History of the Phoenicians in their homeland

 

 

The Egyptians under Thothmes III, after victory of the battle of Megiddo, reduced the Phoenician cities to vassalage . Around 1200 B.C. Egyptian power began to decline and the Hittite Empire was destroyed, the cities of Phoenicia began to grow stronger economically and start colonies to nearby Cyprus and Rhodes . In this period Tyre came to be the most powerful Phoenician city, until the Neo-Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar sacked the city in 574 B.C. and Sidon took its place . The zenith of Tyre was during the reign of King Hiram (r. 980-947 B.C.) an ally of the Hebrew kings David and Solomon . Hiram provided materials and workmen to help build the Temple in Jerusalem . The Assyrians were growing in power and in 876 B.C. Assurnasirpal II exacted tribute from Tyre, Sidon, Byblos and Ardos . Ashurnasirpal II did not destroy the Phoenician cities he conquered. Instead they became sources of the raw materials his armies and his building programs. In the early seventh century, Egypt had regained power and made common cause with Tyre against Assyria  in 672 B.C., yet this ended in defeat with the king of Tyre and Egypt being shown on the stele of Esarhaddon wearing leashes before the Assyrian king, however, Tyre was not taken . The Sidonian king Abdi-Milkutti, who had risen up against the Assyrian king, was defeated in 677 BC and beheaded. The town of Sidon was destroyed and rebuilt as Kar-Ashur-aha-iddina, the "Harbor of Esarhaddon". Assurbanipal, the last powerful king of Assyria laid siege to Tyre in 668 but could not take it .

 

Esarhaddon stele

 

Nineveh fell in 612 to the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzer captured Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and enslaved the Jews . Under Nebuchadnezzar, Tyre resisted for a considerable time, while Tyre endured a siege lasting no less than thirteen years, though she was finally forced to surrender, and Phoenicia became a dependency of Babylon from 585 to 538 B.C.In 574 B.C. he took Tyre after a long siege and sacked the city, leading to Babylonian domination of Phoenicia till they were conquered by the Persians under Cyrus the Great . Afterwards, Sidon became the chief city of Phoenicia . Tyre was still important, after recovering from the blows of the Babylonians .

 

Babylonians take Tyre 574 B.C.

 

 

 

The Persians used the Phoenician fleet for there navy, mainly to attack the Greeks, who as commercial enemies they were eager to go to war with . It was Tyre that put up the most resistance to Alexander the Great, who defeated the town after building a causeway to the island city . On Alexander's advance in Syria, the greater part of Phoenicia at once submitted to him. Tyre alone resisting, and standing the memorable siege which forms perhaps the finest page in the whole Phoenician history. Forced, however, at last to succumb. Tyre was practically destroyed, and Phoenicia became absorbed into the Macedonian Empire.Afterwards, the cities of Phoenicia fell under the sway of the Seleucids and later the Romans . Later on, coming under the rule of the Seleucids, Phoenicia as a country, although Tyre and other towns regained a certain importance, seems gradually to have lost her individuality and become more and more Greek. Finally, in 69 b.c. Phoenicia, together with the rest of Syria, came under Roman rule,

 

 

 

 

 

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