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Evangelical Miscellany.



THE city of Antioch, now called by its inhabitants Antāky, is seated at the foot of a steep and bare hill, which terminates the range of Jebel Okrah, the mount Casius of the ancients standing on its north-western side, and having open before it a wide valley, and the range of Jebel Ahhmar from west to north, at the distance of from ten to fifteen miles. It thus resembles, very nearly, the situation of Balbeck in the valley of Bukhāh, as these mountains are not much inferior to Libanus and Anti Libanus in height, and the valley between them is about the same breadth, and takes the same direction of N. E. leaving an unbounded plain in that quarter: but here the hill that overlooks the town is steeper and more abrupt than at Balbeck, and the vale in which it stands is more thickly wooded and highly cultivated, as the course of the Ahssy through it distributes fertility along its winding way.

The town, though inferior only to Aleppo,

* Antioch is described by Benjamin, of Tudela, to be situated in the valley of Jabok, upon the river Pir, which comes from Lebanon through the land of Hamath. It was thought in his day, to be the best fortified place in the hands of the gentiles.

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Damascus, and Hamah in size, and, consequently larger than any of those on the coast, is not so well built as these generally are, and has no large public buildings of any beauty. The houses are mostly constructed of stone, and are all pent-roofed and covered with red tiles; many of them are three stories high, but more generally two, and the upper part is then constructed of wood. The streets are narrow, having a high raised causeway of flat pavement on each side for foot passengers, and a very narrow and deep passage between these for horses, seldom wide enough to admit of two passing each other. The bazārs are mostly open, and resemble those of the country generally. They are unusually numerous, however, in proportion to the size of the town, as this is a mart of supply for an extensive tract of country around it. All the articles in demand are found here in abundance, and the manufactures of the town itself consist in coarse pottery, cotton, cloth, some silk twist, several tanneries, and saddlery; for which last article, particularly bridles, martingales, &c. of fancy work in leather, the workmen of Antaky are celebrated. The population here is thought to exceed 10,000, among which there are counted about 150 Christian families, and 20 Jewish ones. The language of the people is Turkish, the Mahommedans speaking no other, and the Christians only understanding Arabic from their connexion with the country to the southward in their commercial transactions. The Mahommedans have fourteen mosques, six of which are ornamented with tall and slender white minārehs, with round close galleries, and blue pointed tops, surmounted by the crescent, in the purely Turkish taste; six others have lower and thicker minārehs of octangular shafts, with open galleries, and a sort of flat dome or umbrella top, in the Syrian-Arabian style; and two are merely small venerated tombs used as places of prayer. There are two khans, and several fountains, all of them of a very ordinary kind.

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