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Tyre

From Academic Kids

Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city in Lebanon on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 23 miles, in a direct line, north of Acre, and 20 south of Sidon. The modern city is still named Sur. The name of the city means 'Rock'.

The commerce of the whole world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. "Tyrian merchants were the first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighbouring islands of the Aegean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in Spain at Tartessus, and even beyond the pillars of Hercules at Gadeira (Cᤩz)" (Driver's Isaiah). In the time of David a friendly alliance was entered into between the Hebrews and the Tyrians, who were long ruled over by their native kings.

Tyre consisted of two distinct parts, a rocky fortress on the mainland, called "Old Tyre", and the city, built on a small, rocky island about half-a-mile distant from the shore. It was a place of great strength. It was besieged by Shalmaneser III, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and by Nebuchadnezzar (586573 BC) for thirteen years, apparently without success. It afterwards fell under the power of Alexander the Great, after a siege of seven months in which he built a causeway from the mainland to the island, but continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era.

Here a church was founded soon after the death of Stephen, and Paul, on his return from his third missionary journey, spent a week in conversation with the disciples there.

It was captured after the First Crusade and was one of the most important cities of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was part of the royal domain, although there were also autonomous trading colonies there for the Italian merchant cities. The city was the site of an archdiocese, a suffragan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; its archbishops often acceded to the Patriarchate. The most notable of the Latin archbishops was the historian William of Tyre. After the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187, the seat of the kingdom moved to Acre, but coronations were held in Tyre. In the 13th century, Tyre was separated from the royal domain as a separate crusader lordship. In 1291 it was retaken by the Mameluks.

"It is noticed on monuments as early as 1500 BC, and claiming, according to Herodotus, to have been founded about 2700 BC." Philo of Byblos (in Eusebius) quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by one Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon's work is said to be dedicated to "Abibalus king of Berytus", possibly the Abibaal who was king of Tyre.

"It had two ports still existing, and was of commercial importance in all ages, with colonies at Carthage (about 850 BC) and all over the Mediterranean. It was often attacked by Egypt and Assyria, and taken by Alexander the Great after a terrible siege in 332 BC. It is now a town of 3,000 inhabitants, with ancient tombs and a ruined cathedral. A short Phoenician text of the fourth century BC is the only monument yet recovered."

The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare sort of purple dye, known as Tyrian purple. This color was, in many cultures of ancient times, reserved for the use of royalty, or at least nobility.

In nineteenth century Britain, Tyre was several times taken as an examplar of the mortality of great power and status - both by John Ruskin in the opening lines of The Stones of Venice, and by Rudyard Kipling's 'Recessional'.

List of kings of Tyre:

Abibaal
Hiram I969 BC936 BC
Baal-Eser I935 BC919 BC
Abdastrato918 BC910 BC
Ithobaal I887 BC856 BC
Baal-Eser II855 BC830 BC
Mattan I829 BC821 BC
Pygmalion (Pumayyaton)820 BC774 BC
Ithobaal II750 BC740 BC
Hiram II739 BC730 BC
Mattan II730 BC729 BC
Elulaios (Luli)729 BC694 BC
Baal I680 BC640 BC
Ithobaal III591 BC573 BC
Baal II573 BC564 BC
Yakinbaal564 BC
Chelbes564 BC563 BC
Abbar563 BC562 BC
Mattan III and Ger Ashthari562 BC556 BC
Baal-Eser III556 BC555 BC
Mahar-Baal555 BC551 BC
Hiram III551 BC532 BC

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