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   Chapter 4 THE CITIES

History of Phoenicia By George Rawlinson Characters: 35436

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07


Importance of the cities in Phoenicia-Their names and

relative eminence-Cities of the first rank-Sidon-Tyre-

Arvad or Aradus-Marathus-Gebal or Byblus-Tripolis-Cities

of the second rank-Aphaca-Berytus-Arka-Ecdippa-Accho-

Dor-Japho or Joppa-Ramantha or Laodicea-Fivefold division

of Phoenicia.

Phoenicia, like Greece, was a country where the cities held a position of extreme importance. The nation was not a centralised one, with a single recognised capital, like Jud?a, or Samaria, or Syria, or Assyria, or Babylonia. It was, like Greece, a congeries of homogeneous tribes, who had never been amalgamated into a single political entity, and who clung fondly to the idea of separate independence. Tyre and Sidon are often spoken of as if they were metropolitical cities; but it may be doubted whether there was ever a time when either of them could claim even a temporary authority over the whole country. Each, no doubt, from time to time, exercised a sort of hegemony over a certain number of the inferior cities; but there was no organised confederacy, no obligation of any one city to submit to another, and no period, as far as our knowledge extends, at which all the cities acknowledged a single one as their mistress.41 Between Tyre and Sidon there was especial jealousy, and the acceptance by either of the leadership of the other, even temporarily, was a rare fact in the history of the nation.

According to the geographers, the cities of Phoenicia, from Laodicea in the extreme north to Joppa at the extreme south, numbered about twenty-five. These were Laodicea, Gabala, Balanea, Paltos; Aradus, with its dependency Antaradus; Marathus; Simyra, Orthosia, and Arka; Tripolis, Calamus, Trieris, and Botrys; Byblus or Gebal; Aphaca; Berytus; Sidon, Sarepta, and Ornithonpolis; Tyre and Ecdippa; Accho and Porphyreon; Dor and Joppa. Of the twenty-five a certain number were, historically and politically, insignificant; for instance, Gabala, Balanea, Paltos, Orthosia, Calamus, Trieris, Botrys, Sarepta, Ornithonpolis, Porphyreon. Sarepta is immortalised by the memory of its pious widow,42 and Orthosia has a place in history from its connection with the adventures of Trypho;43 but the rest of the list are little more than "geographical expressions." There remain fifteen important cities, of which six may be placed in the first rank and nine in the second-the six being Tyre, Sidon, Aradus, Byblus or Gebal, Marathus, and Tripolis; the nine, Laodicea, Simyra, Arka, Aphaca, Berytus, Ecdippa, Accho, Dor, and Joppa. It will be sufficient in the present place to give some account of these fifteen.

There are some grounds for considering Sidon to have been the most ancient of the Phoenician towns. In the Book of Genesis Sidon is called "the eldest born of Canaan,"44 and in Joshua, where Tyre is simply a "fenced city" or fort,45 it is "Great Zidon."46 Homer frequently mentions it,47 whereas he takes no notice of Tyre. Justin makes it the first town which the Phoenicians built on arriving at the shores of the Mediterranean.48 The priority of Sidon in this respect was, however, not universally acknowledged, since Tyre claims on some of her coins to have been "the mother-city of the Sidonians,"49 and Marathus was also regarded as a city of the very highest antiquity.410 The city stood in Lat. 33o 34′ nearly, on the flat plain between the mountains and the shore, opposite a small promontory which projects into the sea towards the west, and is flanked towards the north-west and north by a number of rocky islands. The modern town of Sa?da stands close upon the shore, occupying the greater part of the peninsula and a portion of the plain on which it abuts; but the ancient city is found to have been situated entirely in the plain, and its most western traces are almost half a mile from the nearest point of the present walls.411 The modern Sa?da has clustered itself about what was the principal port of the ancient town, which lay north of the promontory, and was well protected from winds, on the west by the principal island, which has a length of 250 yards, and on the north by a long range of islets and reefs, extending in a north-easterly direction a distance of at least 600 yards. An excellent roadstead was thus formed by nature, which art early improved into a small but commodious harbour, a line of wall being carried out from the coast northwards to the most easterly of the islets, and the only unprotected side of the harbour being thus securely closed. There is reason to believe that this work was completed anterior to the time of Alexander,412 and was therefore due to the Phoenicians themselves, who were not blind to the advantages of closed harbours over open roadsteads. They seem also to have strengthened the natural barrier towards the north by a continuous wall of huge blocks along the reefs and the islets, portions of which are still in existence.

