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History of Phoenicia

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for "two," ||| for "three," and the like; the tens by horizontal ones,
either simple, {...}, or hooked at the right end, {...}; twenty by a
sign resembling a written capital /n/, {...}; one hundred by a sign
still more complicated, {...}.

The grammatical inflexions, the particles, the pronouns, and the
prepositions are also mostly identical. The definite article is
expressed, as in Hebrew, by /h/ prefixed. Plurals are formed by the
addition of /m/ or /th/. The prefix /eth/ {...} marks the accusative.
There is a /niphal/ conjugation, formed by prefixing /n/. The full
personal pronouns are /anak/ {...} = "I" (compare Heb. {...}); /hu/
{...}, "he" (compare Heb. {...}); /hi/ {...}, "she" (compare Heb.
{...}); /anachnu/, "we" (compare Heb. {...}); and the suffixed
pronouns are /-i/, "me, my;" /-ka/, "thee, thy;" /-h/ (pronounced as
/-oh/ or /-o/), "him, his" (compare Heb. {...}); /-n/ "our," perhaps
pronounced /nu/; and /-m/, "their, them," pronounced /om/ or /um/
(compare Heb. {...}). /Vau/ prefixed means "and;" /beth/ prefixed
"in;" /kaph/ prefixed "as;" /lamed/ prefixed "of" or "to;" /'al/ {...}
is "over;" /ki/ {...} "because;" /im/ {...}, "if;" /hazah/, /zath/, or
/za/ {...}, "this" (compare Heb. {...}); and /ash/ {...}, "who, which"
(compare Heb. {...}). /Al/ {...} and /lo/ {...} are the negatives
(compare Heb. {...}). The redundant use of the personal pronoun with
the relative is common.

Still, Phnician is not mere Hebrew; it has its own genius, its
idioms, its characteristics. The definite article, so constantly
recurring in Hebrew, is in Phnician, comparatively speaking, rare.
The quiescent letters, which in Hebrew ordinarily accompany the long
vowels, are in Phnician for the most part absent. The employment of
the participle for the definite tenses of the verb is much more common
in Phnician than in Hebrew, and the Hebrew prefix /m/ is wanting. The
ordinary termination of feminine singular nouns is /-th/, not /-h/.
Peculiar forms occur, as /ash/ for /asher/, /'amath/ for /'am/
("people"), /zan/ for /zah/ ("this"), &c. Words which in Hebrew are
confined to poetry pass among the Phnicians into ordinary use, as
/pha'al/ ({...}, Heb. {...}), "to make," which replaces the Hebrew

"It is strange," says M. Renan, "that the people to which all
antiquity attributes the invention of writing, and which has, beyond
all doubted, transmitted it to the entire civilised world, has
scarcely left us any literature."[12] Certainly it is difficult to
give the name of literature either to the fragments of so-called
Phnician works preserved to us in Greek translations, or to the
epigraphic remains of actual Phnician writing which have come down to
our day. The works are two, and two only, viz. the pretended
"Phnician History" of Sanchoniathon, and the "Periplus" of Hanno. Of
the former, it is perhaps sufficient to say that we have no evidence
of its genuineness. Philo of Byblus, who pretends that he translated
it from a Phnician original, though possibly he had Phnician blood
in his veins, was a Greek in language, in temperament, and in tone of
thought, and belonged to the Greece which is characterised by Juvenal
as "Grcia mendax." It is impossible to believe that the Euemerism in
which he indulges, and which was evidently the motive of his work,
sprang from the brain of Sanchoniathon nine hundred years before
Euemerus existed. One is tempted to suspect that Sanchoniathan himself
was a myth--an "idol of the cave," evolved out of the inner
consciousness of Philo. Philo had a certain knowledge of the Phnician
language, and of the Phnician religious system, but not more than he
might have gained by personal communication with the priests of Byblus
and Aphaca, who maintained the old worship in, and long after, his
day. It is not clear that he drew his statements from any ancient
authorities, or from books at all. So far as the extant fragments go,
a smattering of the language, a very moderate acquaintance with the
religion, and a little imagination might readily have produced them.

A few extracts from the remains must be given to justify this
judgement:--"The beginning of all things," Philo says,[13] "was a dark
and stormy air, or a dark air and a turbid chaos, resembling Erebus;
and these were at first unbounded, and for a long series of ages had
no limit. But after a time this wind became enamoured of its own first
principles, and an intimate union took place between them, a
connection which was called Desire {pothos}: and this was the
beginning of the creation of all things. But it (i.e. the Desire) had
no consciousness of its own creation: however, from its embrace with
the wind was generated Mt, which some call watery slime, and others
putrescence of watery secretion. And from this sprang all the seed of
creation, and the generation of the universe. And first there were
certain animals without sensation, from which intelligent animals were
produced, and these were called 'Zopher-Smin,' i.e. 'beholders of the
heavens;' and they were made in the shape of an egg, and from Mt
shone forth the sun, and the moon, and the lesser and the greater
stars. And when the air began to send forth light, by the
conflagration of land and sea, winds were produced, and clouds, and
very great downpours, and effusions of the heavenly waters. And when
these were thus separated, and carried, through the heat of the sun,
out of their proper places, and all met again in the air, and came
into collision, there ensued thunderings and lightnings; and through
the rattle of the thunder, the intelligent animals, above mentioned,
were woke up, and, startled by the noise, began to move about both in
the sea and on the land, alike such as were male and such as were
female. All these things were found in the cosmogony of Taaut (Thoth),
and in his Commentaries, and were drawn from his conjectures, and from
the proofs which his intellect discovered, and which he made clear to

Again, "From the wind, Colpia, and his wife Bahu (Heb. {...}), which
is by interpretation 'Night,' were born on and Protogonus, mortal men
so named; of whom one, viz. on, discovered that life might be
sustained by the fruits of trees. Their immediate descendants were
called Genos and Genea, who lived in Phnicia, and in time of drought
stretched forth their hands to heaven towards the sun; for him they
regarded as the sole Lord of Heaven, and called him Baal-samin, which
means 'Lord of Heaven' in the Phnician tongue, and is equivalent to
Zeus in Greek. And from Genos, son of on and Protogonus, were
begotten mortal children, called Phs, and Pyr, and Phlox (i.e. Light,
Fire, and Flame). These persons invented the method of producing fire
by rubbing two pieces of wood together, and taught men to employ it.
They begat sons of surprising size and stature, whose names were given
to the mountains whereof they had obtained possession, viz. Casius,
and Libanus, and Antilibanus, and Brathy. From them were produced
Memrumus and Hypsuranius, who took their names from their mothers,
women in those days yielding themselves without shame to any man whom
they happened to meet. Hypsuranius lived at Tyre, and invented the art
of building huts with reeds and rushes and the papyrus plant. He
quarrelled with his brother, Usus, who was the first to make clothing
for the body out of the skins of the wild beasts which he slew. On one
occasion, when there was a great storm of rain and wind, the trees in
the neighbourhood of Tyre so rubbed against each other that they took
fire, and the whole forest was burnt; whereupon Usus took a tree, and
having cleared it of its boughs, was the first to venture on the sea
in a boat. He also consecrated two pillars to Fire and Wind, and
worshipped them, and poured upon them the blood of the animals which
he took by hunting. And when the two brothers were dead, those who
remained alive consecrated rods to their memory, and continued to
worship the pillars, and to hold a festival in their honour year by

Once more--"It was the custom among the ancients, in times of great
calamity and danger, for the rulers of the city or nation to avert the
ruin of all by sacrificing to the avenging deities the best beloved of
their children as the price of redemption; and such as were thus
devoted were offered with mystic ceremonies. Kronus, therefore, who
was called El by the Phnicians, and who, after his death, was deified
and attached to the planet which bears his name, having an only son by
a nymph of the country, who was called Anobret, took his son, whose
name was Ieoud, which means 'only son' in Phnician, and when a great
danger from war impended over the land, adorned him with the ensigns
of royalty, and, having prepared an altar for the purpose, voluntarily
sacrificed him."[15]

It will be seen from these extracts that the literary value of Philo's
work was exceedingly small. His style is complicated and confused; his
matter, for the most part, worthless, and his mixture of Greek,
Phnician, and Egyptian etymologies absurd. If we were bound to
believe that he translated a real Phnician original, and that that
original was a fair specimen of Phnician literary talent, the only
conclusion to which we could come would be, that the literature of the
nation was beneath contempt.

But the "Periplus" of Hanno will lead us to modify this judgment. It
is so short a work that we venture to give it entire from the
translation of Falconer,[16] with a few obvious corrections.

The voyage of Hanno, King of the Carthaginians, round the parts of
Libya beyond the Pillars of Hercules, which he deposited in the
Temple of Kronos.

"It was decreed by the Carthaginians that Hanno should undertake a
voyage beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and there found Liby-Phnician
cities. He sailed accordingly with sixty ships of fifty oars each, and
a body of men and women, to the number of thirty thousand, and
provisions, and other necessaries.

"When we had weighed anchor, and passed the Pillars, and sailed beyond
them for two days, we founded the first city, which we named
Thymiaterium. Below it lay an extensive plain. Proceeding thence
towards the west, we came to Soloeis, a promontory of Libya thickly
covered with trees, where we erected a temple to Neptune (Poseidon),
and again proceeded for the space of half a day towards the east,
until we arrived at a lake lying not far from the sea, and filled with
abundance of large reeds. Here elephants and a great number of other
wild animals were feeding.

"Having passed the lake about a day's sail, we founded cities near the
sea, called Caricon-Teichos, and Gytta, and Acra, and Melitta, and
Arambys. Thence we came to the great river Lixus, which flows from
Libya. On its banks the Lixit, a wandering tribe, were feeding
flocks, amongst whom we continued some time on friendly terms. Beyond
the Lixit dwelt the inhospitable Ethiopians, who pasture a wild
country intersected by large mountains, from which they say the river
Lixus flows. In the neighbourhood of the mountains lived the
Troglodytes, men of various appearances, whom the Lixit described as
swifter in running than horses. Having procured interpreters from
them, we coasted along a desert country towards the south for two
days; and thence again proceeded towards the east the course of a day.
Here we found in the recess of a certain bay a small island, having a
circuit of five stadia, where we settled a colony, and called it
Cerne. We judged from our voyage that this place lay in a direct line
with Carthage; for the length of our voyage from Carthage to the
Pillars was equal to that from the Pillars to Cerne. We then came to a
cape, which we reached by sailing up a large river called Chrete. The
lake had three islands larger than Cerne; from which, proceeding a
day's sail, we came to the extremity of the lake. This was overhung by
huge mountains, inhabited by savage men, clothed in skins of wild
beasts, who drove us away by throwing stones, and hindered us from
landing. Sailing thence, we came to another river, that was deep and
broad, and full of crocodiles and river horses (hippopotami), whence
returning back, we came again to Cerne. Thence we sailed towards the
south for twelve days, coasting along the shore, the whole of which is
inhabited by Ethiopians, who would not wait our approach, but fled
from us. Their language was unintelligible, even to the Lixit who
were with us. On the last day we approached some large mountains
covered with trees, the wood of which was sweet-scented and
variegated. Having sailed by these mountains for two days, we came to
an immense opening of the sea; on each side of which, towards the
continent, was a plain; from which we saw by night fire arising at
intervals, either more or less.

"Having taken in water there, we sailed forward during five days near
the land, until we came to a large bay, which our interpreter informed
us was called 'the Western Horn.' In this was a large island, and in
the island a salt-water lake, and in this another island, where, when
we had landed, we could discover nothing in the daytime except trees;
but in the night we saw many fires burning, and heard the sound of
pipes, cymbals, drums, and confused shouting. We were then afraid, and
our diviners ordered us to abandon the island. Sailing quickly away
thence, we passed by a country burning with fires and perfumes; and
streams of fire supplied thence fell into the sea. The country was
untraversable on account of the heat. So we sailed away quickly from
there also, being much terrified; and, passing on for four days, we
observed at night a country full of flames. In the middle was a lofty
fire, larger than the rest, which seemed to touch the stars. When day
came, we discovered it to be a huge hill, called 'the Chariot of the
Gods.' On the third day after our departure thence, after sailing by
streams of fire, we arrived at a bay, called 'the Southern Horn;' at
the bottom of which lay an island like the former one, having a lake,
and in the lake another island full of savage people, far the greater
part of whom were women, whose bodies were hairy, and whom our
interpreters called 'gorill.' Though we pursued the men, we could not
catch any of them; but all escaped us, climbing over the precipices,
and defending themselves with stones. Three women were, however,
taken; but they attacked their conductors with their teeth and nails,
and could not be prevailed upon to accompany us. So we killed them,
and flayed them, and brought their skins with us to Carthage. We did
not sail further on, our provisions failing us."

The style of this short work, though exceedingly simple and
inartificial, is not without its merits. It has the directness, the
perspicuity, and the liveliness of Csar's Commentaries or of the Duke
of Wellington's Despatches. Montesquieu[17] says of it:--"Hanno's
Voyage was written by the very man who performed it. His recital is
not mingled with ostentation. Great commanders write their actions
with simplicity, because they receive more honour from facts than
words." If we may take the work as a specimen of the accounts which
Phnician explorers commonly gave of their travels in unknown regions,
we must regard them as having set a pattern which modern travellers
would do well to follow. Hanno gives us facts, not speculations--the
things which he has observed, not those of which he has dreamt; and he
delivers his facts in the fewest possible words, and in the plainest
possible way. He does not cultivate flowers of rhetoric; he does not
unduly spin out his narrative. It is plain that he is especially bent
on making his meaning clear, and he succeeds in doing so.

