History of Phoenicia - George Rawlinson

Phoenicia During its Subjection to Assyria

(877 to 635 B.C.)

Phoenicia conquered by the Assyrians (about B.C. 877)—Peaceful relations established (about B.C. 839)—Time of quiet and prosperity—Harsh measures of Tiglath-pileser II. (about B.C. 740)—Revolt of Simyra—Revolt of Tyre under Elulaeus—Wars of Elulaeus with Shalmaneser IV. and with Sennacherib—Reign of Abdi-Milkut—His war with Esarhaddon—Accession of Baal—His relations with Esarhaddon and Asshur-bani-pal—Revolt and reduction of Arvad, Hosah, and Accho—Summary.

The first contact of Phoenicia with Assyria took place, as above observed, in the reign of Asshur-nazir-pal, about the year B.C. 877. The principal cities, on the approach of the great conquering monarch, with his multitudinous array of chariots, his clouds of horse, and his innumerable host of foot soldiers, made haste to submit themselves, sought to propitiate the invader by rich gifts, and accepted what they hoped might prove a nominal subjection. Arvad, which, as the most northern, was the most directly threatened, Gebal, Sidon, and even the comparatively remote Tyre, sent their several embassies, made their offerings, and became, in name at any rate, Assyrian dependencies. But the real subjection of this country was not effected at this time, nor without a struggle. Asshur-nazir-pal's yoke lay lightly upon his vassals, and during the remainder of his long reign—from B.C. 877 to B.C. 860—he seems to have desisted from military expeditions, and to have exerted no pressure on the countries situated west of the Euphrates. It was not until the reign of his son and successor, Shalmaneser II., that the real conquest of Syria and Phoenicia was taken in hand, and pressed to a successful issue by a long series of hard-fought campaigns and bloody battles. From his sixth to his twenty-first year Shamaneser carried on an almost continuous war in Syria, where his adversaries were the monarchs of Damascus and Hamath, and "the twelve kings beside the sea, above and below," one of whom is expressly declared to have been "Mattan-Baal of Arvad." It was not until the year B.C. 839 that this struggle was terminated by the submission of the monarchs engaged in it to their great adversary, and the firm establishment of a system of "tribute and taxes." The Phoenician towns agreed to pay annually to the Assyrian monarch a certain fixed sum in the precious metals, and further to make him presents from time to time of the best products of their country. Among these are mentioned "skins of buffaloes, horns of buffaloes, clothing of wool and linen, violet wool, purple wool, strong wood, wood for weapons, skins of sheep, fleeces of shining purple, and birds of heaven."

The relations of Phoenicia towards the Assyrian monarchy continued to be absolutely peaceful for above a century. The cities retained their native monarchs, their laws and institutions, their religion, and their entire internal administration. So long as they paid the fixed tribute, they appear not to have been interfered with in any way. It would seem that their trade prospered. Assyria had under her control the greater portion of those commercial routes across the continent of Asia, which it was of the highest importance to Phoenicia to have open and free from peril. Her caravans could traverse them with increased security, now that they were safeguarded by a power whereof she was a dependency. She may even have obtained through Assyria access to regions which had been previously closed to her, as Media, and perhaps Persia. At any rate Tyre seems to have been as flourishing in the later times of the Assyrian dominion as at almost any other period. Isaiah, in denouncing woe upon her, towards the close of the dominion, shows us what she had been under it:—

Be silent (he says), ye inhabitants of the island,

Which the merchants of Zidon,

that pass over the sea, have replenished.

The corn of the Nile, on the broad waters,

The harvest of the River, has been her revenue:

She has been the mart of nations . . .

She was a joyful city,

Her antiquity was of ancient days . . .

She was a city that dispensed crowns;

Her merchants were princes,

And her traffickers the honourable of the earth.