Besides this excellent harbour, 500 yards long by 200 broad, Sidon possessed on the southern side of the peninsula a second refuge for its ships, less safe, but still more spacious. This was an oval basin, 600 yards long from north to south, and nearly 400 broad from east to west, wholly surrounded by land on three sides, the north, the east, and the south, but open for the space of about 200 yards towards the west. In fine weather this harbour was probably quite as much used as the other; it was protected from all the winds that were commonly prevalent, and offered a long stretch of sandy shore free from buildings on which vessels could be drawn up.

It is impossible to mark out the enceinte of the ancient town, or indeed to emplace it with any exactitude. Only scanty and scattered remains are left here and there between the modern city and the mountains. There is, however, towards the south an extensive necropolis,413 which marks perhaps the southern limits of the city, while towards the east the hills are penetrated by a number of sepulchural grottoes, and tombs of various kinds, which were also probably outside the walls. Were a northern necropolis to be discovered, some idea would be furnished of the extent of the city; but at present the plain has been very imperfectly examined in this direction. It is from the southern necropolis that the remarkable inscription was disinterred which first established beyond all possibility of doubt the fact that the modern Sa?da is the representative of the ancient Sidon.414

Twenty miles to the south of Sidon was the still more important city-the double city-of Tzur or Tyre. Tzur signifies "a rock," and at this point of the Syrian coast (Lat. 33o 17′) there lay at a short distance from the shore a set of rocky islets, on the largest of which the original city seems to have been built. Indentations are so rare and so shallow along this coast, that a maritime people naturally looked out for littoral islands, as affording under the circumstances the best protection against boisterous winds; and, as in the north Aradus was early seized and occupied by Phoenician settlers, so in the south the rock, which became the heart of Tyre, was seized, fortified, covered with buildings, and converted from a bare stony eminence into a town. At the same time, or not much later, a second town grew up on the mainland opposite the isle; and the two together were long regarded as constituting a single city. After the time of Alexander the continental town went to decay; and the name of Pal?-Tyrus was given to it,415 to distinguish it from the still flourishing city on the island.

The islands of which we have spoken formed a chain running nearly in parallel to the coast. They were some eleven or twelve in number. The southern extremity of the chain was formed by three, the northern by seven, small islets.416 Intermediate between these lay two islands of superior size, which were ultimately converted into one by filling up the channel between them. A further enlargement was effected by means of substructions thrown out into the sea, probably on two sides, towards the east and towards the south. By these means an area was produced sufficient for the site of a considerable town. Pliny estimated the circumference of the island Tyre at twenty-two stades,417 or somewhat more than two miles and a half. Modern measurements make the actual present area one of above 600,000 square yards.418 The shape was an irregular trapezium, 1,400 yards along its western face, 800 yards along its southern one, 600 along the face towards the east, and rather more along the face towards the north-east.

The whole town was surrounded by a lofty wall, the height of which, on the side which faced the mainland, was, we are told, a hundred and fifty feet.419 Towards the south the foundations of the wall were laid in the sea, and may still be traced.420 They consist of huge blocks of stone strengthened inside by a conglomerate of very hard cement. The wall runs out from the south-eastern corner of what was the original island, in a direction a little to the south of west, till it reaches the line of the western coast, when it turns at a sharp angle, and rejoins the island at its south-western extremity. At present sea is found for some distance to the north of the wall, and this fact has been thought to show that originally it was intended for a pier or quay, and the space within it for a harbour;421 but the latest explorers are of opinion that the space was once filled up with masonry and rubbish, being an artificial addition to the island, over which, in the course of time, the sea has broken, and reasserted its rights.422