The epigraphic literature of the Phnicians, which M. Renan considers
to supply fairly well the almost complete loss of their books,[18]
scarcely deserves to be so highly rated. It consists at present of
five or six moderately long, and some hundreds of exceedingly short,
inscriptions; the longer ones being, all of them, inscribed on stones,
the shorter on stones, vases, pater, gems, coins, and the like. The
longest of all is that engraved on the sarcophagus of Esmunazar, king
of Sidon, discovered near the modern Saida in the year 1855, and now
in the museum of the Louvre. This has a length of twenty-two long
lines, and contains 298 words.[19] It is fairly legible throughout;
and the sense is, for the most part, fairly well ascertained, though
the meaning of some passages remains still more or less doubtful. The
following is the translation of M. Renan:--

"In the month of Bul (October), in the fourteenth year of the reign of
King Esmunazar, king of the Sidonians, son of King Tabnit, king of the
Sidonians, King Esmunazar, king of the Sidonians, spake, saying--I am
snatched away before my time, the child of a few days, the orphan son
of a widow; and lo! I am lying in this coffin, and in this tomb, in
the place which I have built. I adjure every royal personage and every
man whatsoever, that they open not this my chamber, and seek not for
treasures there, since there are here no treasures, and that they
remove not the coffin from my chamber, nor build over this my chamber
any other funeral chamber. Even if men speak to thee, listen not to
their words; since every royal personage and every other man who shall
open this funeral chamber, or remove the coffin from this my chamber,
or build anything over this chamber--may they have no funeral chamber
with the departed, nor be buried in tombs, nor have any son or
descendant to succeed to their place; but may the Holy Gods deliver
them into the hand of a mighty king who shall reign over them, and
destroy the royal personage or the man who shall open this my funeral
chamber, or remove this coffin, together with the offspring of the
royal personage or other man, and let them not have either root below,
or any fruit above, or glory among such as live beneath the sun. Since
I am snatched away before my time, the child of a few days, the orphan
son of a widow, even I.

"For I am Esmunazar, king of the Sidonians, the son of King Tabnit,
king of the Sidonians, and the grandson of Esmunazar, king of the
Sidonians, and my mother is Am-Ashtoreth, priestess of our lady
Ashtoreth, the queen, the daughter of King Esmunazar, king of the
Sidonians--and it is we who have built the temples of the gods, the
temple of Ashtoreth in Sidon on the shore of the sea, and have placed
Ashtoreth in her temple to glorify her; and we too have built the
temple of Esmun, and set the sacred grove, En Yidlal, in the mountain,
and made him (Esmun) dwell there to glorify him; and it is we who have
built temples to the [other] deities of the Sidonians, in Sidon on the
shore of the sea, as the temple of Baal-Sidon, and the temple of
Asthoreth, who bears the name of Baal. And for this cause has the Lord
of Kings given us Dor and Joppa, and the fertile cornlands which are
in the plains of Sharon, as a reward for the great things which I have
done, and added them to the boundaries of the land, that they may
belong to the Sidonians for ever. I adjure every royal personage, and
every man whatsoever, that they open not this my chamber, nor empty my
chamber, nor build aught over this my chamber, nor remove the coffin
from this my chamber, lest the Holy Gods deliver them up, and destroy
the royal personage, or the men [who shall do so], and their offspring
for ever."[20]

The inscription on the tomb of Tabnit, Esmunazar's father, found near
Beyrout in 1886, is shorter, but nearly to the same effect. It has
been thus translated:--"I, Tabnit, priest of Ashtoreth, and king of
Sidon, lying in this tomb, say--I adjure every man, when thou shalt
come upon this sepulchre, open not my chamber, and trouble me not, for
there is not with me aught of silver, nor is there with me aught of
gold, there is not with me anything whatever of spoil, but only I
myself who lie in this sepulchre. Open not my chamber, and trouble me
not; for it would be an abomination in the sight of Ashtoreth to do
such an act. And if thou shouldest open my chamber, and trouble me,
mayest thou have no posterity all thy life under the sun, and no
resting-place with the departed."[21]

A stel of a Byblian king, Jehavmelek, probably somewhat more ancient
than these,[22] bears an inscription of a different kind, since it is
attached to a votive offering and not to a sepulchre. The king
represents himself in a bas-relief as making an offering to Beltis or
Ashtoreth, and then appends an epigraph, which runs to fifteen long
lines,[23] and is to the following effect:--"I am Jehavmelek, king of
Gebal, the son of Jahar-baal, and the grandson of Adom-melek, king of
Gebal, whom lady Beltis of Gebal has made king of Gebal; and I invoke
my lady Beltis of Gebal, because she has heard my voice. And I have
made for my lady Beltis of Gebal the brazen altar which is in this
temple, and the golden carving which is in front of this my carving,
and the urus of gold which is in the middle of the stone over the
golden carving. And I have made this portico, with its columns, and
the capitals that are upon the columns, and the roof of the temple
also, I, Jehavmelek, king of Gebal, have made for my lady Beltis of
Gebal, because, whenever I have invoked my lady Beltis of Gebal, she
has heard my voice, and been good to me. May Beltis of Gebal bless
Jehavmelek, king of Gebal, and grant him life, and prolong his days
and his years over Gebal, because he is a just king; and may the lady
Beltis of Gebal obtain him favour in the sight of the Gods, and in the
sight of the people of foreign lands, for ever! Every royal personage
and every other man who shall make additions to this altar, or to this
golden carving, or to this portico, I, Jehavmelek, king of Gebal, set
may face against him who shall so do, and I pray my lady Beltis of
Gebal to destroy that man, whoever he be, and his seed after him."[24]

The inscription of Marseilles, if it had been entire, would have been
as valuable and interesting as any of these; but, unfortunately, its
twenty-one lines are in every case incomplete, being broken off, or
else illegible, towards the left. It appears to have been a decree
emanating from the authorities of Carthage, and prescribing the amount
of the payments to be made in connection with the sacrifices and
officials of a temple of Baal which may have existed either at
Marseilles or at Carthage itself. To translate it is impossible
without a vast amount of conjecture; but M. Renan's version[25] seems
to deserve a place in the present collection.


"The temple of Baal . . . Account of the payments fixed by those set
over the payments, in the time of our lords, Halats-Baal, the Suffes,
the son of Abd-Tanith, the son of Abd-Esmun, and of Halats-Baal, the
Suffes, the son of Abd-Esmun, the son of Halts-Baal, and of their
colleagues:--For an ox, whether as burnt sacrifice, or expiatory
offering, or thank offering, to the priests [shall be given] ten
[shekels] of silver on account of each; and, if it be a burnt
sacrifice, they shall have besides this payment three hundred weight
of the flesh; and if the sacrifice be expiatory, [they shall have] the
fat and the additions, and the offerer of the sacrifice shall have the
skin, and the entrails, and the feet, and the rest of the flesh. For a
calf without horns and entire, or for a ram, whether as burnt
sacrifice, or expiatory offering, or thank offering, to the priests
[shall be given] five [shekels] of silver on account of each; and if
it be a burnt sacrifice, they shall have, besides this payment, a
hundred weight and a half of the flesh; and if the sacrifice be
expiatory, they shall have the fat and the additions, and the skin,
and entrails, and feet, and the rest of the flesh shall be given to
the offerer of the sacrifice. For a he-goat, or a she-goat, whether as
a burnt sacrifice, or expiatory offering, or thank offering, to the
priests [shall be given] one [shekel] and two /zers/ of silver on
account of each; and if it be an expiatory sacrifice, they shall have,
besides this payment, the fat and the additions; and the skin, and
entrails, and feet, and the rest of the flesh shall be given to the
offerer of the sacrifice. For a sheep, or a kid, or a fawn (?),
whether as burnt sacrifice, or expiatory offering, or thank offering,
to the priests [shall be given] three-fourths of a shekel of silver
and . . . /zers/, on account of each; and if it be an expiatory
sacrifice, they shall have, besides this payment, the fat and the
additions; and the skin, and the entrails, and the feet, and the rest
of the flesh [shall be given] to the offerer of the sacrifice. For a
bird, domestic or wild, whether as thank offering, or for augury, or
for divination, to the priests [shall be given] three-fourths of a
shekel of silver and two /zers/ on account of each, and the flesh
shall be for the offerer of the sacrifice. For a bird, or for the holy
first-fruits, or for the offering of a cake, or for an offering of
oil, to the priests [shall be given] ten /zers/ of silver on account
of each, and . . . In every expiatory sacrifice that shall be offered
before the deities, to the priests [shall be given] the fat and the
additions, and in the sacrifice of . . . For a meat offering, or for
milk, or for fat, or for any sacrifice which any man shall offer as an
oblation, to the priests [there shall be given] . . . For every
offering that a man shall offer who is poor in sheep, or poor in
birds, [there shall be given] to the priests nothing at all. Every
native, and every inhabitant, and every feaster at the table of the
gods, and all the men who sacrifice . . . those men shall make a
payment for every sacrifice, according to that which is prescribed in
[this] writing . . . Every payment which is not prescribed in this
tablet shall be made proportionally to the rate fixed by those set
over the payments in the time of our lords, Halats-Baal, the son of
Abd-Tanith, and Halats-Baal, the son of Abd-Esmun, and their
colleagues. Every priest who takes a payment beyond the amount
prescribed in this tablet shall be fined . . . And every offerer of a
sacrifice who shall not pay [the amount] prescribed, beyond the
payment which [is here fixed, he shall pay] . . ."

Of the shorter inscriptions of the Phnicians, by far the greater
number were attached either to votive offerings or to tombs. Some
hundreds have been found of both classes, but they are almost wholly
without literary merit, being bald and jejune in the extreme, and
presenting little variety. The depositor of a votive offering usually
begins by mentioning the name and title, or titles, of the deity to
whom he dedicates it. Then he appends his own name, with the names of
his father and grandfather. Occasionally, but rarely, he describes his
offering, and states the year in which it was set up. Finally, he
asks the deity to bless him. The following are examples:--


"To the lord Baal-Shamam, [the vow] which was vowed by Abdelim, son
of Mattan, son of Abdelim, son of Baal-Shomar, of the district of
Laodicea. This gateway and doors did I make in fulfilment of it. I
built it in the 180th year of the Lord of Kings, and in the 143rd year
of the people of Tyre, that it might be to me a memorial and for a
good name beneath the feet of my lord, Baal-Shamam, for ever. May he
bless me!"[26]


"To the lady Tanith, and to our master, the lord Baal-Hammon; the
offerer is Abd-Melkarth, the Suffes, son of Abd-Melkarth, son of


"To our lord Melkarth, the lord of Tyre. The offerer is thy servant,
Abd-Osiri, and my brother, Osiri-Shomar, both [of us] sons of Osiri-
Shomar, the son of Abd-Osiri. In hearing their voice, may he bless


"On the sixth day of the month Bul, in the twenty-first year of King
Pumi-yitten, king of Citium and Idalium, and Tamasus, son of King
Melek-yitten, king of Citium and Idalium, this altar and these two
lions were given by Bodo, priest of Reseph-hets, son of Yakun-shalam,
son of Esmunadon, to his lord Reseph-hets. May he bless [him]."[29]


"On the seventh day of the month . . . in the thirty-first year of the
Lord of Kings, Ptolemus, son of Ptolemus . . . which was the fifty-
seventh year of the Citians, when Amarat-Osiri, daughter of . . . son
of Abd-Susim, of Gad'ath, was /canephora/ of Asino Philadelphus,
these statues were set up by Bathshalun, daughter of Maryichai, son of
Esmunadon, to the memory of his grandsons, Esmunadon, Shallum, and
Abd-Reseph, the three sons of Maryichai, son of Esmunadon, according
to the vow which their father, Maryichai, vowed, when he was still
alive, to their lord, Reseph-Mikal. May he bless them!"[30]

There is a little more variety in the inscriptions on tombstones. The
great majority, indeed, are extremely curt and dry, containing
scarcely anything beyond the name of the person who is buried in the
tomb, or that together with the name of the person by whom the
monument is erected; e.g. "To Athad, the daughter of Abd-Esmun, the
Suffes, and wife of Ger-Melkarth, the son of Ben-hodesh, the son of
Esmunazar"[31]; or "This monument I, Menahem, grandson of Abd-Esmun,
have erected to my father, Abd-Shamash, son of Abd-Esmun"[32]; or "I,
Abd-Osiri, the son of Abd-Susim, the son of Hur, have erected this
monument, while I am still alive, to myself, and to my wife, Ammat-
Ashtoreth, daughter of Taam, son of Abd-melek, [and have placed it]
over the chamber of my tomb, in perpetuity."[33] But, occasionally, we
get a glimpse, beyond the mere dry facts, into the region of thought;
as where the erector of a monument appends to the name of one, whom we
may suppose to have been a miser, the remark, that "the reward of him
who heaps up riches is contempt;"[34] or where one who entertains the
hope that his friend is happier in another world than he was upon
earth, thus expresses himself--"In memory of Esmun. After rain, the
sun shines forth;"[35] or, again, where domestic affection shows
itself in the declaration concerning the departed--"When he entered
into the house that is so full [of guests], there was grief for the
memory of the sage, the man that was hard as adamant, that bore
calamities of every sort, that was a widower through the death of my
mother, that was like a pellucid fountain, and had a name pure from
crime. Erected in affection by me his son to my father."[36]

