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Bible Encyclopedias
Orthosias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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Ortiz, Alonso
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(Ο᾿ρθωσιάς v. r. Ο᾿ρθωσία, Vulg. Orthosias), a place on the shore of Palestine, to which Tryphon, when besieged by Antiochus Sidetes in Dora, fled by ship (1 Maccabees 15:37). Orthosia is described by Pliny (v. 17) as north of Tripolis, and south of the river Eleutherus, near which it was situated (Strabo, xvi, p. 753). It was the northern boundary of Phoenicia, and distant 1130 stadia from the Orontes (id. p. 760). Shaw (Trav. p. 270- 1, 2d ed.) identifies the Eleutherus with the modern Nahr el-Bridle, on the north bank of which, corresponding to the description of Strabo (p. 753), he found "ruins of a considerable city, whose adjacent district pays yearly to the bashaws of Tripoli a tax of fifty dollars by the name of Or-tosa. In the Peutinger Tables, also, Orthosia is placed thirty miles to the south of Antaradus, and twelve miles to the north of Tripoli.

The situation of it likewise is further illustrated by a medal of Antoninus Pius, struck at Orthosia; upon the reverse of which we have the goddess Astarte treading upon a river. For this city was built upon a rising ground on the northern banks of the river, within half a furlong of the sea, and, as the rugged eminences of Mount Libanus lie at a small distance in a parallel with the shore, Orthosia must have been a place of the greatest importance, as it would have hereby the entire command of the road (the only one there is) betwixt Phoenice and the maritime parts of Syria." (See also Thomson, in the Biblioth. Sacra, 1848, p. 14.) On the other hand, Mr. Porter, who identifies the Eleutherus with the modern Nahr el-Kebtr, describes the ruins of Orthosia as on the south bank of the Nahr el-Barid, "the cold river" (Handb. p. 542, 553, ed. 1875), thus agreeing with the accounts of Ptolemy and Pliny. The statement of Strabo is not sufficiently precise to allow the inference that he considered Orthosia north of the Eleutherus. But if the ruins on the south bank of the Nahr el-Barid be really those of Orthosia, it seems an objection to the identification of the Eleutherus with the Nahr el-Kebir; for Strabo at one time makes Orthosia (xiv, p. 670), and at another the neighboring river Eleutherus ( πλησίον ποταμός ), the boundary of Phoenicia on the north. This could hardly have been the case if the Eleutherus were 38 hours, or nearly twelve miles, from Orthosia. Kiepert (Map) locates Orthosia at Nahr Arka, midway between these two points (Robinson, Later Bib. Res. p. 582).

According to Josephus (Anf. 10:7, 2), Tryphon fled to Apamea, while in a fragment of Charax, quoted by Grimm (Kurzgef. Handb.) from Muller's Frag. Graec. Hist. 3:644, fr. 14, he is said to have taken refuge at Ptolemais. Grimm reconciles these statements by supposing that Tryphon fled first to Orthosia, then to Ptolemais, and lastly to Apamea, where he was slain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Orthosias'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​o/orthosias.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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