Like Sidon, Tyre had two harbours, a northern and a southern. The northern, which was called the "Sidonian," because it looked towards Sidon, was situated on the east of the main island, towards the northern end of it. On the west and south the land swept round it in a natural curve, effectually guarding two sides; while the remaining two were protected by art. On the north a double line of wall was carried out in a direction a little south of east for a distance of about three hundred yards, the space between the two lines being about a hundred feet. The northern line acted as a sort of breakwater, the southern as a pier. This last terminated towards the east on reaching a ridge of natural rock, and was there met by the eastern wall of the harbour, which ran out in a direction nearly due north for a distance of 250 yards, following the course of two reefs, which served as its foundation. Between the reefs was a space of about 140 feet, which was left open, but could be closed, if necessary, by a boom or chain, which was kept in readiness. The dimensions of this northern harbour are thought to have been about 370 yards from north to south, by about 230 from east to west,423 or a little short of those which have been assigned to the northern harbour of Sidon. Concerning the southern harbour there is considerable difference of opinion. Some, as Kenrick and M. Bertou, place it due south of the island, and regard its boundary as the line of submarine wall which we have already described and regarded as constituting the southern wall of the town. Others locate it towards the south-east, and think that it is now entirely filled up. A canal connected the two ports, so that vessels could pass from the one to the other.

The most remarkable of the Tyrian buildings were the royal palace, which abutted on the southern wall of the town, and the temples dedicated to Baal, Melkarth, Agenor, and Astarte or Ashtoreth.424 The probable character of the architecture of these buildings will be hereafter considered. With respect to their emplacement, it would seem by the most recent explorations that the temple of Baal, called by the Greeks that of the Olympian Zeus, stood by itself on what was originally a separate islet at the south-western corner of the city,425 while that of Melkarth occupied a position as nearly as possible central,426 and that of Agenor was placed near the point in which the island terminates toward the north.427 The houses of the inhabitants were closely crowded together, and rose to the height of several storeys.428 There was an open space for the transaction of business within the walls towards the east, called Eurychorus by those Phoenicians who wrote their histories in Greek.429 The town was full of dyeing establishments, which made it difficult to traverse.430 The docks and dockyards were towards the east.

The population of the island Tyre, when it was captured by Alexander, seems to have been about forty thousand souls.431 As St. Malo, a city less than one-third of the size, is known to have had at one time a population of twelve thousand,432 the number, though large for the area, would seem not to be incredible.

Of Pal?-Tyrus, or the continental Tyre, no satisfactory account can be given, since it has absolutely left no remains, and the classical notices on the subject are exceedingly scanty. At different periods of its history, its limits and extent probably varied greatly. Its position was nearly opposite the island, and in the early times it must have been, like the other coast towns, strongly fortified; but after its capture by Alexander the walls do not seem to have been restored, and it became an open straggling town, extending along the shore from the river Leontes (Litany) to Ras-el-Ain, a distance of seven miles or more. Pliny, who wrote when its boundary could still be traced, computed the circuit of Pal?-Tyrus and the island Tyre together at nineteen Roman miles,433 the circuit of the island by itself being less than three miles. Its situation, in a plain of great fertility, at the foot of the south-western spurs of Lebanon, and near the gorge of the Litany, was one of great beauty. Water was supplied to it in great abundance from the copious springs of Ras-el-Ain, which were received into a reservoir of an octagonal shape, sixty feet in diameter, and inclosed within walls eighteen feet in height,434 whence they were conveyed northwards to the heart of the city by an aqueduct, whereof a part is still remaining.

The most important city of Phoenicia towards the north was Arvad, or Aradus. Arvad was situated, like Tyre, on a small island off the Syrian coast, and lay in Lat. 34o 48′ nearly. It was distant from the shore about two miles and a half. The island was even smaller than that which formed the nucleus of Tyre, being only about 800 yards, or less than half a mile in length, by 500 yards, or rather more than a quarter of a mile in breadth.435 The axis of the island was from north-west to south-east. It was a bare rock, low and flat, without water, and without any natural soil. The iron coast was surrounded on three sides, the north, the west, and the south, by a number of rocks and small islets, which fringed it like the trimming of a shawl. Its Phoenician occupiers early converted this debatable territory, half sea half shore, into solid land, by filling up the interstices between the rocks with squared stones and a solid cement as hard as the rock itself, which remains to this day.436 The north-eastern portion, which has a length of 150 yards by a breadth of 125, is perfectly smooth and almost flat, but with a slight slope towards the east, which is thought to show that it was used as a sort of dry dock, on which to draw up the lighter vessels, for safety or for repairs.437 The western and southern increased the area for house-building. Anciently, as at Tyre, the houses were built very close together, and had several storeys,438 for the purpose of accommodating a numerous population. The island was wholly without natural harbour; but on the eastern side, which faced the mainland, and was turned away from the prevailing winds, the art and industry of the inhabitants constructed two ports of a fair size. This was effected by carrying out from the shore three piers at right angles into the sea, the central one to a distance of from seventy to a hundred yards, and the other two very nearly as far-and thus forming two rectangular basins, one on either side of the central pier, which were guarded from winds on three sides, and only open towards the east, a quarter from which the winds are seldom violent, and on which the mainland, less than three miles off, forms a protection. The construction of the central pier is remarkable. It is formed of massive blocks of sandstone, which are placed transversely, so that their length forms the thickness of the pier, and their ends the wall on either side. On both sides of the wall are quays of concrete.439