A change in the friendly feelings of the Phoenician cities towards Assyria first began after the rise of the Second or Lower Assyrian Empire, which was founded, about B.C. 745, by Tiglath-pileser II. Tiglath-pileser, after a time of quiescence and decay, raised up Assyria to be once more a great conquering power, and energetically applied himself to the consolidation and unification of the empire. It was the Assyrian system, as it was the Roman, to absorb nations by slow degrees—to begin by offering protection and asking in return a moderate tribute; then to draw the bonds more close, to make fresh demands and enforce them; finally, to pick a quarrel, effect a conquest, and absorb the country, leaving it no vestige of independence. Tiglath-pileser began this process of absorption in Northern Syria about the year B.C. 740. He rearranged the population in the various towns, taking from some and giving to others, adding also in most cases an Assyrian element, appointing Assyrian governors, and requiring of the inhabitants "the performance of service like the Assyrians." Among the places thus treated between the years B.C. 740 and B.C. 738, we find the Phoenician cities of Zimirra, or Simyra, and Arqa, or Arka. Zimirra was in the plain between the sea and Mount Bargylus, not very far from the island of Aradus, whereof it was a dependency. Arqa was further to the south, beyond the Eleutherus, and belonged properly to Tripolis, if Tripolis had as yet been founded, or else to Botrys. Both of them were readily accessible from the Orontes valley along the course of the Eleutherus, and, being weak, could offer no resistance. Tiglath-pileser carried out his plans, rearranged the populations, and placed the cities under Assyrian governors responsible to himself. There was no immediate outbreak; but the injury rankled. Within twenty years Zimirra joined a revolt, to which Hamath, Arpad, Damascus, and Samaria were likewise parties, and made a desperate attempt to shake off the Assyrian yoke. The attempt failed, the revolt was crushed, and Zimirra is heard of no more in history.

But this was not the worst. The harsh treatment of Simyra and Arka, without complaint made or offence given, after a full century of patient and quiet submission, aroused a feeling of alarm and indignation among the Phoenician cities generally, which could not fail to see in what had befallen their sisters a foreshadowing of the fate that they had to expect one day themselves. Beginning with the weakest cities, Assyria would naturally go on to absorb those which were stronger, and Tyre herself, the "anointed cherub," could look for no greater favour than, like Ulysses in the cave of Polyphemus, to be devoured last. Luliya, or Elulaeus, the king of Tyre at the time, endeavoured to escape this calamity by gathering to himself a strength which would enable him to defy attack. He contrived to establish his dominion over almost the whole of Southern Phoenicia—over Sidon, Accho, Ecdippa, Sarepta, Hosah, Bitsette, Mahalliba, etc.—and at the same time over the distant Cyprus, where the Cittaeans, or people of Citium, held command of the island. After a time the Cittaeans revolted from him, probably stirred up by the Assyrians. But Elulaeus, without delay, led an expedition into Cyprus, and speedily put down the rebellion. Hereupon the Assyrian king of the time, Shalmaneser IV., the successor and probably the son of Tiglath-pileser II., led a great expedition into the west about B.C. 727, and "overran all Syria and Phoenicia." But he was unable to make any considerable impression. Tyre and Aradus were safe upon their islands; Sidon and the other cities upon the mainland, were protected by strong and lofty walls. After a single campaign, the Great King found it necessary to offer terms of peace, which proved acceptable, and the belligerents parted towards the close of the year, without any serious loss or gain on either side.

It seemed necessary to adopt some different course of action. Shalmaneser had discovered during his abortive campaign that there were discords and jealousies among the various Phoenician cities; that none of them submitted without repugnance to the authority of Tyre, and that Sidon especially had an ancient ground of quarrel with her more powerful sister, and always cherished the hope of recovering her original supremacy. He had seen also that the greater number of the Phoenician towns, if he chose to press upon them with the full force of his immense military organisation, lay at his mercy. He had only to invest each city on the land side, to occupy its territory, to burn its villas, to destroy its irrigation works, to cut down its fruit trees, to interfere with its water-supply, and in the last instance to press upon it, to batter down its walls, to enter its streets, slaughter its population, or drive it to take refuge in its ships, and he could become absolute master of the whole Phoenician mainland. Only Tyre and Aradus could escape him.

But might not they also be brought into subjection by the naval forces which their sister cities, once occupied, might be compelled to furnish, and to man, or, at any rate, to assist in manning? Might not the whole of Phoenicia be in this way absorbed into the empire? The prospect was pleasing, and Shalmaneser set to work to convert the vision into a reality. By his emissaries he stirred up the spirit of disaffection among the Tyrian subject towns, and succeeded in separating from Tyre, and drawing over to his own side, not only Sidon and Acre and their dependencies, but even the city of Palae-Tyrus itself, or the great town which had grown up opposite the island Tyre upon the mainland. The island Tyre seems to have been left without support or ally, to fight her own battle singly. Shalmaneser called upon his new friends to furnish him with a fleet, and they readily responded to the call, placing their ships at his disposal to the number of sixty, and supplying him further with eight hundred skilled oarsmen, not a sufficient number to dispense with Assyrian aid, but enough to furnish a nucleus of able seamen for each vessel.

