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Etext prepared by John Bickers, jbickers@ihug.co.nz
and Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com




First Published 1889 by Longmans, Green, and Co.

Camden Professor of Ancient History in the University of Oxford
Canon of Canterbury
Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of Turin


Of The
This Work
His Last as Occupant of a Professorial Chair
Is Dedicated
As a Token of Respect and Gratitude
By The
Oct. 1


The original text contains a number of characters that are not
available even in 8-bit Windows text. Where possible these have
been represented with a similar letter, but some things, e.g.
Hebrew script, have been omitted.

The 8-bit version of this text includes Windows font characters.
These may be lost in 7-bit versions of the text, or when viewed
with different fonts.

Greek text has been transliterated within brackets "{}" using an
Oxford English Dictionary alphabet table. Diacritical marks have
been lost. Phnician or other Semitic text has been replaced with
an ellipsis in brackets, i.e. "{...}".

The numerous sketches and maps in the original have also been


Histories of Phnicia or of the Phnicians were written towards the
middle of the present century by Movers and Kenrick. The elaborate
work of the former writer[1] collected into five moderate-sized
volumes all the notices that classical antiquity had preserved of the
Religion, History, Commerce, Art, &c., of this celebrated and
interesting nation. Kenrick, making a free use of the stores of
knowledge thus accumulated, added to them much information derived
from modern research, and was content to give to the world in a single
volume of small size,[2] very scantily illustrated, the ascertained
results of criticism and inquiry on the subject of the Phnicians up
to his own day. Forty-four years have since elapsed; and in the course
of them large additions have been made to certain branches of the
inquiry, while others have remained very much as they were before.
Travellers, like Robinson, Walpole, Tristram, Renan, and Lortet, have
thrown great additional light on the geography, geology, fauna, and
flora of the country. Excavators, like Renan and the two Di Cesnolas,
have caused the soil to yield up most valuable remains bearing upon
the architecture, the art, the industrial pursuits, and the manners
and customs of the people. Antiquaries, like M. Clermont-Ganneau and
MM. Perrot and Chipiez, have subjected the remains to careful
examination and criticism, and have definitively fixed the character
of Phnician Art, and its position in the history of artistic effort.
Researches are still being carried on, both in Phnicia Proper and in
the Phnician dependency of Cyprus, which are likely still further to
enlarge our knowledge with respect to Phnician Art and Archology;
but it is not probable that they will affect seriously the verdict
already delivered by competent judges on those subjects. The time
therefore appeared to the author to have come when, after nearly half
a century of silence, the history of the people might appropriately be
rewritten. The subject had long engaged his thoughts, closely
connected as it is with the histories of Egypt, and of the "Great
Oriental Monarchies," which for thirty years have been to him special
objects of study; and a work embodying the chief results of the recent
investigations seemed to him a not unsuitable termination to the
historical efforts which his resignation of the Professorship of
Ancient History at Oxford, and his entrance upon a new sphere of
labour, bring naturally to an end.

The author wishes to express his vast obligations to MM. Perrot and
Chipiez for the invaluable assistance which he has derived from their
great work,[3] and to their publishers, the MM. Hachette, for their
liberality in allowing him the use of so large a number of MM. Perrot
and Chipiez' Illustrations. He is also much beholden to the same
gentlemen for the use of charts and drawings originally published in
the "Gographie Universelle." Other works from which he has drawn
either materials or illustrations, or both, are (besides Movers' and
Kenrick's) M. Ernest Renan's "Mission de Phnicie," General Di
Cesnola's "Cyprus," A. Di Cesnola's "Salaminia," M. Ceccaldi's
"Monuments Antiques de Cypre," M. Daux's "Recherches sur les Emporia
Phniciens," the "Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum," M. Clermont-
Ganneau's "Imagerie Phnicienne," Mr. Davis's "Carthage and her
Remains," Gesenius's "Scriptur Linguque Phnici Monumenta,"
Lortet's "La Syrie d'aujourd'hui," Serra di Falco's "Antichit della
Sicilia," Walpole's "Ansayrii," and Canon Tristram's "Land of Israel."
The difficulty has been to select from these copious stores the most
salient and noteworthy facts, and to marshal them in such a form as
would make them readily intelligible to the ordinary English reader.
How far he has succeeded in doing this he must leave the public to
judge. In making his bow to them as a "Reader" and Writer "of
Histories,"[4] he has to thank them for a degree of favour which has
given a ready sale to all his previous works, and has carried some of
them through several editions.

CANTERBURY: August 1889.




Phnicia--Origin of the name--Spread of the name southwards--Real
length of Phnicia along the coast--Breadth and area--General
character of the region--The Plains--Plain of Sharon--Plain of
Acre--Plain of Tyre--Plain of Sidon--Plain of Berytus--Plain of
Marathus--Hilly regions--Mountain ranges--Carmel--Casius--Bargylus
--Lebanon--Beauty of Lebanon--Rivers--The Litany--The Nahr-el-
Berid--The Kadisha--The Adonis--The Lycus--The Tamyras--The
Bostrenus--The Zaherany--The Headlands--Main characteristics,
inaccessibility, picturesqueness, productiveness.

Phnic, or Phnicia, was the name originally given by the Greeks--and
afterwards adopted from them by the Romans--to the coast region of the
Mediterranean, where it faces the west between the thirty-second and
the thirty-sixth parallels. Here, it would seem, in their early
voyagings, the Pre-Homeric Greeks first came upon a land where the
palm-tree was not only indigenous, but formed a leading and striking
characteristic, everywhere along the low sandy shore lifting its tuft
of feathery leaves into the bright blue sky, high above the
undergrowth of fig, and pomegranate, and alive. Hence they called the
tract Phnicia, or "the Land of Palms;" and the people who inhabited
it the Phnicians, or "the Palm-tree people."

The term was from the first applied with a good deal of vagueness. It
was probably originally given to the region opposite Cyprus, from
Gabala in the north--now Jebili--to Antaradus (Tortosa) and Marathus
(Amrith) towards the south, where the palm-tree was first seen growing
in rich abundance. The palm is the numismatic emblem of Aradus,[1] and
though not now very frequent in the region which Strabo calls "the
Aradian coast-tract,"[2] must anciently have been among its chief
ornaments. As the Grecian knowledge of the coast extended southward,
and a richer and still richer growth of the palm was continually
noticed, almost every town and every village being embosomed in a
circle of palm groves, the name extended itself until it reached as
far south at any rate as Gaza, or (according to some) as Rhinocolura
and the Torrens gypti. Northward the name seems never to have passed
beyond Cape Posideium (Possidi) at the foot of Mount Casius, the tract
between this and the range of Taurus being always known as Syria,
never as Phnecia or Phnic.

The entire length of the coast between the limits of Cape Possidi and
Rhinocolura is, without reckoning the lesser indentations, about 380
miles, or nearly the same as that of Portugal. The indentations of the
coast-line are slight. From Rhinocolura to Mount Carmel, a distance of
150 miles, not a single strong promontory asserts itself, nor is there
a single bay of sufficient depth to attract the attention of
geographers. Carmel itself is a notable headland, and shelters a bay
of some size; but these once passed the old uniformity returns, the
line being again almost unbroken for a distance of seventy-five miles,
from Haifa to Beyrout (Berytus). North of Beyrout we find a little
more variety. The coast projects in a tolerably bold sweep between the
thirty-fourth parallel and Tripolis (Tarabulus) and recedes almost
correspondingly between Tripolis and Tortosa (Antaradus), so that a
deepish bay is formed between Lat. 34 27 and Lat. 34 45, whence
the line again runs northward unindented for fifty miles, to beyond
Gabala (Jebili). After this, between Gabala and Cape Posideium there
is considerable irregularity, the whole tract being mountainous, and
spurs from Bargylus and Casius running down into the sea and forming a
succession of headlands, of which Cape Posideium is the most

But while the name Phnicia is applied geographically to this long
extent--nearly 400 miles--of coast-line, historically and ethnically
it has to be reduced within considerably narrower limits. A race,
quite distinct from that of the Phnicians, was settled from an early
date on the southern portion of the west Asian coast, where it verges
towards Africa. From Jabneh (Yebna) southwards was Palestine, the
country of the Philistines, perhaps even from Joppa (Jaffa), which is
made the boundary by Mela.[3] Thus at least eighty miles of coast-line
must be deducted from the 380, and the length of Phnicia along the
Mediterranean shore must be regarded as not exceeding three hundred

The width varied from eight or ten miles to thirty. We must regard as
the eastern boundary of Phnicia the high ridge which forms the
watershed between the streams that flow eastward toward the Orontes,
Litany, and Jordan, and those that flow westward into the
Mediterranean. It is difficult to say what was the /average/ width,
but perhaps it may be fairly estimated at about fifteen miles. In this
case the entire area would have been about 4,500 square miles.

The tract was one of a remarkably diversified character. Lofty
mountain, steep wooded hill, chalky slope, rich alluvial plain, and
sandy shore succeeded each other, each having its own charm, which was
enhanced by contrast. The sand is confined to a comparatively narrow
strip along the seashore,[4] and to the sites of ancient harbours now
filled up. It is exceedingly fine and of excellent silicious quality,
especially in the vicinity of Sidon and at the foot of Mount Carmel.
The most remarkable plains are those of Sharon, Acre, Tyre, Sidon,
Beyrout, and Marathus. Sharon, so dear to the Hebrew poets,[5] is the
maritime tract intervening between the highland of Samaria and the
Mediterranean, extending from Joppa to the southern foot of Carmel--a
distance of nearly sixty miles--and watered by the Chorseas, the
Kaneh, and other rivers. It is a smooth, very slightly undulating
tract, about ten miles in width from the sea to the foot of the
mountains, which rise up abruptly from it without any intervening
region of hills, and seem to bound it as a wall, above which tower the
huge rounded masses of Ebal and Gerizim, with the wooded cone, on
which stood Samaria, nestling at their feet.[6] The sluggish streams,
several of them containing water during the whole of the year, make
their way across it between reedy banks,[7] and generally spread out
before reaching the shore into wide marshes, which might be easily
utilised for purposes of irrigation. The soil is extremely rich,
varying from bright red to deep black, and producing enormous crops of
weeds or grain, according as it is cultivated or left in a state of
nature. Towards the south the view over the region has been thus
described: "From Ramleh there is a wide view on every side, presenting
a prospect rarely surpassed in richness and beauty. I could liken it
to nothing but the great plain of the Rhine by Heidelberg or, better
still, to the vast plains of Lombardy, as seen from the cathedral of
Milan and elsewhere. In the east the frowning mountains of Judah rose
abruptly from the tract at their foot; while on the west, in fine
contrast, the glittering waves of the Mediterranean Sea associated our
thoughts with Europe. Towards the north and south, as far as the eye
could reach, the beautiful plain was spread out like a carpet at our
feet, variegated with tracts of brown from which the crops had just
been taken, and with fields still rich with the yellow of the ripe
corn, or green with the springing millet. Immediately below us the eye
rested on the immense olive groves of Ramleh and Lydda, and the
picturesque towers and minarets and domes of these large villages. In
the plain itself were not many villages, but the tract of hills and
the mountain-side beyond, especially in the north-east, were perfectly
studded with them, and as now seen in the reflected beams of the
setting sun they seemed like white villas and hamlets among the dark
hills, presenting an appearance of thriftiness and beauty which
certainly would not stand a closer examination."[8] Towards its
northern end Sharon is narrowed by the low hills which gather round
the western flanks of Carmel, and gradually encroach upon the plain
until it terminates against the shoulder of the mountain itself,
leaving only a narrow beach at the foot of the promontory by which it
is possible to communicate with the next plain towards the north.[9]

Compared with Sharon the plain of Acre is unimportant and of small
extent. It reaches about eight miles along the shore, from the foot of
Carmel to the headland on which the town of Acre stands, and has a
width between the shore and the hills of about six miles. Like Sharon
it is noted for its fertility. Watered by the two permanent streams of
the Kishon and the Belus, it possesses a rich soil, which is said to
be at present "perhaps the best cultivated and producing the most
luxuriant crops, both of corn and weeds, of any in Palestine."[10] The
Kishon waters it on the south, where it approaches Carmel, and is a
broad stream,[11] though easily fordable towards its mouth. The Belus
(Naman) flows through it towards the north, washing Acre itself, and
is a stream of even greater volume than the Kishon, though it has but
a short course.

