Tyre (Arabic: صور Ṣūr; Phoenician: 𐤑𐤓 Ṣūr; Syriac-Aramaic: ܣܘܪ, Hebrew: צוֹר Tzór; Greek: Τύρος Týros; Latin: Tyrus; Armenian: Տիր Tir; French: Tyr), sometimes romanized as Sour, is a district capital in the South Governorate of Lebanon. There were approximately 117,000 inhabitants in 2003. However, the government of Lebanon has released only rough estimates of population numbers since 1932, so an accurate statistical accounting is not possible. Tyre juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean and is located about 80 km (50 mi) south of Beirut. The name of the city means "rock" after the rocky formation on which the town was originally built. The demonym for Tyre is Tyrian, and the inhabitants are Tyrians.
Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa and Dido (Elissa). Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon after Beirut, Tripoli, Aley and Sidon, and houses one of the nation's major ports. Tourism is a major industry. The city has a number of ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome, which was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.
Sour (Lebanese French)
Tyre fishing harbor
|• City||4 km2 (2 sq mi)|
|• Metro||17 km2 (7 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Designated||1984 (8th session)|
Tyre originally consisted of two distinct urban centres: Tyre itself, which was on an island just off shore, and the associated settlement of Ushu on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone.
The original island city had two harbours, one on the south side and the other on the north side of the island. It was the two harbours that enabled Tyre to gain the maritime prominence that it did; the harbour on the north side of the island was, in fact, one of the best harbours on the eastern end of the Mediterranean. The harbour on the south side has silted over, but the harbour on the north side (see Tyre harbor photo at top of page right) is still in use.
In ancient times, the island-city of Tyre was heavily fortified and the mainland settlement, originally called Ushu (later called Palaetyrus, meaning "Old Tyre," by the ancient 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. Josephus records that the two fought against each other on occasion, but most of the time, they supported one another because they both benefited from the island city's wealth from maritime trade and the mainland area's source of timber, water and burial grounds.
According to Herodotus, Tyre was founded around 2750 BC and originally built as a walled city upon the mainland. Tyre's name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. Philo of Byblos (in Eusebius) quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon's work is said to be dedicated to "Abibalus king of Berytus"—possibly the Abibaal who was king of Tyre.
There are ten Amarna letters dated 1350 BC from the mayor, Abimilku, written to Akenaten. The subject is often water, wood and the Habiru overtaking the countryside of the mainland and how that affected the island-city.
Commerce from throughout ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre.
Tyrian merchants were the first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighbouring islands of the Aegean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in Spain at Tartessus and even beyond the pillars of Hercules at Gadeira (Cádiz).
Tyre became one of the more powerful cities in Phoenicia. One of its kings, the priest Ithobaal (887–856 BC), ruled Phoenicia as far north as Beirut, and part of Cyprus. Carthage was founded in 814 BC under Pygmalion of Tyre (820–774 BC). The collection of city-states constituting Phoenicia came to be characterized by outsiders and the Phoenicians as Sidonia or Tyria. Phoenicians and Canaanites alike were called Sidonians or Tyrians, as one Phoenician city came to prominence after another.
The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple. The colour was, in ancient cultures, reserved for the use of royalty or at least the nobility.
Tyre was often attacked by Egypt and was besieged by Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years. From 586 until 573 BC, the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon until it agreed to pay a tribute.
After his conquest of Persia, Alexander the Great moved his armies south towards Lebanon, eventually sieging and sacking the City of Tyre.
Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city in 332 BC, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone. In 315 BC, Alexander's former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later.
Tyre was allowed to keep much of its independence, as a "civitas foederata", when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC. Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until AD. The Tyrians, or "people of Tyre" during the Roman period, extended their areas of hegemony over the adjoining regions, such as in northern Palestine region, settling in cities such as Kedesh, Mount Carmel and north of Baca.
It is stated in the New Testament that Jesus visited the region of Tyre and Sidon and healed a Gentile (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) and from this region many came forth to hear him preaching (Mark 3:8; Gospel of Luke 6:17, Matthew 11:21–23). A congregation was founded here soon after the death of St. Stephen. Paul the Apostle, on his return from his third missionary journey, spent a week in conversation with the disciples there. According to Irenaeus of Lyon in On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis, the female companion of Simon Magus came from here.