The attack was then made. The Assyro-Phoenician fleet sailed in a body from some port on the continent, and made a demonstration against the Island City, which they may perhaps have expected to frighten into a surrender. But the Tyrians were in no way alarmed. They knew, probably, that their own countrymen would not fight with very much zeal for their foreign masters, and they despised, undoubtedly, the mixed crews, half skilled seamen, half tiros and bunglers, which had been brought against them. Accordingly they thought it sufficient to put to sea with just a dozen ships—one to each five of the enemy, and making a sudden attack with these upon the adverse fleet, they defeated it, dispersed it, and took five hundred prisoners. Shalmaneser saw that he had again miscalculated; and, despairing of any immediate success, drew off his ships and his troops, and retired to his own country. He left behind him, however, on the mainland opposite the island Tyre, a certain number of his soldiers, with orders to prevent the Tyrians from obtaining, according to their ordinary practice, supplies of water from the continent. Some were stationed at the mouth of the river Leontes (the Litany), a little to the north of Tyre, a perennial stream bringing down a large quantity of water from Coele-Syria and Lebanon; others held possession of the aqueducts on the south, built to convey the precious fluid across the plain from the copious springs of Ras el Ain to the nearest point of the coast opposite the city. The continental water supply was thus effectually cut off; but the Tyrians were resolute, and made no overtures to the enemy. For five years, we are told, they were content to drink such water only as could be obtained in their own island from wells sunk in the soil, which must have been brackish, unwholesome, and disagreeable. At the end of that time a revolution occurred at Nineveh. Shalmaneser lost his throne (B.C. 722), and a new dynasty succeeding, amid troubles of various kinds, attention was drawn away from Tyre to other quarters; and Elulaeus was left in undisturbed possession of his island city for nearly a quarter of a century.

It appears that, during this interval, Elulaeus rebuilt the power which Shalmaneser had shattered and brought low, repossessing himself of Cyprus, or, at any rate, of some portion of it, and re-establishing his authority over all those cities of the mainland which had previously acknowledged subjection to him. These included Sidon, Bit-sette, Sarepta, Mahalliba, Hosah, Achzib or Ecdippa, and Accho (Acre). There is some ground for thinking that he transferred his own residence to Sidon, perhaps for the purpose of keeping closer watch upon the town which he most suspected of disaffection. The policy of Sargon seems to have been to leave Phoenicia alone, and content himself with drawing the tribute which the cities were quite willing to pay in return for Assyrian protection. His reign lasted from B.C. 722 to B.C. 705, and it was not until Sennacherib, his son and successor, had been seated for four years upon the throne that a reversal of this policy took place, and war a outrance was declared against the Phoenician king, who had ventured to brave, and had succeeded in baffling, Assyria more than twenty years previously.

Sennacherib entertained grand designs of conquest in this quarter, and could not allow the example of an unpunished and triumphant rebellion to be flaunted in the eyes of a dozen other subject states, tempting them to throw off their allegiance. He therefore, as soon as affairs in Babylonia ceased to occupy him, marched the full force of the empire towards the west, and proclaimed his intention of crushing the Phoenician revolt, and punishing the audacious rebel who had so long defied the might of Assyria. The army which he set in motion must have numbered more than 200,000 men; its chariots were numerous, its siege-train ample and well provided. Such terror did it inspire among those against whom it was directed that Elulaeus was afraid even to await attack, and, while Sennacherib was still on his march, took ship and removed himself to the distant island of Cyprus, where alone he could feel safe from pursuit and capture. But, though deserted by their sovereign, his towns seem to have declined to submit themselves. No great battle was fought; but severally they took arms and defended their walls. Sennacherib tells us that he took one after another—"by the might of the soldiers of Asshur his lord" —Great Sidon, Lesser Sidon, Bit-sette, Zarephath or Sarepta, Mahalliba, Hosah, Achzib or Ecdippa, and Accho—"strong cities, fortresses, walled and enclosed, Luliya's castles." He does not claim, however, to have taken Tyre, and we may conclude that the Island City escaped him. But he made himself master of the entire tract upon the continent which had constituted Luliya's kingdom, and secured its obedience by placing over it a new king, in whom he had confidence, a certain Tubaal (Tob-Baal), probably a Phoenician. At the same time he rearranged the yearly tribute which the cities had to pay to Assyria, probably augmenting it, as a punishment for the long rebellion.

