Identified geographical features of city ruins of Seleucia Pieria. Background picture is CORONA satellite photograph taken on March 21, 1968.

The situation of Seleucia and the nature of its surroundings are as follows. It lies on the sea between Cilicia and Phoenicia, and above it rises a very high mountain called Coryphaeum, washed on its western side by the extreme waters of the sea separating Cyprus from Phoenicia, but overlooking with its eastern slopes the territories of Antioch and Seleucia. Seleucia lies on its southern slope, separated from it by a deep and difficult ravine. The town descends in a series of broken terraces to the sea, and is surrounded on most sides by cliffs and precipitous rocks. On the level ground at the foot of the slope which descends towards the sea lies the business quarter and a suburb defended by very strong walls. The whole of the main city is similarly fortified by walls of very costly construction and is splendidly adorned with temples and other fine buildings.

— Polybius, The Histories, 5.59.3

While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.” They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off. Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to Seleucia and sailed from there to the island of Cyprus.

— The Acts of the Apostles, 13.2

According to Storabo’s “Geography”, Seleucia Pieria formed Syria’s four-city alliance with Antioch, Laodicea and Apamea. From the above picture, we can see that the city was located on the terraced southern slope of a mountain and divided by deep gorges from the north and the south. The trace of a fan-shaped harbor near the sea is also identified on the satellite photograph. As described in the New Testament, Seleucia Pieria held the position of the maritime gateway to Antioch, the capital of the Seleucid Empire.

CORONA satellite photographs are available from U. S. Geological Survey, EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD, USA.