City on the coast, at the
N foot of the Lebanon mountains and the end of an
excellent route from the interior of Syria. As Diodorus
and Strabo report, it consisted of three separate quarters
founded by the Phoenician cities of Arados, Sidon and
Tyre. It was the seat of the Council of the Phoenicians,
which decided to rebel against Artaxerxes Ochus in 351
B.C. In the 1st c. B.C. Pompey freed it from a tyrant. As
its coins show, Tripolis was the capital of a conventus
of a Roman province. In the 3d c. it had a temple of the
Imperial cult and under Diadumenus it was a base of the
Roman war fleet.
Almost nothing remains of the ancient town. It was
not at the foot of the Crusaders' castle, beneath the
modern and mediaeval town but on the end of the
peninsula, in the suburb of al-Mina (the navy).
The area inland from Tripolis is rich in sanctuaries of
the Roman period: Bziza, Naous, Sfiré.
R. Dussaud, Topographie historique de
la Syrie antique et médiévale
(1927); D. Krencker & W.
Zschietzschmann, Römische Tempel in Syrien
; J. Sauvaget, “Note sur les défenses de la marine de Tripoli,” BMBeyrouth
2 (1938); H. Seyrig, “Ères de quelques villes de Syrie,” Syria
27 (1950) (Antiquités syriennes