The third of the Phnician plains, as we proceed from south to north,
is that of Tyre. This is a long but comparatively narrow strip,
reaching from the Ras-el-Abiad towards the south to Sarepta on the
north, a distance of about twenty miles, but in no part more than five
miles across, and generally less than two miles. It is watered about
midway by the copious stream of the Kasimiyeh or Litany, which, rising
east of Lebanon in the Buka'a or Clesyrian valley, forces its way
through the mountain chain by a series of tremendous gorges, and
debouches upon the Tyrian lowland about three miles to the south-east
of the present city, near the modern Khan-el-Kasimiyeh, whence it
flows peaceably to the sea with many windings through a broad low
tract of meadow-land. Other rills and rivulets descending from the
west flank of the great mountain increase the productiveness of the
plain, while copious fountains of water gush forth with surprising
force in places, more especially at Ras-el-Ain, three miles from Tyre,
to the south.[12] The plain is, even at the present day, to a large
extent covered with orchards, gardens, and cultivated fields, in which
are grown rich crops of tobacco, cotton, and cereals.

The plain of Sidon, which follows that of Tyre, and is sometimes
regarded as a part of it,[13] extends from a little north of Sarepta
to the Ras-el-Jajunieh, a distance of about ten miles, and resembles
that of Tyre in its principal features. It is long and narrow, never
more than about two miles in width, but well-watered and very fertile.
The principal streams are the Bostrenus (Nahr-el-Auly) in the north,
just inside the promontory of Jajunieh, the Nahr-Sank, south of
Sidon, a torrent dry in the summer-time,[14] and the Nahr-ez-Zaherany,
two and a half miles north of Sarepta, a river of moderate capacity.
Fine fountains also burst from the earth in the plain itself, as the
Ain-el-Kanterah and the Ain-el-Burk,[15] between Sarepta and the
Zaherany river. Irrigation is easy and is largely used, with the
result that the fruits and vegetables of Sada and its environs have
the name of being among the finest of the country.[16]

The plain of Berytus (Beyrout) is the most contracted of all the
Phnician plains that are at all noticeable. It lies south, south-
east, and east of the city, intervening between the high dunes or
sand-hills which form the western portion of the Beyrout peninsula,
and the skirts of Lebanon, which here approach very near to the sea.
The plain begins at Wady Shuweifat on the south, about four miles from
the town of Beyrout, and extends northwards to the sea on the western
side of the Nahr Beyrout. The northern part of the plain is known as
Ard-el-Burjineh. The plain is deficient in water,[17] yet is
cultivated in olives and mulberries, and contains the largest olive
grove in all Syria. A little beyond its western edge is the famous
pine forest[18] from which (according to some) Berytus derived its

The plain of Marathus is, next to Sharon, the most extensive in
Phnicia. It stretches from Jebili (Gabala) on the north to Arka
towards the south, a distance of about sixty miles, and has a width
varying from two to ten miles. The rock crops out from it in places
and it is broken between Tortosa and Hammam by a line of low hills
running parallel with the shore.[20] The principal streams which water
it are the Nahr-el-Melk, or Badas, six miles south of Jebili, the Nahr
Amrith, a strong running brook which empties itself into the sea a few
miles south of Tortosa (Antaradus), the Nahr Kubl, which joins the
Nahr Amrith near its mouth, and the Eleutherus or Nahr-el-Kabir, which
reaches the sea a little north of Arka. Of these the Eleutherus is the
most important. "It is a considerable stream even in summer, and in
the rainy season it is a barrier to intercourse, caravans sometimes
remaining encamped on its banks for several weeks, unable to
cross."[21] The soil of the plain is shallow, the rock lying always
near the surface; the streams are allowed to run to waste and form
marshes, which breed malaria; a scanty population scarcely attempts
more than the rudest and most inefficient cultivation; and the
consequence is that the tract at present is almost a desert. Nature,
however, shows its capabilities by covering it in the spring-time from
end to end with a "carpet of flowers."[22]

From the edges of the plains, and sometimes from the very shore of the
sea, rise up chalky slopes or steep rounded hills, partly left to
nature and covered with trees and shrubs, partly at the present day
cultivated and studded with villages. The hilly region forms generally
an intermediate tract between the high mountains and the plains
already described; but, not unfrequently, it commences at the water's
edge, and fills with its undulations the entire space, leaving not
even a strip of lowland. This is especially the case in the central
region between Berytus and Arka, opposite the highest portion of the
Lebanon; and again in the north between Cape Possidi and Jebili,
opposite the more northern part of Bargylus. The hilly region in these
places is a broad tract of alternate wooded heights and deep romantic
valleys, with streams murmuring amid their shades. Sometimes the hills
are cultivated in terraces, on which grow vines and olives, but more
often they remain in their pristine condition, clothed with masses of
tangled underwood.

The mountain ranges, which belong in some measure to the geography of
Phnicia, are four in number--Carmel, Casius, Bargylus, and Lebanon.
Carmel is a long hog-backed ridge, running in almost a straight line
from north-west to south-east, from the promontory which forms the
western protection of the bay of Acre to El-Ledjun, on the southern
verge of the great plain of Esdraelon, a distance of about twenty-two
miles. It is a limestone formation, and rises up abruptly from the
side of the bay of Acre, with flanks so steep and rugged that the
traveller must dismount in order to ascend them,[23] but slopes more
gently towards the south, where it is comparatively easy of access.
The greatest elevation which it attains is about Lat. 32 4, where it
reaches the height of rather more than 1,200 feet; from this it falls
gradually as it nears the shore, until at the convent, with which the
western extremity is crowned, the height above the sea is no more than
582 feet. In ancient times the whole mountain was thickly wooded,[24]
but at present, though it contains "rocky dells" where there are
"thick jungles of copse,"[25] and is covered in places with olive
groves and thickets of dwarf oak, yet its appearance is rather that of
a park than of a forest, long stretches of grass alternating with
patches of woodland and "shrubberies, thicker than any in Central
Palestine," while the larger trees grow in clumps or singly, and there
is nowhere, as in Lebanon, any dense growth, or even any considerable
grove, of forest trees. But the beauty of the tract is conspicuous;
and if Carmel means, as some interpret, a "garden" rather than a
"forest," it may be held to well justify its appellation. "The whole
mountain-side," says one traveller,[26] "was dressed with blossoms and
flowering shrubs and fragrant herbs." "There is not a flower," says
another,[27] "that I have seen in Galilee, or on the plains along the
coast, that I do not find on Carmel, still the fragrant, lovely
mountain that he was of old."

The geological structure of Carmel is, in the main, what is called
"the Jura formation," or "the upper oolite"--a soft white limestone,
with nodules and veins of flint. At the western extremity, where it
overhangs the Mediterranean, are found chalk, and tertiary breccia
formed of fragments of chalk and flint. On the north-east of the
mountain, beyond the Nahr-el-Mukattah, plutonic rocks appear, breaking
through the deposit strata, and forming the beginning of the basalt
formation which runs through the plain of Esdraelon to Tabor and the
Sea of Galilee.[28] Like most limestone formations, Carmel abounds in
caves, which are said to be more than 2,000 in number,[29] and are
often of great length and extremely tortuous.

Carmel, the great southern headland of Phnicia, is balanced in a
certain sense by the extreme northern headland of Casius. Mount Casius
is, strictly speaking, the termination of a spur from Bargylus; but it
has so marked and peculiar a character that it seems entitled to
separate description. Rising up abruptly from the Mediterranean to the
height of 5,318 feet, it dominates the entire region in its vicinity,
and from the sea forms a landmark that is extraordinarily conspicuous.
Forests of fine trees clothe its flanks, but the lofty summit towers
high above them, a bare mass of rock, known at the present day as
Jebel-el-Akra, or "the Bald Mountain." It is formed mainly of the same
cretaceous limestone as the other mountains of these parts, and like
them has a rounded summit; but rocks of igneous origin enter into its
geological structure; and in its vegetation it more resembles the
mountain ranges of Taurus and Amanus than those of southern Syria and
Palestine. On its north-eastern prolongation, which is washed by the
Orontes, lay the enchanting pleasure-ground of Daphn, bubbling with
fountains, and bright with flowering shrubs, where from a remote
antiquity the Syrians held frequent festival to their favourite deity
--the "Dea Syra"--the great nature goddess.

The elevated tract known to the ancients as Bargylus, and to modern
geographers as the Ansayrieh or Nasariyeh mountain-region, runs at
right angles to the spur terminating in the Mount Casius, and extends
from the Orontes near Antioch to the valley of the Eleutherus. This is
a distance of not less than a hundred miles. The range forms the
western boundary of the lower Clesyrian valley, which abuts upon it
towards the east, while westward it looks down upon the region, partly
hill, partly lowland, which may be regarded as constituting "Northern
Phoenicia." The axis of the range is almost due north and south, but
with a slight deflection towards the south-east. Bargylus is not a
chain comparable to Lebanon, but still it is a romantic and
picturesque region. The lower spurs towards the west are clothed with
olive grounds and vineyards, or covered with myrtles and
rhododendrons; between them are broad open valleys, productive of
tobacco and corn. Higher up "the scenery becomes wild and bold; hill
rises to mountain; soft springing green corn gives place to sterner
crag, smooth plain to precipitous heights;"[30] and if in the more
elevated region the majesty of the cedar is wanting, yet forests of
fir and pine abound, and creep up the mountain-side, in places almost
to the summit, while here and there bare masses of rock protrude
themselves, and crag and cliff rise into the clouds that hang about
the highest summits. Water abounds throughout the region, which is the
parent of numerous streams, as the northern Nahr-el-Kebir, which flows
into the sea by Latakia, the Nahr-el-Melk, the Nahr Amrith, the Nahr
Kubl, the Nahr-el-Abrath, and many others. From the conformation of
the land they have of necessity short courses; but each and all of
them spread along their banks a rich verdure and an uncommon

But the /great/ range of Phnicia, its glory and its boast is Lebanon.
Lebanon, the "White Mountain"[31]--"the Mont Blanc of Palestine"[32]--
now known as "the Old White-headed Man" (Jebel-esh-Sheikh), or "the
Mountain of Ice" (Jebel-el-Tilj), was to Phnicia at once its
protection, the source of its greatness, and its crowning beauty.
Extended in a continuous line for a distance of above a hundred miles,
with an average elevation of from 6,000 to 8,000 feet, and steepest on
its eastern side, it formed a wall against which the waves of eastern
invasion naturally broke--a bulwark which seemed to say to them, "Thus
far shall ye go, and no further." The flood of conquest swept along
its eastern flank, down the broad vale of the Buka'a, and then over
the hills of Galilee; but its frowning precipices and its lofty crest
deterred or baffled the invader, and the smiling region between its
summit and the Mediterranean was, in the early times at any rate, but
rarely traversed by a hostile army. This western region it was which
held those inexhaustible stores of forest trees that supplied Phnicia
with her war ships and her immense commercial navy; here were the most
productive valleys, the vineyards, and the olive grounds, and here too
were the streams and rills, the dashing cascades, the lovely dells,
and the deep gorges which gave her the palm over all the surrounding
countries for variety of picturesque scenery.

