History of Phoenicia - George Rawlinson

Phoenicia Under the Persians

(528 to 333 B.C.)

Phoenicia not claimed by Cyrus—Submits willingly to Cambyses—Takes part in his invasion of Egypt—Refuses to proceed against Carthage—Exceptional privileges enjoyed by the Phoenicians under the Persians—Government system of Darius advantageous to them—Their conduct in the Ionian revolt—In the expeditions of Mardonius and Datis—In the great expedition of Xerxes—Interruption of the friendly relations between Phoenicia and Persia—Renewal of amity—Services rendered to Persia between B.C. 465 and 392—Amicable relations with Athens—Phoenicia joins in revolt of Evagoras—Supports Tachos, king of Egypt—Declares herself independent under Tennes—Conquered and treated with great severity of Ochus—Sidonian dynasty of the Esmunazars.

The conquest of Babylon by Cyrus gave him, according to Oriental notions generally, a claim to succeed to the inheritance of the entire Babylonian empire; but the claim would remain dormant until it was enforced. The straggling character of the territory, which was shaped like a Greek {L}, ascending from Babylon along the course of the Euphrates to the Armenian mountains, and then descending along the line of the Mediterranean coast as far as Gaza or Raphia, rendered the enforcement of the claim a work of difficulty, more especially in the remote West, which was distant fifteen hundred miles from Persia Proper, and more than a thousand miles from Babylon.

Cyrus, moreover, was prevented, first by wars in his immediate neighbourhood, and later on by a danger upon his north-eastern frontier, from taking the steps usually taken by a conqueror to establish his dominion in a newly-annexed region, and thus he neither occupied Syria with troops, nor placed it under the administration of Persian governors. The only step which, so far as we know, he took, implying that his authority reached so far, was the commission which he gave to Zerubbabel and the other chiefs of the Jewish nation to proceed from Babylonia to Judaea, and re-establish themselves, if they could, on the site of the destroyed Jerusalem. The return from the Captivity which followed was in some sense the occupation of a portion of the extreme West by a Persian garrison, and may be viewed as a step intended to be "preparatory towards obtaining possession of the entire sea-coast;" but it appears to have been an isolated movement, effected without active Persian support, and one whereby the neighbouring countries were only slightly affected.

That Phoenicia retained her independence until the reign of Cambyses is distinctly implied, if not actually asserted, by Herodotus. She saw without any displeasure the re-establishment in her neighbourhood of a nation with which her intercourse had always been friendly, and sometimes close and cordial. Tyre and Sidon vied with each other in their readiness to supply the returned exiles with the timber which they needed for the rebuilding of their temple and city; and once more, as in the days of Solomon, the Jewish axes were heard amid the groves of Lebanon, and the magnificent cedars of that favoured region were cut down, conveyed to the coast, and made into floats or rafts, which Phoenician mariners transported by sea to Joppa, the nearest seaport to Jerusalem. In return, the Jews willingly rendered to the Phoenicians such an amount of corn, wine, and oil as was equivalent in value to the timber received from them, and thus the relations between the two peoples were replaced on a footing which recalled the time of their closest friendship, nearly five hundred years previously.

On the death of Cyrus, and the accession of his son Cambyses, B.C. 529, the tranquillity which South-western Asia had enjoyed since the time of the wars of Nebuchadnezzar came to an end. Cyrus had, it is said, designed an expedition against Egypt, as necessary to round off his conquests, and Cambyses naturally inherited his father's projects. He had no sooner mounted the throne than he commenced preparations for an attack upon the ancient kingdom of the Pharaohs, which, under the dynasty of the Psamatiks, had risen to something of its early greatness, and had been especially wealthy and prosperous under the usurper Amasis. It was impossible to allow an independent and rival monarchy so close upon his borders, and equally impossible to shrink from an enterprise which had been carried to a successful issue both by Assyria and by Babylon. Persian prestige required the subjugation and absorption of a country which, though belonging geographically to Africa, was politically and commercially an integral part of that Western Asia over which Persia claimed a complete and absolute supremacy.

The march upon Egypt implied and required the occupation of the Mediterranean seaboard. No armies of any considerable size have ever attempted to traverse the almost waterless desert which separates the Lower Euphrates valley from the delta of the Nile. Light corps d'armée have no doubt occasionally passed from Circesium by way of Tadmor to Damascus, and vice versa; but the ordinary line of route pursued by conquerors follows the course of the Euphrates to Carchemish, then strikes across the chalky upland in the middle of which stands the city of Aleppo, and finally descends upon Egypt by way of the Orontes, the Coele-Syrian valley, and the plains of Sharon and Philistia.