We hear nothing more of Phoenicia during the reign of Sennacherib, except that, shortly after his conquest of the tract about Sidon, he received tribute, not only from the king whom he had just set over that town, but also from Uru-melek, king of Gebal (Byblus), and Abd-ilihit, king of Arvad. The three towns represent, probably, the whole of Phoenicia, Aradus at this time exercising dominion over the northern tract, or that extending from Mount Casius to the Eleutherus, Gebal or Byblus over the central tract from the Eleutherus to the Tamyras, and Sidon, in the temporary eclipse of Tyre, ruling the southern tract from the Tamyrus to Mount Carmel. It appears further, that at some date between this tribute-giving (B.C. 701) and the death of Sennacherib (B.C. 681) Tubaal must have been succeeded in the government of Sidon by Abdi-Milkut, or Abd-Melkarth ({. . .}), but whether this change was caused by a revolt, or took place in the ordinary course, Tubaal dying and being succeeded by his son, is wholly uncertain.

All that we know is that Esarhaddon, on his accession, found Abd-Melkarth in revolt against his authority. He had formed an alliance with a certain Sanduarri, king of Kundi and Sizu, a prince of the Lebanon, and had set up as independent monarch, probably during the time of the civil way which was waged between Esarhaddon and two of his brothers who disputed his succession after they had murdered his father. As soon as this struggle was over, and the Assyrian monarch found himself free to take his own course, he proceeded at once (B.C. 680) against these two rebels. Both of them tried to escape him. Abd-Melkarth, quitting his capital, fled away by sea, steering probably either for Aradus or for Cyprus. Sanduarri took refuge in his mountain fastnesses. But Esarhaddon was not to be baffled. He caused both chiefs to be pursued and taken. "Abd-Melkarth," he says, "who from the face of my solders into the middle of the sea had fled, like a fish from out of the sea, I caught, and cut off his head . . . Sanduarri, who took Abd-Melkarth for his ally, and to his difficult mountains trusted, like a bird from the midst of the mountains, I caught and cut off his head." Sidon was very severely punished. Esarhaddon boasts that he swept away all its subject cities, uprooted its citadel and palace, and cast the materials into the sea, at the same time destroying all its habitations. The town was plundered, the treasures of the palace carried off, and the greater portion of the population deported to Assyria. The blank was filled up with "natives of the lands and seas of the East"—prisoners taken in Esarhaddon's war with Babylon and Elam, who, like the Phoenicians themselves at a remote time, exchanged a residence on the shores of the Persian Gulf for one on the distant Mediterranean. An Assyrian general was placed as governor over the city, and its name changed from Sidon to "Ir-Esarhaddon."

It seems to have been in the course of the same year that Esarhaddon held one of those courts, or durbars, in Syria, which all subject monarchs were expected to attend, and whereat it was the custom that they should pay homage to their suzerain. Hither flocked almost all the neighbouring monarchs —Manasseh, king of Judah, Qavus-gabri, king of Ammon, Zilli-bel, king of Gaza, Mitinti of Askelon, Ikasamsu of Ekron, Ahimelek of Ashdod, together with twelve kings of the Cyprians, and three Phoenician monarchs, Baal, king of Tyre, Milki-asaph, king of Gebal, and Mattan-baal, king of Arvad. Tribute was paid, home rendered, and after a short sojourn at the court, the subject-monarchs were dismissed.

The foremost position in Esarhaddon's list is occupied by "Baal, king of Tyre;" and this monarch appears to have been received into exceptional favour. He had perhaps been selected by Esarhaddon to rule Southern Phoenicia on the execution of Abd-Melkarth. At any rate, he enjoyed for some time the absolute confidence and high esteem of his suzerain. If we may venture to interpret a mutilated inscription, he furnished Esarhaddon with a fleet, and manned it with his own sailors. Certainly, he received from Esarhaddon a considerable extension of his dominions. Not only was his authority over Accho recognised and affirmed, but the coast tract south of Carmel, as far as Dor, the important city Gebal, and the entire region of Lebanon, were placed under his sovereignty. The date assigned to these events is between B.C. 680 and B.C. 673. It was in this latter year that the Assyrian monarch resolved on an invasion of Egypt. For fifty years the two countries had been watching each other, counteracting each other's policy, lending support to each other's enemies, coming into occasional collision the one with the other, not, however, as principals, but as partakers in other persons' quarrels.