The line of the ancient enceinte may still be traced around the three outer sides of the island. It is a gigantic work, composed of stones from fifteen to eighteen feet long, placed transversely, like those of the centre pier, and in two places still rising to the height of five or six courses (from thirty to forty feet).440 The blocks are laid side by side without mortar; they are roughly squared, and arranged generally in regular courses; but sometimes two courses for a while take the place of one.441 There is a want of care in the arrangement of the blocks, joints in one course being occasionally directly over joints in the course below it. The stones are without any bevel or ornamentation of any kind. They have been quarried in the island itself, and the beds of rock from which they were taken may be seen at no great distance. At one point in the western side of the island, the native rock itself has been cut into the shape of the wall, and made to take the place of the squared stones for the distance of about ten feet.442 A moat has also been c

ut along the entire western side, which, with its glacis, served apparently to protect the wall from the fury of the waves.443

We know nothing of the internal arrangements of the ancient town beyond the fact of the closeness and loftiness of the houses. Externally Aradus depended on her possessions upon the mainland both for water and for food. The barren rock could grow nothing, and was moreover covered with houses. Such rainwater as fell on the island was carefully collected and stored in tanks and reservoirs,444 the remains of which are still to be seen. But the ordinary supply of water for daily consumption was derived in time of peace from the opposite coast. When this supply was cut off by an enemy Aradus had still one further resource. Midway in the channel between the island and the continent there burst out at the bottom of the sea a fresh-water spring of great strength; by confining this spring within a hemisphere of lead to which a leathern pipe was attached the much-needed fluid was raised to the surface and received into a vessel moored upon the spot, whence supplies were carried to the island.445 The phenomenon still continues, though the modern inhabitants are too ignorant and unskilful to profit by it.446

On the mainland Aradus possessed a considerable tract, and had a number of cities subject to her. Of these Strabo enumerates six, viz. Paltos, Balanea, Carnus-which he calls the naval station of Aradus-Enydra, Marathus, and Simyra.447 Marathus was the most important of these. Its name recalls the "Brathu" of Philo-Byblius448 and the "Martu" of the early Babylonian inscriptions,449 which was used as a general term by some of the primitive monarchs almost in the sense of "Syria." The word is still preserved in the modern "M'rith" or "Amrith," a name attached to some extensive ruins in the plain south-east of Aradus, which have been carefully examined by M. Renan.450 Marathus was an ancient Phoenician town, probably one of the most ancient, and was always looked upon with some jealousy by the Aradians, who ultimately destroyed it and partitioned out the territory among their own citizens.451 The same fate befell Simyra,452 a place of equal antiquity, the home probably of those Zemarites who are coupled with the Arvadites in Genesis.453 Simyra appears as "Zimirra" in the Assyrian inscriptions, where it is connected with Arka,454 which was not far distant. Its exact site, which was certainly south of Amrith, seems to be fixed by the name Sumrah, which attaches to some ruins in the plain about a mile and a half north of the Eleutherus (Nahr-el-Kebir) and within a mile of the sea.455 The other towns-Paltos, Balanea, Carnus,456 and Enydra-were in the more northern portion of the plain, as was also Antaradus, now Tortosa, where there are considerable remains, but of a date long subsequent to the time of Phoenician ascendancy.