With respect to the extent and range of the Phnician book literature,
the little that can be gathered from the notices remaining to us in
the Greek and Roman writers is the following. In Phnicia Proper there
were historical writers at least from the time of Hiram, the
contemporary of David, who wrote the annals of their country in a curt
dry form somewhat resembling that of Kings and Chronicles.[37] The
names of the kings and the length of their reigns were carefully
recorded, together with some of the more remarkable events belonging
to each reign; but there was no attempt at the philosophy of history,
nor at the graces of composition. In some places, especially at Sidon,
philosophy and science were to a certain extent cultivated. Mochus, a
Sidonian, wrote a work on the atomic theory at a very early date,
though scarcely, as Posidonius maintained,[38] one anterior to the
Trojan war. Later on, the Sidonian school specially affected astronomy
and arithmetic, in which they made so much progress that the Greeks
acknowledged themselves their debtors in those branches of
knowledge.[39] It is highly probable, though not exactly capable of
proof, that the Tyrian navigators from a very remote period embodied
in short works the observations which they made in their voyages, on
the geography, hydrography, ethology, and natural history of the
counties, which were visited by them. Hanno's "Periplus" may have been
composed on a model of these earlier treatises, which at a later date
furnished materials to Marinus for his great work on geography. It
was, however, in the Phnician colony of Carthage that authorship was
taken up with most spirit and success. Hiempsal, Hanno, Mago,
Hamilcar, and others, composed works, which the Romans valued highly,
on the history, geography, and "origines" of Africa, and also upon
practical agriculture.[40] Mago and Hamilcar were regarded as the best
authorities on the latter subject both by the Greeks and Romans, and
were followed, among the Greeks by Mnaseas and Paxamus,[41] among the
Romans by Varro and Columella.[42] So highly was the work of Mago,
which ran to twenty-eight books, esteemed, that, on the taking of
Carthage, it was translated into Latin by order of the Roman
Senate.[43] After the fall of Carthage, Tyre and Sidon once more
became seats of learning; but the Phnician language was discarded,
and Greek adopted in its place. The Tyrian, Sidonian, Byblian and
Berytian authors, of whom we hear, bear Greek names:[44] and it is
impossible to say whether they belonged, in any true sense, to the
Phnician race. Philo of Byblus and Marinus of Tyre are the only two
authors of this later period who held to Phnician traditions, and,
presumably, conveyed on to later ages Phnician ideas and
accumulations. If neither literature nor science gained much from the
work of the former, that of the latter had considerable value, and, as
the basis of the great work of Ptolemy, must ever hold an honourable
place in the history of geographical progress.



1. Phnicia, before the establishment of the hegemony of Tyre.

Separate autonomy of the Phnician cities--No marked predominance
of any one or more of them during the Egyptian period, B.C. 1600-
1350--A certain pre-eminence subsequently acquired by Aradus and
Sidon--Sidonian territorial ascendancy--Great proficiency of Sidon
in the arts--Sidon's war with the Philistines--Her early colonies
--Her advances in navigation--Her general commercial honesty--
Occasional kidnapping--Stories of Io and Eumus--Internal
government--Relations with the Israelites.

When the Phnician immigrants, in scattered bands, and at longer or
shorter intervals, arrived upon the Syrian coast, and finding it empty
occupied it, or wrested it from its earlier possessors, there was a
decided absence from among them of any single governing or controlling
authority; a marked tendency to assert and maintain separate rule and
jurisdiction. Sidon, the Arkite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, are
separately enumerated in the book of Genesis;[1] and the Hebrews have
not even any one name under which to comprise the commercial people
settled upon their coast line,[2] until we come to Gospel times, when
the Greeks have brought the term "Syro-Phnician" into use.[3]
Elsewhere we hear of "them of Sidon," "them of Tyre,"[4] "the
Giblites,"[5] "the men of Arvad,"[6] "the Arkites," "the Sinites,"
"the Zemarites,"[7] "the inhabitants of Accho, of Achzib, and
Aphek,"[8] but never of the whole maritime population north of
Philistia under any single ethnic appellation. And the reason seems to
be, that the Phnicians, even more than the Greeks, affected a city
autonomy. Each little band of immigrants, as soon as it had pushed its
way into the sheltered tract between the mountains and the sea,
settled itself upon some attractive spot, constructed habitations, and
having surrounded its habitations with walls, claimed to be--and found
none to dispute the claim--a distinct political entity. The
conformation of the land, so broken up into isolated regions by strong
spurs from Lebanon and Bargylus, lent additional support to the
separatist spirit, and the absence in the early times of any pressure
of danger from without permitted its free indulgence without entailing
any serious penalty. It is difficult to say at what time the first
settlements took place; but during the period of Egyptian supremacy
over Western Asia, under the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties (ab.
B.C. 1600-1350), we seem to find the Phnicians in possession of the
coast tract, and their cities severally in the enjoyment of
independence and upon a quasi-equality. Tyre, Sidon, Gebal, Aradus,
Simyra, Sarepta, Berytus, and perhaps Arka, appear in the inscriptions
of Thothmes III,[9] and in the "Travels of a Mohar,"[10] without an
indication of the pre-eminence, much less the supremacy, of any one of
them. The towns pursued their courses independently one of another,
submitting to the Egyptians when hard pressed, but always ready to
reassert themselves, and never joining, so far as appears, in any
league or confederation, by which their separate autonomy might have
been endangered. During this period no city springs to any remarkable
height of greatness or prosperity; material progress is, no doubt,
being made by the nation; but it is not very marked, and it does not
excite any particular attention.

But with the decline of the Egyptian power, which sets in after the
death of the second Rameses, a change takes place. External pressure
being removed, ambitions begin to develop themselves. In the north
Aradus (Arvad), in the south Sidon, proceed to exercise a sort of
hegemony over several neighbouring states. Sidon becomes known as
"Great Zidon."[11] Not content with her maritime ascendancy, which was
already pushing her into special notice, she aspired to a land
dominion, and threw out offshoots from the main seat of her power as
far as Laish, on the head-waters of the Jordan.[12] It was her
support, probably, which enabled the inhabitants of such comparatively
weak cities as Accho and Achzib and Aphek to resist the invasion of
the Hebrews, and maintain themselves, despite all attempts made to
reduce them.[13] At the same time she gradually extended her influence
over the coast towns in her neighbourhood, as Sarepta, Heldun, perhaps
Berytus, Ecdippa, and Accho. The period which succeeds that of
Egyptian preponderance in Western Asia may be distinguished as that of
Sidonian ascendancy, or of such ascendancy slightly modified by an
Aradian hegemony in the north over the settlements intervening between
Mount Casius and the northern roots of Lebanon.[14] During this period
Sidon came to the front, alike in arts, in arms, and in navigation.
Her vessels were found by the earliest Greek navigators in all parts
of the Mediterranean into which they themselves ventured, and were
known to push themselves into regions where no Greek dared to follow
them. Under her fostering care Phnician colonisation had spread over
the whole of the Western Mediterranean, over the gean, and into the
Propontis. She had engaged in war with the powerful nation of the
Philistines, and, though worsted in the encounter, had obtained a
reputation for audacity. By her wonderful progress in the arts, her
citizens had acquired the epithet of {poludaidaloi},[15] and had come
to be recognised generally as the foremost artificers of the world in
almost every branch of industry. Sidonian metal-work was particularly
in repute. When Achilles at the funeral of Patroclus desired to offer
as a prize to the fastest runner the most beautiful bowl that was to
be found in all the world, he naturally chose one which had been
deftly made by highly-skilled Sidonians, and which Phnician sailors
had conveyed in one of their hollow barks across the cloud-shadowed
sea.[16] When Menelaus proposed to present Telemachus, the son of his
old comrade Odysseus, with what was at once the most beautiful and the
most valuable of all his possessions, he selected a silver bowl with a
golden rim, which in former days he had himself received as a present
from Phdimus, the Sidonian king.[17] The sailors who stole Eumus
from Ortygia, and carried him across the sea to Ithica, obtained their
prize by coming to his father's palace, and bringing with them, among
other wares,

. . . a necklace of fine gold to sell,
With bright electron linked right wondrously and well.[18]

Sidon's pre-eminence in the manufacture, the dyeing, and the
embroidery of textile fabrics was at the same time equally
unquestionable. Hecuba, being advised to offer to Athn, on behalf of
her favourite son, the best and loveliest of all the royal robes which
her well-stored dress-chamber could furnish--

She to her fragrant wardrobe bent her way,
Where her rich veils in beauteous order lay;
Webs by Sidonian virgins finely wrought,
From Sidon's woofs by youthful Paris brought,
When o'er the boundless main the adulterer led
Fair Helen from her home and nuptial bed;
From these she chose the fullest, fairest far,
With broidery bright, and blazing as a star.[19]

Already, it would seem, the precious shell-fish, on which Phnicia's
commerce so largely rested in later times, had been discovered; and it
was the dazzling hue of the robe which constituted its especial value.
Sidon was ultimately eclipsed by Tyre in the productions of the loom;
and the unrivalled dye has come down to us, and will go down to all
future ages, as "/Tyrian/ purple;" but we may well believe that in
this, as in most other matters on which prosperity and success
depended, Tyre did but follow in the steps of her elder sister Sidon,
perfecting possibly the manufacture which had been Sidon's discovery
in the early ages. According to Scylax of Cadyanda, Dor was a Sidonian
colony.[20] Geographically it belonged rather to Philistia than to
Phnicia; but its possession of large stores of the purple fish caused
its sudden seizure and rapid fortification at a very remote date,
probably by the Phnicians of Sidon.[21] It is quite possible that
this aggression may have provoked that terrible war to which reference
has already been made, between the Philistines under the hegemony of
Ascalon and the first of the Phnician cities. Ascalon attacked the
Sidonians by land, blockaded the offending town, and after a time
compelled a surrender; but the defenders had a ready retreat by sea,
and, when they could no longer hold out against their assailants, took
ship, and removed themselves to Tyre, which at the time was probably a

In navigation also and colonisation Sidon took the lead. According to
some, she was the actual founder of Aradus, which was said to have
owed its origin to a body of Sidonian exiles, who there settled
themselves.[23] Not much reliance, however, can be placed on this
tradition, which first appears in a writer of the Augustan age. With
more confidence we may ascribe to Sidon the foundation of Citium in
Cyprus, the colonisation of the islands in the gean, and of those
Phnician settlements in North Africa which were anterior to the
founding of Carthage. It has even been supposed that the Sidonians
were the first to make a settlement at Carthage itself,[24] and that
the Tyrian occupation under Dido was a recolonisation of an already
occupied site. Anyhow, Sidon was the first to explore the central
Mediterranean, and establish commercial relations with the barbarous
tribes of the mid-African coast, Cabyles, Berbers, Shuloukhs, Tauriks,
and others. She is thought to claim on a coin to be the mother-city of
Melita, or Malta, as well as of Citium and Berytus;[25] and, if this
claim be allowed, we can scarcely doubt that she was also the first to
plant colonies in Sicily. Further than this, it would seem, Sidonian
enterprise did not penetrate. It was left for Tyre to discover the
wealth of Southern Spain, to penetrate beyond the Straits of
Gibraltar, and to affront the perils of the open ocean.

But, within the sphere indicated, Sidonian rovers traversed all parts
of the Great Sea, penetrated into every gulf, became familiar sights
to the inhabitants of every shore. From timid sailing along the coast
by day, chiefly in the summer season, when winds whispered gently, and
atmospheric signs indicated that fair weather had set in, they
progressed by degrees to long voyages, continued both by night and
day,[26] from promontory to promontory, or from island to island,
sometimes even across a long stretch of open sea, altogether out of
sight of land, and carried on at every season of the year except some
few of special danger. To Sidon is especially ascribed the
introduction of the practice of sailing by night,[27] which shortened
the duration of voyages by almost one-half, and doubled the number of
trips that a vessel could accomplish in the course of a year. For
night sailing the arts of astronomy and computation had to be
studied;[28] the aspect of the heavens at different seasons had to be
known; and among the shifting constellations some fixed point had to
be found by which it would be safe to steer. The last star in the tail
of the Little Bear--the polar star of our own navigation books--was
fixed upon by the Phnicians, probably by the Sidonians, for this
purpose,[29] and was practically employed as the best index of the
true north from a remote period. The rate of a ship's speed was,
somehow or other, estimated; and though it was long before charts were
made, or the set of currents taken into account, yet voyages were for
the most part accomplished with very tolerable accuracy and safety. An
ample commerce grew up under Sidonian auspices. After the vernal
equinox was over a fleet of white-winged ships sped forth from the
many harbours of the Syrian coast, well laden with a variety of wares
--Phnician, Assyrian, Egyptian[30]--and made for the coasts and
islands of the Levant, the gean, the Propontis, the Adriatic, the
mid-Mediterranean, where they exchanged the cargoes which they had
brought with them for the best products of the lands whereto they had
come. Generally, a few weeks, or at most a month or two, would
complete the transfer the of commodities, and the ships which left
Sidon in April or May would return about June or July, unload, and
make themselves ready for a second voyage. But sometimes, it appears,
the return cargo was not so readily procured, and vessels had to
remain in the foreign port, or roadstead, for the space of a whole

