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LONDOR - PRINTED ET W. CLOWES AND SONS, STAXFORD STREET

HOME FRIEND;

A WEEKLY MISCELLANY OF AMUSEMENT AND INSTRUCTION.

PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY, BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, No. 27.] AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

[PRICE 1d.

SEA-COASTS AND SHORES OF CILICIA, &c. (continued).

[graphic]

LAODICIA, OR LATACHIA. SCRIPTURE geographers assert that “ Laodicia ad Mare," as Latachia in Syria was anciently styled, is nowhere referred to in Sacred Writ.

Notwithstanding this omission, from the peculiarly advantageous position of her port, and situated as Latachia is between Tarsus and Seleucia on the one side, and Sidon, Tyre, and Joppa on the other, it must necessarily have been the resort of many of the vessels coasting between those then opulent and commercial cities, and in all probability itself have been a town of some consideration. The port of Latachia was by nature well VOL. II.

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Į LOXDOR . - PRINTED BY W. CLOWES AND SONS, STAXFORD STREET

HOME FRIEND;

A WEEKLY MISCELLANY OF AMUSEMENT AND INSTRUCTION.

PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY,
BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,

AND SOLD BY ALL LOOKSELLERS.

No. 27.]

[PRICE 1d.

SEA-COASTS AND SHORES OF CILICIA, &c. (continued).

[graphic][merged small]

LAODICIA, OR LATACHIA. SCRIPTURE geographers assert that “ Laodicia ad Mare," as Latachia in Syria was anciently styled, is nowhere referred to in Sacred Writ.

Notwithstanding this omission, from the peculiarly advantageous position of her port, and situated as Latachia is between Tarsus and Seleucia on the one side, and Sidon, Tyre, and Joppa on the other, it must necessarily have been the resort of many of the vessels coasting between those then opulent and commercial cities, and in all probability itself have been a town of some consideration. The port of Latachia was by nature well

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VOL. II.

adapted for use as a port of refuge: improving upon these natural facilities, the ancients constructed a breakwater of considerable solidity, which entirely secured the harbour, and rendered the anchorage a perfect basin, where hardly the ripple of a wave was perceptible, and where, in the zenith of its glory, upwards of a thousand ships found secure and commodious anchorage. Time and earthquakes have materially assisted in destroying the handiwork of man, and the breakwater, which in its pristine condition greatly ameliorated the condition of the harbour, in its present dilapidated state (being in many parts so much broken down that the waves during a gale make a clean sweep over the ruins), only tends to encumber the basin with rubbish, and the filth and matter accumulated through centuries, besides the vast quantity of sand washed over the ruins; these, in addition to the crumbling masses of masonry that have fallen into the port, have materially helped to choke up the harbour, and such is its present condition that barely a dozen vessels with any pretension to size can find accommodation; and even these few incur much risk during the strength of winter gales, from the violence with which the sea, bursting over the breaches in the breakwater, dashes volumes of water against and over them. Those Apostles and primitive Christians who found occasion to travel by land from Phænicia into Northern Syria or Cilicia, must necessarily have taken Latachia en route. The roads by the sea-side have in all ages been preferred in the east by travellers when they were practicable. This choice was, and is to this day, made for many reasons : in the first place they are the shortest and least fatiguing ; and, secondly, they are the safest. The mountains that intersect Phænicia and Syria have always been toilsome, always insecure. They were so centuries ago, they remain so to the present hour ; and in a country where the habits and customs, nay, even the costume of the people, have been handed down from generation to generation, with hardly, if any, change or deviation, we think we are justified in supposing that the roads travelled over by the natives dwelling on the sea-coasts of Syria and Palestine are the same as were travelled over by their ancestors in the days when Paul, Barnabas, and Peter were at Antioch ; and there is no reason to doubt but that one, if not all three, of these Apostles visited Laodicia, the Latachia of to-day.

It was midnight when we, gliding almost imperceptibly over the smooth waters of the summer sea, passed under the solitary lantern that glimmered feebly, in wretched imitation of a lighthouse, from the small windows of a miniature tower, erected by the Ottoman government, on the summit of the rock that formed the natural portal of the once secure and commodious harbour of Latachia. To the right, and from this rock to the mainland, a distance of not many hundred yards, dark-looking fragments of masonry indicated the ruins of the once solid breakwater; to the left, a natural curve in the bay formed a small promontory, and from this promontory to the rock, a distance of not more than fifty yards, was the deep and secure entrance channel. But few vessels were lying in the harbour when we entered, and the whole place was wrapt in solitude and darkness. Our little feleucah at last anchored within a yard of the landing-place; but as there was a quarantine establishment here, none dared to land before the authorities should have inspected our bills of health and granted us a permit. The night was pleasant and cool, but curiosity was on the tiptoe, and we felt no inclination to sleep, especially as our miserable accommodations were close and confined, besides being infested with vermin ; by and by, the moon came peeping over the lofty hills at the back of the town, and when she

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