The geology of the Lebanon is exceedingly complicated. "While the bulk
of the mountain, and all the higher ranges, are without exception
limestone of the early cretaceous period, the valleys and gorges are
filled with formations of every possible variety, sedimentary,
metamorphic, and igneous. Down many of them run long streams of trap
or basalt; occasionally there are dykes of porphyry and greenstone,
and then patches of sandstone, before the limestone and flint
recur."[33] Some slopes are composed entirely of soft sandstone; many
patches are of a hard metallic-sounding trap or porphyry; but the
predominant formation is a greasy or powdery limestone, bare often,
but sometimes clothed with a soft herbage, or with a thick tangle of
shrubs, or with lofty forest trees. The ridge of the mountain is
everywhere naked limestone rock, except in the comparatively few
places which attain the highest elevation, where it is coated or
streaked with snow. Two summits are especially remarkable, that of
Jebel Sunnin towards the south, which is a conspicuous object from
Beyrout,[34] and is estimated to exceed the height of 9,000 feet,[35]
and that of Jebel Mukhmel towards the north, which has been carefully
measured and found to fall a very little short of 10,200 feet.[36] The
latter, which forms a sort of amphitheatre, circles round and impends
over a deep hollow or basin, opening out towards the west, in which
rise the chief sources that go to form the romantic stream of the
Kadisha. The sides of the basin are bare and rocky, fringed here and
there with the rough knolls which mark the deposits of ancient
glaciers, the "moraines" of the Lebanon. In this basin stand "the
Cedars." It is not indeed true, as was for a long time supposed, that
the cedar grove of Jebel Mukhmel is the sole remnant of that primeval
cedar-forest which was anciently the glory of the mountain. Cedars
exist on Lebanon in six other places at least, if not in more. Near
Tannurin, on one of the feeders of the Duweir, a wild gorge is clothed
from top to bottom with a forest of trees, untouched by the axe, the
haunt of the panther and the bear, which on examination have been
found to be all cedars, some of a large size, from fifteen to eighteen
feet in girth. They grow in clusters, or scattered singly, in every
variety of situation, some clinging to the steep slopes, or gnarled
and twisted on the bare hilltops, others sheltered in the recesses of
the dell. There are also cedar-groves at B'sherrah; at El Hadith; near
Dma, five hours south-west of El Hadith; in one of the glens north of
Deir-el-Kamar, at Etnub, and probably in other places.[37] But still
"the Cedars" of Jebel Mukhmel are entitled to pre-eminence over all
the rest, both as out-numbering any other cluster, and still more as
exceeding all the rest in size and apparent antiquity. Some of the
patriarchs are of enormous girth; even the younger ones have a
circumference of eighteen feet; and the height is such that the birds
which dwell among the upper branches are beyond the range of an
ordinary fowling-piece.

But it is through the contrasts which it presents that Lebanon has its
extraordinary power of attracting and delighting the traveller. Below
the upper line of bare and worn rock, streaked in places with snow,
and seamed with torrent courses, a region is entered upon where the
freshest and softest mountain herbage, the greenest foliage, and the
most brilliant flowers alternate with deep dells, tremendous gorges,
rocky ravines, and precipices a thousand feet high. Scarcely has the
voyager descended from the upper region of naked and rounded rock,
when he comes upon "a tremendous chasm--the bare amphitheatre of the
upper basin contracts into a valley of about 2,000 feet deep, rent at
its bottom into a cleft a thousand feet deeper still, down which
dashes a river, buried between these stupendous walls of rock. All
above the chasm is terraced as far as the eye can reach with
indefatigable industry. Tiny streamlets bound and leap from terrace to
terrace, fertilising them as they rush to join the torrent in the
abyss. Some of the waterfalls are of great height and of considerable
volume. From one spot may be counted no less than seven of these
cascades, now dashing in white spray over a cliff, now lost under the
shade of trees, soon to reappear over the next shelving rock."[38] Or,
to quote from another writer,[39]--"The descent from the summit is
gradual, but is everywhere broken by precipices and towering rocks,
which time and the elements have chiselled into strange fantastic
shapes. Ravines of singular wildness and grandeur furrow the whole
mountain-side, looking in many places like huge rents. Here and there,
too, bold promontories shoot out, and dip perpendicularly into the
bosom of the Mediterranean. The ragged limestone banks are scantily
clothed with the evergreen oak, and the sandstone with pines; while
every available spot is carefully cultivated. The cultivation is
wonderful, and shows what all Syria might be of under a good
government. Miniature fields of grain are often seen where one would
suppose that the eagles alone, which hover round them, could have
planted the seed. Fig-trees cling to the naked rock; vines are trained
along narrow ledges; long ranges of mulberries on terraces like steps
of stairs cover the more gentle declivities; and dense groves of
olives fill up the bottoms of the glens. Hundreds of villages are
seen, here built amid labyrinths of rock, there clinging like
swallows' nests to the sides of cliffs, while convents, no less
numerous, are perched on the top of every peak. When viewed from the
sea on a morning in early spring, Lebanon presents a picture which
once seen is never forgotten; but deeper still is the impression left
on the mind, when one looks down over its terraced slopes clothed in
their gorgeous foliage, and through the vistas of its magnificent
glens, on the broad and bright Mediterranean."

The eastern flank of the mountain falls very far short of the western
both in area and in beauty. It is a comparatively narrow region, and
presents none of the striking features of gorge, ravine, deep dell,
and dashing stream which diversify the side that looks westward. The
steep slopes are generally bare, the lower portion only being scantily
clothed with deciduous oak, for the most part stunted, and with low
scrub of juniper and barberry.[40] Towards the north there is an outer
barrier, parallel with the main chain, on which follows a tolerably
flat and rather bare plain, well watered, and with soft turf in many
parts, which gently slopes to the foot of the main ascent, a wall of
rock generally half covered with snow, up which winds the rough track
whereby travellers reach the summit. Rills of water are not wanting;
flowers bloom to the very edge of the snow, and the walnut-tree
flourishes in sheltered places to within two or three thousand feet of
the summit; but the general character of the tract is bare and bleak;
the villages are few; and the terraced cultivation, which adds so much
to the beauty of the western side, is wanting. In the southern half of
the range the descent is abrupt from the crest of the mountain into
the Buka'a, or valley of the Litany, and the aspect of the mountain-
side is one of "unrelieved bareness."[41]

There is, however, one beauty at one point on this side of the Lebanon
range which is absent from the more favoured western region. On the
ascent from Baalbek to the Cedars the traveller comes upon Lake
Lemone, a beautiful mountain tarn, without any apparent exit, the only
sheet of water in the Lebanon. Lake Lemone is of a long oval shape,
about two miles from one end to the other, and is fed by a stream
entering at either extremity, that from the north, which comes down
from the village of Aint, being the more important. As the water
which comes into the lake cannot be discharged by evaporation, we must
suppose some underground outlet,[42] by which it is conveyed, through
the limestone, into the Litany.

The eastern side of Lebanon drains entirely into this river, which is
the only stream whereto it gives birth. The Litany is the principal of
all the Phnician rivers, for the Orontes must be counted not to
Phnicia but to Syria. It rises from a small pool or lake near Tel
Hushben,[43] about six miles to the south-west of the Baalbek ruins.
Springing from this source, which belongs to Antilibanus rather than
to Lebanon, the Litany shortly receives a large accession to its
waters from the opposite side of the valley, and thus augmented flows
along the lower Buka'a in a direction which is generally a little west
of south, receiving on either side a number of streams and rills from
both mountains, and giving out in its turn numerous canals for
irrigation. As the river descends with numerous windings, but still
with the same general course, the valley of the Buka'a contracts more
and more, till finally it terminates in a gorge of a most
extraordinary character. Nothing in the conformation of the strata, or
in the lie of ground, indicates the coming marvel[44]--the roots of
Lebanon and Hermon appear to intermix--and the further progress of the
river seems to be barred by a rocky ridge stretching across the valley
from east to west, when lo! suddenly, the ridge is cut, as if by a
knife, and a deep and narrow chasm opens in it, down which the stream
plunges in a cleft 200 feet deep, and so narrow that in one place it
is actually bridged over by masses of rock which have fallen from the
cliffs above.[45] In the gully below fig-trees and planes, besides
many shrubs, find a footing, and the moist walls of rock on either
side are hung with ferns of various kinds, among which is conspicuous
the delicate and graceful maidenhair. Further down the chasm deepens,
first to 1,000 and then to 1,500 feet, "the torrent roars in the
gorge, milk-white and swollen often with the melting snow, overhung
with semi-tropical oleanders, fig-trees, and oriental planes, while
the upper cliffs are clad with northern vegetation, two zones of
climate thus being visible at once."[46] Where the gorge is the
deepest, opposite the Castle of Belfort (the modern Kulat-esh-Shukif),
the river suddenly makes a turn at right angles, altering its course
from nearly due south to nearly due west, and cuts through the
remaining roots of Lebanon, still at the bottom of a tremendous
fissure, and still raging and chafing for a distance of fifteen miles,
until at length it debouches on the coast plain, and meanders slowly
through meadows to the sea,[47] which it enters about five miles to
the north of Tyre. The course of the Litany may be roughly estimated
at from seventy to seventy-five miles.