This was undoubtedly the line followed by Cambyses, and it necessarily brought him into contact with the Phoenicians. The contact was not an hostile one. It would have been madness on the part of the Phoenicians to have attempted any resistance to the vast host with which Cambyses, we may be sure, made his invasion, and it would have been folly on the part of Cambyses to employ force when he could better obtain his object by persuasion. It must have been a very special object with him to obtain the hearty co-operation of the Phoenician naval forces in the attack which he was meditating, since he would otherwise have had no fleet at all capable of coping with the fleet of Egypt.

Neco had made Egypt a strong naval power; Apries had contented for naval supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean with Tyre; Amasis had made an expedition by sea against Cyprus, had crushed whatever resistance the Cyprians were able to offer, had permanently occupied the island, and added the Cyprian fleet to his own. Cambyses had as yet no ships, except such as he could procure from the Greek cities of Asia Minor, which were not likely to be very zealous in his service, since they had friends engaged upon the other side. Accordingly, the Persian monarch seems to have made friendly overtures to the Phoenician states, which were received with favour, and led to an arrangement satisfactory to both parties. Phoenicia surrendered the independence which it was impossible for her to maintain, and placed her fleet at the disposal of Persia. Persia spared her cities any occupation, imposed on her a light tribute, and allowed her that qualified independence which is implied in the retention of her native princes. From first to last under the Persian régime, Phoenician monarchs bear rule in the Phoenician cities, and command the contingents which the cities furnish to any combined Persian fleet.

The friendly arrangement concluded between Phoenicia and Persia was followed, very naturally, by a further accession to the Persian power. Cyprus, whose population was in great part Phoenician, had for centuries been connected politically in the closest manner with the Phoenician towns on the Asiatic mainland, especially with Tyre and Sidon. Her enslavement by Amasis must have been hateful to her, and she must have been only too glad to see an opportunity of shaking off the Egyptian yoke. Accordingly, no sooner did the Phoenicians of the mainland conclude the arrangement by which they became part and parcel of the Persian Empire than the Cyprians followed their example, and, revolting from Egypt, offered themselves of their own free will to Persia. Cambyses, it is needless to say, readily accepted them as his subjects.

The invasion of Egypt could now be taken in hand with every prospect of a successful issue. The march of the land army along the shore would be supported by a parallel movement on the part of a powerful fleet, which would carry its provisions and its water, explore the country in front, and give notice of the movements of the enemy, and of the place where they proposed to make a stand in force. When Egypt was reached the fleet would command all the navigable mouths of the Nile, would easily establish a blockade of all ports, and might even mount the Nile and take a part in the siege of Memphis. It would seem that all these services were rendered to the Persian monarch by the great fleet which he had collected, of which the Phoenician ships were recognised as the main strength. The rapid conquest of Egypt was in this way much facilitated, and Cambyses within a twelvemonth found himself in possession of the entire country within its recognised limits of the Mediterranean and "the tower of Syené."

But the Great King was not satisfied with a single, albeit a magnificent, achievement. He had accomplished in one short campaign what it took the Assyrians ten years, and Nebuchadnezzar eighteen years, to effect. But he now set his heart on further conquests. "He designed," says Herodotus, "three great expeditions. One was to be against the Carthaginians, another against the Ammonians, and a third against the long-lived Ethopians, who dwelt in that part of Lybia which borders upon the southern sea." The expedition against the Carthaginians is the only one of the three which here concerns us: it was to be entrusted to the fleet. Instead of conducting, or sending, a land force along the seaboard of North Africa, which was probably known to be for the most part barren and waterless, Cambyses judged that it would be sufficient to dispatch his powerful navy against the Liby-Phoenician colony, which he supposed would submit or else be subjugated.

But on broaching this plan to the leaders of the fleet he was met with a determined opposition. The Phoenicians positively refused to proceed against their own colonists. They urged that they were bound to the Carthaginians by most solemn oaths, and that it would be as wicked and unnatural for them to execute the king's orders as for parents to destroy their own children. It was a bold act to run counter to the will of a despotic monarch, especially of one so headstrong and impetuous as Cambyses. But the Phoenicians were firm, and the monarch yielded. "He did not like," Herodotus says, "to force the war upon the Phoenicians, because they had surrendered themselves to the Persians, and because on the Phoenicians his entire sea-service depended." He therefore allowed their opposition to prevail, and desisted from his proposed undertaking.