In 395 Tyre became part of the Byzantine Empire. The city remained under Byzantine control until captured by the Sassanian shah Khosrow II, then again until the Muslim conquest of the Levant, when in 638 it was taken by the Rashidun Caliphate.
In the Revolt of Tyre (996–998), the populace of the city rose against Fatimid rule, led by an ordinary sailor named 'Allaqa - but were brutally suppressed in May 998. In 1086 it fell into the hands of the Seljuks who lost it in 1089 to the Fatimids.
After the first failed siege in 1111, Tyre was captured during the aftermath of the First Crusade on July 7, 1124 and became one of the most important cities of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was part of the royal domain, but there were also autonomous trading colonies there for the Italian merchant cities. The city was the see of a Roman Catholic archbishopric, whose archbishop was a suffragan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; its archbishops often acceded to the Patriarchate. The most notable of the Latin archbishops was the historian William of Tyre.
After the loss of the First Crusader Kingdom in the wake of the 1187 Battle of Hattin and the reconquest of Acre by Richard I of England on July 12, 1191, the seat of the kingdom moved there, but coronations were held in Tyre. In the 13th century, Tyre was separated from the royal domain as the Lordship of Tyre.
In 1291, Tyre was again taken, this time by the Mamluk Sultanate.
The modern state of Lebanon was declared in 1920.
The present city of Tyre covers a large part of the original island and has expanded onto and covers most of the causeway, which had increased greatly in width over the centuries because of extensive silt depositions on either side. The part of the original island not covered by the modern city of Tyre is mostly of an archaeological site showcasing remains of the city from ancient times.
After numerous attacks and reprisals involving the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Israel invaded, as part of the so-called 1978 South Lebanon conflict, and Tyre was badly damaged. Following an assassination attempt on Israeli ambassador Argov in London it was damaged again in the 1982 Lebanon War. The city was used as a base by the PLO and was nearly destroyed by Israeli artillery. After the 1982 war, the city was the site of an Israeli military post. In late 1982, and again in November 1983, buildings housing Israeli headquarters were destroyed by bombs, causing dozens of deaths in both cases and known in Israel as the First and Second Tyre Catastrophes. The 1983 explosion by a suicide truck happened only 10 days after similar attacks, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings of US Marines and French paratroop barracks. Israel and the US blame Iran and Hezbollah for all explosions, but they have denied any involvement.
During Israel's invasion in the 2006 Lebanon War, several rocket-launching sites used by Hezbollah to attack Israel were located in rural areas around the city. At least one village near the city was bombed by Israel as well as several sites within the city, causing civilian deaths and adding to the food shortage problem inside Tyre. Shayetet 13 (Israeli naval commandos) also raided Hezbollah targets within the city.
The Tyre Coast Nature Reserve covers over 380 hectares (940 acres) and divided into three zones: the Tourism zone (public beaches, the old city and Souks, the ancient port), the Agricultural and Archaeological zone, and the Conservation zone that includes the Phoenician springs of Ras El Ain. Due to its diverse flora and fauna, the reserve is a designated Ramsar Site. It is an important nesting site for migratory birds and the endangered Loggerhead and green sea turtle and the shelter of the Arabian spiny mouse and many other important creatures (including wall lizards, common pipistrelle, and european badger).
Threats to Tyre's ancient cultural heritage include development pressures and the illegal antiquities trade. A highway, planned for 2011, was expected to be built in areas that are deemed archaeologically sensitive. A small-scale geophysical survey indicated the presence of archaeological remains at proposed construction sites. The sites have not been investigated. Despite the relocation of a proposed traffic interchange, the lack of precise site boundaries confuses the issue of site preservation.