The other streams to which Lebanon gives birth flow either from its
northern or its western flank. From the northern flank flows one
stream only, the Nahr-el-Kebir or Eleutherus. The course of this
stream is short, not much exceeding thirty miles. It rises from
several sources at the edge of the Clesyrian valley, and, receiving
affluents from either side, flows westward between Bargylus and
Lebanon to the Mediterranean, which it enters between Orthosia
(Artousi) and Marathus (Amrith) with a stream, the volume of which is
even in the summer-time considerable. In the rainy season it
constitutes an important impediment to intercourse, since it
frequently sweeps away any bridge which may be thrown across it, and
is itself unfordable. Caravans sometimes remain encamped upon its
banks for weeks, waiting until the swell has subsided and crossing is
no longer dangerous.[48]

From the western flank of Lebanon flow above a hundred streams of
various dimensions, whereof the most important are the Nahr-el-Berid
or river of Orthosia, the Kadisha or river of Tripolis, the Ibrahim or
Adonis, the Nahr-el-Kelb or Lycus, the Damour or Tamyras, the Auly
(Aouleh) or Bostrenus, and the Zaherany, of which the ancient name is
unknown to us. The Nahr-el-Berid drains the north-western angle of the
mountain chain, and is formed of two main branches, one coming down
from the higher portion of the range, about Lat. 34 20, and flowing
to the north-west, while the other descends from a region of much less
elevation, about Lat. 34 30, and runs a little south of west to the
point of junction. The united stream then forces its way down a gorge
in a north-west direction, and enters the sea at Artousi, probably the
ancient Orthosia.[49] The length of the river from its remotest
fountain to its mouth is about twenty miles.

The Kadisha or "Holy River" has its source in the deep basin already
described, round which rise in a semicircle the loftiest peaks of the
range, and on the edge of which stand "the Cedars." Fed by the
perpetual snows, it shortly becomes a considerable stream, and flows
nearly due west down a beautiful valley, where the terraced slopes are
covered with vineyards and mulberry groves, and every little dell,
every nook and corner among the jagged rocks, every ledge and cranny
on precipice-side, which the foot of man can reach, or on which a
basket of earth can be deposited, is occupied with patch of corn or
fruit-tree.[50] Lower down near Canobin the valley contracts into a
sublime chasm, its rocky walls rising perpendicularly a thousand feet
on either side, and in places not leaving room for even a footpath
beside the stream that flows along the bottom.[51] The water of the
Kadisha is "pure, fresh, cool, and limpid,"[52] and makes a paradise
along its entire course. Below Canobin the stream sweeps round in a
semicircle towards the north, and still running in a picturesque glen,
draws near to Tripolis, where it bends towards the north-west, and
enters the sea after passing through the town. Its course, including
main windings, measures about twenty-five miles.

The Ibrahim, or Adonis, has its source near Afka (Apheca) in Lat. 34
4 nearly. It bursts from a cave at the foot of a tremendous cliff,
and its foaming waters rush down into a wild chasm.[53] Its flow is at
first towards the north-west, but after receiving a small tributary
from the north-east, it shapes its course nearly westward, and pursues
this direction, with only slight bends to the north and south, for the
distance of about fifteen miles to the sea. After heavy rain in
Lebanon, its waters, which are generally clear and limpid, become
tinged with the earth which the swollen torrent detaches from the
mountain-side,[54] and Adonis thus "runs purple to the sea"--not
however once a year only, but many times. It enters the Mediterranean
about four miles south of Byblus (Jebeil) and six north of Djouni.

The Lycus or Nahr-el-Kelb ("Dog River") flows from the northern and
western flanks of Jebel Sunnin. It is formed by the confluence of
three main streams. One of these rises near Afka, and runs to the
south of west, past the castle and temples of Fakra, to its junction
with the second stream, which is formed of several rivulets flowing
from the northern flank of Sunnin. Near Bufkeiya the river constituted
by the union of these two branches is joined by a third stream flowing
from the western flank of Sunnin with a westerly course, and from this
point the Lycus pursues its way in the same general direction down a
magnificent gorge to the Mediterranean. Both banks are lofty, but
especially that to the south, where one of Lebanon's great roots
strikes out far, and dips, a rocky precipice, into the bosom of the
deep.[55] Low in the depths of the gorge the mad torrent dashes over
its rocky bed in sheets of foam, its banks fringed with oleander,
which it bathes with its spray. Above rise jagged precipices of white
limestone, crowned far overhead by many a convent and village.[56] The
course of the Nahr-el-Kelbis about equal to that of the Adonis.

The Damour or Tamyras drains the western flank of Lebanon to the south
of Jebel Sunnin (about Lat. 33 45), the districts known as Menassif
and Jourd Arkoub, about Barouk and Deir-el-Kamar. It collects the
waters from an area of about 110 square miles, and carries them to the
sea in a course which is a little north of west, reaching it half-way
between Khan Khulda (Heldua) and Nebbi Younas. The scenery along its
banks is tame compared with that of the more northern rivers.

The Nahr-el-Auly or Bostrenus rises from a source to the north-east of
Barouk, and flows in a nearly straight course to the south-west for a
distance of nearly thirty-five miles, when it is joined by a stream
from Jezzin, which flows into it from the south-east. On receiving
this stream, the Auly turns almost at a right angle, and flows to the
west down the fine alluvial track called Merj Bisry, passing from this
point through comparatively low ground, and between swelling hills,
until it reaches the sea two miles to the north of Sidon. Its entire
course is not less than sixty miles.

The Zaherany repeats on a smaller scale the course of the Bostrenus.
It rises near Jerj'a from the western flank of Jebel Rihan, the
southern extremity of the Lebanon range, and flows at first to the
south-west. The source is "a fine large fountain bursting forth with
violence, and with water enough for a mill race."[57] From this the
river flows in a deep valley, brawling and foaming along its course,
through tracts of green grass shaded by black walnut-trees for a
distance of about five miles, after which, just opposite Jerj'a, it
breaks through one of the spurs from Rihan by a magnificent chasm. The
gorge is one "than which there are few deeper or more savage in
Lebanon. The mountains on each side rise up almost precipitously to
the height of two or three thousand feet above the stream, that on the
northern bank being considerably the higher. The steep sides of the
southern mountain are dotted with shrub, oak, and other dwarf
trees."[58] The river descends in its chasm still in a south-west
direction until, just opposite Arab Salim, it "turns round the
precipitous corner or bastion of the southern Rihan into a straight
valley," and proceeds to run due south for a short distance. Meeting,
however, a slight swell of ground, which blocks what would seem to
have been its natural course, the river "suddenly turns west," and
breaking through a low ridge by a narrow ravine, pursues its way by a
course a little north of west to the Mediterranean, which it enters
about midway between Sidon and Sarepta.[59] The length of the stream,
including main windings, is probably not more than thirty-five miles.

We have spoken of the numerous promontories, terminations of spurs
from the mountains, which break the low coast-line into fragments, and
go down precipitously into the sea. Of these there are two between
Tyre and Acre, one known as the Ras-el-Abiad or "White Headland," and
the other as the Ras-en-Nakura. The former is a cliff of snow-white
chalk interspersed with black flints, and rises perpendicularly from
the sea to the height of three hundred feet.[60] The road, which in
some places impends over the water, has been cut with great labour
through the rock, and is said by tradition to have been the work of
Alexander the Great. Previously, both here and at the Ras-en-Nakura,
the ascent was by steps, and the passes were known as the Climaces
Tyriorum, or "Staircases of the Tyrians." Another similar precipice
guards the mouth of the Lycus on its south side and has been
engineered with considerable skill, first by the Egyptians and then by
the Romans.[61] North of this, at Djouni, the coast road "traverses
another pass, where the mountain, descending to the water, has been
cut to admit it."[62] Still further north, between Byblus and
Tripolis, the bold promontory known to the ancients as Theu-prosopon,
and now called the Ras-esh-Shakkah, is still unconquered, and the road
has to quit the shore and make its way over the spur by a "wearisome
ascent"[63] at some distance inland. Again, "beyond the Tamyras the
hills press closely on the sea,"[64] and there is "a rocky and
difficult pass, along which the path is cut for some distance in the

The effect of this conformation of the country was, in early times, to
render Phnicia untraversable by a hostile army, and at the same time
to interpose enormous difficulties in the way of land communication
among the natives themselves, who must have soon turned their thoughts
to the possibility of communicating by sea. The various "staircases"
were painful and difficult to climb, they gave no passage to animals,
and only light forms of merchandise could be conveyed by them. As soon
as the first rude canoe put forth upon the placid waters of the
Mediterranean, it must have become evident that the saving in time and
labour would be great if the sea were made to supersede the land as
the ordinary line of communication.

The main characteristics of the country were, besides its
inaccessibility, its picturesqueness and its productiveness. The
former of these two qualities seems to have possessed but little
attraction for man in his primitive condition. Beauties of nature are
rarely sung of by early poets; and it appears to require an educated
eye to appreciate them. But productiveness is a quality the advantages
of which can be perceived by all. The eyes which first looked down
from the ridge of Bargylus or Lebanon upon the well-watered, well-
wooded, and evidently fertile tract between the mountain summits and
the sea, if they took no note of its marvellous and almost unequalled
beauty, must at any rate have seen that here was one of earth's most
productive gardens--emphatically a "good land," that might well
content whosoever should be so fortunate as to possess it. There is
nothing equal to it in Western Asia. The Damascene oasis, the lower
valley of the Orontes, the Ghor or Jordan plain, the woods of Bashan,
and the downs of Moab are fertile and attractive regions; but they are
comparatively narrow tracts and present little variety; each is fitted
mainly for one kind of growth, one class of products. Phnicia, in its
long extent from Mount Casius to Joppa, and in its combination of low
alluvial plain, rich valley, sunny slopes and hills, virgin forests,
and high mountain pasturage, has soils and situations suited for
productions of all manner of kinds, and for every growth, from that of
the lowliest herb to that of the most gigantic tree. In the next
section an account of its probable products in ancient times will be
given; for the present it is enough to note that Western Asia
contained no region more favoured or more fitted by its general
position, its formation, and the character of its soil, to become the
home of an important nation.



Climate of Phnicia--Varieties--Climate of the coast, in the
south, in the north--Climate of the more elevated regions--
Vegetable productions--Principal trees--Most remarkable shrubs and
fruit-trees--Herbs, flowers, and garden vegetables--Zoology--Land
animals--Birds--Marine and fresh-water fish--Principal shell-fish

The long extent of the Phnician coast, and the great difference in
the elevation of its various parts, give it a great diversity of
climate. Northern Phnicia is many degrees colder than southern; and
the difference is still more considerable between the coast tracts and
the more elevated portions of the mountain regions. The greatest heat
is experienced in the plain of Sharon,[1] which is at once the most
southern portion of the country, and the part most remote from any
hills of sufficient elevation to exert an important influence on the
temperature. Neither Carmel on the north, nor the hills of Samaria on
the east, produce any sensible effect on the climate of the Sharon
lowland. The heat in summer is intense, and except along the river
courses the tract is burnt up, and becomes little more than an expanse
of sand. As a compensation, the cold in winter is very moderate. Snow
scarcely ever falls, and if there is frost it is short-lived, and does
not penetrate into the ground.[2]

Above Carmel the coast tract is decidedly less hot than the region
south of it, and becomes cooler and cooler as we proceed northwards.
Northern Phnicia enjoys a climate that is delightful, and in which it
would be difficult to suggest much improvement. The summer heat is
scarcely ever too great, the thermometer rarely exceeding 90 of
Fahrenheit,[3] and often sinking below 70. Refreshing showers of rain
frequently fall, and the breezes from the north, the east, and the
south-east, coming from high mountain tracts which are in part snow-
clad, temper the heat of the sun's rays and prevent it from being
oppressive. The winter temperature seldom descends much below 50; and
thus the orange, the lemon and the date-palm flourish in the open air,
and the gardens are bright with flowers even in December and January.
Snow falls occasionally, but it rarely lies on the ground for more
than a few days, and is scarcely ever so much as a foot deep. On the
other hand, rain is expected during the winter-time, and the entire
line of coast is visited for some months with severe storms and gales,
accompanied often by thunder and violent rain,[4] which strew the
shore with wrecks and turn even insignificant mountain streams into
raging torrents. The storms come chiefly from the west and north-west,
quarters to which the harbours on the coast are unfortunately open.[5]
Navigation consequently suffers interruption; but when once the winter
is past, a season of tranquillity sets in, and for many months of the
year--at any rate from May to October[6]--the barometer scarcely
varies, the sky is unclouded, and rain all but unknown.

