochus Theos, its founder. It passed from the kings of Syria to those of Pergamus, and under the Romans, though frequently visited by destructive earthquakes, became one of the most flourishing and opulent cities of Asia Minor. It was destroyed in 1402 by Tamerlane. Its luxury in the early times of Christianity is attested by the severe rebuke addressed to its inhabitants in the Apocalypse. Paul addressed an epistle to the Christians of Laodicea. (See Ephesians, Epistle to the.) The town of Eski-Hissar was built by the Turks on its site.
II. Laodicea On The Scacoast, a maritime city of Syria, 50 m. S. by W. of Antioch, founded by Seleucus Nicator, and named after his mother. It was renowned for the fertility of its winegrowing environs, its splendor, and the excellence of its harbor. In the later period of the Syrian empire it became almost independent, and it suffered greatly during the civil war after the death of Caesar, when it stood a siege against the Cassians. It was rewarded by Antony with exemption from taxes, and adorned by Herod the Great with an aqueduct, the ruins of which, with other remnants of its ancient greatness, are still to be seen. During the middle ages it suffered from the attacks of the Moslems. Its site is now occupied by the Turkish city of Latakia. (See Latakia.)