Of the remaining Phoenician cities the most important seems to have been Gebal, or Byblus. Mentioned under the name of Gubal in the Assyrian inscriptions as early as the time of Jehu457 (ab. B.C. 840), and glanced at even earlier in the Hebrew records, which tell of its inhabitants, the Giblites,458 Gebal is found as a town of note in the time of Alexander the Great,459 and again in that of Pompey.460 The traditions of the Phoenicians themselves made it one of the most ancient of the cities; and the historian Philo, who was a native of the place, ascribes its foundation to Kronos or Saturn.461 It was an especially holy city, devoted in the early times to the worship of Beltis,462 and in the later to that of Adonis.463 The position is marked beyond all reasonable doubt by the modern Jebe?l, which retains the original name very slightly modified, and answers completely to the ancient descriptions. The town lies upon the coast, in Lat. 34o 10′ nearly, about halfway between Tripolis and Berytus, four miles north of the point where the Adonis river (now the Ibrahim) empties itself into the sea. There is a "small but well-sheltered port,"464 formed mainly by two curved piers which are carried out from the shore towards the north and south, and which leave between them only a narrow entrance. The castle occupies a commanding position on a hill at a little distance from the shore, and has a keep built of bevelled stones of a large size. Several of them measure from fifteen to eighteen feet in length, and are from five to six feet thick.465 They were probably quarried by Giblite "stone-cutters," but placed in their present position during the middle ages.

Tripolis, situated halfway between Byblus and Aradus, was not one of the original Phoenician cities, but was a joint colony from the three principal settlements, Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus.466 The date of its foundation, and its native Phoenician name, are unknown to us: conjecture hovers between Hosah, Mahalliba, Uznu, and Siannu, maritime towns of Phoenicia known to the Assyrians,467 but unmentioned by any Greek author. The situation was a promontory, which runs out towards the north-west, in Lat. 34o 27′ nearly, for the distance of a mile, and is about half a mile wide. The site is "well adapted for a haven, as a chain of seven small islands, running out to the north-west, affords shelter in the direction from which the most violent winds blow."468 The remotest of these islands is ten miles distant from the shore.469 We are told that the colonists who founded Tripolis did not intermix, but had their separate quarters of the town assigned to them, each surrounded by its own wall, and lying at some little distance one from the other.470 There are no present traces of this arrangement, which seems indicative of distrust; but some remains have been found of a wall which was carried across the isthmus on the land side.471 Tripolis is now Tarabolus.

Aphaca, the only inland Phoenician town of any importance, is now Afka, and is visited by most travellers and tourists. It was situated in a beautiful spot at the head of the Adonis river,472 a sacred stream fabled to run with blood once a year, at the festival which commemorated the self-mutilation of the Nature-god Adonis. Aphaca was a sort of Delphi, a collection of temples rather than a town. It was dedicated especially to the worship of the Syrian goddess, Ashtoreth or Venus, sometimes called Beltis or Baaltis, whose orgies were of so disgracefully licentious a character that they were at last absolutely forbidden by Constantine. At present there are no remains on the ancient site except one or two ruins of edifices decidedly Roman in character.473 Nor is the gorge of the Adonis any richer in ancient buildings. There was a time when the whole valley formed a sort of "Holy Land,"474 and at intervals on its course were shown "Tombs of Adonis,"475 analogous to the artificial "Holy Sepulchres" of many European towns in the middle ages. All, however, have disappeared, and the traveller looks in vain for any traces of that curious cult which in ancient times made Aphaca and its river one of the most noted of the holy spots of Syria and a favourite resort of pilgrims.

Twenty-three miles south of Byblus was Berytus, which disputed with Byblus the palm of antiquity.476 Berytus was situated on a promontory in Lat. 33o 54′, and had a port of a fair size, protected towards the west by a pier, which followed the line of a ridge of rocks running out from the promontory towards the north. It was not of any importance during the flourishing Phoenician period, but grew to greatness under the Romans,477 when its harbour was much improved, and the town greatly extended.478 By the time of Justinian it had become the chief city of Phoenicia, and was celebrated as a school of law and science.479 The natural advantages of its situation have caused it to retain a certain importance, and in modern times it has drawn to itself almost the whole of the commerce which Europe maintains with Syria.

