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Arsuz is located in Turkey
Location in Turkey
Coordinates: 36°24′46″N 35°53′12″E / 36.41278°N 35.88667°E / 36.41278; 35.88667Coordinates: 36°24′46″N 35°53′12″E / 36.41278°N 35.88667°E / 36.41278; 35.88667
Country Turkey
ProvinceHatay Province
 • MayorAsaf Güven (CHP)
 • Total538 km2 (208 sq mi)
25 m (82 ft)
 • Total90,456
 • Density170/km2 (440/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)0326
Licence plate31

Arsuz (Arabic: أرسوز, Greek: Αρσούς), also known as Uluçınar, is a municipality in Hatay Province, southern Anatolia (Asian Turkey). In ancient times, it was known as Rhosus (Ancient Greek: Ῥῶσός and Ῥωσός[1]) and was a former bishopric and titular see.


Arsuz used to be a part of İskenderun ilçe (district) of Hatay Province. The town center is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) South of İskenderun and 118 kilometres (73 mi) from Antakya (administrative center of Hatay Province). The population is 90,456 [2] as of 2018. While the town center is relatively small near the end of a coastal road leading south from İskenderun, the entire coastal region between İskenderun and the town center is often simply referred as Arsuz. This area is predominantly small rural farms (generally located inland towards the mountains) and small groups of summer homes (generally located near the coastline).

In 2014, according to Turkish law no. 6360, Arsuz became a municipality with seven towns and 25 villages.


Arsuz had many names throughout history, including: Rhosus, Rhossos, Rhossus, Rhopolis, Port Panel/Bonnel, Kabev and Arsous. The earliest documents about it date from the Seleucid Empire, of whose Antioch became the capital. Malalas writes that the city was founded by Cilix, son of Agenor.[3][4] Harpalus erected a brazen statue of Glycera by the side of his own statue at Rhosus.[5][6] Demetrius I of Macedon moved the statue of the goddess Tyche from Antigonia to the Rhosos.[4]

Arsuz was then an important seaport on the Gulf of Issus. In 64 BC, it was annexed by the Roman Empire. Under the name Rhosus, it was a city and bishopric (see below) in the late Roman province of Cilicia Secunda, with Anazarba as its capital. It is mentioned by Strabo,[7] Ptolemy,[8] Pliny the Elder[9] and Stephanus Byzantius; and later by Hierocles[10] and George of Cyprus.[11][12]

Some Christians in Rhosus accepted as truth the Docetic Gospel of Peter and for them in around AD 200 Serapion of Antioch composed a treatise condemning the book.[13] Theodoret[14] relates the history of the hermit Theodosius of Antioch, founder of a monastery in the mountain near Rhosus, who was forced by the inroads of barbarians to retire to Antioch, where he died and was succeeded by his disciple Romanus, a native of Rhosus; these two religious are honoured by the Greek Orthodox Church on 5 and 9 February.[12]

In 638 the city was incorporated into the Rashidun Caliphate. In 969 it was taken by the Byzantine Empire, in 1084 by the Seljuk Turks, in 1039 by the Crusades, in 1296 by the Egyptian Mamluks and in 1517 by the Ottoman Turks.[15]

Between 1918 and 1938 the town was under French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon with the rest of Iskenderun district. In 1938, it became part of the independent Hatay Republic, but in June 1939 the Hatay legislature voted to join Turkey.

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

Antiochian Orhtodox church of Meryem Ana in Tokaçlı, Arsuz.

Rhosus was a diocese in the sway of the Patriarchate of Antioch, originally as a suffragan of its Metropolitan in provincial capital of Cilicia Secunda, the Archdiocese of Anazarba, as mentioned in the Notitiae Episcopatuum in the 6th century[16] and one dating from about 840.[17] In another of the 10th century Rhosus is included among the 'exempt' sees, directly subject to the Patriarch.[18]

Six residential Suffragan bishops of Rhosus are known:[19]

Titular see[edit]

No later than the 15th century the diocese was nominally restored as Latin titular bishopric of Rhosus (Latin) / Rosea (until 1925) / Roso (Curiate Italian) / Rhosien(sis) (Latin adjective)

It is vacant since decades, having had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank:[20]


  1. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica, §R548.17
  2. ^ "Arsuz Nüfusu Hatay". Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  3. ^ Malalas, Chronography, Book 8.198
  4. ^ a b Malalas, Chronography, Book 8.201
  5. ^ Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, §13.50
  6. ^ Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, § 13.68
  7. ^ XIV, 5; XVI, 2.
  8. ^ V, 14.
  9. ^ V, xviii, 2.
  10. ^ Synecdemus 705, 7.
  11. ^ Descriptio orbis romani, 827.
  12. ^ a b Pétridès, Sophron (1912). "Rhosus" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  13. ^ Eusebius, "Histor. eccles.", VI, xii, 2.
  14. ^ Philoth. Histor., X, XI.
  15. ^ Town page (in Turkish) Archived October 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Vailhé in "Échos d'Orient", X, 145.
  17. ^ Gustav Parthey, Hieroclis synecd. et notit. gr. episcopat., not. Ia, 827.
  18. ^ Vailhé, ibid. 93 seq.
  19. ^ Le Quien, Oriens christianus, II, 905.
  20. ^ "Titular See of Rhosus, Turkey".

Sources and external links[edit]

  • Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig, 1931, p. 436
  • Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris, 1740, Tomo II, coll. 905-908
  • Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 1, p. 423 (note 4 on 'Rosensis'); vol. 2, pp. 224–225; vol. 3, p. 287; vol. 5, p. 334; vol. 6, p. 357