This acquiescence in their wishes on the part of the Great King, and his abstinence from any attempt at compulsion, would seem to have paved the way for that thoroughly good understanding between the suzerain power and her dependency which characterises the relations of the two for the next century and a half, with the single exception of one short interval. "The navy of Phoenicia became a regular and very important part of the public power" of the Persian state. Complete confidence was felt by their Persian masters in the fidelity, attachment, and hearty good-will of the Phoenician people. Exceptional favour was shown them. Not only were they allowed to maintain their native kings, their municipal administration, their national laws and religion, but they were granted exceptional honours and exceptional privileges and immunities.

The Great King maintained a park and royal residence in some portion of Phoenicia, probably in the vicinity of Sidon, and no doubt allowed his faithful subjects to bask occasionally in the sunshine of his presence. When the internal organisation of the empire was taken in hand, and something approaching to a uniform system of government established for revenue purposes, though Phoenicia could not be excused from contributing to the taxation of the empire, yet the burden laid upon her seems to have been exceptionally light. United in a satrapy—the fifth—with Syria, Cyprus, and Palestine, and taxed according to her population rather than according to her wealth, she paid a share—probably not more than a third or a fourth—of 350 talents, or an annual contribution to the needs of the empire amounting to no less than 30,000l. Persia, moreover, encouraged Phoenicia to establish an internal organisation of her own, and, under her suzerainty, Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus were united by federal bonds, and had a common council, which met at Tripolis, probably of three hundred members. This council debated matters in which Phoenicia generally was interested, and, in times of disturbance, decided questions of peace and war.

The reign of Darius Hystaspis (B.C. 521-486), the successor of Cambyses upon the Persian throne, introduced several changes into the Persian governmental system which were of advantage to the Phoenicians. Darius united the most distant parts of his empire by postal routes, along which at moderate intervals were maintained post-houses, with relays of horses, primarily for the use of the government, but at the service of the traveller or private trader when not needed for business of state. Phoenician commerce must have been much helped by these arrangements, which facilitated rapid communication, gave security to lines of route which had been previously infested with robbers, and provided resting-places for the companies of merchants and traders, not unlike the caravanserai of modern Turkey and Persia.

Darius also established throughout his vast empire a uniform coinage, based apparently on that which had previously prevailed in Lydia. His "darics," as they were called by the Greeks, were, in the first instance, gold coins of a rude type, a little heavier than our sovereigns, weighing between 123 and 124 grains troy. They bore the figure of an archer on the obverse, and on the reverse a very rough and primitive quadratum incusum. Darius must have coined them in vast abundance, since early in the reign of his successor a single individual of no great eminence had accumulated as many as 3,993,000 of them. Subsequently to the introduction of the gold darics, a silver coinage was issued, originally (we are told) in Egypt by a Persian satrap called Aryandes, but afterwards by the central government. The name of "daric" was extended to these coins also, which, however, were much larger and heavier than the gold coins, weighing as much as 235 grains, and corresponding to the Greek tetradrachm, and (nearly) to the Hebrew shekel. The establishment of this excellent circulating medium, and the wide extension which it almost immediately attained, must have given an enormous stimulus to trade, and have been found of the greatest convenience by the Phoenician merchants, who had no longer to carry with them the precious metal in bars or ingots, and to weigh their gold and silver in the balance in connection with every purchase that they made, but could effect both sales and purchases in the simple and commodious manner still in use among all civilised nations at the present day.

Under these circumstances we can well understand that the Phoenicians were thoroughly satisfied with the position which they occupied under the earlier Persian kings, and strove zealously to maintain and extend the empire to which they owed so much. Their fidelity was put to a crucial test after they had been subjects of Darius Hystaspis for a little more than twenty years, and had had about fourteen or fifteen years' experience of the advantages of his governmental system. Aristagoras of Miletus, finding himself in a position of difficulty, had lighted up the flames of war in Asia Minor, and brought about a general revolt of the Greeks in those parts against the Persian power—a revolt which spread on from the Greeks to the native Asiatics, and in a short time embraced, not only Ionia and Aeolis, but Caria, Caunus, and almost the whole of Cyprus.