The behaviour of the traders must, on the whole, have been such as won
the respect of the nations and tribes wherewith they traded.
Otherwise, the markets would soon have been closed against them, and,
in lieu of the peaceful commerce which the Phnicians always affected,
would have sprung up along the shores of the Mediterranean a general
feeling of distrust and suspicion, which would have led on to hostile
encounters, surprises, massacres, and then reprisals. The entire
history of Phnician commerce shows that such a condition of things
never existed. The traders and their customers were bound together by
the bonds of self-interest, and, except in rare instances, dealt by
each other fairly and honestly. Still, there were occasions when,
under the stress of temptation, fair-dealing was lost sight of, and
immediate prospect of gain was allowed to lead to the commission of
acts destructive of all feeling of security, subversive of commercial
morals, and calculated to effect a rupture of commercial relations,
which it may often have taken a long term of years to re-establish.
Herodotus tells us that, at a date considerably anterior to the Trojan
war, when the ascendancy over the other Phnician cities must
certainly have belonged to Sidon, an affair of this kind took place on
the coast of Argolis, which was long felt by the Greeks as an injury
and an outrage. A Phnician vessel made the coast near Argos, and the
crew, having effected a landing, proceeded to expose their merchandise
for sale along the shore, and to traffic with the natives, who were
very willing to make purchases, and in the course of five or six days
bought up almost the entire cargo. At length, just as the traders were
thinking of re-embarking and sailing away, there came down to the
shore from the capital a number of Argive ladies, including among them
a princess, Io, the daughter of Inachus, the Argive king. Hereupon,
the trafficking and the bargaining recommenced; goods were produced
suited to the taste of the new customers; and each strove to obtain
what she desired most at the least cost. But suddenly, as they were
all intent upon their purchases, and were crowding round the stern of
the ship, the Phnicians, with a general shout, rushed upon them. Many
--the greater part, we are told--made their escape; but the princess,
and a certain number of her companions, were seized and carried on
board. The traders quickly put to sea, and hoisting their sails,
hurried away to Egypt.[32]

Another instance of kidnapping, accomplished by art rather than by
force, is related to us by Homer.[33] Eumus, the swineherd of
Ulysses, was the son of a king, dwelling towards the west, in an
island off the Sicilian coast. A Phnician woman, herself kidnapped
from Sidon by piratical Taphians, had the task of nursing and tending
him assigned to her, and discharged it faithfully until a great
temptation befell her. A Sidonian merchant-ship visited the island,
laden with rich store of precious wares, and proceeded to open a trade
with the inhabitants, in the course of which one of the sailors
seduced the Phnician nurse, and suggested that when the vessel left,
she should allow herself to be carried off in it. The woman, whose
parents were still alive at Sidon, came into the scheme, and being
apprised of the date of the ship's departure, stole away from the
palace unobserved, taking with her three golden goblets, and also her
master's child, the boy of whom she had charge. It was evening, and
all having been prepared beforehand, the nurse and child were hastily
smuggled on board, the sails were hoisted, and the ship was soon under
weigh. The wretched woman died ere the voyage was over, but the boy
survived, and was carried by the traders to Ithaca, and there sold for
a good sum to Lartes.

It is not suggested that these narratives, in the form in which they
have come down to us, are historically true. There may never have been
an "Io, daughter of Inachus," or an "Eumus, son of Ctesius
Ormenides," or an island, "Syria called by name, over against
Ortygia," or even a Ulysses or a Lartes. But the tales could never
have grown up, have been invented, or have gained acceptance, unless
the practice of kidnapping, on which they are based, had been known to
be one in which the Phnicians of the time indulged, at any rate
occasionally. We must allow this blot on the Sidonian escutcheon, and
can only plead, in extenuation of their offence, first, the imperfect
morality of the age, and secondly, the fact that such deviations from
the line of fair-dealing and honesty on the part of the Sidonian
traders must have been of rare occurrence, or the flourishing and
lucrative trade, which was the basis of all the glory and prosperity
of the people, could not possibly have been established. Successful
commerce must rest upon the foundation of mutual confidence; and
mutual confidence is impossible unless the rules of fair dealing are
observed on both sides, if not invariably, yet, at any rate, so
generally that the infraction of them is not contemplated on either
side as anything but the remotest contingency.

Of the internal government of Sidon during this period no details have
come down to us. Undoubtedly, like all the Phnician cities in the
early times,[34] she had her own kings; and we may presume, from the
almost universal practice in ancient times, and especially in the
East,[35] that the monarchy was hereditary. The main duties of the
king were to lead out the people to battle in time of war, and to
administer justice in time of peace.[36] The kings were in part
supported, in part held in check, by a powerful aristocracy--an
aristocracy which, we may conjecture, had wealth, rather than birth,
as its basis. It does not appear that any political authority was
possessed by the priesthood, nor that the priesthood was a caste, as
in India, and (according to some writers) in Egypt. The priestly
office was certainly not attached by any general custom to the person
of the kings, though kings might be priests, and were so

We do not distinctly hear of Sidon has having been engaged in any war
during the period of her ascendancy, excepting that with the
Philistines. Still as "the Zidonians" are mentioned among the nations
which "oppressed Israel" in the time of the Judges,[38] we must
conclude that differences arose between them and their southern
neighbours in some portion of this period, and that, war having broken
out between them, the advantage rested with Sidon. The record of
"Judges" is incomplete, and does not enable us even to fix the date of
the Sidonian "oppression." We can only say that it was anterior to the
judgeship of Jephthah, and was followed, like the other "oppressions,"
by a "deliverance."

The war with the Philistines brought the period of Sidonian ascendancy
to an end, and introduces us to the second period of Phnician
history, or that of the hegemony of Tyre. The supposed date of the
change is B.C. 1252.[39]

2. Phnicia under the hegemony of Tyre
(B.C. 1252-877)

Influx of the Sidonian population raises Tyre to the first place
among the cities (about B.C. 1252)--First notable result, the
colonisation of Gades (B.C. 1130)--Other colonies of about this
period--Extension of Phnician commerce--Tyre ruled by kings--Abi-
Baal--Hiram--Hiram's dealings with Solomon--His improvement of his
own capital--His opinion of "the land of Cabul"--His joint trade
with the Israelites--His war with Utica--Successors of Hiram--Time
of disturbance--Reign of Ithobal--of Badezor--of Matgen--of
Pygmalion--Founding of Carthage--First contact of Phnicia with
Assyria--Submission of Phnicia, B.C. 877.

Tyre was noted as a "strong city" as early as the time of Joshua,[40]
and was probably inferior only to Sidon, or to Sidon and Aradus,
during the period of Sidonian ascendancy. It is mentioned in the
"Travels of a Mohar" (about B.C. 1350) as "a port, richer in fish than
in sands."[41] The tradition was, that it acquired its predominance
and pre-eminence from the accession of the Sidonian population, which
fled thither by sea, when no longer able to resist the forces of
Ascalon.[42] We do not find it, however, attaining to any great
distinction or notoriety, until more than a century later, when it
distinguishes itself by the colonisation of Gades (about B.C. 1130),
beyond the Pillars of Hercules, on the shores of the Atlantic. We may
perhaps deduce from this fact, that the concentration of energy caused
by the removal to Tyre of the best elements in the population of Sidon
gave a stimulus to enterprise, and caused longer voyages to be
undertaken, and greater dangers to be affronted by the daring seamen
of the Syrian coast than had ever been ventured on before. The Tyrian
seamen were, perhaps, of a tougher fibre than the Sidonian, and the
change of hegemony is certainly accompanied by a greater display of
energy, a more adventurous spirit, a wider colonisation, and a more
wonderful commercial success, than characterise the preceding period
of Sidonian leadership and influence.

The settlements planted by Tyre in the first burst of her colonising
energy seem to have been, besides Gades, Thasos, Abdera, and Pronectus
towards the north, Malaca, Sexti, Carteia, Belon, and a second Abdera
in Spain, together with Caralis in Sardinia,[43] Tingis and Lixus on
the West African coast, and in North Africa Hadrumetum and the lesser
Leptis.[44] Her aim was to throw the meshes of her commerce wider than
Sidon had ever done, and so to sweep into her net a more abundant
booty. It was Tyre which especially affected "long voyages,"[45] and
induced her colonists of Gades to explore the shores outside the
Pillars of Hercules, northwards as far as Cornwall and the Scilly
Isles, southwards to the Fortunate Islands, and north-eastwards into
the Baltic. It is, no doubt, uncertain at what date these explorations
were effected, and some of them may belong to the /later/ hegemony of
Tyre, ab. B.C. 600; but the forward movement of the twelfth century
seems to have been distinctly Tyrian, and to have been one of the
results of the new position in which she was placed by the sudden
collapse of her elder sister, Sidon.

According to some,[46] Tyre, during the early period of her supremacy,
was under the government of /shphetim/, or "judges;" but the general
usage of the Phnician cities makes against this supposition. Philo in
his "Origines of Phnicia" speaks constantly of kings,[47] but never
of judges. We hear of a king, Abd-Baal, at Berytus[48] about B.C.
1300. Sidonian kings are mentioned in connection with the myth of
Europa.[49] The cities founded by the Phnicians in Cyprus are always
under monarchical rule.[50] Tyre itself, when its history first
presents itself to us in any detail, is governed by a king.[51] All
that can be urged on the other side is, that we know of no Tyrian king
by name until about B.C. 1050; and that, if there had been earlier
kings, it might have been expected that some record of them would have
come down to us. But to argue thus is to ignore the extreme scantiness
and casual character of the notices which have reached us bearing upon
the early Phnician history. No writer has left us any continuous
history of Phnicia, even in the barest outline.[52] Native monumental
annals are entirely wanting. We depend for the early times upon the
accident of Jewish monarchs having come into contact occasionally with
Phnician ones, and on Jewish writers having noted the occasions in
Jewish histories. Scripture and Josephus alone furnish our materials
for the period now under consideration, and the materials are scanty,
fragmentary, and sadly wanting in completeness.

It is towards the middle of the eleventh century B.C. that these
materials become available. About the time when David was acclaimed as
king by the tribe of Judah at Hebron, a Phnician prince mounted the
throne of Tyre, by name Abibalus, or Abi-Baal.[53] We do not know the
length of his reign; but, while the son of Jesse was still in the full
vigour of life, Abi-Baal was succeeded on the Tyrian throne by his
son, Hiram or Hirm, a prince of great energy, of varied tastes, and
of an unusually broad and liberal turn of mind. Hiram, casting his eye
over the condition of the states and kingdoms which were his
neighbours, seems to have discerned in Judah and David a power and a
ruler whose friendship it was desirable to cultivate with a view to
the establishment of very close relations. Accordingly, it was not
long after the Jewish monarch's capture of the Jebusite stronghold on
Mount Zion that the Tyrian prince sent messengers to him to Jerusalem,
with a present of "timber of cedars," and a number of carpenters, and
stone-hewers, well skilled in the art of building.[54] David accepted
their services, and a goodly palace soon arose on some part of the
Eastern hill, of which cedar from Lebanon was the chief material,[55]
and of which Hiram's workmen were the constructors. At a later date
David set himself to collect abundant and choice materials for the
magnificent Temple which Solomon his son was divinely commissioned to
build on Mount Moriah to Jehovah; and here again "the Zidonians and
they of Tyre," or the subjects of Hiram, "brought much cedar wood to
David."[56] The friendship continued firm to the close of David's
reign;[57] and when Solomon succeeded his father as king of Israel and
lord of the whole tract between the middle Euphrates and Egypt, the
bonds were drawn yet closer, and an alliance concluded which placed
the two powers on terms of the very greatest intimacy. Hiram had no
sooner heard of Solomon's accession than he sent an embassy to
congratulate him;[58] and Solomon took advantage of the opening which
presented itself to announce his intention of building the Temple
which his father had designed, and to request Hiram's aid in the
completion of the work. Copies of letters which passed between the two
monarchs were preserved both in the Tyrian and the Jewish archives,
and the Tyrian versions are said to have been still extant in the
public record office of the city in the first century of the Christian
era.[59] These documents ran as follows:--

"Solomon to King Hiram [sends greeting]:--Know that my father David
was desirous of building a temple to God, but was prevented by his
wars and his continual expeditions; for he did not rest from subduing
his adversaries, until he had made every one of them tributary to him.
And now I for my part return thanks to God for the present time of
peace, and having rest thereby I purpose to build the house; for God
declared to my father that it should be built by me. Wherefore I
beseech thee to send some of thy servants with my servants to Mount
Lebanon, to cut wood there, for none among us can skill to hew timber
like unto the Sidonians. And I will pay the wood-cutters their hire at
whatsoever rate thou shalt determine."

"King Hiram to King Solomon [sends greeting]:--Needs must I praise
God, that hath given thee to sit upon thy father's throne, seeing that
thou art a wise man, and possessed of every virtue. And I, rejoicing
at these things, will do all that thou hast desired of me. I will by
my servants cut thee in abundance timber of cedar and timber of
cypress, and will bring them down to the sea, and command my servants
to construct of them a float, or raft, and navigate it to whatever
point of thy coast thou mayest wish, and there discharge them; after
which thy servants can carry them to Jerusalem. But be it thy care to
provide me in return with a supply of food, whereof we are in want as
inhabiting an island."[60]

The result was an arrangement by which the Tyrian monarch furnished
his brother king with timber of various kinds, chiefly cedar, cut in
Lebanon, and also with a certain number of trained artificers, workers
in metal, carpenters, and masons, while the Israelite monarch on his
part made a return in corn, wine, and oil, supplying Tyre, while the
contract lasted, with 20,000 cors of wheat, the same quantity of
barley, 20,000 baths of wine, and the same number of oil,
annually.[61] Phnicia always needed to import supplies of food for
its abundant population,[62] and having an inexhaustible store of
timber in Lebanon, was glad to find a market for it so near. Thus the
arrangement suited both parties. The hillsides of Galilee and the
broad and fertile plains of Esdraelon and Sharon produced a
superabundance of wheat and barley, whereof the inhabitants had to
dispose in some quarter or other, and the highlands of Sumeria and
Juda bore oil and wine far beyond the wants of those who cultivated
them. What Phnicia lacked in these respects from the scantiness of
its cultivable soil, Palestine was able and eager to supply; while to
Phnicia it was a boon to obtain, not only a market for her timber,
but also employment for her surplus population, which under ordinary
circumstances was always requiring to be carried off to distant lands,
from the difficulty of supporting itself at home.

