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BYBLOS

BYBLOS (Βύβλος, Steph. B. sub voce Βίβλος, Zosim. 1.58: Eth. Βύβλιος, Eth. Βίβλιος.; LXX.; Ptol. 5.15; Plin. Nat. 5.20; Pomp. Mel. 1.12.3; Hierocl.; Geogr. Rav.: Jubeïl), a city of Phoenicia, seated on a rising ground near the sea, at the foot of Lebanon, between Sidon and the Promontory Theoprosopon (Θεοῦ πρόσωπον). (Strab. xvi. p.755.) It was celebrated for the birth and worship of Adonis or Syrian Thummuz. (Eustath. ad Dionys. 5.912; Nonnus, Dionys. 3.5.109; Strab. l.c.) “The land of the Giblites,” with all Lebanon, was assigned to the Israelites (Josh. 13.5), but they never got possession of it. The Giblites are mentioned as “stonesquarers” (1 Kings, 5.18), and supplied caulkers for the Tyrian fleet (Ezek. 27.9). Enylus, king of Byblus, when he learnt that his town was in the possession of Alexander, came up with his vessels, and joined the Macedonian fleet. (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 2.15.8, 20.1.) Byblus seems afterwards to have fallen into the hands of a petty despot, as Pompey is described as giving it freedom, by beheading the tyrant. (Strab. l.c.) This town, under the name of Giblah (Abulf. Tab. Syr. p. 94; Schulten's Index Vit. Salad. s. v. Sjiblia), after having been the see of a bishop, fell under Moslem rule. The name of the modern town is Jubeïl, which is enclosed by a wall of about a mile and a half in circumference, apparently of the time of the Crusades. (Chesney, Exped. Euphrat. vol. i. p. 453.) It contains the remains of an ancient Roman theatre: the “cavea” is nearly perfect, with its concentric ranks of seats, divided by their “praecinctiones,” “cunei,” &c., quite distinguishable. (Thomson, Bibl. Sacra, vol. v. p. 259.) Many fragments of fine granite columns are lying about. (Burkhardt, Syria, p. 180.) Byblus was the birthplace of Philon, who translated Sanchuniathon into Greek. The coins of Byblus have frequently the type of Astarte; also of Isis, who came here in search of the body of Osiris. (Eckhel, vol. iii. p. 359.)

(Winer, Real Wörtbuch, s.v.; Rosenmüller, Bibl. Alt. vol. ii. pt. 1, p. 17; Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscr. vol. xxxiv. p. 252.)

[E.B.J]

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