The bulk of the Cyprian cities were Phoenician colonies, and the political connection between these cities and Phoenicia was so close and of such ancient date that the Phoenicians can scarcely have failed to be moved by their example and by their danger. A wave of sympathy might have been expected to sweep across the excitable people, and it would not have been surprising had they rushed headlong into rebellion with the same impetuosity as their Cyprian brethren. Had they done so the danger to Persia would have been very great, and the course of the world's history might perhaps have been differently shaped. The junction of the Phoenician fleet with the navies of Cyprus, Ionia, Caria, and Aeolis would have transferred the complete sovereignty of the Eastern Mediterranean to the side of the rebels. The contagion of revolt would probably have spread. Lycia and Cilicia, always eager for independence, would probably have joined the malcontents; Pamphylia, which lay between them, would have followed their example; the entire seaboard of Asia Minor and Syria would have been lost; Egypt would, most likely, have seen in the crisis her opportunity, and have avenged the cruelties and insults of Cambyses by the massacre of her Persian garrison. Persia's prosperity would have received a sudden check, from which it might never have recovered; Greece would have escaped the ordeal of the invasion of Xerxes; and the character of the struggle between Europe and Asia would have been completely altered.

But the view which the Phoenicians took of their duties, or of their interests, led them to act differently. When the Persians, anxious to recover Cyprus, applied to the Phoenician cities for a naval force, to transport their army from Cilica to the island, and otherwise help them in the war, their request was at once complied with. Ships were sent to the Cilician coast without any delay; the Persian land force was conveyed in safety across the strait and landed on the opposite shore; the ships then rounded Cape St. Andreas and anchored in the bay opposite Salamis, where the Ionian fleet was drawn up in defence of the town. An engagement followed—the first, so far as we know, between Phoenicians and Greeks—wholly to the advantage of the latter. No complaint, however, is made of any lukewarmness, or want of zeal, on the part of the Phoenicians, who seem to have been beaten in fair fight by an enemy whom they had perhaps despised. Their ill fortune did not lead to any very serious result, since the Persian land force defeated the Cyprians, and thus Persia once more obtained possession of the island.

A year or two later the Phoenicians recovered their lost laurels. In B.C. 495 the Persians, having trampled out the flames of revolt in Cyprus, Caria, and Caunus, resolved on a great effort to bring the war to a close by attacking the Ionian Greeks in their own country, and crushing the head and front of the rebellion, which was the great and flourishing city of Miletus. Miletus lay on the southern shore of a deep bay—the Sinus Latmicus—which penetrated the western coast of Asia Minor in about Lat. 37.30', but which the deposits of the Maeander have now filled up. North-west of the town, at the distance of about a mile, was the small island of Ladé, now a mere hillock on the flat alluvial plain. While the Persian land force advanced along the shore, and invested Milestus on the side towards the continent, a combined fleet of six hundred vessels proceeded to block the entrance to the bay, and to threaten the doomed city from the sea. This fleet was drawn from four only of the countries subject to Persia—viz. Phoenicia, Cilicia, Cyprus, and Egypt—whereof Phoenicia, we are told, "showed the greatest zeal," and we may presume furnished by far the larger number of ships. On their arrival in Milesian waters the captains found a strong naval force collected to meet them, which rested upon the island of Ladé, and guarded the approaches to the town. Miletus had summoned to her aid the contingents of her various allies—Chios, Lesbos, Samos, Teos, Priene, Erythrae, Phocaea, Myus—and had succeeded in gathering together a fleet amounting to above three hundred and fifty vessels.

This time Phoenicia did not despise her foe. Before engaging, every effort was made to sow discord and dissension among the confederates, and induce the Greek captains to withdraw their squadrons, or at any rate to remain neutral in the battle. Considerable effect was produced by these machinations; and when at last the attack was made, two of the principal of the Greek allies drew off, and sailed homewards, leaving the rest of the confederates to their fate. Yet, notwithstanding this defection, the battle was stoutly contested by the ships which remained, especially those of the Chians, and though a very decisive and complete victory was ultimately gained by the Phoenicians and their allies, the cost of the victory was great. Persia regained her naval supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean; Phoenicia re-established her claim to be considered the great sea power of the time; but she lost a large number of her best vessels and seamen, and she was taught the lesson that, to cope with Greeks, she must have a vast superiority of force upon her side—a superiority of not much less than three to one.

Miletus soon fell after the victory of Ladé, and the Phoenician fleet was then employed for some time in chastising the islanders who had taken part in the revolt, and in reducing various towns upon the European shores of the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Bosphorus, including Perinthus, Selymbria, and Byzantium. Miltiades, the destined hero of Marathon, narrowly escaped capture at the hands of the Phoenicians at this time, as he fled from his government in the Thracian Chersonese to Athens. The vessel which bore him just escaped into the harbour of Imbrus; but his son, Metiochus, who was on board a worse sailer, was less fortunate. The Phoenicians captured him, and, learning who he was, conveyed him to Darius at Susa, where he was well treated and became a naturalised Persian.