Arka, or Arqa, the home of the Arkites of Genesis,480 can never have been a place of much consequence. It lies at a distance of four miles from the shore, on one of the outlying hills which form the skirts of Lebanon, in Lat. 34o 33, Long. 33o 44′ nearly. The towns nearest to it were Orthosia, Simyra, and Tripolis. It was of sufficient consequence to be mentioned in the Assyrian Inscriptions,481 though not to attract the notice of Strabo.

Ecdippa, south of Tyre, in Lat. 33o 1′, is no doubt the scriptural Achzib,482 which was made the northern boundary of Asher at the division of the Holy Land among the twelve tribes. The Assyrian monarchs speak of it under the same name, but mention it rarely, and apparently as a dependency of Sidon.483 The old name, in the shortened form of "Zeb," still clings to the place.

Still further to the south, five miles from Ecdippa, and about twenty-two miles from Tyre, lay Akko or Accho, at the northern extremity of a wide bay, which terminates towards the south in the promontory of Carmel. Next to the Bay of St. George, near Beyrout, this is the best natural roadstead on the Syrian coast; and this advantage, combined with its vicinity to the plain of Esdraelon, has given to Accho at various periods of history a high importance, as in some sense "the key of Syria." The Assyrians, in their wars with Palestine and Egypt, took care to conquer and retain it.484 When the Ptolemies became masters of the tract between Egypt and Mount Taurus, they at once saw its value, occupied it, strengthened its defences, and gave it the name of Ptolema?s. The old appellation has, however, reasserted itself; and, as Acre, the city played an important part in the Crusades, in the Napoleonic attempt on Egypt, and in the comparatively recent expedition of Ibrahim Pasha. It had a small port of its own to the south-east of the promontory on which it stood, which, like the other ports of the ancient Phoenicia, is at the present time almost wholly sanded up.485 But its roadstead was of more importance than its port, and was used by the Persians as a station for their fleet, from which they could keep watch on Egypt.486

South of Accho and south of Carmel, close upon the shore, which is here low and flat, was Dor, now Tantura, the seat of a kingdom in the time of Joshua,487 and allotted after its conquest to Manasseh.488 Here Solomon placed one of his purveyors,489 and here the great Assyrian monarch Tiglath-pileser II. likewise placed a "governor," about B.C. 732, when he reduced it.490 Dor was one of the places where the shell-fish which produced the purple dye were most abundant, and remained in the hands of the Phoenicians during all the political changes which swept over Syria and Palestine to a late period.491 It had fallen to ruin, however, by the time of Jerome,492 and the present remains are unimportant.

The extreme Phoenician city on the south was Japho or Joppa. It lay in Lat. 32o 2′, close to the territory of Dan,493 but continued to be held by the Phoenicians until the time of the Maccabees,494 when it became Jewish. The town was situated on the slope of a low hill near the sea, and possessed anciently a tolerable harbour, from which a trade was carried on with Tartessus.495 As the seaport nearest to Jerusalem, it was naturally the chief medium of the commerce which was carried on between the Phoenicians and the Jews. Thither, in the time of Solomon, were brought the floats of timber cut in Lebanon for the construction of the Temple and the royal palace; and thither, no doubt, were conveyed "the wheat, and the barley, and the oil, and the wine," which the Phoenicians received in return for their firs and cedars.496 A similar exchange of commodities was made nearly five centuries later at the same place, when the Jews returned from the captivity under Zerubbabel.497 In Roman times the foundation of C?sar?a reduced Joppa to insignificance; yet it still, as Jaffa or Yáfa, retains a certain amount of trade, and is famous for its palm-groves and gardens.

