vrijdag 10 oktober 2014

ARWAD revival

ARWAD revival under the Persians.
In the beginning of the 5th century the Ionians on Cyprus and Asia revolt against the Persian domination. This revolt is beaten down first in Cyprus and next in Asia. Then follows a victorious advance of the Persian fleet, in which Arwad participate, to the Aegean Sea. A sea-battle is won against the Ionian Greeks in front of Milete near the isle of Ladè (494 BC) and the complete coast of Asia returns again under the supervision of the Persians. We are perhaps aware of a king of Arwad (=Agbaal) in this period, because Herodotos mentions in 480 BC a squadron of Arwad under Merbalos (Maharbaal), whose father is Agbalos (Agbaal). Between 490-480 BC the Phoenicians participate in the Persian fleet, who tries to subdue the whole of Greece. There are amongst others the famous battles of Marathon and Salamis. After the lost sea-battle of Salamis (which was in reality more or less a draw, because the Greeks lost also a great number of ships) things are going wrong in the good terms between Persians and Phoenicians. The Persian king Xerxes is not satisfied with the performance of some Phoenician ships and let the captains of those ships be beheaded. This was not accepted by the Phoenician squadrons and they sailed immediately home. As a result of this Xerxes had to pull back the rest of his fleet, because that was no match any more for the Greek fleet. The co-operation between the Persians and Phoenicians came however not to an end. The Phoenician fleet participated in sea-battled before Kition on Cyprus, in the Nile-delta and at Eurymedon on the south-coast of Turkey against the fleet of Athens.
In an economic way the Persian period is very prosperous. The great temples and monuments are going to be completed. The Ma’abed will have a surface of 8700 m2 surrounded by porticos with pillars. In the middle there is a small mausoleum on a podium of 5x5m. On a damaged inscription by the end of the 5th century BC on a statue of Amrit on can read: “This is made by Achim (son of) Abdanat in the honour of his lord Ešmun, because he has heard his voice.” The inscription has been damaged. So another possibility (given by E.Puech) is: “This is the statue, which has been dedicated by Abdešmun (?) to his lord Ešmun (because he has been favourable to him and) because he heard his prayer.
See: ‑Les inscriptions phéniciennes d'Amrit et les dieux guérisseurs du sanctuaire,  E.Puech in : Syria LXIII Paris 1986.
Sometime late in the 5th century BC the most important Phoenician cities started minting their own coins. These coins circulated in each city and in their dependencies. The earliest coins of Arwad were decorated with the following devices: On the obverse there is the figure of a marine deity (Dagon), moving towards the right; the deity is human to the waist, bearded and with his hair dressed in long plaits; the lower part of his body is fish-like, with a bifid tail and dorsal, pectoral and ventral fins, covered with scales; in each hand the deity holds a dolphin by the tail. On the reverse of the coin there is a galley moving towards the right; the rudder protrudes downwards from below the stern; there is a row of shields along the bulwark of the galley and a curved uncertain ornament and a standard over the poop; below the galley, waves represented by wavy lines, are sometimes added.
See: La Phénicie et Chypre à l’époque achemide. A.Destrooper-Georgiades. OLA 22.
See : Phoenicia and the Phoenicians, D.Baramki.

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