After the Ionian revolt had been completely put down and avenged, the states subject to Persia, and the Phoenicians among them, enjoyed a brief period of repose. But soon the restless spirit which possessed all the earlier Persian monarchs incited Darius to carry his warlike enterprises into "fresh fields and pastures new." From the eastern coast of the Aegean Sea he looked out towards a land possessing every attraction that soil or clime could offer, fertile, rich in minerals, and with many excellent harbours, well watered, abounding in corn and wine and oil, in wooded hillsides, and in productive plains. According to Herodotus, he had already explored the strength and weakness of the region by means of a commission of Persian nobles, who had surveyed all the shores of Greece from the decks of Phoenician ships. The result was that he coveted the possession of the land thus made known to him, and came to a fixed resolution that he would add it to his territories.

There were two modes by which Greece might be approached from Asia. Bridges of boats could be thrown across the Bosphorus or the Hellespont, mere salt rivers, scarcely more formidable than the streams of the Euphrates and the Tigris. In this way Europe could be invaded in force, and the army sent across the straits, could pursue its way along the shore till it reached the rich plains of Thessaly, and from Thessaly passed into Boetia, Attica, and the Peloponnese. Or a fleet, with a land force on board, might proceed from Asia Minor across the Aegean, where the numerous islands, scattered at short intervals, seemed to have been arranged by nature as stepping-stones, whereby the adventurous denizens of either continent might cross easily into the other; and a landing might be suddenly effected near the very heart of Greece without a tenth part of the trouble that must be taken if the other line of route were pursued. In either case the attendance of a fleet would be necessary. If the more circuitous route were pursued, a powerful squadron must attend the march of the army along the shore, to convey its supplies; if the direct route were preferred, a still larger fleet would be necessary for the conveyance, not only of the supplies, but of the army itself.

Darius gave a trial to each of the two plans. In the year B.C. 492 he sent a fleet and army under Mardonius by way of the Hellespont and the European coast; but this expedition met with severe disasters, the fleet being shattered by a storm off Mount Athos, and the land force greatly damaged by a night attack on the part of the Thracians. Two years later he dispatched the famous expedition under Datis and Artaphernes, which took its course through the islands, and landed perhaps 200,000 men on the plain of Marathon, but being there defeated by Miltiades, returned hastily to Asia by the sea route. The fleets employed on both these occasions were numerous, and appear to have been collected from several of the Persian maritime states; the proportion which the several contingents bore one to another is not stated, but there can be little doubt that the Phoenicians contributed the greater number. We have no details of the conduct of the Phoenicians on either occasion, beyond a casual notice that in the expedition of Datis and Artaphernes one of their vessels plundered the temple of Delium on the Boeotian coast opposite Chalcis, carrying off from it an image of Apollo plated with gold. The superstition of Datis deprived them of this valuable booty; but we may safely conclude from the anecdote that, while rendering service to Persia, the keen-witted mariners took care not to neglect their own material interests.

In the third and greatest of the expeditions conducted by Persia against Greece, the Phoenicians are found to have played a very important and prominent part. Even before the expedition commenced, a call was made upon them in connection with it for services of an unusual character. The loss of the fleet of Mardonius off Mount Athos induced Xerxes to determine on cutting a ship-canal through the isthmus which joins Athos to the mainland; and his passion for great and striking achievements caused him to project the construction of a double bridge of boats across the Hellespont. Phoenician technical skill was invoked for the furtherance of both objects. At Athos they worked in conjunction with the maritime states generally, but showed an amount of engineering knowledge far in advance of their fellow-labourers. The others attempted to give perpendicular sides to their portions of the excavation, but found the sides continually fall in, and so (as Herodotus observes) "had double labour." The Phoenicians alone knew that the sides must be sloped at an angle, and, calculating the proper slope aright, performed their share of the task without mishap.

At the Hellespont the Phoenicians had for co-partners the Egyptians only, and the two nations appear to have displayed an equal ability. Cables were passed from shore to shore, made taut by capstans and supported by an almost continuous line of boats; planks were then laid upon the cables, and covered with brushwood, while a thick layer of earth was placed upon the top. A solid causeway was thus formed, which was guarded on either side by bulwarks of such a height that the horses which crossed the bridge could not see over them; and thus the cavalry and the sumpter beasts passed from one continent to the other without a suspicion that they had ever had anything but terra firma under them. The structure served its purpose, but was not found strong enough to defy even for a year the forces of the winds and waves. Before the return of Xerxes, towards the close of B.C. 480, the autumnal gales had broken it up; and the army which accompanied him had to re-cross the strait in a number of separate ships.