Joppa towards the south was balanced by Ramantha, or Laodicea, towards the north. Fifty miles north of Aradus and Antaradus (Tortosa), in Lat. 35o 30′ nearly, occupying the slope of a hill facing the sea, with chalky cliffs on either side, that, like those of Dover, whiten the sea, and with Mount Casius in the background, lay the most northern of all the Phoenician cities in a fertile and beautiful territory.498 The original appellation was, we are told, Ramantha,499 a name intended probably to mark the lofty situation of the place;4100 but this appellation was forced to give way to the Greek term, Laodicea, when Seleucus Nicator, having become king of Syria, partially rebuilt Ramantha and colonised it with Greeks.4101 The coins of the city under the Seleucid? show its semi-Greek, semi-Phoenician character, having legends in both languages. One of these, in the Phoenician character, is read as l'Ladika am b'Canaan, i.e. "of Laodicea, a metropolis in Canaan," and seems to show that the city claimed not only to be independent, but to have founded, and to hold under its sway, a number of smaller towns.4102 It may have exercised a dominion over the entire tract from Mount Casius to Paltos, where the dominion of Aradus began. Laodicea is now Latakia, and is famous for the tobacco grown in the neighbourhood. It still makes use of its ancient port, which would be fairly commodious if it were cleared of the sand that at present chokes it.4103

It has been said that Phoenicia was composed of "three worlds" with distinct characteristics;4104 but perhaps the number of the "worlds" should be extended to five. First came that of Ramantha, reaching from the Mons Casius to the river Badas, a distance of about fifty miles, a remote and utterly sequestered region, into which neither Assyria nor Egypt ever thought of penetrating. Commerce with Cyprus and southern Asia Minor was especially open to the mariners of this region, who could see the shores of Cyprus without difficulty on a clear day. Next came the "world" of Aradus, reaching along the coast from the Badas to the Eleutherus, another stretch of fifty miles, and including the littoral islands, especially that of Ruad, on which Aradus was built. This tract was less sequestered than the more northern one, and contains traces of having been subjected to influences from Egypt at an early period. The gap between Lebanon and Bargylus made the Aradian territory accessible from the Coelesyrian valley; and there is reason to believe that one of the roads which Egyptian and Assyrian conquest followed in these parts was that which passed along the coast as far as the Eleutherus and then turned eastward and north-eastward to Emesa (Hems) and Hamath. It must have been conquerors marching by this line who set up their effigies at the mouth of the Nahr-el-Kelb, and those who pursued it would naturally make a point of reducing Aradus. Thus this second Phoenician "world" has not the isolated character of the first, but shows marks of Assyrian, and still more of early Egyptian, influence. The third Phoenician "world" is that of Gebal or Byblus. Its limits would seem to be the Eleutherus on the north, and on the south the Tamyras, which would allow it a length of a little above eighty miles. This district, it has been said, preserved to the last days of paganism a character which was original and well marked. Within its limits the religious sentiment had more intensity and played a more important part in life than elsewhere in Phoenicia. Byblus was a sort of Phoenician Jerusalem. By their turn of mind and by the language which they spoke, the Byblians or Giblites seem to have been, of all the Phoenicians, those who most resembled the Hebrews. King Jehavmelek, who probably reigned at Byblus about B.C. 400, calls himself "a just king," and prays that he may obtain favour in the sight of God. Later on it was at Byblus, and in the valleys of the Lebanon depending on it, that the inhabitants celebrated those mysteries of Astarte, together with that orgiastic worship of Adonis or Tammuz, which were so popular in Syria during the whole of the Greco-Roman period.4105 The fourth Phoenician "world" was that of Tyre and Sidon, beginning at the Tamyras and ending with the promontory of Carmel. Here it was that the Phoenician character developed especially those traits by which it is commonly known to the world at large-a genius for commerce and industry, a passion for the undertaking of long and perilous voyages, an adaptability to circumstances of all kinds, and an address in dealing with wild tribes of many different kinds which has rarely been equalled and never exceeded. "All that we are about to say of Phoenicia," declares the author recently quoted, "of its rapid expansion and the influence which it exercised over the nations of the West, must be understood especially of Tyre and Sidon. The other towns might furnish sailors to man the Tyrian fleet or merchandise for their cargo, but it was Sidon first and then (with even more determination and endurance) Tyre which took the initiative and the conduct of the movement; it was the mariners of these two towns who, with eyes fixed on the setting sun, pushed their explorations as far as the Pillars of Hercules, and eventually even further."4106 The last and least important of the Phoenician "worlds" was the southern one, extending sixty miles from Carmel to Joppa-a tract from which the Phoenician character was well nigh trampled out by the feet of strangers ever passing up and down the smooth and featureless region, along which lay the recognised line of route between Syria and Mesopotamia on the one hand, Philistia and Egypt on the other.4107

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