The port for the Syrian city of Antioch which was 26 km. (16 miles) to the east; the River Orontes was 8 km. (5 miles) to the south. Egyptians and Seleucids wrested control of it from each other in the 3rd and 2nd cents. BCE (1 Macc. 11: 8) but in 63 BCE it was granted the status of a free city in the Roman Empire by Pompey, which was its status when Paul, Barnabas, and Mark embarked there on a ship bound for Cyprus (Acts 13: 4).