As the traveller mounts from the coast tract into the more elevated
regions, the climate sensibly changes. An hour's ride from the plains,
when they are most sultry, will bring him into a comparatively cool
region, where the dashing spray of the glacier streams is borne on the
air, and from time to time a breeze that is actually cold comes down
from the mountain-tops.[7] Shade is abundant, for the rocks are often
perpendicular, and overhand the road in places, while the dense
foliage of cedars, or pines, or walnut-trees, forms an equally
effectual screen against the sun's noonday rays. In winter the uplands
are, of course, cold. Severe weather prevails in them from November to
March;[8] snow falls on all the high ground, while it rains on the
coast and in the lowlands; the passes are blocked; and Lebanon and
Bargylus replenish the icy stories which the summer's heat has

The vegetable productions of Phnicia may be best considered under the
several heads of trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, fruit-trees, and
garden vegetables. The chief trees were the palm-tree, the sycamore,
the maritime pine, and the plane in the lowlands; in the highlands the
cedar, Aleppo pine, oak, walnut, poplar, acacia, shumac, and carob. We
have spoken of the former abundance of the palm. At present it is
found in comparatively few places, and seldom in any considerable
numbers. It grows singly, or in groups of two or three, at various
points of the coast from Tripolis to Acre, but is only abundant in a
few spots more towards the south, as at Haifa, under Carmel, where
"fine date-palms" are numerous in the gardens,[9] and at Jaffa, where
travellers remark "a broad belt of two or three miles of date-palms
and orange-groves laden with fruit."[10] The wood was probably not
much used as timber except in the earliest times, since Lebanon
afforded so many kinds of trees much superior for building purposes.
The date-palm was also valued for its fruit, though the produce of the
Phnician groves can never have been of a high quality.

The sycamore, or sycamine-fig, is a dark-foliaged tree, with a gnarled
stem when it is old;[11] it grows either singly or in clumps, and much
more resembles in appearance the English oak than the terebinth does,
which has been so often compared to it. The stem is short, and sends
forth wide lateral branches forking out in all directions, which
renders the tree very easy to climb. It bears a small fig in great
abundance, and probably at all seasons, which, however, is "tasteless
and woody,"[12] though eaten by the inhabitants. The sycamore is
common along the Phnician lowland, but is a very tender tree and will
not grow in the mountains.

The plane-tree, common in Asia Minor, is not very frequent either in
Phnicia or Palestine. It occurs, however, on the middle course of the
Litany, where it breaks through the roots of Lebanon,[13] and also in
many of the valleys[14] on the western flank of the mountain. The
maritime pine (/Pinus maritama/) extends in forests here and there
along the shore,[15] and is found of service in checking the advance
of the sand dunes, which have a tendency to encroach seriously on the
cultivable soil.

Of the upland trees the most common is the oak. There are three
species of oak in the country. The most prevalent is an evergreen oak
(/Quercus pseudococcifera/), sometimes mistaken by travellers for a
holly, sometimes for an ibex, which covers in a low dense bush many
miles of the hilly country everywhere, and occasionally becomes a
large tree in the Lebanon valleys,[16] and on the flanks of Casius and
Bargylus. Another common oak is /Quercus gilops/, a much smaller and
deciduous tree, very stout-trunked, which grows in scattered groups on
Carmel and elsewhere, "giving a park-like appearance to the
landscape."[17] The third kind is /Quercus infectoria/, a gall-oak,
also deciduous, and very conspicuous from the large number of bright,
chestnut-coloured, viscid galls which it bears, and which are now
sometimes gathered for exportation.[18]

Next to the oak may be mentioned the walnut, which grows to a great
size in sheltered positions in the Lebanon range, both upon the
eastern and upon the western flank;[19] the poplar, which is found
both in the mountains[20] and in the low country, as especially about
Beyrout;[21] the Aleppo pine (/Pinus halepensis/), of which there are
large woods in Carmel, Lebanon, and Bargylus,[22] while in Casius
there is an enormous forest of them;[23] and the carob (/Ceratonia
siliqua/), or locust-tree, a dense-foliaged tree of a bright lucid
green hue, which never grows in clumps or forms woods, but appears as
an isolated tree, rounded or oblong, and affords the best possible
shade.[24] In the vicinity of Tyre are found also large tamarisks,
maples, sumachs, and acacias.[25]

But the tree which is the glory of Phnicia, and which was by far the
most valuable of all its vegetable productions, is, of course, the
cedar. Growing to an immense height, and attaining an enormous girth,
it spreads abroad its huge flat branches hither and thither, covering
a vast space of ground with its "shadowing shroud,"[26] and presenting
a most majestic and magnificent appearance. Its timber may not be of
first-rate quality, and there is some question whether it was really
used for the masts of their ships by the Phnicians,[27] but as
building material it was beyond a doubt most highly prized, answering
sufficiently for all the purposes required by architectural art, and
at the same time delighting the sense of smell by its aromatic odour.
Solomon employed it both for the Temple and for his own house;[28] the
Assyrian kings cut it and carried it to Nineveh;[29] Herod the Great
used it for the vast additions that he made to Zerubbabel's
temple;[30] it was exported to Egypt and Asia Minor; the Ephesian
Greeks constructed of cedar, probably of cedar from Lebanon, the roof
of their famous temple of Diana.[31] At present the wealth of Lebanon
in cedars is not great, but the four hundred which form the grove near
the source of the Kadisha, and the many scattered cedar woods in other
places, are to be viewed as remnants of one great primeval forest,
which originally covered all the upper slopes on the western side, and
was composed, if not exclusively, at any rate predominantly, of
cedars.[32] Cultivation, the need of fuel, and the wants of builders,
have robbed the mountain of its primitive bright green vest, and left
it either bare rock or terraced garden; but in the early times of
Phnicia, the true Lebanon cedar must undoubtedly have been its chief
forest tree, and have stood to it as the pine to the Swiss Alps and
the chestnut to the mountains of North Italy.

Of shrubs, below the rank of trees, the most important are the lentisk
(/Pistachia lentiscus/), the bay, the arbutus (/A. andrachne/), the
cypress, the oleander, the myrtle, the juniper, the barberry, the
styrax (/S. officinalis/), the rhododendron, the bramble, the caper
plant, the small-leaved holly, the prickly pear, the honeysuckle, and
the jasmine. Myrtle and rhododendron grow luxuriantly on the flanks of
Bargylus, and are more plentiful than any other shrubs in that
region.[33] Eastern Lebanon has abundant scrub of juniper and
barberry;[34] while on the western slopes their place is taken by the
bramble, the myrtle, and the clematis.[35] The lentisk, which rarely
exceeds the size of a low bush, is conspicuous by its dark evergreen
leaves and numerous small red berries;[36] the arbutus--not our
species, but a far lighter and more ornamental shrub, the /Arbutus
andrachne/--bears also a bright red fruit, which colours the
thickets;[37] the styrax, famous for yielding the gum storax of
commerce, grows towards the east end of Carmel, and is a very large
bush branching from the ground, but never assuming the form of a tree;
it has small downy leaves, white flowers like orange blossoms, and
round yellow fruit, pendulous from slender stalks, like cherries.[38]
Travellers in Phnicia do not often mention the caper plant, but it
was seen by Canon Tristram hanging from the fissures of the rock, in
the cleft of the Litany,[39] amid myrtle and bay and clematis. The
small-leaved holly was noticed by Mr. Walpole on the western flank of
Bargylus.[40] The prickly pear is not a native of Asia, but has been
introduced from the New World. It has readily acclimatised itself, and
is very generally employed, in Phnicia, as in the neighbouring
countries, for hedges.[41]

The fruit-trees of Phnicia are numerous, and grow most luxuriantly,
but the majority have no doubt been introduced from other countries,
and the time of their introduction is uncertain. Five, however, may be
reckoned as either indigenous or as cultivated at any rate from a
remote antiquity--the vine, the olive, the date-palm, the walnut, and
the fig. The vine is most widely spread. Vineyards cover large tracts
in the vicinity of all the towns; they climb up the sides of Carmel,
Lebanon, and Bargylus,[42] hang upon the edge of precipices, and greet
the traveller at every turn in almost every region. The size of
individual vines is extraordinary. "Stephen Schultz states that in a
village near Ptolemas (Acre) he supped under a large vine, the stem
of which measured a foot and a half in diameter, its height being
thirty feet; and that the whole plant, supported on trellis, covered
an area of fifty feet either way. The bunches of grapes weighed from
ten to twelve pounds and the berries were like small plums."[43] The
olive in Phnicia is at least as old as the Exodus, for it was said of
Asher, who was assigned the more southern part of that country--"Let
him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in
oil."[44] Olives at the present day clothe the slopes of Lebanon and
Bargylus above the vine region,[45] and are carried upward almost to
the very edge of the bare rock. They yield largely, and produce an oil
of an excellent character. Fine olive-groves are also to be seen on
Carmel,[46] in the neighbourhood of Esfia. The date-palm has already
been spoken of as a tree, ornamenting the landscape and furnishing
timber of tolerable quality. As a fruit-tree it is not greatly to be
prized, since it is only about Haifa and Jaffa that it produces
dates,[47] and those of no high repute. The walnut has all the
appearance of being indigenous in Lebanon, where it grows to a great
size,[48] and bears abundance of fruit. The fig is also, almost
certainly, a native; it grows plentifully, not only in the orchards
about towns, but on the flanks of Lebanon, on Bargylus, and in the
northern Phnician plain.[49]

The other fruit-trees of the present day are the mulberry, the
pomegranate, the orange, the lemon, the lime, the peach, the apricot,
the plum, the cherry, the quince, the apple, the pear, the almond, the
pistachio nut, and the banana. The mulberry is cultivated largely on
the Lebanon[50] in connection with the growth of silkworms, but is not
valued as a fruit-tree. The pomegranate is far less often seen, but it
is grown in the gardens about Saida,[51] and the fruit has sometimes
been an article of exportation.[52] The orange and lemon are among the
commonest fruits, but are generally regarded as comparatively late
introductions. The lime is not often noticed, but obtains mention in
the work of Mr. Walpole.[53] The peach and apricot are for the most
part standard trees, though sometimes trained on trellises.[54] They
were perhaps derived from Mesopotamia or Persia, but at what date it
is quite impossible to conjecture. Apples, pears, plums, cherries,
quinces, are not unlikely to have been indigenous, though of course
the present species are the result of long and careful cultivation.
The same may be said of the almond and the pistachio nut. The banana
is a comparatively recent importation. It is grown along the coast
from Jaffa as far north as Tripolis, and yields a fruit which is said
to be of excellent quality.[55]

Altogether, Phnicia may be pronounced a land of fruits. Hasselquist
says,[56] that in his time Sidon grew pomegranates, apricots, figs,
almonds, oranges, lemons, and plums in such abundance as to furnish
annually several shiploads for export, while D'Arvieux adds to this
list pears, peaches, cherries, and bananas.[57] Lebanon alone can
furnish grapes, olives, mulberries, figs, apples, apricots, walnuts,
cherries, peaches, lemons, and oranges. The coast tract adds
pomegranates, limes, and bananas. It has been said that Carmel, a
portion of Phnicia, is "the garden of Eden run wild;"[58] but the
phrase might be fitly applied to the entire country.

