donderdag 25 september 2014

The beginning of the golden age of Arwad.

The beginning of the golden age of ARWAD.
ARWAD in the 12th century BC.
A new beginning is frequently combined with an initially destruction.
In the 12th century BC the so-called Sea-peoples made an end to the Hittite empire and after they invaded the whole Levant. Many cities were destroyed or taken over by them. According to the records of Ramses III Arwad was also destroyed by the Sea-peoples, but Strabo tells us, that the island is again populated by fugitives from Sidon.
The result of the attacks of the Sea-peoples is that all the greater empires in Asia collapsed. Only Egypt in Africa stood firm. Pharaoh Ramses III mentions Arwad in this period. He says: “From this place strangers go to the land of the Amorites.”
The emerging Phoenicians were free. They had no enemy that was a menace to them. Also the sea was freely accessible. It is time for the great adventure of the Phoenician exploration. They spread all over the Mediterranean and Arwad participated in this process. It takes over the predominant position of Ugarit, which was never fully rebuilt after its destruction by the Danuna (?).
It can not be said with certainty in what direction the ships of Arwad went for their favourable trade. It is however obvious that they went to nearby Cyprus, Cilicia, Caria and even the Aegean sea. The name of Araden on Crete might give a clue in that direction.
ARWAD in the 11th century BC.
Within a century this favourable situation is frightened by an Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 BC). A new power arises at the eastern horizon. On an inscription (named: bulls and lions) on the Anu-Adad temple in Assur (ARA 302) we read:
“To Mount Lebanon I went. Logs of cedar for the temple of Anu and Adad, the great gods, my lords, I cut and brought away. Against Amurru I returned. Amurru in its entirety I conquered. The tribute of Gubal, Sidon and Arwad I received. I crossed over in ships of Arwad, from Arwad, which is on the seashore to Samuri of the land of Amurru, a journey of 3 ‘double-hours’, by land. I killed a nahiru which they call a ‘sea-horse’, in the midst of the sea.”
Notice that the Assyrian king departed from a coastal town in front of the island Arwad. He did not enter the refuge of the Arwadian people. Refuge is the meaning of the name Arwad!
Furthermore ‘nahiru’ could mean a dolphin.
The starting richness of the Phoenician coastal towns raised very soon envy. The traders of Arwad very wisely paid the ransom in order to prevent further disaster. Tiglath-pileser I was satisfied and returned. He never came back.
Meanwhile the Phoenician towns went on with their flourishing business. By now they arrived according to the tradition at Utica, Gadir and Lixus, although there is no archaeological prove for that.

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