Now, at length there was to be an end of subterfuge and pretences. Esarhaddon, about B.C. 673, resolved to attempt the conquest of Egypt. He "set his face to go to the country of Magan and Milukha." He let his intention be generally known. No doubt he called on his subject allies for contingents of men, if not for supplies of money. To Tyre he must naturally have looked for no niggard or grudging support. What then must have been his disgust and rage at finding that, at the critical moment, Tyre had gone over to the enemy? Notwithstanding the favours heaped on him by his suzerain, "Baal, king of Tyre, to Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, his country entrusted, and the yoke of Asshur threw off and made defiance." Esarhaddon was too strongly bent on his Egyptian expedition to be diverted from it by this defection; but in the year B.C. 672, as he marched through Syria and Palestine on his way to attack Tirhakah, he sent a detachment against Tyre, with orders to his officers to repeat the tactics of Shalmaneser, by occupying points of the coast opposite to the island Tyre, and "cutting off the supplies of food and water." Baal was by this means greatly distressed, and it would seem that within a year or two he made his submission, surrendering either to Esarhaddon or to his son Asshur-bani-pal, in about the year of the latter's accession (B.C. 668).

It is surprising to find that he was not deposed from his throne; but as the circumstances seem to have been such as made it imperative on the Assyrian king to condone minor offences in order to accomplish a great enterprise—the restoration of the Assyrian dominion over the Nile valley. Esarhaddon had effected the conquest of Egypt in about the year B.C. 670, and had divided the country into twenty petty principalities; but within a year his yoke had been thrown off, his petty princes expelled, and Tirhakah reinstated as sole monarch over the "Two Regions." It was the determination of Asshur-bani-pal, on becoming king, to strain every nerve and devote his utmost energy to the re-conquest of the ancient kingdom, so lightly won and so lightly lost by his father. Baal's perfidy was thus forgiven or overlooked. A great expedition was prepared. The kings of Phoenicia, Palestine, and Cyprus were bidden once more to assemble, to bring their tribute, and pay homage to their suzerain as he passed on his way at the head of his forces towards the land of the Pharaohs. Baal came, and again holds the post of honour; with him were the king of Judah—doubtless Manasseh, but the name is lost—the kings of Edom, Moab, Gaza, Askelon, Ekron, Gebal, Arvad, Paphos, Soli, Curium, Tamassus, Ammochosta, Lidini, and Aphrodisias, with probably those also of Ammon, Ashdod, Idalium, Citium, and Salamis. Each in turn prostrated himself at the foot of the Great Monarch, paid homage, and made profession of fidelity. Asshur-bani-pal then proceeded on his way, and the kings returned to their several governments.

It is about four years after this, B.C. 664, that we find Baal attacked and punished by the Assyrian monarch. The subjugation of Egypt had been in the meantime, though not without difficulty, completed. Asshur-bani-pal's power extended from the range of Niphates to the First Cataract. Whether during the course of the four years' struggle, by which the reconquest of Egypt was effected, the Tyrian prince had given fresh offence to his suzerain, or whether it was the old offence, condoned for a time but never forgiven, that was now avenged, is not made clear by the Assyrian Inscriptions. Asshur-bani-pal simply tells us that, in his third expedition, he proceeded against Baal, king of Tyre, dwelling in the midst of the sea, who his royal will disregarded, and did not listen to the words of his lips. "Towers round him," he says, "I raised, and over his people I strengthened the watch; on sea and land his forts I took; his going out I stopped. Water and sea-water, to preserve their lives, their mouths drank. By a strong blockade, which removed not, I besieged them; their works I checked and opposed; to my yoke I made them submissive. The daughter proceeding from his body, and the daughters of his brothers, for concubines he brought to my presence. Yahi-milki, his son, the glory of the country, of unsurpassed renown, at once he sent forward, to make obeisance to me. His daughter, and the daughters of his brothers, with their great dowries, I received. Favour I granted him, and the son proceeding from his body, I restored, and gave him back." Thus Baal once more escaped the fate he must have expected. Asshur-bani-pal, who was far from being of a clement disposition, suffered himself to be appeased by the submission made, restored Baal to his favour, and allowed him to retain possession of his sovereignty.