A still greater advantage was it to the rude Judans to get the
assistance of their civilised and artistic neighbours in the design
and execution, both of the Temple itself and of all those accessories,
which in ancient times a sacred edifice on a large scale was regarded
as requiring. The Phnicians, and especially the Tyrians, had long
possessed, both in their home and foreign settlements, temples of some
pretension, and Hiram had recently been engaged in beautifying and
adorning, perhaps in rebuilding, some of these venerable edifices at
Tyre.[63] A Phnician architectural style had thus been formed, and
Hiram's architects and artificers would be familiar with constructive
principles and ornamental details, as well as with industrial
processes, which are very unlikely to have been known at the time to
the Hebrews. The wood for the Jewish Temple was roughly cut, and the
stones quarried, by Israelite workmen;[64] but all the delicate work,
whether in the one material or the other, was performed by the
servants of Hiram. Stone-cutters from Gebal (Byblus) shaped and
smoothed the "great stones, costly stones" employed in the
substructions of the "house;"[65] Tyrian carpenters planed and
polished the cedar planks used for the walls, and covered them with
representations of cherubs and palms and gourds and opening
flowers.[66] The metallurgists of Sidon probably supplied the cherubic
figures in the inner sanctuary,[67] as well as the castings for the
doors,[68] and the bulk of the sacred vessels. The vail which
separated between the "Holy Place" and the Holy of Holies--a
marvellous fabric of blue, and purple, and crimson, and white, with
cherubim wrought thereon[69]--owed its beauty probably to Tyrian dyers
and Tyrian workers in embroidery. The master-workman lent by the
Tyrian monarch to superintend the entire work--an extraordinary and
almost universal genius--"skilful to work in gold and in silver, in
brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber; in purple, in blue, in fine
linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving"[70]--who
bore the same name with the king,[71] was the son of an Israelite
mother, but boasted a Tyrian father,[72] and was doubtless born and
bred up at Tyre. Under his special direction were cast in the valley
of the Jordan, between Succoth and Zarthan,[73] those wonderful
pillars, known as Jachin and Boaz, which have already been described,
and which seem to have had their counterparts in the sacred edifices
both of Phnicia and Cyprus.[74] To him also is specially ascribed the
"molten sea," standing on twelve oxen,[75] which was perhaps the most
artistic of all the objects placed within the Temple circuit, as are
also the lavers upon wheels,[76] which, if less striking as works of
art, were even more curious.

The partnership established between the two kingdoms in connection
with the building and furnishing of the Jewish Temple, which lasted
for seven years,[77] was further continued for thirteen more[78] in
connection with the construction of Solomon's palace. This palace,
like an Assyrian one, consisted of several distinct edifices. "The
chief was a long hall which, like the Temple, was encased in cedar;
whence probably its name, 'The House of the Forest of Lebanon.' In
front of it ran a pillared portico. Between this portico and the
palace itself was a cedar porch, sometimes called the Tower of David.
In this tower, apparently hung over the walls outside, were a thousand
golden shields, which gave to the whole place the name of the Armoury.
With a splendour that outshone any like fortress, the tower with these
golden targets glittered far off in the sunshine like the tall neck,
as it was thought, of a beautiful bride, decked out, after the manner
of the East, with strings of golden coins. This porch was the gem and
centre of the whole empire; and was so much thought of that a smaller
likeness to it was erected in another part of the precinct for the
queen. Within the porch itself was to be seen the king in state. On a
throne of ivory, brought from Africa or India, the throne of many an
Arabian legend, the kings of Judah were solemnly seated on the day of
their accession. From its lofty seat, and under that high gateway,
Solomon and his successors after him delivered their solemn judgments.
That 'porch' or 'gate of justice' still kept alive the likeness of the
old patriarchal custom of sitting in judgment at the gate; exactly as
the 'Gate of Justice' still recalls it to us at Granada, and the
Sublime Porte--'the Lofty Gate'--at Constantinople. He sate on the
back of a golden bull, its head turned over its shoulder, probably the
ox or bull of Ephraim; under his feet, on each side of the steps, were
six golden lions, probably the lions of Judah. This was 'the seat of
Judgment.' This was 'the throne of the House of David.'"[79]

We have dwelt the longer upon these matters because it is from the
lengthy and elaborate descriptions which the Hebrew writers give of
these Phnician constructions at Jerusalem that we must form our
conceptions, not only of the state of Phnician art in Hiram's time,
but also of the works wherewith he adorned his own capital. He came to
the throne at the age of nineteen,[80] on the decease of his father,
and immediately set to work to improve, enlarge, and beautify the
city, which in his time claimed the headship of, at any rate, all
Southern Phnicia. He found Tyre a city built on two islands,
separated the one from the other by a narrow channel, and so cramped
for room that the inhabitants had no open square, or public place, on
which they could meet, and were closely packed in overcrowded
dwellings.[81] The primary necessity was to increase the area of the
place; and this Hiram effected, first, by filling up the channel
between the two islands with stone and rubbish, and so gaining a space
for new buildings, and then by constructing huge moles or embankments
towards the east, and towards the south, where the sea was shallowest,
and thus turning what had been water into land. In this way he so
enlarged the town that he was able to lay out a "wide space"
(Eurychrus)[82] as a public square, which, like the Piazza di San
Marco at Venice, became the great resort of the inhabitants for
business and pleasure. Having thus provided for utility and
convenience, he next proceeded to embellishment and ornamentation. The
old temples did not seem to him worthy of the renovated capital; he
therefore pulled them down and built new ones in their place. In the
most central part of the city[83] he erected a fane for the worship of
Melkarth and Ashtoreth, probably retaining the old site, but
constructing an entirely new building--the building which Herodotus
visited,[84] and in which Alexander insisted on sacrificing.[85]
Towards the south-west,[86] on what had been a separate islet, he
raised a temple to Baal, and adorned it with a lofty pillar of
gold,[87] or at any rate plated with gold. Whether he built himself a
new palace is not related; but as the royal residence of later times
was situated on the southern shore,[88] which was one of Hiram's
additions to his capital, it is perhaps most probable that the
construction of this new palace was due to him. The chief material
which he used in his buildings was, as in Jerusalem, cedar. The
substructions alone were of stone. They were probably not on so grand
a scale as those of the Jewish Temple, since the wealth of Hiram,
sovereign of a petty kingdom, must have fallen very far short of
Solomon's, ruler of an extensive empire.

At the close of the twenty years during which Hiram had assisted
Solomon in his buildings, the Israelite monarch deemed it right to
make his Tyrian brother some additional compensation beyond the corn,
and wine, and oil with which, according to his contract, he had
annually supplied him. Accordingly, he voluntarily ceded to him a
district of Galilee containing twenty cities, a portion of the old
inheritance of Asher,[89] conveniently near to Accho, of which Hiram
was probably lord, and not very remote from Tyre. The tract appears to
have been that where the modern Kabl now stands, which is a rocky and
bare highland,[90]--part of the outlying roots of Lebanon--overlooking
the rich plain of Akka or Accho, and presenting a striking contrast to
its fertility. Hiram, on the completion of the cession, "came out from
Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him," and was
disappointed with the gift. "What cities are these," he said, "which
thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul"
--"rubbish" or "offscourings"--to mark his disappointment.[91]

But this passing grievance was not allowed in any way to overshadow,
or interfere with, the friendly alliance and "entente cordiale" (to
use a modern phrase) which existed between the two nations. Solomon,
according to one authority,[92] paid a visit to Tyre, and gratified
his host by worshipping in a Sidonian temple. According to
another,[93] Hiram gave him in marriage, as a secondary wife, one of
his own daughters--a marriage perhaps alluded to by the writer of
Kings when he tells us that "King Solomon loved many strange women
together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites,
Ammonites, Edomites, /Zidonians/, and Hittites."[94] The closest
commercial relations were established between the two countries, and
the hope of them was probably one of the strongest reasons which
attracted both parties to the alliance. The Tyrians, on their part,
possessed abundant ships; their sailors had full "knowledge of the
sea,"[95] and the trade of the Mediterranean was almost wholly in
their hands. Solomon, on his side, being master of the port of Ezion-
Geber on the Red Sea, had access to the lucrative traffic with Eastern
Africa, Arabia, and perhaps India, which had hitherto been confined to
the Egyptians and the Arabs. He had also, by his land power, a command
of the trade routes along the Cle-Syrian valley, by Aleppo, and by
Tadmor, which enabled him effectually either to help or to hinder the
Phnician land traffic. Thus either side had something to gain from
the other, and a close commercial union might be safely counted on to
work for the mutual advantage of both. Such a union, therefore, took
place. Hiram admitted Solomon to a participation in his western
traffic; and the two kings maintained a conjoint "navy of
Tarshish,"[96] which, trading with Spain and the West coast of Africa,
brought to Phnicia and Palestine "once in three years" many precious
and rare commodities, the chief of them being "gold, and silver,
ivory, and apes, and peacocks." Spain would yield the gold and the
silver, for the Tagus brought down gold,[97] and the Spanish silver-
mines were the richest in the world.[98] Africa would furnish in
abundance the ivory and the apes; for elephants were numerous in
Mauritania,[99] and on the west coast,[100] in ancient times; and the
gorilla[101] and the Barbary ape are well-known African products.
Africa may also have produced the "peacocks," if /tukkiyim/ are really
"peacocks," though they are not found there at the present day. Or the
/tukkiyim/ may have been Guinea-fowl--a bird of the same class with
the peacock.

In return, Solomon opened to Hiram the route to the East by way of the
Red Sea. Solomon, doubtless by the assistance of shipwrights furnished
to him from Tyre, "made a navy of ships at Ezion-Geber, which is
beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom,"[102]
and the sailors of the two nations conjointly manned the ships, and
performed the voyage to Ophir, whence they brought gold, and "great
plenty of almug-trees," and precious stones.[103] The position of
Ophir has been much disputed, but the balance of argument is in favour
of the theory which places it in Arabia, on the south-eastern coast, a
little outside the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.[104] It is possible that
the fleet did not confine itself to trade with Ophir, but, once
launched on the Indian Ocean, proceeded along the Atlantic coast to
the Persian Gulf and the peninsula of Hindustan. Or Ophir may have
been an Arab emporium for the Indian trade, and the merchants of Syria
may have found there the Indian commodities, and the Indian
woods,[105] which they seem to have brought back with them to their
own country. A most lucrative traffic was certainly established by the
united efforts of the two kings; and if the lion's share of the profit
fell to Solomon and the Hebrews,[106] still the Phnicians and Hiram
must have participated to some considerable extent in the gains made,
or the arrangement would not have continued.

It is thought that Hiram was engaged in one war of some importance.
Menander tells us, according to the present text of Josephus,[107]
that the "Tityi" revolted from him, and refused any longer to pay him
tribute, whereupon he made an expedition against them, and succeeded
in compelling them to submit to his authority. As the "Tityi" are an
unknown people, conjecture has been busy in suggesting other
names,[108] and critics are now of the opinion that the original word
used by Menander was not "Tityi," but "Ityki." The "Ityki" are the
people of Utica: and, if this emendation be accepted,[109] we must
regard Hiram as having had to crush a most important and dangerous
rebellion. Utica, previously to the foundation of Carthage, was by far
the most important of all the mid-African colonies, and her successful
revolt would probably have meant to Tyre the loss of the greater
portion, if not the whole, of those valuable settlements. A rival to
her power would have sprung up in the West, which would have crippled
her commerce in that quarter, and checked her colonising energy. She
would have suffered thus early more than she did four hundred years
later by the great development of the power of Carthage; would have
lost a large portion of her prestige; and have entered on the period
of her decline when she had but lately obtained a commanding position.
Hiram's energy diverted these evils: he did not choose that his
kingdom should be dismembered, if he could anyhow help it; and,
offering a firm and strenuous opposition to the revolt, he succeeded
in crushing it, and maintaining the unity of the empire.

The brilliant reign of Hiram, which covered the space of forty-three
years, was not followed, like that of Solomon, by any immediate
troubles, either foreign or domestic. He had given his people, either
at home or abroad, constant employment; he had consulted their
convenience in the enlargement of his capital; he had enriched them,
and gratified their love of adventure, by his commercial enterprises;
he had maintained their prestige by rivetting their yoke upon a
subject state; he had probably pleased them by the temples and other
public buildings with which he had adorned and beautified their city.
Accordingly, he went down to the grave in peace; and not only so, but
left his dynasty firmly established in power. His son, Baal-azar or
Baleazar, who was thirty-six years of age, succeeded him, and held the
throne for seven years, when he died a natural death.[110] Abd-
Ashtoreth (Abdastartus), the fourth monarch of the house, then
ascended the throne, at the age of twenty, and reigned for nine years
before any troubles broke out. Then, however, a time of disturbance
supervened. Four of his foster-brothers conspired against Abd-
Ashtoreth, and murdered him. The eldest of them seized the throne, and
maintained himself upon it for twelve years, when Astartus, perhaps a
son of Baal-azar, became king, and restored the line of Hiram. He,
too, like his predecessor, reigned twelve years, when his brother,
Aserymus, succeeded him. Aserymus, after ruling for nine years, was
murdered by another brother, Pheles, who, in his turn, succumbed to a
conspiracy headed by the High Priest, Eth-baal, or Ithobal.[111] Thus,
while the period immediately following the death of Hiram was one of
tranquillity, that which supervened on the death of Abd-Astartus,
Hiram's grandson, was disturbed and unsettled. Three monarchs met with
violent deaths within the space of thirty-four years, and the reigning
house was, at least, thrice changed during the same interval.