Of herbs possessing some value for man, Phnicia produces sage,
rosemary, lavender, rue, and wormwood.[59] Of flowers she has an
extraordinary abundance. In early spring (March and April) not only
the plains, but the very mountains, except where they consist of bare
rock, are covered with a variegated carpet of the loveliest hues[60]
from the floral wealth scattered over them. Bulbous plants are
especially numerous. Travellers mention hyacinths, tulips,
ranunculuses, gladioli, anemones, orchises, crocuses of several kinds
--blue and yellow and white, arums, amaryllises, cyclamens, &c.,
besides heaths, jasmine, honeysuckle, clematis, /multiflora/ roses,
rhododendrons, oleander, myrtle, astragalus, hollyhocks, convolvuli,
valerian, red linum, pheasant's eye, guelder roses, antirrhinums,
chrysanthemums, blue campanulas, and mandrakes. The orchises include
"/Ophrys atrata/, with its bee-like lip, another like the spider
orchis, and a third like the man orchis;"[61] the cyclamens are
especially beautiful, "nestling under every stone and lavish of their
loveliness with graceful tufts of blossoms varying in hue from purest
white to deepest purple pink."[62] The multiflora rose is not common,
but where it grows "covers the banks of streams with a sheet of
blossom;"[63] the oleanders fringe their waters with a line of ruby
red; the mandrake (/Mandragora officinalis/) is "one of the most
striking plants of the country, with its flat disk of very broad
primrose-like leaves, and its central bunch of dark blue bell-shaped
blossom."[64] Ferns also abound, and among them is the delicate

The principal garden vegetables grown at the present day are melons,
cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins, turnips, carrots, and radishes.[66] The
kinds of grain most commonly cultivated are wheat, barley, millet, and
maize. There is also an extensive cultivation of tobacco, indigo, and
cotton, which have been introduced from abroad in comparatively modern
times. Oil, silk, and fruits are, however, still among the chief
articles of export; and the present wealth of the country is
attributable mainly to its groves and orchards, its olives,
mulberries, figs, lemons, and oranges.

The zoology of Phnicia has not until recently attracted very much
attention. At present the list of land animals known to inhabit it is
short,[67] including scarcely more than the bear, the leopard or
panther, the wolf, the hyna, the jackal, the fox, the hare, the wild
boar, the ichneumon, the gazelle, the squirrel, the rat, and the mole.
The present existence of the bear within the limits of the ancient
Phnicia has been questioned,[68] but the animal has been seen in
Lebanon by Mr. Porter,[69] and in the mountains of Galilee by Canon
Tristram.[70] The species is the Syrian bear (/Ursus syriacus/), a
large and fierce beast, which, though generally frugivorous, will
under the presser of hunger attack both men and animals. Its main
habitat is, no doubt, the less accessible parts of Lebanon; but in the
winter it will descend to the villages and gardens, where it often
does much damage.[71] The panther or leopard has, like the bear, been
seen by Mr. Porter in the Lebanon range;[72] and Canon Tristram, when
visiting Carmel, was offered the skin of an adult leopard[73] which
had probably been killed in that neighbourhood. Anciently it was much
more frequent in Phnicia and Palestine than it is at present, as
appears by the numerous notices of it in Scripture.[74] Wolves,
hynas, and jackals are comparatively common. They haunt not only
Carmel and Lebanon, but many portions of the coast tract. Canon
Tristram obtained from Carmel "the two largest hynas that he had ever
seen,"[75] and fell in with jackals in the vicinity.[76] Wolves seem
to be more scarce, though anciently very plentiful.

The favourite haunts of the wild boar (/Sus scrofa/) in Phnicia are
Carmel[77] and the deep valleys on the western slope of Lebanon. The
valley of the Adonis (Ibrahim) is still noted for them,[78] but,
except on Carmel, they are not very abundant. Foxes and hares are also
somewhat rare, and it is doubtful whether rabbits are to be found in
any part of the country;[79] ichneumons, which are tolerably common,
seem sometimes to be mistaken for them. Gazelles are thought to
inhabit Carmel,[80] and squirrels, rats, and moles are common. Bats
also, if they may be counted among land-animals, are frequent; they
belong, it is probable, to several species, one of which is
/Xantharpyia gyptiaca/.[81]

If the fauna of Phnicia is restricted so far as land-animals are
concerned, it is extensive and varied in respect of birds. The list of
known birds includes two sorts of eagle (/Circatos gallicus/ and
/Aquila nviodes/), the osprey, the vulture, the falcon, the kite,
the honey-buzzard, the marsh-harrier, the sparrow-hawk, owls of two
kinds (/Ketupa ceylonensis/ and /Athene meridionalis/), the grey
shrike (/Lanius excubitor/), the common cormorant, the pigmy cormorant
(/Grculus pygmus/), numerous seagulls, as the Adriatic gull (/Larus
melanocephalus/), Andonieri's gull, the herring-gull, the Red-Sea-gull
(/Larus ichthyo-atos/), and others; the gull-billed tern (/Sterna
anglica/), the Egyptian goose, the wild duck, the woodcock, the Greek
partridge (/Caccabis saxatilis/), the waterhen, the corncrake or
landrail, the coot, the water-ouzel, the francolin; plovers of three
kinds, green, golden, and Kentish; dotterels of two kinds, red-
throated and Asiatic; the Manx shearwater, the flamingo, the heron,
the common kingfisher, and the black and white kingfisher of Egypt,
the jay, the wood-pigeon, the rock-dove, the blue thrush, the Egyptian
fantail (/Drymca gracilis/), the redshank, the wheat-ear (/Saxicola
libanotica/), the common lark, the Persian horned lark, the cisticole,
the yellow-billed Alpine chough, the nightingale of the East (/Ixos
xanthopygius/), the robin, the brown linnet, the chaffinch; swallows
of two kinds (/Hirundo cahirica/ and /Hirundo rufula/); the meadow
bunting; the Lebanon redstart, the common and yellow water-wagtails,
the chiffchaff, the coletit, the Russian tit, the siskin, the
nuthatch, and the willow wren. Of these the most valuable for the
table are the partridge, the francolin, and the woodcock. The Greek
partridge is "a fine red-legged bird, much larger than our red-legged
partridge, and very much better eating, with white flesh, and nearly
as heavy as a pheasant."[82] The francolin or black partridge is also
a delicacy; and the woodcock, which is identical with our own, has the
same delicate flavour.

The fish of Phnicia, excepting certain shell-fish, are little known,
and have seldom attracted the attention of travellers. The
Mediterranean, however, where it washes the Phnician coast, can
furnish excellent mullet,[83] while most of the rivers contain
freshwater fish of several kinds, as the /Blennius lupulus/, the
/Scaphiodon capota/, and the /Anguilla microptera/.[84] All of these
fish may be eaten, but the quality is inferior.

On the other hand, to certain of the shell-fish of Phnicia a great
celebrity attaches. The purple dye which gave to the textile fabrics
of the Phnicians a world-wide reputation was prepared from certain
shell-fish which abounded upon their coast. Four existing species have
been regarded as more or less employed in the manufacture, and it
seems to be certain, at any rate, that the Phnicians derived the dye
from more shell-fish than one. The four are the /Buccinum lapillus/ of
Pliny,[85] which is the /Purpura lapillus/ of modern naturalists; the
/Murex trunculus/; the /Murex brandaris/; and the /Helix ianthina/.
The Buccinum derives its name from the form of the shell, which has a
wide mouth, like that of a trumpet, and which after one or two twists
terminates in a pointed head.[86] The /Murex trunculus/ has the same
general form as the Buccinum; but the shell is more rough and spinous,
being armed with a number of long thin projections which terminate in
a sharp point.[87] The /Murex brandaris/ is a closely allied species,
and "one of the most plentiful on the Phnician coast."[88] It is
unlikely that the ancients regarded it as a different shell from
/Murex trunculus/. The /Helix ianthina/ has a wholly different
character. It is a sort of sea-snail, as the name /helix/ implies, is
perfectly smooth, "very delicate and fragile, and not more than about
three-quarters of an inch in diameter."[89] All these shell-fish
contain a /sac/ or bag full of colouring matter, which is capable of
being used as a dye. It is quite possible that they were all, more or
less, made use of by the Phnician dyers; but the evidence furnished
by existing remains on the Tyrian coast is strongly in favour of the
/Murex brandaris/ as the species principally employed.[90]

The mineral treasures of Phnicia have not, in modern times, been
examined with any care. The Jura limestone, which forms the substratum
of the entire region, cannot be expected to yield any important
mineral products. But the sandstone, which overlies it in places, is
"often largely impregnated with iron," and some strata towards the
southern end of Lebanon are said to produce "as much as ninety per
cent. of pure iron ore."[91] An ochrous earth is also found in the
hills above Beyrout, which gives from fifty to sixty per cent. of
metal.[92] Coal, too, has been found in the same locality, but it is
of bad quality, and does not exist in sufficient quantity to form an
important product. Limestone, both cretaceous and siliceous, is
plentiful, as are sandstone, trap and basalt; while porphyry and
greenstone are also obtainable.[93] Carmel yields crystals of quarts
and chalcedony,[94] and the fine sand about Tyre and Sidon is still
such as would make excellent glass. But the main productions of
Phnicia, in which its natural wealth consisted, must always have been
vegetable, rather than animal or mineral, and have consisted in its
timber, especially its cedars and pines; its fruits, as olives, figs,
grapes, and, in early times, dates; and its garden vegetables, melons,
gourds, pumpkins, cucumbers.



Semitic origin of the Phnicians--Characteristics of the Semites--
Place of the Phnicians within the Semitic group--Connected
linguistically with the Israelites and the Assyro-Babylonians--
Original seat of the nation, Lower Babylonia--Special
characteristics of the Phnician people--Industry and perseverance
--Audacity in enterprise--Pliability and adaptability--Acuteness
of intellect--Business capacity--Charge made against them of bad
faith--Physical characteristics.