Another Phoenician monarch also was, about the same time, threatened and pardoned. This was Yakinlu, the king of Arvad, probably the son and successor of Mattan-Baal, the contemporary of Esarhaddon. He is accused of having been wanting in submission to Asshur-bani-pal's fathers; but we may regard it as probable that his real offence was some failure in his duties towards Asshur-bani-pal himself. Either he had openly rebelled, and declared himself independent, or he had neglected to pay his tribute, or he had given recent offence in some other way. The Phoenician island kings were always more neglectful of their duties than others, since it was more difficult to punish them. Assyria did not even now possess any regular fleet, and could only punish a recalcitrant king of Arvad or Tyre by impressing into her service the ships of some of the Phoenician coast-towns, as Sidon, or Gebal, or Accho. These towns were not very zealous in such a service, and probably did not maintain strong navies, having little use for them. Thus Yakinlu may have expected that his neglect, whatever it was, would be overlooked. But Asshur-bani-pal was jealous of his rights, and careful not to allow any of them to lapse by disuse. He let his displeasure be known at the court of Yakinlu, and very shortly received an embassy of submission. Like Baal, Yakinlu sent a daughter to take her place among the great king's secondary wives, and with her he sent a large sum of money, in the disguise of a dowry. The tokens of subjection were accepted, and Yakinlu was allowed to continue king of Arvad. When, not long afterwards, he died, and his ten sons sought the court of Nineveh to prefer their claims to the succession, they were received with favour. Azi-Baal, the eldest, was appointed to the vacant kingdom, while his nine brothers were presented by Asshur-bani-pal with "costly clothing, and rings."

Two other revolts of two other Phoenician towns belong to a somewhat later period. On his return from an expedition against Arabia, about B.C. 645, Asshur-bani-pal found that Hosah, a small place in the vicinity of Tyre, and Accho, famous as Acre in later times, had risen in revolt against their Assyrian governors, refused their tribute, and asserted independence. He at once besieged, and soon captured, Hosah. The leaders of the rebellion he put to death; the plunder of the town, including the images of its gods, and the bulk of its population, he carried off into Assyria. The people of Accho, he says, he "quieted." It is a common practice of conquerors "to make a solitude and call it peace." Asshur-bani-pal appears to have punished Accho, first by a wholesale massacre, and then by the deportation of all its remaining inhabitants.

It is evident from this continual series of revolts and rebellions that, however mild had been the sway of Assyria over her Phoenician subjects in the earlier times, it had by degrees become a hateful and a grinding tyranny. Commercial states, bent upon the accumulation of wealth, do not without grave cause take up arms and affront the perils of war, much less do so when their common sense must tell them that success is almost absolutely hopeless, and that failure will bring about their destruction. The Assyrians were a hard race. Such tenderness as they ever showed to any subject people was, we may be sure, in every case dictated by policy. While their power was unsettled, while they feared revolts, and were uncertain as to their consequences, their attitude towards their dependents was conciliating. When they became fully conscious of the immense preponderance of power which they wielded, and of the inability of the petty states of Asia to combine against them in any firm league, they grew careless and confident, reckless of giving offence, ruder in their behaviour, more grasping in their exactions, more domineering, more oppressive. Prudence should perhaps have counselled the Phoenician cities to submit, to be yielding and pliant, to cultivate the arts of the parasite and the flatterer; but the people had still a rough honesty about them. It was against the grain to flatter or submit themselves; constant voyages over wild seas in fragile vessels kept up their manhood; constant encounters with pirates, cannibals, and the rudest possible savages made them brave and daring; exposure to storm, and cold, and heat braced their frames; the nautical life developed and intensified in them a love of freedom. The Phoenician of Assyrian times was not to be coaxed into accepting patiently the lot of a slave. Suffer as he might by his revolts, they won him a certain respect; it is likely that they warded off many an indignity, many an outrage. The Assyrians knew that his endurance could not be reckoned on beyond a certain point, and they knew that in his death-throes he was dangerous. The Phoenicians probably suffered considerably less than the other subject nations under Assyrian rule; and the maritime population, which was the salt of the people, suffered least of all, since it was scarcely ever brought into contact with its nominal rulers.