At length with Ithobal a more tranquil time was reached. Ithobal, or
Eth-baal, was not only king, but also High Priest of Ashtoreth, and
thus united the highest sacerdotal with the highest civil authority.
He was a man of decision and energy, a worthy successor of Hiram,
gifted like him with wide-reaching views, and ambitious of
distinction. One of his first acts was to ally himself with Ahab, King
of Israel, by giving him his daughter, Jezebel, in marriage,[112] thus
strengthening his land dominion, and renewing the old relations of
friendship with the Hebrew people. Another act of vigour assigned to
him is the foundation of Botrys, on the Syrian coast, north of Gebal,
perhaps a defensive movement against Assyria.[113] Still more
enterprising was his renewal of the African colonisation by his
foundation of Aza in Numidia,[114] which became a city of some
importance. Ithobal's reign lasted, we are told, thirty-two years. He
was sixty-eight years of age at his death, and was succeeded by his
son, who is called Badezor, probably a corruption of Balezor, or Baal-
azar[115]--the name given by Hiram to his son and successor. Of
Badezor we know nothing, except that he reigned six years, and was
succeeded by his son Matgen, perhaps Mattan,[116] a youth of twenty-

With Matgen, or Mattan, whichever be the true form of the name, the
internal history of Tyre becomes interesting. It appears that two
parties already existed in the state, one aristocratic, and the other
popular.[117] Mattan, fearing the ascendancy of the popular party,
married his daughter, Elisa, whom he intended for his successor, to
her uncle and his own brother, Sicharbas, who was High Priest of
Melkarth, and therefore possessed of considerable authority in his own
person. Having effected this marriage, and nominated Elisa to succeed
him, Mattan died at the early age of thirty-two, after a reign of only
nine years.[118] Besides his daughter, he had left behind him a son,
Pygmalion, who, at his decease, was but eight or nine years old. This
child the democratic party contrived to get under their influence,
proclaimed him king, young as he was, and placed him upon the throne.
Elisa and her husband retired into private life, and lived in peace
for seven years, but Pygmalion, being then grown to manhood, was not
content to leave them any longer unmolested. He murdered Sicharbas,
and endeavoured to seize his riches. But the ex-Queen contrived to
frustrate his design, and having possessed herself of a fleet of
ships, and taken on board the greater number of the nobles, sailed
away, with her husband's wealth untouched, to Cyprus first, and then
to Africa.[119] Here, by agreement with the inhabitants, a site was
obtained, and the famous settlement founded, which became known to the
Greeks as "Karchdon," and to the Romans as "Carthago," or Carthage.
Josephus places this event in the hundred and forty-fourth year after
the building of the Temple of Solomon,[120] or about B.C. 860. This
date, however, is far from certain.

It appears to have been in the reign of Ithobal that the first contact
took place between Phnicia and Assyria. About B.C. 885, a powerful
and warlike monarch, by name Asshur-nazir-pal, mounted the throne of
Nineveh, and shortly engaged in a series of wars towards the south,
the east, the north, and the north-west.[121] In the last-named
direction he crossed the Euphrates at Carchemish (Jerablus), and,
having overrun the country between that river and the Orontes, he
proceeded to pass this latter stream also, and to carry his arms into
the rich tract which lay between the Orontes and the Mediterranean.
"It was a tract," says M. Maspero,[122] "opulent and thickly
populated, at once full of industries and commercial; the metals, both
precious and ordinary, gold, silver, copper, tin (?), iron, were
abundant; traffic with Phnicia supplied it with the purple dye, and
with linen stuffs, with ebony and with sandal-wood. Asshur-nazir-pal's
attack seems to have surprised the chief of the Hittites in a time of
profound peace. Sangar, King of Carchemish, allowed the passage of the
Euphrates to take place without disputing it, and opened to the
Assyrians the gates of his capital. Lubarna, king of Kunulua, alarmed
at the power of the enemy, and dreading the issue of a battle, came to
terms with him, consenting to make over to him twenty talents of gold,
a talent of silver, two hundred talents of tin, a hundred of iron,
2,000 oxen, 10,000 sheep, a thousand garments of wool or linen,
together with furniture, arms, and slaves beyond all count. The
country of Lukhuti resisted, and suffered the natural consequences--
all the cities were sacked, and the prisoners crucified. After this
exploit, Asshur-nazir-pal occupied both the slopes of Mount Lebanon,
and then descended to the shores of the Mediterranean. Phnicia did
not await his arrival to do him homage: the kings of Tyre, Sidon,
Gebal, and Arvad, 'which is in the midst of the sea,' sent him
presents. The Assyrians employed their time in cutting down cedar
trees in Lebanon and Amanus, together with pines and cypresses, which
they transported to Nineveh to be used in the construction of a temple
to Ishtar."

The period of the Assyrian subjection, which commenced with this
attack on the part of Asshur-nazir-pal, will be the subject of the
next section. It only remains here briefly to recapitulate the salient
points of Phnician history under Tyre's first supremacy. In the first
place, it was a time of increased daring and enterprise, in which
colonies were planted upon the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and trade
extended to the remote south, the more remote north, and the still
more remote north-east, to the Fortunate Islands, the Cassiterides,
and probably the Baltic. Secondly, it was a time when the colonies on
the North African coast were reinforced, strengthened, and increased
in number; when the Phnician yoke was rivetted on that vast
projection into the Mediterranean which divides that sea into two
halves, and goes far to give the power possessing it entire command of
the Mediterranean waters. Thirdly, it was a time of extended commerce
with the East, perhaps the only time when Phnician merchant vessels
were free to share in the trade of the Red Sea, to adventure
themselves in the Indian Ocean, and to explore the distant coasts of
Eastern Africa, Southern Arabia, Beloochistan, India and Ceylon.
Fourthly, it was a time of artistic vigour and development, when Tyre
herself assumed that aspect of splendour and magnificence which
thenceforth characterised her until her destruction by Alexander, and
when she so abounded in sthetic energy and genius that she could
afford to take the direction of an art movement in a neighbouring
country, and to plant her ideas on that conspicuous hill which for
more than a thousand years drew the eyes of men almost more than any
other city of the East, and was only destroyed because she was felt by
Rome to be a rival that she could not venture to spare. Finally, it
was a time when internal dissensions, long existing, came to a head,
and the state lost, through a sudden desertion, a considerable portion
of its strength, which was transferred to a distant continent, and
there steadily, if not rapidly, developed itself into a power, not
antagonistic indeed, but still, by the necessity of its position, a
rival power--a new commercial star, before which all other stars,
whatever their brightness had been, paled and waned--a new factor in
the polity of nations, whereof account had of necessity to be taken; a
new trade-centre, which could not but supersede to a great extent all
former trade-centres, and which, however unwillingly, as it rose, and
advanced, and prospered, tended to dim, obscure, and eclipse the
glories of its mother-city.

3. Phnicia during the period of its subjection to Assyria
(B.C. 877-635)

Phnicia conquered by the Assyrians (about B.C. 877)--Peaceful
relations established (about B.C. 839)--Time of quiet and
prosperity--Harsh measures of Tiglath-pileser II. (about B.C. 740)
--Revolt of Simyra--Revolt of Tyre under Elulus--Wars of Elulus
with Shalmaneser IV. and with Sennacherib--Reign of Abdi-Milkut--
His war with Esarhaddon--Accession of Baal--His relations with
Esarhaddon and Asshur-bani-pal--Revolt and reduction of Arvad,
Hosah, and Accho--Summary.

The first contact of Phnicia with Assyria took place, as above
observed, in the reign of Asshur-nazir-pal, about the year B.C. 877.
The principal cities, on the approach of the great conquering monarch,
with his multitudinous array of chariots, his clouds of horse, and his
innumerable host of foot soldiers, made haste to submit themselves,
sought to propitiate the invader by rich gifts, and accepted what they
hoped might prove a nominal subjection. Arvad, which, as the most
northern, was the most directly threatened, Gebal, Sidon, and even the
comparatively remote Tyre, sent their several embassies, made their
offerings, and became, in name at any rate, Assyrian dependencies. But
the real subjection of this country was not effected at this time, nor
without a struggle. Asshur-nazir-pal's yoke lay lightly upon his
vassals, and during the remainder of his long reign--from B.C. 877 to
B.C. 860--he seems to have desisted from military expeditions,[123]
and to have exerted no pressure on the countries situated west of the
Euphrates. It was not until the reign of his son and successor,
Shalmaneser II., that the real conquest of Syria and Phnicia was
taken in hand, and pressed to a successful issue by a long series of
hard-fought campaigns and bloody battles. From his sixth to his
twenty-first year Shamaneser carried on an almost continuous war in
Syria,[124] where his adversaries were the monarchs of Damascus and
Hamath, and "the twelve kings beside the sea, above and below,"[125]
one of whom is expressly declared to have been "Mattan-Baal of
Arvad."[126] It was not until the year B.C. 839 that this struggle was
terminated by the submission of the monarchs engaged in it to their
great adversary, and the firm establishment of a system of "tribute
and taxes."[127] The Phnician towns agreed to pay annually to the
Assyrian monarch a certain fixed sum in the precious metals, and
further to make him presents from time to time of the best products of
their country. Among these are mentioned "skins of buffaloes, horns of
buffaloes, clothing of wool and linen, violet wool, purple wool,
strong wood, wood for weapons, skins of sheep, fleeces of shining
purple, and birds of heaven."[128]

The relations of Phnicia towards the Assyrian monarchy continued to
be absolutely peaceful for above a century. The cities retained their
native monarchs, their laws and institutions, their religion, and
their entire internal administration. So long as they paid the fixed
tribute, they appear not to have been interfered with in any way. It
would seem that their trade prospered. Assyria had under her control
the greater portion of those commercial routes across the continent of
Asia,[129] which it was of the highest importance to Phnicia to have
open and free from peril. Her caravans could traverse them with
increased security, now that they were safeguarded by a power whereof
she was a dependency. She may even have obtained through Assyria
access to regions which had been previously closed to her, as Media,
and perhaps Persia. At any rate Tyre seems to have been as flourishing
in the later times of the Assyrian dominion as at almost any other
period. Isaiah, in denouncing woe upon her, towards the close of the
dominion, shows us what she had been under it:--

Be silent (he says), ye inhabitants of the island,
Which the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.
The corn of the Nile, on the broad waters,
The harvest of the River, has been her revenue:
She has been the mart of nations . . .
She was a joyful city,
Her antiquity was of ancient days . . .
She was a city that dispensed crowns;
Her merchants were princes,
And her traffickers the honourable of the earth.[130]

A change in the friendly feelings of the Phnician cities towards
Assyria first began after the rise of the Second or Lower Assyrian
Empire, which was founded, about B.C. 745, by Tiglath-pileser II.[131]
Tiglath-pileser, after a time of quiescence and decay, raised up
Assyria to be once more a great conquering power, and energetically
applied himself to the consolidation and unification of the empire. It
was the Assyrian system, as it was the Roman, to absorb nations by
slow degrees--to begin by offering protection and asking in return a
moderate tribute; then to draw the bonds more close, to make fresh
demands and enforce them; finally, to pick a quarrel, effect a
conquest, and absorb the country, leaving it no vestige of
independence. Tiglath-pileser began this process of absorption in
Northern Syria about the year B.C. 740. He rearranged the population
in the various towns, taking from some and giving to others,[132]
adding also in most cases an Assyrian element, appointing Assyrian
governors,[133] and requiring of the inhabitants "the performance of
service like the Assyrians."[134] Among the places thus treated
between the years B.C. 740 and B.C. 738, we find the Phnician cities
of Zimirra, or Simyra, and Arqa, or Arka. Zimirra was in the plain
between the sea and Mount Bargylus, not very far from the island of
Aradus, whereof it was a dependency. Arqa was further to the south,
beyond the Eleutherus, and belonged properly to Tripolis, if Tripolis
had as yet been founded, or else to Botrys. Both of them were readily
accessible from the Orontes valley along the course of the Eleutherus,
and, being weak, could offer no resistance. Tiglath-pileser carried
out his plans, rearranged the populations, and placed the cities under
Assyrian governors responsible to himself. There was no immediate
outbreak; but the injury rankled. Within twenty years Zimirra joined a
revolt, to which Hamath, Arpad, Damascus, and Samaria were likewise
parties, and made a desperate attempt to shake off the Assyrian
yoke.[135] The attempt failed, the revolt was crushed, and Zimirra is
heard of no more in history.

