zondag 12 oktober 2014

ARWAD: one of the three cities

ARWAD (the 1st half of the 4th century BC).
The relationship with the Persian empire is progressively worse. On Cyprus Evagoras is trying to follow a more independent course in the beginning of this century. In the south of Phoenicia Sidon is the promoter of several uprisings in c.366 BC and c.351 BC. It seems that Arwad can keep aside of all these struggles. Characteristic for this situation is that Arwad and Cyprus stick to the Persian standard on coinage, while Sidon and Tyrus change to their own Phoenician standard (See: Markoe, the Phoenicians, p.98-101).  Meanwhile the Phoenician towns are more and more influenced by the Greeks. Slowly the name Arwad is changing into Arados.
Ps.Scylax describes in his itinerary (par.104) the situation in the middle of the 4th century BC as follows: “After Cilicia there is the Syrian nation. In Syria, the Phoenician nation inhabits the region of the seacoast and lives in a narrow tract of land, which extends less than forty stadia from the sea, although in some places the breadth is not even ten stadia from the sea. Beyond the river Tapsaḥ lies Tripolis of the Phoenicians, the island and harbour of Arados with a royal residence of Tyros, distant about eight stadia from the mainland and on the peninsula there is another city Tripolis, which belongs to Arados, Tyros and Sidon: there are three cities at this location and each has its own circuit of walls……”
Diodoros (XVI, 41,1) confirms the (re?)founding of Tripolis:
“After Orthosia and the Eleutheros river one arrives at Tripolis, which got her name only by the fact, that it was founded by the three cities Tyrus, Sidon and Arados.” The three quarters are separated by one stadion (125 footsteps or c.183 meters). Tyros, Sidon and Arados have met each-other in a common project. It looks like a confederation or perhaps the first Phoenician parliament. It is however remarkable, that Byblos is not participating.   
Itineraria Phoenicia, E.Lipinski, p.285:
“We can assume that one of them was the island called Gazirat al-‘Amud (Isle of the columns) by al-Idrisi. It must correspond to the Gazirat al-Baqar (Cattle island) of more recent maps. It is distant precisely by 250 meters from the Borg aš-šayh ‘Affan, close to the ancient lighthouse. The latter was probably the site of another city quarter. The third one might tentatively be located about 250 meters to the east, on the promontory where a stockade of the harbour is indicated on 19th century maps.” Which quarter was occupied by the Arwadians is hard to say.
Arados is very active on the mainland. Just as Tyros and Sidon control the complete Palestine coast in the south, is Arados controlling the whole Syrian coast to the north. It has also far away in the Jabal an Nusayriyah important sanctuaries as Mariamme (Miriamma or Meriamon) and Sigo (Sahiyoun or Sayhoun). On the coast several old harbours are used again such as Shukshu (T.Sukas), el-Bassit, Ras ibn Hani and Al Mina (Iskeule Keui). Shukshu is re-installed in c.380 BC. In Al Mina are 51 inscriptions found on vases out of the period, of which 30 were Phoenician and 7 in Aramaic. On the gulf of Issus the Phoenicians are exploiting the harbours Rhossus and Myriandros. Xenophon tell us in Anabasis (I,4) that there is a great fleet of cargo-ships in front of Miryandros (c.400 BC). Pomponius Mela (I,68) mentions only the town of Marathos (Amrit) which he describes as a not-unimportant town (urbs non obscura).

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