Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Map of Lebanon from the CIA Factbook. Tyre is near the <br />southern border

Tyre (Hebrew צור Tzor, Greek Τύρος Týros) is a city in the South Governorate of Lebanon. With 117,100 inhabitants (it is reported only 10% of the population is left because of the Israel-Lebanon conflict), Tyre juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 23 miles north of Acre, and 20 miles south of Sidon. The name of the city means "rock".

Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city. Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon and houses one of the nation's major ports. Tyre is a popular destination for tourists.

The city has many ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome which was reportedly used for the film Ben-Hur, and was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1979 (Resolution 459).

Tyre is near the southern border."The location of the city of Tyre is not in doubt, for it exists to this day on the same spot and is known as Sur." (Katzenstein, H.J., The History of Tyre, 1973, p9) Tyre originally consisted of two distinct urban centers, one on an island and the other on the adjacent coast (approximately 30 stadia apart or 3.5 miles according to Strabo in his Geography xvi, 2), before Alexander the Great connected the island to the coast during his siege of the city. One was a heavily fortified island city amidst the sea and the latter, originally called Ushu (later, Palaetyrus, by the Greeks) was actually more like a line of suburbs than any one city and was used primarily as a source of water and timber for the main island city. Flavius Josephus even records them fighting against each other, although most of the time they supported one another due to the island city’s wealth from maritime trade and the mainland area’s source of timber, water and burial grounds.


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