But this was not the worst. The harsh treatment of Simyra and Arka,
without complaint made or offence given, after a full century of
patient and quiet submission, aroused a feeling of alarm and
indignation among the Phnician cities generally, which could not fail
to see in what had befallen their sisters a foreshadowing of the fate
that they had to expect one day themselves. Beginning with the weakest
cities, Assyria would naturally go on to absorb those which were
stronger, and Tyre herself, the "anointed cherub,"[136] could look for
no greater favour than, like Ulysses in the cave of Polyphemus, to be
devoured last. Luliya, or Elulus, the king of Tyre at the time,[137]
endeavoured to escape this calamity by gathering to himself a strength
which would enable him to defy attack. He contrived to establish his
dominion over almost the whole of Southern Phnicia--over Sidon,
Accho, Ecdippa, Sarepta, Hosah, Bitsette, Mahalliba, &c.[138]--and at
the same time over the distant Cyprus,[139] where the Cittans, or
people of Citium, held command of the island. After a time the
Cittans revolted from him, probably stirred up by the Assyrians. But
Elulus, without delay, led an expedition into Cyprus, and speedily
put down the rebellion. Hereupon the Assyrian king of the time,
Shalmaneser IV., the successor and probably the son of Tiglath-pileser
II., led a great expedition into the west about B.C. 727, and "overran
all Syria and Phnicia."[140] But he was unable to make any
considerable impression. Tyre and Aradus were safe upon their islands;
Sidon and the other cities upon the mainland, were protected by strong
and lofty walls. After a single campaign, the Great King found it
necessary to offer terms of peace, which proved acceptable, and the
belligerents parted towards the close of the year, without any serious
loss or gain on either side.[141]

It seemed necessary to adopt some different course of action.
Shalmaneser had discovered during his abortive campaign that there
were discords and jealousies among the various Phnician cities; that
none of them submitted without repugnance to the authority of Tyre,
and that Sidon especially had an ancient ground of quarrel with her
more powerful sister, and always cherished the hope of recovering her
original supremacy. He had seen also that the greater number of the
Phnician towns, if he chose to press upon them with the full force of
his immense military organisation, lay at his mercy. He had only to
invest each city on the land side, to occupy its territory, to burn
its villas, to destroy its irrigation works, to cut down its fruit
trees, to interfere with its water-supply, and in the last instance to
press upon it, to batter down its walls, to enter its streets,
slaughter its population, or drive it to take refuge in its
ships,[142] and he could become absolute master of the whole Phnician
mainland. Only Tyre and Aradus could escape him. But might not they
also be brought into subjection by the naval forces which their sister
cities, once occupied, might be compelled to furnish, and to man, or,
at any rate, to assist in manning? Might not the whole of Phnicia be
in this way absorbed into the empire? The prospect was pleasing, and
Shalmaneser set to work to convert the vision into a reality. By his
emissaries he stirred up the spirit of disaffection among the Tyrian
subject towns, and succeeded in separating from Tyre, and drawing over
to his own side, not only Sidon and Acre and their dependencies, but
even the city of Pal-Tyrus itself,[143] or the great town which had
grown up opposite the island Tyre upon the mainland. The island Tyre
seems to have been left without support or ally, to fight her own
battle singly. Shalmaneser called upon his new friends to furnish him
with a fleet, and they readily responded to the call, placing their
ships at his disposal to the number of sixty, and supplying him
further with eight hundred skilled oarsmen, not a sufficient number to
dispense with Assyrian aid, but enough to furnish a nucleus of able
seamen for each vessel. The attack was then made. The Assyro-Phnician
fleet sailed in a body from some port on the continent, and made a
demonstration against the Island City, which they may perhaps have
expected to frighten into a surrender. But the Tyrians were in no way
alarmed. They knew, probably, that their own countrymen would not
fight with very much zeal for their foreign masters, and they
despised, undoubtedly, the mixed crews, half skilled seamen, half
tiros and bunglers, which had been brought against them. Accordingly
they thought it sufficient to put to sea with just a dozen ships--one
to each five of the enemy, and making a sudden attack with these upon
the adverse fleet, they defeated it, dispersed it, and took five
hundred prisoners. Shalmaneser saw that he had again miscalculated;
and, despairing of any immediate success, drew off his ships and his
troops, and retired to his own country. He left behind him, however,
on the mainland opposite the island Tyre, a certain number of his
soldiers, with orders to prevent the Tyrians from obtaining, according
to their ordinary practice, supplies of water from the continent. Some
were stationed at the mouth of the river Leontes (the Litany), a
little to the north of Tyre, a perennial stream bringing down a large
quantity of water from Cle-Syria and Lebanon; others held possession
of the aqueducts on the south, built to convey the precious fluid
across the plain from the copious springs of Ras el Ain[144] to the
nearest point of the coast opposite the city. The continental water
supply was thus effectually cut off; but the Tyrians were resolute,
and made no overtures to the enemy. For five years, we are told,[145]
they were content to drink such water only as could be obtained in
their own island from wells sunk in the soil, which must have been
brackish, unwholesome, and disagreeable. At the end of that time a
revolution occurred at Nineveh. Shalmaneser lost his throne (B.C.
722), and a new dynasty succeeding, amid troubles of various kinds,
attention was drawn away from Tyre to other quarters; and Elulus was
left in undisturbed possession of his island city for nearly a quarter
of a century.

It appears that, during this interval, Elulus rebuilt the power which
Shalmaneser had shattered and brought low, repossessing himself of
Cyprus, or, at any rate, of some portion of it,[146] and
re-establishing his authority over all those cities of the mainland
which had previously acknowledged subjection to him. These included
Sidon, Bit-sette, Sarepta, Mahalliba, Hosah, Achzib or Ecdippa, and
Accho (Acre). There is some ground for thinking that he transferred
his own residence to Sidon,[147] perhaps for the purpose of keeping
closer watch upon the town which he most suspected of disaffection.
The policy of Sargon seems to have been to leave Phnicia alone, and
content himself with drawing the tribute which the cities were quite
willing to pay in return for Assyrian protection. His reign lasted
from B.C. 722 to B.C. 705, and it was not until Sennacherib, his son
and successor, had been seated for four years upon the throne that a
reversal of this policy took place, and war / outrance/ was declared
against the Phnician king, who had ventured to brave, and had
succeeded in baffling, Assyria more than twenty years previously.
Sennacherib entertained grand designs of conquest in this quarter, and
could not allow the example of an unpunished and triumphant rebellion
to be flaunted in the eyes of a dozen other subject states, tempting
them to throw off their allegiance. He therefore, as soon as affairs
in Babylonia ceased to occupy him, marched the full force of the
empire towards the west, and proclaimed his intention of crushing the
Phnician revolt, and punishing the audacious rebel who had so long
defied the might of Assyria. The army which he set in motion must have
numbered more than 200,000 men;[148] its chariots were numerous,[149]
its siege-train ample and well provided.[150] Such terror did it
inspire among those against whom it was directed that Elulus was
afraid even to await attack, and, while Sennacherib was still on his
march, took ship and removed himself to the distant island of
Cyprus,[151] where alone he could feel safe from pursuit and capture.
But, though deserted by their sovereign, his towns seem to have
declined to submit themselves. No great battle was fought; but
severally they took arms and defended their walls. Sennacherib tells
us that he took one after another--"by the might of the soldiers of
Asshur his lord"[152]--Great Sidon, Lesser Sidon, Bit-sette, Zarephath
or Sarepta, Mahalliba, Hosah, Achzib or Ecdippa, and Accho--"strong
cities, fortresses, walled and enclosed, Luliya's castles."[153] He
does not claim, however, to have taken Tyre, and we may conclude that
the Island City escaped him. But he made himself master of the entire
tract upon the continent which had constituted Luliya's kingdom, and
secured its obedience by placing over it a new king, in whom he had
confidence, a certain Tubaal[154] (Tob-Baal), probably a Phnician. At
the same time he rearranged the yearly tribute which the cities had to
pay to Assyria,[155] probably augmenting it, as a punishment for the
long rebellion.

We hear nothing more of Phnicia during the reign of Sennacherib,
except that, shortly after his conquest of the tract about Sidon, he
received tribute, not only from the king whom he had just set over
that town, but also from Uru-melek, king of Gebal (Byblus), and Abd-
ilihit, king of Arvad.[156] The three towns represent, probably, the
whole of Phnicia, Aradus at this time exercising dominion over the
northern tract, or that extending from Mount Casius to the Eleutherus,
Gebal or Byblus over the central tract from the Eleutherus to the
Tamyras, and Sidon, in the temporary eclipse of Tyre, ruling the
southern tract from the Tamyrus to Mount Carmel. It appears
further,[157] that at some date between this tribute-giving (B.C. 701)
and the death of Sennacherib (B.C. 681) Tubaal must have been
succeeded in the government of Sidon by Abdi-Milkut, or
Abd-Melkarth[158] ({...}), but whether this change was caused by a
revolt, or took place in the ordinary course, Tubaal dying and being
succeeded by his son, is wholly uncertain.

All that we know is that Esarhaddon, on his accession, found Abd-
Melkarth in revolt against his authority. He had formed an alliance
with a certain Sanduarri, king of Kundi and Sizu,[159] a prince of the
Lebanon, and had set up as independent monarch, probably during the
time of the civil way which was waged between Esarhaddon and two of
his brothers who disputed his succession after they had murdered his
father.[160] As soon as this struggle was over, and the Assyrian
monarch found himself free to take his own course, he proceeded at
once (B.C. 680) against these two rebels. Both of them tried to escape
him. Abd-Melkarth, quitting his capital, fled away by sea, steering
probably either for Aradus or for Cyprus. Sanduarri took refuge in his
mountain fastnesses. But Esarhaddon was not to be baffled. He caused
both chiefs to be pursued and taken. "Abd-Melkarth," he says,[161]
"who from the face of my solders into the middle of the sea had fled,
like a fish from out of the sea, I caught, and cut off his head . . .
Sanduarri, who took Abd-Melkarth for his ally, and to his difficult
mountains trusted, like a bird from the midst of the mountains, I
caught and cut off his head." Sidon was very severely punished.
Esarhaddon boasts that he swept away all its subject cities, uprooted
its citadel and palace, and cast the materials into the sea, at the
same time destroying all its habitations. The town was plundered, the
treasures of the palace carried off, and the greater portion of the
population deported to Assyria. The blank was filled up with "natives
of the lands and seas of the East"--prisoners taken in Esarhaddon's
war with Babylon and Elam, who, like the Phnicians themselves at a
remote time, exchanged a residence on the shores of the Persian Gulf
for one on the distant Mediterranean. An Assyrian general was placed
as governor over the city, and its name changed from Sidon to

It seems to have been in the course of the same year that Esarhaddon
held one of those courts, or /durbars/, in Syria, which all subject
monarchs were expected to attend, and whereat it was the custom that
they should pay homage to their suzerain. Hither flocked almost all
the neighbouring monarchs[162]--Manasseh, king of Judah, Qavus-gabri,
king of Ammon, Zilli-bel, king of Gaza, Mitinti of Askelon, Ikasamsu
of Ekron, Ahimelek of Ashdod, together with twelve kings of the
Cyprians, and three Phnician monarchs, Baal, king of Tyre, Milki-
asaph, king of Gebal, and Mattan-baal, king of Arvad. Tribute was
paid, home rendered, and after a short sojourn at the court, the
subject-monarchs were dismissed. The foremost position in Esarhaddon's
list is occupied by "Baal, king of Tyre;" and this monarch appears to
have been received into exceptional favour. He had perhaps been
selected by Esarhaddon to rule Southern Phnicia on the execution of
Abd-Melkarth. At any rate, he enjoyed for some time the absolute
confidence and high esteem of his suzerain. If we may venture to
interpret a mutilated inscription,[163] he furnished Esarhaddon with a
fleet, and manned it with his own sailors. Certainly, he received from
Esarhaddon a considerable extension of his dominions. Not only was his
authority over Accho recognised and affirmed, but the coast tract
south of Carmel, as far as Dor, the important city Gebal, and the
entire region of Lebanon, were placed under his sovereignty.[164] The
date assigned to these events is between B.C. 680 and B.C. 673. It was
in this latter year that the Assyrian monarch resolved on an invasion
of Egypt. For fifty years the two countries had been watching each
other, counteracting each other's policy, lending support to each
other's enemies, coming into occasional collision the one with the
other, not, however, as principals, but as partakers in other persons'
quarrels. Now, at length there was to be an end of subterfuge and
pretences. Esarhaddon, about B.C. 673, resolved to attempt the
conquest of Egypt. He "set his face to go to the country of Magan and
Milukha."[165] He let his intention be generally known. No doubt he
called on his subject allies for contingents of men, if not for
supplies of money. To Tyre he must naturally have looked for no
niggard or grudging support. What then must have been his disgust and
rage at finding that, at the critical moment, Tyre had gone over to
the enemy? Notwithstanding the favours heaped on him by his suzerain,
"Baal, king of Tyre, to Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, his country
entrusted, and the yoke of Asshur threw off and made defiance."[166]
Esarhaddon was too strongly bent on his Egyptian expedition to be
diverted from it by this defection; but in the year B.C. 672, as he
marched through Syria and Palestine on his way to attack Tirhakah, he
sent a detachment against Tyre, with orders to his officers to repeat
the tactics of Shalmaneser, by occupying points of the coast opposite
to the island Tyre, and "cutting off the supplies of food and
water."[167] Baal was by this means greatly distressed, and it would
seem that within a year or two he made his submission, surrendering
either to Esarhaddon or to his son Asshur-bani-pal, in about the year
of the latter's accession (B.C. 668). It is surprising to find that he
was not deposed from his throne; but as the circumstances seem to have
been such as made it imperative on the Assyrian king to condone minor
offences in order to accomplish a great enterprise--the restoration of
the Assyrian dominion over the Nile valley. Esarhaddon had effected
the conquest of Egypt in about the year B.C. 670, and had divided the
country into twenty petty principalities;[168] but within a year his
yoke had been thrown off, his petty princes expelled, and Tirhakah
reinstated as sole monarch over the "Two Regions."[169] It was the
determination of Asshur-bani-pal, on becoming king, to strain every
nerve and devote his utmost energy to the re-conquest of the ancient
kingdom, so lightly won and so lightly lost by his father. Baal's
perfidy was thus forgiven or overlooked. A great expedition was
prepared. The kings of Phnicia, Palestine, and Cyprus were bidden
once more to assemble, to bring their tribute, and pay homage to their
suzerain as he passed on his way at the head of his forces towards the
land of the Pharaohs. Baal came, and again holds the post of
honour;[170] with him were the king of Judah--doubtless Manasseh, but
the name is lost--the kings of Edom, Moab, Gaza, Askelon, Ekron,
Gebal, Arvad, Paphos, Soli, Curium, Tamassus, Ammochosta, Lidini, and
Aphrodisias, with probably those also of Ammon, Ashdod, Idalium,
Citium, and Salamis.[171] Each in turn prostrated himself at the foot
of the Great Monarch, paid homage, and made profession of fidelity.
Asshur-bani-pal then proceeded on his way, and the kings returned to
their several governments.