The fleet which Xerxes collected to accompany his land army and take part in his great expedition amounted, it is said, to a total of 1207 vessels. Of these the Phoenician triremes were at once the most numerous and the best. While Egypt furnished 200 ships, Cyprus 150, Cilicia, Ionia, and the Hellespontine Greeks 100 each, and the other maritime nations, all together, 257, Phoenicia singly contributed no fewer than 300. The superiority of the Phoenician vessels was sufficiently shown, first by the regatta at Abydos, which was won by a Sidonian trireme; next, by the preference of Xerxes for Phoenician over other vessels; and, thirdly, by the position assigned them at Salamis, where care was taken to pit them against the Athenians, who were recognised as superior at sea to all the other Greeks. If the Phoenician prowess and naval skill did not succeed in averting defeat from the Persians, we must ascribe it first to the narrowness of the seas in which they had to engage the enemy; and, secondly, to the still greater prowess and skill of their principal antagonists, the Athenians, the Eginetans, and the Corinthians.

In the naval combats at Artemisium, the Egyptians, according to Herodotus, were considered to have borne off the palm on the Persian side; but Diodorus assigns that honour to the Sidonians. At Salamis the brunt of the conflict fell on the Phoenician contingent, which began the battle, and for some time forced the Athenian squadron to beat a retreat, but was ultimately overpowered and forced to take to flight, after suffering great losses. A large number of the ships were sunk; several were taken by the Greeks; comparatively few escaped from the battle without serious injury. Xerxes, however, who from his silver-footed throne on Mount Aegaleos surveyed the scene, but, amid the general turmoil and confusion, could ill distinguish the conduct of the several contingents, enraged at the loss of the battle, and regarding the Phoenicians as answerable for the unhappy result, since they formed the nucleus and chief strength of the fleet, laid the whole blame of the failure upon them, and, on some of the captains appearing before him to excuse themselves, had them beheaded upon the spot. At the same time he also threatened the other Phoenician commanders with his vengeance, and so alarmed them that, according to Diodorus, they quitted the fleet and sailed away to Asia.

This harsh and unjust treatment seems to have led to an estrangement between the Persians and the foremost of the naval nations subject to them, which lasted for fifteen years. The Persians naturally distrusted those whom they had injured, and were unwilling to call them in to their aid. The Phoenicians probably brooded over their wrongs, and abstained from volunteering an assistance which they were not asked to furnish. The war between Persia and Greece continued, and was transferred from Europe to Asia, but no Phoenicians are mentioned as taking part in it. The Phoenician ships retired from Samos on the approach of the Greek fleet under Leotychides. No Phoenicians fought at Mycale. None are heard of as engaged at Sestos, or Byzantium, or Eion, or Doriscus, or even Phaselis. It was not until—in B.C. 465—the war passed from the Aegean to the southern coast of Asia Minor, and their dependency, Cyprus, was threatened, that the Phoenicians again appeared upon the scene, and mustered in strength to the support of their Persian suzerain.

The Persian fleet which fought at the Eurymedon is said to have consisted of three hundred and forty vessels, drawn from the three subject nations of the Phoenicians, the Cyprians, and the Cilicians. It was under the command of Tithraustes, a son of Xerxes. Cimon, who led the fleet of the Athenians and their allies, attacked it with a force of 250 triremes, of which Athens had furnished the greater number. The battle was contested with extreme obstinacy on both sides; but at length the Athenians prevailed, and besides destroying a large number of the enemy's vessels, took as many as a hundred with their crews on board. At the same time a land victory was gained over the Persian troops. The double exploit was regarded as one of the most glorious in the annals of Greece, and was commemorated at Delos by a tablet with the following inscription:—

Since first the sea Europe from Asia severed,

And Mars to rage 'mid humankind began,

Never was such a blow as this delivered

On land and sea at once by mortal man.

These heroes did to death a host of Medes

Near Cyprus, and then captured with their crews

Five score Phoenician vessels; at the news

All Asia groaned, hard hit by such brave deeds.

