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Roman Ruins in the city of Tyre southern Lebanon

Tyre was founded at the start of the 3rd century BC as a modest island city.

Its first golden age began in the 9th and 8th century BC when Phoenician traders from Tyre founded colonies around the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Tyre's splendid life style catered to an affluent merchant class whose newly acquired wealth and prosperity made many powerful enemies such as the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great.
Phoenician Tyre was queen of the seas, an island city of unprecedented splendor. She grew wealthy from her far-reaching colonies and her industries of purple-dyed textiles. But she also attracted the attention of jealous conquerors, among them the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great.
Founded at the start of the third millennium B.C., Tyre originally consisted of a mainland settlement and a modest island city that lay a short distance off shore. But it was not until the first millennium B.C. that the city experienced its golden age.

In the 10th century B.C. Hiram, King of Tyre, joined two islets by landfill. Later he extended the city further by reclaiming a considerable area from the sea. Phoenician expansion began about 815 B.C. when traders from Tyre founded Carthage in North Africa. Eventually its colonies spread around the Mediterranean and Atlantic, bringing to the city a flourishing maritime trade. But prosperity and power make their own enemies. Early in the sixth century B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, laid siege to the walled city for thirteen years. Tyre stood firm, but it is probable that at this time the residents of the mainland city abandoned it for the safety of the island.

In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great set out to conquer this strategic coastal base in the war between the Greeks and the Persians. Unable to storm the city, he blockaded Tyre for seven months. Again Tyre held on. But the conqueror used the debris of the abandoned mainland city to build a causeway and once within reach of the city walls, Alexander used his siege engines to batter and finally breach the fortifications. It is said that Alexander was so enraged at the Tyrian's defense and the loss of his men that he destroyed half the city. The town's 30,000 residents were massacred or sold into slavery.

Tyre and the whole of ancient Syria fell under Roman rule in 64 B.C. Nonetheless, for some time Tyre continued to mint its own silver coins. The Romans built a great many important monuments in the city, including an aqueduct, a triumphal arch and the largest hippodrome in antiquity.
Christianity figures in the history of Tyre, whose name are mentioned in the New Testament. During the Byzantine era, the Archbishop of Tyre was the Primate of all the bishops of Phoenicia. At this time the town witnessed a second golden age as can be seen from the remains of its buildings and the inscriptions in the necropolis.

Picture by: Hussein Kefel

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Hussein Kefel (Hussein_Kefel) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 43 W: 0 N: 118] (825)
  • Genre: Lugares
  • Medium: Cor
  • Date Taken: 2002-09-17
  • Categories: Ruínas
  • Exposição: f/8, 1/500 segundos
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Versão da Foto: Versão Original
  • Date Submitted: 2008-05-15 0:29
Viewed: 4879
Points: 2
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