The Phnician people are generally admitted to have belonged to the
group of nations known as Semitic. This group, somewhat irrelevantly
named, since the descent of several of them from Shem is purely
problematic, comprises the Assyrians, the later Babylonians, the
Aramans or Syrians, the Arabians, the Moabites, the Phnicians, and
the Hebrews. A single and very marked type of language belongs to the
entire group, and a character of homogeneity may, with certain
distinctions, be observed among all the various members composing it.
The unity of language is threefold: it may be traced in the roots, in
the inflections, and in the general features of the syntax. The roots
are, as a rule, bilateral or trilateral, composed (that is) of two or
three letters, all of which are consonants. The consonants determine
the general sense of the words, and are alone expressed in the
primitive writing; the vowel sounds do but modify more or less the
general sense, and are unexpressed until the languages begin to fall
into decay. The roots are, almost all of them, more or less physical
and sensuous. They are derived in general from an imitation of nature.
"If one looked only to the Semitic languages," says M. Renan,[1] "one
would say, that sensation alone presided over the first acts of the
human intellect, and that language was primarily nothing but a mere
reflex of the external world. If we run through the list of Semitic
roots, we scarcely meet with a single one which does not present to us
a sense primarily material, which is then transferred, by transitions
more or less direct and immediate, to things which are intellectual."
Derivative words are formed from the roots by a few simple and regular
laws. The noun is scarcely inflected at all; but the verb has a
marvellous wealth of conjugations, calculated to express excellently
well the external relations of ideas, but altogether incapable of
expressing their metaphysical relations, from the want of definitely
marked tenses and moods. Inflections in general have a half-
agglutinative character, the meaning and origin of the affixes and
suffixes being palpable. Syntax scarcely exists, the construction of
sentences having such a general character of simplicity, especially in
narrative, that one might compare it with the nave utterances of an
infant. The utmost endeavour of the Semites is to join words together
so as to form a sentence; to join sentences is an effort altogether
beyond them. They employ the {lexis eiromene} of Aristotle,[2] which
proceeds by accumulating atom on atom, instead of attempting the
rounded period of the Latins and Greeks.

The common traits of character among Semitic nations have been summed
up by one writer under five heads:--1. Pliability combined with iron
fixity of purpose; 2. Depth and force; 3. A yearning for dreamy ease;
4. Capacity for the hardest work; and 5. Love of abstract thought.[3]
Another has thought to find them in the following list:--1. An
intuitive monotheism; 2. Intolerance; 3. Prophetism; 4. Want of the
philisophic and scientific faculties; 5. Want of curiosity; 6. Want of
appreciation of mimetic art; 7. Want of capacity for true political
life.[4] According to the latter writer, "the Semitic race is to be
recognized almost entirely by negative characteristics; it has no
mythology, no epic poetry, no science, no philosophy, no fiction, no
plastic arts, no civil life; everywhere it shows absence of
complexity; absence of combination; an exclusive sentiment of
unity."[5] It is not very easy to reconcile these two views, and not
very satisfactory to regard a race as "characterised by negatives."
Agreement should consist in positive features, and these may perhaps
be found, first, in strength and depth of the religious feeling,
combined with firm belief in the personality of the Deity; secondly,
in dogged determination and "iron fixity of purpose;" thirdly, in
inventiveness and skill in the mechanical arts and other industries;
fourthly, in "capacity for hard work;" and, fifthly, in a certain
adaptability and pliability, suiting the race for expansion and for
commerce. All these qualities are perhaps not conspicuous in all the
branches of the Semites, but the majority of them will be found united
in all, and in some the combination would seem to be complete.

It is primarily on account of their language that the Phnicians are
regarded as Semites. When there are no historical grounds for
believing that a nation has laid aside its own original form of
speech, and adopted an alien dialect, language, if not a certain, is
at least a very strong, evidence of ethnic character. Counter-evidence
may no doubt rebut the /prima facie/ presumption; but in the case of
the Phnicians no counter-evidence is producible. They belong to
exactly that geographic zone in which Semitism has always had its
chief seat; they cannot be shown to have been ever so circumstanced as
to have had any inducement to change their speech; and their physical
character and mental characteristics would, by themselves, be almost
sufficient ground for assigning them to the type whereto their
language points.

The place which the Phnicians occupy within the Semitic group is a
question considerably more difficult to determine. By local position
they should belong to the western, or Aramaic branch, rather than to
the eastern, or Assyro-Babylonian, or to the southern, or Arab. But
the linguistic evidence scarcely lends itself to such a view, while
the historic leads decidedly to an opposite conclusion. There is a far
closer analogy between the Palestinian group of languages--Phnician,
Hebrew, Moabite, and the Assyro-Babylonian, than between either of
these and the Aramaic. The Aramaic is scanty both in variety of
grammatical forms and in vocabulary; the Phnician and Assyro-
Babylonian are comparatively copious.[6] The Aramaic has the character
of a degraded language; the Assyro-Babylonian and the Phnician are
modelled on a primitive type.[7] In some respects Phnician is even
closer to Assyro-Babylonian than Hebrew is--e.g. in preferring /at/ to
/ah/ for the feminine singular termination.[8]

The testimony of history to the origin of the Phnicians is the
following. Herodotus tells us that both the Phnicians themselves, and
the Persians best acquainted with history and antiquities, agreed in
stating that the original settlements of the Phnician people were
upon the Erythran Sea (Persian Gulf), and that they had migrated from
that quarter at a remote period, and transferred their abode to the
shores of the Mediterranean.[9] Strabo adds that the inhabitants of
certain islands in the Persian Gulf had a similar tradition, and
showed temples in their cities which were Phnician in character.[10]
Justin, or rather Trogus Pompeius, whom he abbreviated, writes as
follows:--"The Syrian nation was founded by the Phnicians, who, being
disturbed by an earthquake, left their native land, and settled first
of all in the neighbourhood of the Assyrian Lake, and subsequently on
the shore of the Mediterranean, where they built a city which they
called Sidon on account of the abundance of the fish; for the
Phnicians call a fish /sidon/."[11] The "Assyrian lake" of this
passage is probably the Bahr Nedjif, or "Sea of Nedjif," in the
neighbourhood of the ancient Babylon, a permanent sheet of water,
varying in its dimensions at different seasons, but generally about
forty miles long, and from ten to twenty broad.[12] Attempts have been
made to discredit this entire story, but the highest living authority
on the subject of Phnicia and the Phnicians adopts it as almost
certainly true, and observes:--"The tradition relative to the sojourn
of the Phnicians on the borders of the Erythran Sea, before their
establishment on the coast of the Mediterranean, has thus a new light
thrown upon it. It appears from the labours of M. Movers, and from the
recent discoveries made at Nineveh and Babylon, that the civilisation
and religion of Phnicia and Assyria were very similar. Independently
of this, the majority of modern critics admit it as demonstrated that
the primitive abode of the Phnicians ought to be placed upon the
Lower Euphrates, in the midst of the great commercial and maritime
establishments of the Persian Gulf, agreeable to the unanimous witness
of all antiquity."[13]

If we pass from the probable origin of the Phnician people, and their
place in the Semitic group, to their own special characteristics, we
shall find ourselves upon surer ground, though even here there are
certain points which are debateable. The following is the account of
their general character given by a very high authority, and by one
who, on the whole, may be regarded as an admirer:--

"The Phnicians form, in some respects, the most important fraction of
the whole group of antique nations, notwithstanding that they sprang
from the most obscure and insignificant families. This fraction, when
settled, was constantly exposed to inroad by new tribes, was utterly
conquered and subjected by utter strangers when it had taken a great
place among the nations, and yet by industry, by perseverance, by
acuteness of intellect, by unscrupulousness and wait of faith, by
adaptability and pliability when necessary, and dogged defiance at
other times, by total disregard of the rights of the weaker, they
obtained the foremost place in the history of their times, and the
highest reputation, not only for the things that they did, but for
many that they did not. They were the first systematic traders, the
first miners and metallurgists, the greatest inventors (if we apply
such a term to those who kept an ever-watchful lookout for the
inventions of others, and immediately applied them to themselves with
some grand improvements on the original idea); they were the boldest
mariners, the greatest colonisers, who at one time held not only the
gorgeous East, but the whole of the then half-civilised West in fee--
who could boast of a form of government approaching to
constitutionalism, who of all nations of the time stood highest in
practical arts and sciences, and into whose laps there flowed an
unceasing stream of the world's entire riches, until the day came when
they began to care for nothing else, and the enjoyment of material
comforts and luxuries took the place of the thirst for and search
after knowledge. Their piratical prowess and daring was undermined;
their colonies, grown old enough to stand alone, fell away from them,
some after a hard fight, others in mutual agreement or silently; and
the nations in whose estimation and fear they had held the first
place, and who had been tributary to them, disdained them, ignored
them, and finally struck them utterly out of the list of nations, till
they dwindled away miserably, a warning to all who should come after

The prominent qualities in this description would seem to be industry
and perseverance, audacity in enterprise, adaptability and pliability,
acuteness of intellect, unscrupulousness, and want of good faith. The
Phnicians were certainly among the most industrious and persevering
of mankind. The accounts which we have of them from various quarters,
and the remains which cover the country that they once inhabited,
sufficiently attest their unceasing and untiring activity through
almost the whole period of their existence as a nation. Always
labouring in their workshops at home in mechanical and sthetic arts,
they were at the same time constantly seeking employment abroad,
ransacking the earth for useful or beautiful commodities, building
cities, constructing harbours, founding colonies, introducing the arts
of life among wild nations, mining and establishing fisheries,
organising lines of land traffic, perpetually moving from place to
place, and leaving wherever they went abundant proofs of their
diligence and capacity for hard work. From Thasos in the East, where
Herodotus saw "a large mountain turned topsy-turvy by the Phnicians
in their search for gold,"[15] to the Scilly Islands in the West,
where workings attributable to them are still to be seen, all the
metalliferous islands and coast tracts bear traces of Phnician
industry in tunnels, adits, and air-shafts, while manufactured vessels
of various kinds in silver, bronze, and terra-cotta, together with
figures and gems of a Phnician type, attest still more widely their
manufacturing and commercial activity.

Audacity in enterprise can certainly not be denied to the adventurous
race which, from the islands and coasts of the Eastern Mediterranean,
launched forth upon the unknown sea in fragile ships, affronted the
perils of waves and storms, and still more dreaded "monsters of the
deep,"[16] explored the recesses of the stormy Adriatic and
inhospitable Pontus, steered their perilous course amid all the islets
and rocks of the gean, along the iron-bound shores of Thrace, Euba,
and Laconia, first into the Western Mediterranean basin, and then
through the Straits of Gibraltar into the wild and boundless Atlantic,
with its mighty tides, its huge rollers, its blinding rains, and its
frequent fogs. Without a chart, without a compass, guided only in
their daring voyages by their knowledge of the stars, these bold
mariners penetrated to the shores of Scythia in one direction; to
Britain, if not even to the Baltic, in another; in a third to the
Fortunate Islands; while, in a fourth, they traversed the entire
length of the Red Sea, and entering upon the Southern Ocean, succeeded
in doubling the Cape of Storms two thousand years before Vasco di
Gama, and in effecting the circumnavigation of Africa.[17] And, wild
as the seas were with which they had to deal, they had to deal with
yet wilder men. Except in Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, and perhaps
Italy, they came in contact everywhere with savage races; they had to
enter into close relations with men treacherous, bloodthirsty,
covetous--men who were almost always thieves, who were frequently
cannibals, sometimes wreckers--who regarded foreigners as a cheap and
very delicious kind of food. The pioneers of civilisation, always and
everywhere, incur dangers from which ordinary mortals would shrink
with dismay; but the earliest pioneers, the first introducers of the
elements of culture among barbarians who had never heard of it, must
have encountered far greater peril than others from their ignorance of
the ways of savage man, and a want of those tremendous weapons of
attack and defence with which modern explorers take care to provide
themselves. Until the invention of gunpowder, the arms of civilised
men--swords, and spears, and javelins, and the like--were scarcely a
match for the cunningly devised weapons--boomerangs, and blow-pipes,
and poisoned arrows, and lassoes[18]--of the savage.

