A titular see of Syria. The city of this name, a colony of Aradus (Strabo, XVI, 753), is placed by Stephanus Byzantius in Phoenicia, though it belongs rather to Syria. Its first known bishop was present at the Council of Nicaea in 325 ( Lequien, Oriens Christ., II, 923). From that time to the sixth century the names of three others are known. At the latter date it was a suffragan of Apamea, the metropolis of Syria Secunda. When Justinian established a new civil province, Theodorias, with Laodicea as metropolis, Balanaea was incorporated with it, but continued to depend ecclesiastically on Apamea, till it obtained the status of an exempt bishopric. This was its condition in the tenth century, when it was directly subject to the Patriarch of Antioch. The Crusaders created there a Latin see, of which a bishop is known about 1200 ( Lequien, III, 1189); the river near by it served as a boundary between the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the principality of Antioch. The Franks called if Valania according to the Greek pronunciation, the Musselmans Bulunvoas . Owing to the unsafe conditions of the country the Latin bishop lived at Margat, a neighbouring castle of the Hospitallers. Balanaea, today called Banias, is a little village at the foot of the hill of Qalcat el-Marquab, between Tartous (Tortosa) and Latakia (Laodicea); it is the residence of the kaïmakam of the district. It numbers about 1,550 inhabitants, 1,200 Maronites, and 230 non-Catholic Christians ; they cultivate chiefly onion, olive-trees, and a very good tobacco. The roadstead is excellent, but is visited only by small boats.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online