We keep coming back to our simile of Berlin in the 20th century. The period 528-540 AD was very similar to 1933-45. The creative element was shipped out, scared away or destroyed while the physical nature of the city was transformed by destruction of the urban fabric of the metropolis. Rebuild and repopulate as one might the elements that came together to make, however flawed, the shining moments of the city's history could never be replaced in the former combination. Antioch went from metropolis or Weltstadt to provincial humdrum. The sole consolation was that the stupid Theopolis name went the way of all things and today's Antakya still harks back to the founding in 300 BC while Theopolis just looks like superstitious mumbo jumbo.
Even Berlin's travails pale into insignifigance compared to Antioch's. Warsaw or Konigsberg might be better simile. The 6th century was an unremitting litany of disaster.
- A devastating fire in 525
- the massive earthquake of 526 that destroyed the Island
- the quake of 528 with even wider damage
- the burning and looting by Chosroes in 540 with the wholesale transhipment of the population
- bubonic plague in 542
- another earthquake in 551
- a cattle plague in 553
- another earthquake in 557
- more bubonic plague in 560
- Persians burned the suburbs in 573
- another earthquake in 577
- a more damaging earthquake in 588
- a drought killed the olive trees in 599
- a weevil infestation ruined the crops in 600