The adaptability and pliability of the Phnicians was especially shown
in their power of obtaining the favourable regard of almost all the
peoples and nations with which they came into contact, whether
civilised or uncivilised. It is most remarkable that the Egyptians,
intolerant as they usually were of strangers, should have allowed the
Phnicians to settle in their southern capital, Memphis, and to build
a temple and inhabit a quarter there.[19] It is also curious and
interesting that the Phnicians should have been able to ingratiate
themselves with another most exclusive and self-sufficing people, viz.
the Jews. Hiram's friendly dealings with David and Solomon are well
known; but the /continued/ alliance between the Phnicians and the
Israelites has attracted less attention. Solomon took wives from
Phnicia;[20] Ahab married the daughter of Ithobalus, king of
Sidon;[21] Phnicia furnished timber for the second Temple;[22] Isaiah
wound up his prophecy against Tyre with a consolation;[23] our Lord
found faith in the Syro-Phnician woman;[24] in the days of Herod
Agrippa, Tyre and Sidon still desired peace with Juda, "because their
country was nourished by the king's country."[25] And similarly Tyre
had friendly relations with Syria and Greece, with Mesopotamia and
Assyria, with Babylonia and Chalda. At the same time she could bend
herself to meet the wants and gain the confidence of all the varieties
of barbarians, the rude Armenians, the wild Arabs, the barbarous
tribes of northern and western Africa, the rough Iberi, the passionate
Gauls, the painted Britons, the coarse Sards, the fierce Thracians,
the filthy Scyths, the savage races of the Caucasus. Tribes so timid
and distrustful as those of Tropical Africa were lured into peaceful
and friendly relations by the artifice of a "dumb commerce,"[26] and
on every side untamed man was softened and drawn towards civilisation
by a spirit of accommodation, conciliation, and concession to

If the Phnicians are to be credited with acuteness of intellect, it
must be limited to the field of practical enquiry and discovery.
Whatever may be said with regard to the extent and variety of their
literature--a subject which will be treated in another chapter--it
cannot be pretended that humanity owes to them any important conquests
of a scientific or philosophic character. Herodotus, who admires the
learning of the Persians,[27] the science of the Babylonians,[28] and
the combined learning and science of the Egyptians,[29] limits his
commendation of the Phnicians to their skill in navigation, in
mechanics, and in works of art.[30] Had they made advances in the
abstract, or even in the mixed, sciences, in mathematics, or
astronomy, or geometry, in logic or metaphysics, either their writings
would have been preserved, or at least the Greeks would have made
acknowledgments of being indebted to them.[31] But it is only in the
field of practical matters that any such acknowledgments are made. The
Greeks allow themselves to have been indebted to the Phnicians for
alphabetic writing, for advances in metallurgy, for improvements in
shipbuilding, and navigation, for much geographic knowledge, for
exquisite dyes, and for the manufacture of glass. There can be no
doubt that the Phnicians were a people of great practical ability,
with an intellect quick to devise means to ends, to scheme, contrive,
and execute, and with a happy knack of perceiving what was practically
valuable in the inventions of other nations, and of appropriating them
to their own use, often with improvements upon the original idea. But
they were not possessed of any great genius or originality. They were,
on the whole, adapters rather than inventors. They owed their idea of
alphabetic writing to the Accadians,[32] their weights and measures to
Babylon,[33] their shipbuilding probably to Egypt,[34] their early
architecture to the same country,[35] their mimetic art to Assyria, to
Egypt, and to Greece. They were not poets, or painters, or sculptors,
or great architects, much less philosophers or scientists; but in the
practical arts, and even in the practical sciences, they held a high
place, in almost all of them equalling, and in some exceeding, all
their neighbours.

We should be inclined also to assign to the Phnicians, as a special
characteristic, a peculiar capacity for business. This may be said,
indeed, to be nothing more than acuteness of intellect applied in a
particular way. To ourselves, however, it appears to be, in some sort,
a special gift. As, beyond all question, there are many persons of
extremely acute intellect who have not the slightest turn for
business, or ability for dealing with it, so we think there are
nations, to whom no one would deny high intellectual power, without
the capacity in question. In its most perfect form it has belonged but
to a small number of nations--to the Phnicians, the Venetians, the
Genoese, the English, and the Dutch. It implies, not so much high
intellectual power, as a combination of valuable, yet not very
admirable, qualities of a lower order. Industry, perseverance,
shrewdness, quickness of perception, power of forecasting the future,
power of organisation, boldness, promptness, are among the qualities
needed, and there may be others discoverable by the skilful analyst.
All these met in the Phnicians, and met in the proportions that were
needed for the combination to take full effect.

Whether unscrupulousness and want of good faith are rightly assigned
to the Phnicians as characteristic traits, is, at the least, open to
doubt. The Latin writers, with whom the reproach contained in the
expression "Punica fides" originated, are scarcely to be accepted as
unprejudiced witnesses, since it is in most instances a necessity that
they should either impute "bad faith" to the opposite side, or admit
that there was "bad faith" on their own. The aspersions of an enemy
are entitled to little weight. The cry of "perfide Albion" is often
heard in the land of one of our near neighbours; but few Englishmen
will admit the justice of it. It may be urged in favour of the
Phnicians that long-continued commercial success is impossible
without fair-dealing and honesty; that where there is commercial fair-
dealing and honesty, those qualities become part and parcel of the
national character, and determine national policy; and, further, that
in almost every one of the instances of bad faith alleged, there is at
the least a doubt, of which the accused party ought to have the
benefit. At any rate, let it be remembered that the charges made
affect the Liby-Phnicians alone, and not the Phnicians of Asia, with
whom we are here primarily concerned, and that we cannot safely, or
equitably, transfer to a mother-country faults which are only even
alleged against one of her colonies.

Physically, the Phnicians appear to have resembled the Assyrians and
the Jews. They had large frames strongly made, well-developed muscles,
curled beards, and abundant hair. In their features they may have
borne a resemblance, but probably not a very strong resemblance, to
the Cypriots,[36] who were a mixed people recruited from various
quarters.[37] In complexion they belonged to the white race, but were
rather sallow than fair. Their hair was generally dark, though it may
have been sometimes red. Some have regarded the name "Phnician" as
indicating that they were of a red or red-brown colour;[38] but it is
better to regard the appellation as having passed from the country to
its people, and as applied to the country by the Greeks on account of
the palm-trees which grew along its shores.



Importance of the cities in Phnicia--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 Phnicia.

Phnicia, 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 Juda, 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.[1] 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 Phnicia, 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,[2] and Orthosia has a place in history from its
connection with the adventures of Trypho;[3] 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 Phnician towns. In the Book of Genesis Sidon is called
"the eldest born of Canaan,"[4] and in Joshua, where Tyre is simply a
"fenced city" or fort,[5] it is "/Great/ Zidon."[6] Homer frequently
mentions it,[7] whereas he takes no notice of Tyre. Justin makes it
the first town which the Phnicians built on arriving at the shores of
the Mediterranean.[8] 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,"[9] and
Marathus was also regarded as a city of the very highest
antiquity.[10] The city stood in Lat. 33 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 Sada 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.[11] The modern Sada 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,[12] and was therefore due to the Phnicians 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,[13] 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 Sada is the
representative of the ancient Sidon.[14]

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. 33 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 Phnician 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,[15] 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.[16] 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,[17] or somewhat more than two miles and a half. Modern
measurements make the actual present area one of above 600,000 square
yards.[18] 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-

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.[19] Towards the south the foundations of the wall were
laid in the sea, and may still be traced.[20] 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;[21] 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

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,[23] 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.[24] 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,[25] while that of Melkarth occupied a position as nearly as
possible central,[26] and that of Agenor was placed near the point in
which the island terminates toward the north.[27] The houses of the
inhabitants were closely crowded together, and rose to the height of
several storeys.[28] There was an open space for the transaction of
business within the walls towards the east, called Eurychorus by those
Phnicians who wrote their histories in Greek.[29] The town was full
of dyeing establishments, which made it difficult to traverse.[30] 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.[31] 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,[32] 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,[33] 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,[34]
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 Phnicia towards the north was Arvad, or
Aradus. Arvad was situated, like Tyre, on a small island off the
Syrian coast, and lay in Lat. 34 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.[35] 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
Phnician 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.[36] 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.[37]
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,[38] 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.[39]

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).[40] 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.[41] 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.[42] A moat has also been cut along the entire western side,
which, with its glacis, served apparently to protect the wall from the
fury of the waves.[43]

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,[44] 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.[45]
The phenomenon still continues, though the modern inhabitants are too
ignorant and unskilful to profit by it.[46]

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.[47] Marathus was the most important of
these. Its name recalls the "Brathu" of Philo-Byblius[48] and the
"Martu" of the early Babylonian inscriptions,[49] 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.[50]
Marathus was an ancient Phnician 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.[51] The same fate befell
Simyra,[52] a place of equal antiquity, the home probably of those
Zemarites who are coupled with the Arvadites in Genesis.[53] Simyra
appears as "Zimirra" in the Assyrian inscriptions, where it is
connected with Arka,[54] 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.[55] The other towns--Paltos, Balanea, Carnus,[56] 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 Phnician ascendancy.

Of the remaining Phnician 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 Jehu[57] (ab. B.C. 840),
and glanced at even earlier in the Hebrew records, which tell of its
inhabitants, the Giblites,[58] Gebal is found as a town of note in the
time of Alexander the Great,[59] and again in that of Pompey.[60] The
traditions of the Phnicians 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.[61] It was an
especially holy city, devoted in the early times to the worship of
Beltis,[62] and in the later to that of Adonis.[63] The position is
marked beyond all reasonable doubt by the modern Jebel, which retains
the original name very slightly modified, and answers completely to
the ancient descriptions. The town lies upon the coast, in Lat. 34
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,"[64]
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.[65] 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 Phnician cities, but was a joint colony from the three
principal settlements, Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus.[66] The date of its
foundation, and its native Phnician name, are unknown to us:
conjecture hovers between Hosah, Mahalliba, Uznu, and Siannu, maritime
towns of Phnicia known to the Assyrians,[67] but unmentioned by any
Greek author. The situation was a promontory, which runs out towards

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