The hostilities of the 2006 Lebanon War put the ancient structures of Tyre at risk. This prompted UNESCO's Director-General to launch a "Heritage Alert" for the site. Following the cessation of hostilities in September 2006, a visit by conservation experts to Lebanon observed no direct damage to the ancient city of Tyre. However, bombardment had damaged frescoes in a Roman funerary cave at the Tyre Necropolis. Additional site degradation was also noted, including "the lack of maintenance, the decay of exposed structures due to lack of rainwater regulation and the decay of porous and soft stones". Like many of the cities in the Levant and in Lebanon, the architecture since the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s has been of poor quality, which tend to threaten the cultural heritage in the built environment before the war.
The Bible makes several references to Tyre:
Collège Élite, a French international school, is in Tyre.
Jaafareya High School was the first intermediate and secondary school in south of Lebanon.
The population of Tyre is a predominantly Shia Muslim with a small but noticeable Christian community. However, the city of Tyre is home for more than 60,000 Palestinian refugees who are mainly Sunni Muslim. The Amal Movement and Hezbollah are the most popular parties, representing all of the Shi'a seats in the city as of the 2009 elections. In 2010, it was estimated that Christians accounted for 15% of Tyre's population.
Tyre is twinned with:
Abdul-Monem Rifai (ʻAbd al-Munʻim Rifāʻī) (23 February 1917 – 17 October 1985) was a Jordanian diplomat and political figure of Palestinian descent, who served two non-consecutive terms as the Prime Minister of Jordan in 1969 and 1970.Ansar, Lebanon
Ansar or Insar (Arabic أنصار, population 31,970) is a village in the Nabatieh Governorate region of southern Lebanon located between Nabatieh and Tyre, Lebanon, next to the village of Doueir.Antipater of Tyre
Antipater of Tyre (Greek: Ἀντίπατρος ὁ Τύριος; fl. 1st century BC) was a Stoic philosopher and a friend of Cato the Younger and Cicero.Baal I
Baal I was the king of Tyre (680–660 BC). His name is the same as that of the Phoenician deity, Baal. He was tributary to the Assyrians, who had conquered the rest of Phoenicia, and sent his son Yehawmelek to Ashurbanipal (r. 668–627 BC) with heavy tribute. He also may have assisted the Assyrians in their war against Elam.In c. 675 BC he entered into a treaty with Assyrian king Esarhaddon, currently in the British Museum. These two rulers are possibly depicted together on the Victory stele of Esarhaddon, issued in c. 670 BC.Collège Élite (Tyre)
Collège Franco-Libanais Elite or Lycée français international Elite - Tyr is a French international school in Tyre, Lebanon. It is a part of the Association Franco-Libanaise pour l'Education et la Culture (AFLEC) network.
It serves levels toute petite section (fewer than three years) to terminale, the final year of lycée (senior high school/sixth form college).It first opened in 1996. As of 2016 66.2% of the students were Lebanese, 16.2% of the students were French, and 17.6% of the students were of other nationalities.Diodorus of Tyre
Diodorus of Tyre (Greek: Διόδωρος), was a Peripatetic philosopher, and a disciple and follower of Critolaus, whom he succeeded as the head of the Peripatetic school at Athens c. 118 BC. He was still alive and active there in 110 BC, when Licinius Crassus, during his quaestorship of Macedonia, visited Athens. Cicero denies that he was a genuine Peripatetic, because it was one of his ethical maxims, that the greatest good consisted in a combination of virtue with the absence of pain, whereby a reconciliation between the Stoics and Epicureans was attempted.Dorotheus of Tyre
Saint Dorotheus bishop of Tyre (present-day Lebanon) (ca. 255 – 362) is traditionally credited with an Acts of the Seventy Apostles (which may be the same work as the lost Gospel of the Seventy), who were sent out according to the Gospel of Luke 10:1.
