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An island 3 km SW of Tartus, which was the Antaradus of antiquity. A powerful Phoenician city that led a federation of mainland cities extending as far as the Orontes valley, Aradus submitted to Alexander, was granted autonomy by the Seleucids, and declined in the Roman era, while Antaradus flourished. After a long period of resistance, it was conquered in A.D. 641 by Moawiya, who laid waste the city.

The island has a perimeter of 1.5 km. According to Strabo, the houses had several stories; Chariton mentions a temple of Aphrodite and a vast agora lined with porticos, but no trace of these has been found. The main ruins are those of a sturdy rampart that encircled the island. A few sections of it, consisting of four or five courses of huge blocks of stone, are still standing on the side of the island facing the open sea. The methods of stone-cutting and joining range from the Persian to the Roman periods. The base of the rampart consists of a berm cut in the living rock. Excavation has uncovered an esplanade, wider to N and S and today partly buried: it had a regular floor and the foundations of huge buildings. The port, which faces the mainland, consists of two coves separated by a natural dike which was raised in antiquity by adding a layer of enormous blocks to make a jetty. There is no trace of quays.


B. Ranan, Mission de Phénicie (1864-74)MPI; J. Weulersie, Les pays des Alaouites (1940)MI; H. Seyrig, “Questions aradiennes,” RN 6 ser., 6 (1964)MI; H. Frost, “Rouad, ses récifs et ses mouillages,” Annales archéologiques de Syrie 14 (1964); id., “The Arwad Plans 1964 . . . ,” ibid. 16 (1966)MPI; id. in L'archéologle subaquatique, une discipline naissante (UNESCO, 1973)MPI; J.P. Rey-Coquais, Arados et sa pérée (1974).


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