By Philip K. Hitti (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Short History of Lebanon
Like other Lebanese coast cities it lay only partly on the mainland. The insular part provided facilities for shipping in time of peace and a haven of refuge in time of war ; most attacks were, of course, by land. Sidon's sister and successor, Tyre, likewise arose behind a promontory and enjoyed protection by an insular rock a mile long and three-quarters of a mile wide. Thus" situate at the entry of the sea, [this] merchant of the people for many isles" (Ezek. 27: 3) sat like a pedlar at a city gate, spreading out its wares.
The partial, gradual fusion of Western and Eastern cultures did produce a new type Hellenism. Lebanon, which in pre-Alexandrine days had closer contacts than its neighbours with the Greek world, responded heartily, as it did in our days to Western influences. The reciprocity in its trade with Greece moved at a brisk tempo. Phoenician seamen served with Alexander's and his successors' sailors, and Phoenician traders followed the Greek armies to inner Asia. The hastily assembled, widely extended Alexandrine empire fell to pieces at the death of its creator.
The author of Genesis 10: 15 thought Sidon the firstborn of Canaan, and the Hebrew historian of the conquest (Josh. 19 : 28) styled it "great Zidon". The Book of Isaiah (23 : 12) makes Sidon the mother of Tyre. Biblical and classical writers equate Sidonians with Phoenicians. Homer extols " Sidonian " artisans and credits Phoenician traffic in cloth, brass, slaves and other commodities to them. His Iliad refers to the" embroidered robes, rich work of Sidonian women". All these authors were, as a matter offact, echoing that city's predominance at a given time.