It is scarcely necessary to follow further in detail the services which Phoenicia rendered to Persia as her submissive and attached ally. For the space of about seventy-five years from the date of the engagement at the Eurymedon (B.C. 465-390), the Phoenicians continued to hold the first place among the Persian naval states, and to render their mistress effective help in all her naval enterprises. They protected Cyprus and Egypt from the Athenian attacks, bore their part in the war with Amyrtaeus and Inaros, and more than once inflicted severe blows upon the Athenian navy. It was his command of a Phoenician fleet amounting to nearly a hundred and fifty triremes which enabled Tissaphernes to play so influential a part in Asia Minor during the later years of the Peloponnesian war. It was the presence of their ships at Cnidus which, in B.C. 394, turned the scale between Athens and Sparta, enabling the Athenians to recover the naval supremacy which they had lost at Aegos-Potami. It was the appearance of a Phoenician fleet in Greek waters which, in the following year, gave an opportunity to the Athenians to rebuild their "Long Walls," alarmed Sparta for her own safety, and extorted from her fears—in B.C. 387—the agreement known as "the Peace of Antalcidas." Persia owed to her Phoenician subjects the glory of recovering complete possession of Asia Minor, and of being accepted as a sort of final arbiter in the quarrels of the Grecian states. From B.C. 465 to B.C. 392 Phoenicia served Persia with rare fidelity, never hesitating to lend her aid, and never showing the least inclination to revolt.

It was probably under these circumstances, when Athens owed the recovery of her greatness in no small measure to the Phoenicians, that those relations of friendship and intimacy were established between the two peoples of which we have evidence in several inscriptions. Phoenicians settled in Attica, particularly at Phalerum and the Piraeus, and had their own places of worship and interment. Six sepulchral inscriptions have been found, either in Athens itself or at the Piraeus, five of them bilingual, which mark the interment in Attic soil of persons whose nationality was Phoenician. They had monuments erected over them, generally of some pretension, which must have obtained as much respect as the native tombstones, since otherwise they could not have endured to our day. There is also at the Piraeus an altar, which a Phoenician must have erected and dedicated to a Phoenician god, whom he worshipped on Attic soil apparently without let or hindrance. The god's name is given as "Askum-Adar," a form which does not elsewhere recur, but which is thought to designate the god elsewhere called Sakon, who corresponded to the Grecian Hermes.

Moreover, there is evidence of the Phoenicians having worshipped two other deities in their Attic abodes, one a god who corresponded to the Greek Poseidon and the Roman Neptune, the other the Babylonian and Assyrian Nergal. Among the lost orations of Deniarchus was one delivered by that orator on the occasion of the suit between the people of Phalerum and the Phoenician inhabitants of the place with respect to the priesthood of Poseidon; and a sepulchral monument at the Piraeus was erected to Asepta, daughter of Esmun-sillem, of Sidon, by Itten-bel, son of Esmun-sibbeh, high priest of the god Nergal. It appears further from the Greek inscription, edited by Bockh, that about this time (B.C. 390-370) a decree was promulgated by the Council {bonle} of Athens whereby the relation of Proxenia was established between Strato (Abd-astartus), king of Sidon, and the Athenian people, and all Sidonians sojourning in Attica were exempted from the tax usually charged upon foreign settlers, from the obligation of the Choregia, and from all other contributions to the state.

The power of Persia began about this time to decline, and the Phoenicians seem to have wavered in their allegiance. In B.C. 406 or 405 Egypt shook off the Persian yoke, and established her independence under a native sovereign. Soon afterwards, probably in B.C. 392 or 391, Evagoras, a Cypriot Greek, who claimed descent from Teucer, inaugurated a revolution at Salamis in Cyprus, where he slew the Phoenician monarch, Abdemon, who held his throne under Persia, and, himself mounting the throne, proceeded to reduce to subjection the whole island. Vast efforts were made to crush him, but for ten years he defied the power of Persia, and maintained himself as an independent monarch. Even when finally he made his submission, it was under an express stipulation that he should retain his royal dignity, and be simply bound to pay his tribute regularly, and to render such obedience as subject kings commonly paid to their suzerain.

In the course of his resistance to Persia, it is beyond question that Evagoras received a certain amount of support from Phoenicia; but the circumstances under which the support was given was doubtful. According to Isocrates, he equipped a large fleet, and attacked the Phoenicians on the mainland with so much vigour as even to take the great city of Tyre by assault; but Diodorus says nothing of the attack, and it is conjectured that the contagion of revolt, which certainly affected, more or less, Cyprus, Cilicia, Caria, and some of the Syrian Arabs, spread also thus early to Phoenicia, and that "the surrender of Tyre was a voluntary defection." In that case, we must view Phoenicia, or at any rate a portion of it, as having detached itself from Persia, about B.C. 390, sixty years before the final break-up of the Empire.

