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Selucid Empire

Tripoli-Lebanon And The :
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Phoenicians
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Persian Empire
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Selucid Empire
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Emperors of Rome
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Arabs
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Crusaders
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Slave Sultan of Egypt (Mamalik )
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Ottomans
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Offshore Islands

History

This occasion arose with the arrival of Alexander the Great in Phoenicia. Alexander’s victory over the Persian king at Issus in 333 B.C. and the latter’s flight opened the gates of Asia for the Macedonian conqueror. The Phoenician cities were faced by a difficult choice, either to resist Alexander or allow him into their cities. The matter was complicated further by the fact that several kings of Phoenicia at this time were at sea with the Persian fleet. We learn that city after city welcomed Alexander and Sidon, in particular, due to the city’s deep hatred of the Persians." Pyre alone refused to allow Alexander enter their island fortress. Tripoli is not mentioned in this connection. Perhaps due to its status as a federal or "open" city, Alexander passed by without demanding its surrender. Top Page

Alexander’s untimely death in 323 B.C. with no provision for his succession paved the way for the break-up of his empire. Dissension broke out among his generals who decided to divide his possessions between themselves. Alexander’s close comrade-in-arms Ptolemy seized Egypt and founded the dynasty of the Lagids. Phoenicia was given to Laomedon of Mitylene. In a swift move Ptolemy made an attack on Laomedon and annexed Phoenicia to his own possessions. Antigonus, governor of Greater Phyrgia, was yet another general who had served under Alexander. In the division of the provinces he received Pamphylia and Lycia to his command. Fired by ambition he was resolved to set himself up as lord of all Asia, claiming he was the heir to Alexander and assumed the title of king. He was faced by a coalition of Cassander in Macedon, Lysimachus in Thrace and Ptolemy in Egypt and Palestine. An ultimatum was delivered to Antigonus, somewhere in north Syria at the time, by the coalition demanding a share of his empire. This he refused to consider and his next move in the power struggle was to deal with his enemies one at a time and first to attack Ptolemy at sea. So he marched to the Phoenician seaboard in order to acquire a much-needed naval force. Ptolemy was holding all the ships from Phoenicia and their crews in Egypt and Antigonus had few ships at hand. He camped before Tyre and called together all the kings of the Phoenician cities and the vlceroys of Syria demanding that they assist him in building ships. The account of this important ship -building operation carried out in the shipyards of Tripolis, Byblos and Sidon has been brought down to us by Diodorus. Top Page

He (Antigonus) himself collected wood cutters, sawyers, and shipwrights from all sides and carried wood to the sea from Lebanon. There were eight thousand men employed in cutting and sawing the timber and one thousand pair of draught animals in transporting it. This mountain range extends along the territory of Tripolis, Byblos and Sidon, and is covered with cedar and cypress trees of wonderful beauty and size. He established three shipyards in Phoenicia — at Tripolis, Byblos and Sidon — and a fourth in Cilicia, the timber for which was brought from Mount Taurus.Top Page

This account of Diodorus is probably based on Hieronymous of Cardia who after 316  was a follower of Antigonus.In all probability Hieronymous was present at the time of the ship -building operation and the passage rests on his eye-witness account. It emphasizes the importance of Tripolis, Byblos and Sidon as naval shipyards during this period and also gives one of the reasons for the deforestation of the mountains of Lebanon —the periodic mass cutting of timber for naval needs. It also implies that Tripolis, Byblos and Sidon were in possession of territory outside the city proper.and he established his own garrison in the city. Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, ruled Phoenicia until 287 B.C. when it once again passed over to Ptolemy. It remained a dependency of the Ptolemies for neatly seventy years.

Seleucus, founder of a line of kings who reigned in Asia Minor and Syria from 312 to 65 B.C., was a young man of twenty-three when he accompanied Alexander into Asia. In the division of Alexander’s empire the Babylonian satrapy fell to Seleucus but in 316 when Antigonus became master of the eastern provinces, Seleucus fled to Egypt. In the war that followed between Antigonus and the other Macedonian kings, Seleucus allied himself with Ptolemy. The victory won by Ptolemy at Gaza in 312 opened the way for Seleucus’ return to the East. His return to Babylon in the same year was afterward officially recognized as the beginning of the Seleucid empire. philosophers, farmers and sailors in ancient ‘times came to regard them as different individual things. Boreas, the North Wind, brought cold air and storm, Notos, the sirocco, brought heat and sand from the desert and .Epeliotes, the East Wind, blew from Phoenicia: Top Page

In Tripolis of Phoenicia this wind is called Potameus; it blows from a plain like a great threshing-floor which is enclosed by Mount Libanos and Bargylos, hence its name Potameus. It raises storms on the harbor of Poseideion. Poseideion (Poseidonion) was an ancient Greek commercial enclave established on the Syrian coast at the mouth of the Orontes. A distance of several hundred kilometers separates this harbor from Tripoli. Top Page

Historical References

 

 

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