Dorotheus was a learned priest of Antioch (Eusebius, VII.32) and a eunuch. Dorotheus is said to have been driven into exile during the persecution of Diocletian, but later returned. He attended the Council of Nicaea in 325, but was exiled to Odyssopolis (Varna) on the Black Sea in Thrace by Julian the Apostate. There the 107-year-old priest was martyred for his faith. His feast day is observed June 5 according to the Gregorian calendar which coincides with June 18 on the Julian calendar.First Synod of Tyre
The First Synod of Tyre or the Council of Tyre (335 AD) was a gathering of bishops called together by Emperor Constantine I for the primary purpose of evaluating charges brought against Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria.Hiram I
Hiram I (Hebrew: חִירָם, "high-born"; Standard Hebrew Ḥiram, Tiberian vocalization Ḥîrām, Modern Arabic: حيرام, also called Hirom or Huram)
was the Phoenician king of Tyre according to the Hebrew Bible. His regnal years have been calculated by some as 980 to 947 BC, in succession to his father, Abibaal. Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by his son Baal-Eser I. Hiram is also mentioned in the writings of Menander of Ephesus (early 2nd century BC), as preserved in Josephus's Against Apion, which adds to the biblical account. According to Josephus, Hiram lived for 53 years and reigned 34.Marinus of Tyre
Marinus of Tyre (Greek: Μαρῖνος ὁ Τύριος, Marînos ho Týrios; c. AD 70–130) was a Greek or Hellenized, possibly Phoenician, geographer, cartographer and mathematician, who founded mathematical geography and provided the underpinnings of Claudius Ptolemy's influential Geography.Maximus of Tyre
Maximus of Tyre (Greek: Μάξιμος Τύριος; fl. late 2nd century AD), also known as Cassius Maximus Tyrius, was a Greek rhetorician and philosopher who lived in the time of the Antonines and Commodus, and who belongs to the trend of the Second Sophistic. His writings contain many allusions to the history of Greece, while there is little reference to Rome; hence it is inferred that he lived longer in Greece, perhaps as a professor at Athens. Although nominally a Platonist, he is really an Eclectic and one of the precursors of Neoplatonism.Mohamad Haidar
Mohamad Faouzi Haidar (Arabic: محمد فوزي حيدر; born 8 November 1989) is a Lebanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Lebanese Football League club Ahed and the Lebanon national team.Philip of Montfort, Lord of Tyre
Philip Ι of Montfort, (d. 17 March 1270,Tyre) was Lord of La Ferté-Alais and Castres-en-Albigeois 1228–1270, Lord of Tyre 1246–1270, and Lord of Toron aft. 1240–1270. He was the son of Guy of Montfort and Helvis of Ibelin (daughter of Balian of Ibelin).Siege of Tyre (1187)
The Siege of Tyre took place from November 12, 1187 to January 1, 1188. An army commanded by Saladin made an amphibious assault on the city, defended by Conrad of Montferrat. After two months of continuous struggle, Saladin dismissed his army and retreated to Acre.Tell Mureibit
Tell Mureibit is a Heavy Neolithic archaeological site approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) north of Tyre, Lebanon. It is located in a wadi near Qasimiye, Qasimiyeh or Kasimiyeh on the north bank of the Litani river. Material was collected by E. Passemard which is kept in the National Museum of Beirut. It consists of heavy, rough and usually bifacial tools of indeterminate date that has been likened to other Heavy Neolithic material of the Qaraoun culture.Tyre
Tyre may refer to:
Tire, the outer part of a wheelTyre Necropolis
The Al-Bass Tyre necropolis is a Lebanese UNESCO World Heritage site in the city of Tyre situated next to the el-Buss refugee camp. The necropolis, constituting the principal entrance of the town in antique times, is to be found on either side of a wide Roman and Byzantine avenue dominated by a triumphal arch of the 2nd century. Other important monumental vestiges of this archaeological area are an aqueduct, which carried water to the city, and a 2nd-century hippodrome.Tyre headquarters bombings
The Tyre headquarters bombings, also known as the Tyre disasters, were two suicide bombings against the Israel Defense Forces' headquarters building in Tyre, Lebanon, in 1982 and 1983. The blasts killed 103 Israelis and 46–59 Lebanese, wounding 95 people and were some of the worst losses ever for the IDF. Israel believes both to be the responsibility of Hezbollah.Tyre raid
The Tyre raid was a night mission by the Israel Defense Forces naval commando unit, Shayetet 13, in Tyre, South Lebanon, on August 5, 2006. The target was an apartment building, allegedly housing Hezbollah leaders responsible for the rocket attack on Hadera a day earlier. The entire operation lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Journeys of Paul the Apostle
With correspondence to modern geography
|Towns and villages|
|Palestinian refugee camps|