It is about four years after this, B.C. 664, that we find Baal
attacked and punished by the Assyrian monarch. The subjugation of
Egypt had been in the meantime, though not without difficulty,
completed. Asshur-bani-pal's power extended from the range of Niphates
to the First Cataract. Whether during the course of the four years'
struggle, by which the reconquest of Egypt was effected, the Tyrian
prince had given fresh offence to his suzerain, or whether it was the
old offence, condoned for a time but never forgiven, that was now
avenged, is not made clear by the Assyrian Inscriptions. Asshur-bani-
pal simply tells us that, in his third expedition, he proceeded
against Baal, king of Tyre, dwelling in the midst of the sea, /who his
royal will disregarded, and did not listen to the words of his lips/.
"Towers round him," he says, "I raised, and over his people I
strengthened the watch; on sea and land his forts I took; his going
out I stopped. Water and sea-water, to preserve their lives, their
mouths drank. By a strong blockade, which removed not, I besieged
them; their works I checked and opposed; to my yoke I made them
submissive. The daughter proceeding from his body, and the daughters
of his brothers, for concubines he brought to my presence. Yahi-milki,
his son, the glory of the country, of unsurpassed renown, at once he
sent forward, to make obeisance to me. His daughter, and the daughters
of his brothers, with their great dowries, I received. Favour I
granted him, and the son proceeding from his body, I restored, and
gave him back."[172] Thus Baal once more escaped the fate he must have
expected. Asshur-bani-pal, who was far from being of a clement
disposition, suffered himself to be appeased by the submission made,
restored Baal to his favour, and allowed him to retain possession of
his sovereignty.

Another Phnician monarch also was, about the same time, threatened
and pardoned. This was Yakinlu, the king of Arvad, probably the son
and successor of Mattan-Baal, the contemporary of Esarhaddon.[173] He
is accused of having been wanting in submission to Asshur-bani-pal's
fathers;[174] but we may regard it as probable that his real offence
was some failure in his duties towards Asshur-bani-pal himself. Either
he had openly rebelled, and declared himself independent, or he had
neglected to pay his tribute, or he had given recent offence in some
other way. The Phnician island kings were always more neglectful of
their duties than others, since it was more difficult to punish them.
Assyria did not even now possess any regular fleet, and could only
punish a recalcitrant king of Arvad or Tyre by impressing into her
service the ships of some of the Phnician coast-towns, as Sidon, or
Gebal, or Accho. These towns were not very zealous in such a service,
and probably did not maintain strong navies, having little use for
them. Thus Yakinlu may have expected that his neglect, whatever it
was, would be overlooked. But Asshur-bani-pal was jealous of his
rights, and careful not to allow any of them to lapse by disuse. He
let his displeasure be known at the court of Yakinlu, and very shortly
received an embassy of submission. Like Baal, Yakinlu sent a daughter
to take her place among the great king's secondary wives, and with her
he sent a large sum of money, in the disguise of a dowry.[175] The
tokens of subjection were accepted, and Yakinlu was allowed to
continue king of Arvad. When, not long afterwards, he died,[176] and
his ten sons sought the court of Nineveh to prefer their claims to the
succession, they were received with favour. Azi-Baal, the eldest, was
appointed to the vacant kingdom, while his nine brothers were
presented by Asshur-bani-pal with "costly clothing, and rings."[177]

Two other revolts of two other Phnician towns belong to a somewhat
later period. On his return from an expedition against Arabia, about
B.C. 645, Asshur-bani-pal found that Hosah, a small place in the
vicinity of Tyre,[178] and Accho, famous as Acre in later times, had
risen in revolt against their Assyrian governors, refused their
tribute, and asserted independence.[179] He at once besieged, and soon
captured, Hosah. The leaders of the rebellion he put to death; the
plunder of the town, including the images of its gods, and the bulk of
its population, he carried off into Assyria. The people of Accho, he
says, he "quieted." It is a common practice of conquerors "to make a
solitude and call it peace." Asshur-bani-pal appears to have punished
Accho, first by a wholesale massacre, and then by the deportation of
all its remaining inhabitants.

It is evident from this continual series of revolts and rebellions
that, however mild had been the sway of Assyria over her Phnician
subjects in the earlier times, it had by degrees become a hateful and
a grinding tyranny. Commercial states, bent upon the accumulation of
wealth, do not without grave cause take up arms and affront the perils
of war, much less do so when their common sense must tell them that
success is almost absolutely hopeless, and that failure will bring
about their destruction. The Assyrians were a hard race. Such
tenderness as they ever showed to any subject people was, we may be
sure, in every case dictated by policy. While their power was
unsettled, while they feared revolts, and were uncertain as to their
consequences, their attitude towards their dependents was
conciliating. When they became fully conscious of the immense
preponderance of power which they wielded, and of the inability of the
petty states of Asia to combine against them in any firm league, they
grew careless and confident, reckless of giving offence, ruder in
their behaviour, more grasping in their exactions, more domineering,
more oppressive. Prudence should perhaps have counselled the Phnician
cities to submit, to be yielding and pliant, to cultivate the arts of
the parasite and the flatterer; but the people had still a rough
honesty about them. It was against the grain to flatter or submit
themselves; constant voyages over wild seas in fragile vessels kept up
their manhood; constant encounters with pirates, cannibals, and the
rudest possible savages made them brave and daring; exposure to storm,
and cold, and heat braced their frames; the nautical life developed
and intensified in them a love of freedom. The Phnician of Assyrian
times was not to be coaxed into accepting patiently the lot of a
slave. Suffer as he might by his revolts, they won him a certain
respect; it is likely that they warded off many an indignity, many an
outrage. The Assyrians knew that his endurance could not be reckoned
on beyond a certain point, and they knew that in his death-throes he
was dangerous. The Phnicians probably suffered considerably less than
the other subject nations under Assyrian rule; and the maritime
population, which was the salt of the people, suffered least of all,
since it was scarcely ever brought into contact with its nominal

4. Phnicia during its struggles with Babylon and Egypt
(about B.C. 635-527)

Decline of Assyria--Scythic troubles--Fall of Nineveh--Union of
the Phnician cities under Tyre--Invasion of Syria by Neco--Battle
of Megiddo--Submission of Phnicia to Neco--Tyrian colony at
Memphis--Conquest of Phnicia by Nebuchadnezzar--Reign of Ithobal
II. at Tyre--He revolts from Nebuchadnezzar but is reduced to
subjection--Decline of Tyre--General weakness of Phnicia under

It is impossible to fix the year in which Phnicia became independent
of Assyria. The last trace of Assyrian interference, in the way of
compulsion, with any of the towns belongs to B.C. 645, when she
severely punished Hosah and Accho. The latest sign of her continued
domination is found in B.C. 636, when the Assyrian governor of a
Phnician town, Zimirra, appears in the list of Eponyms.[180] It must
have been very soon after this that the empire became involved in
those troubles and difficulties which led on to its dissolution.
According to Herodotus,[181] Cyaxares, king of Media, laid siege to
Nineveh in B.C. 633, or very soon afterwards. His attack did not at
once succeed; but it was almost immediately followed by the irruption
into South-western Asia of Scythic hordes from beyond the Caucasus,
which overran country after country, destroying and ravaging at their
pleasure.[182] The reality of this invasion is now generally admitted.
"It was the earliest recorded," says a modern historian, "of those
movements of the northern populations, hid behind the long mountain
barrier, which, under the name of Himalaya, Caucasus, Taurus, Hmus,
and the Alps, has been reared by nature between the civilised and
uncivilised races of the old world. Suddenly, above this boundary,
appeared those strange, uncouth, fur-clad forms, hardly to be
distinguished from their horses and their waggons, fierce as their own
wolves or bears, sweeping towards the southern regions, which seemed
to them their natural prey. The successive invasions of Parthians,
Turks, Mongols in Asia, of Gauls, Goths, Vandals, Huns in Europe,
have, it is well said, 'illustrated the law, and made us familiar with
its operations. But there was a time in history before it had come
into force, and when its very existence must have been unsuspected.
Even since it began to operate, it has so often undergone prolonged
suspension that the wisest may be excused if they cease to bear it in
mind, and are as much startled when a fresh illustration of it occurs,
as if the like had never happened before.'[183] No wonder that now,
when the veil was for the first time rent asunder, all the ancient
monarchies of the South--Assyria, Babylon, Media, Egypt, even Greece
and Asia Minor--stood aghast at the spectacle of these savage hordes
rushing down on the seats of luxury and power."[184] Assyria seems to
have suffered from the attack almost as much as any other country. The
hordes probably swarmed down from Media through the Zagros passes into
the most fruitful portion of the empire--the flat country between the
mountains and the Tigris. Many of the old cities, rich with the
accumulated stores of ages, were besieged, and perhaps taken, and
their palaces wantonly burnt by the barbarous invaders. The tide then
swept on. Wandering from district to district, plundering everywhere,
settling nowhere, the clouds of horse passed over Mesopotamia, the
force of the invasion becoming weaker as it spread itself, until in
Syria it reached its term through the policy of the Egyptian king,
Psamatik I. That monarch bribed the nomads to advance no further,[185]
and from this time their power began to wane. Their numbers must have
been greatly thinned in the long course of battles, sieges, and
skirmishes wherein they were engaged year after year; they suffered
also through their excesses;[186] and perhaps through intestine
dissensions. At last they recognised that their power was broken. Many
bands probably returned across the Caucasus into the Steppe country.
Others submitted and took service under the native rulers of
Asia.[187] Great numbers were slain, and, except in a province of
Armenia, which thenceforward became known as Sacasn,[188] and
perhaps in one Syrian town, which acquired the name of
Scythopolis,[189] the invaders left no permanent trace of their brief
but terrible inroad.

The shock of the Scythian irruption cannot but have greatly injured
and weakened Assyria. The whole country had been ravaged and
depopulated; the provinces had been plundered, many of the towns had
been taken and sacked, the palaces of the old kings had been
burnt,[190] and all the riches that had not been hid away had been
lost. Assyria, when the Scythian wave had passed, was but the shadow
of her former self. Her /prestige/ was gone, her armed force must have
been greatly diminished, her hold upon the provinces, especially the
more distant ones, greatly weakened. Phnicia is likely to have
detached herself from Assyria at latest during the time that the
Scyths were dominant, which was probably from about B.C. 630 to B.C.
610. When Assyrian protection was withdrawn from Syria, as it must
have been during this period, and when every state and town had to
look solely to itself for deliverance from a barbarous and cruel
enemy, the fiction of a nominal dependence on a distant power could
scarcely be maintained. Without any actual revolt, the Phnician
cities became their own masters, and the speedy fall of Assyria before
the combined attack of the Medes and Babylonians,[191] after the
Scythians had withdrawn, prevented for some time any interference with
their recovered independence.

A double danger, however, impended. On the one side Egypt, on the
other Babylon, might be confidently expected to lay claim to the
debatable land which nature had placed between the seats of the great
Asiatic and the great African power, and which in the past had almost
always been possessed by the one or the other of them. Egypt was the
nearer of the two, and probably seemed the most to be feared. She had
recently fallen under the power of an enterprising native monarch, who
had already, before the fall of Assyria, shown that he entertained
ambitious designs against the Palestinian towns, having begun attacks
upon Ashdod soon after he ascended the throne.[192] Babylon was,
comparatively speaking, remote and had troublesome neighbours, who
might be expected to prevent her from undertaking distant expeditions.
It was clearly the true policy for Phnicia to temporise, to enter
into no engagements with either Babylon or Egypt, to strengthen her
defences, to bide her time, and, so far as possible, to consolidate
herself. Something like a desire for consolidation would seem to have
come over the people; and Tyre, the leading city in all but the
earliest times, appears to have been recognised as the centre towards
which other states must gravitate, and to have risen to the occasion.
If there ever was such a thing as a confederation of all the Phnician
cities, it would seem to have been at this period. Sidon forgot her
ancient rivalry, and consented to furnish the Tyrian fleet with
mariners.[193] Arvad gave not only rowers to man the ships, but also
men-at-arms to help in guarding the walls.[194] The "ancients of
Gebal" lent their aid in the Tyrian dockyards.[195] The minor cities
cannot have ventured to hold aloof. Tyre, as the time approached for

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