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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 (1938)MPI; 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 IV).


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