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[106] I will now, therefore, pass from these records, and come to those that belong to the Phoenicians, and concern our nation, and shall produce attestations to what I have said out of them. There are then records among the Tyrians that take in the history of many years, and these are public writings, and are kept with great exactness, and include accounts of the facts done among them, and such as concern their transactions with other nations also, those I mean which were worth remembering. Therein it was recorded that the temple was built by king Solomon at Jerusalem, one hundred forty-three years and eight months before the Tyrians built Carthage; and in their annals the building of our temple is related; for Hirom, the king of Tyre, was the friend of Solomon our king, and had such friendship transmitted down to him from his forefathers. He thereupon was ambitious to contribute to the splendor of this edifice of Solomon, and made him a present of one hundred and twenty talents of gold. He also cut down the most excellent timber out of that mountain which is called Libanus, and sent it to him for adorning its roof. Solomon also not only made him many other presents, by way of requital, but gave him a country in Galilee also, that was called Chabulon. 1 But there was another passion, a philosophic inclination of theirs, which cemented the friendship that was betwixt them; for they sent mutual problems to one another, with a desire to have them unriddled by each other; wherein Solomon was superior to Hirom, as he was wiser than he in other respects: and many of the epistles that passed between them are still preserved among the Tyrians. Now, that this may not depend on my bare word, I will produce for a witness Dius, one that is believed to have written the Phoenician History after an accurate manner. This Dius, therefore, writes thus, in his Histories of the Phoenicians: "Upon the death of Abibalus, his son Hirom took the kingdom. This king raised banks at the eastern parts of the city, and enlarged it; he also joined the temple of Jupiter Olympius, which stood before in an island by itself, to the city, by raising a causeway between them, and adorned that temple with donations of gold. He moreover went up to Libanus, and had timber cut down for the building of temples. They say further, that Solomon, when he was king of Jerusalem, sent problems to Hirom to be solved, and desired he would send others back for him to solve, and that he who could not solve the problems proposed to him should pay money to him that solved them. And when Hirom had agreed to the proposals, but was not able to solve the problems, he was obliged to pay a great deal of money, as a penalty for the same. As also they relate, that one·Abdemon, a man of Tyre, did solve the problems, and propose others which Solomon could not solve, upon which he was obliged to repay a great deal of money to Hirom." These things are attested to by Dius, and confirm what we have said upon the same subjects before.

1 Authentic Records, Part II. p. 983, as Josephus could not but know very well; but that he was esteemed as very ancient by them, and that they knew they had been first of all denominated "Danai" from this very ancient king Danaus. Nor does this superlative degree always imply the "most ancient" of all without exception, but is sometimes to be rendered "very ancient" only, as is the case in the like superlative degrees of other words also.

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