But the disaffection of Phoenicia does not become open and patent until about thirty years later. The decline of Persia had continued. In B.C. 375 an attempt to recover Egypt, for which a vast armament had been collected under Pharnabazus and Iphicrates, completely failed. Nine years afterwards, in B.C. 366, the revolt of the satraps began. First Ariobarzanes, satrap of Phrygia, renounced his allegiance, and defended himself with success against Autophradutes, satrap of Lydia, and Mausolus, native king of Caria under Persia. Then Aspis, who held a part of Cappadocia, revolted and maintained himself by the help of the Pisidians, until he was overpowered by Datames. Next Datames himself, satrap of the rest of Cappadocia, understanding that the mind of the Persian king was poisoned against him, made a treaty with Ariobarzanes, and assumed an independent attitude in his own province. Finally, in B.C. 362, there seems to have been something like a general revolt of the western provinces, in which the satraps of Mysia, Phrygia, and Lydia, Mausolus prince of Caria, and the peoples of Lycia, Pisidia, Pamphylia, Cilicia, and Syria participated. Then, if not earlier, Phoenicia openly threw in her lot with the disaffected; refused her tribute like the others, and joined her forces with theirs. Nor, when the rebellion collapsed, did she at once return to her allegiance. When Tachos, native king of Egypt, in B.C. 361, having secured the services of Agesilaus and Chabrias, advanced boldly into Syria, with the object of enlarging his own dominions at the expense of Persia, he was received with favour by the Phoenicians, who were quite willing to form a portion of his empire. But the rebellion of Nectanebo forced Tachos to relinquish his projects, and the dominion over the Phoenician cities seems to have reverted to Persia without any effort on her part.

In this condition matters remained till about the year B.C. 351, when Sidon, feeling herself aggrieved by the conduct of the Persian authorities at Tripolis, where the general assembly of the Phoenicians held its meetings, boldly raised the standard of revolt against Persia under Tennes, or Tabnit II., and induced the Phoenicians generally to declare themselves independent. Alliance was at once formed with the Egyptian king, Nekht-nebf, or Nectanebo II., who sent a body of 4,000 Greek mercenaries, under Mentor the Rhodian, to the aid of Tennes. Hostilities commenced by the Phoenicians expelling or massacring the Persian garrisons, devastating the royal park or paradise, and burning the stores of forage collected for the use of the Persian cavalry. An attempt made by two satraps—Belesys of Syria and Mazaeus of Cilicia—to crush the revolt was completely defeated by Tennes, with the aid of Mentor and his Greeks, who gained a decisive victory over the satraps, and drove the Persians out of Phoenicia. Cyprus then joined the rebels. The nine principal cities made common cause, expelled the Persians, and declared themselves free states, under their respective native kings. Ochus, the Persian king, was at last roused to exert himself. Collecting an army of 300,000 foot and 30,000 horse, supported by 300 triremes and 500 transports or provision-ships, he proceeded to the west in person, determined to inflict condign punishment on the rebels, and to recover to the empire, not only Cyprus and Phoenicia, but also the long-lost Egypt.

Tennes, on his part, had done his best in the way of preparations for defence. He had collected a fleet of above a hundred ships—triremes and quinqueremes, the latter now heard of for the first time in Asiatic warfare. He had strengthened the fortifications of Sidon, surrounding the town with a triple ditch of great width and depth, and considerably raising the height of the walls. He had hired Greek mercenaries to the number of six thousand, raising thus the number in his service to ten thousand in all, had armed and drilled the most active and athletic of the citizens, and had collected vast stores of provisions, armour, and weapons. But the advance of the Persian monarch at the head of so large a force filled Tennes with dismay and despair. Successful resistance was, he thought, impossible; and with a selfishness and a cowardice that must ever make him rank among the most infamous of men, he resolved, if possible, to purchase his own pardon of the King by delivering to his vengeance the entire body of his fellow-countrymen. Accordingly, after handing over to him a hundred of the principal citizens, who were immediately transfixed with javelins, he concerted measures with Mentor for receiving the Persians within the walls.

While the arrangements were proceeding, five hundred of the remaining citizens issued forth from one of the gates of the town, with boughs of supplication, as a deputation to implore the mercy of Ochus, but only to suffer the same fate as their fellow-townsmen. The Persians were then received within the walls; but the citizens, understanding what their fate was to be, resolved to anticipate it. They had already burnt their ships, to prevent any desertion. Now they shut themselves up, with their wives and children, in their houses, and applying the torch to their dwellings lighted up a general conflagration. More than forty thousand persons perished in the flames. Ochus sold the ruins at a high price to speculators, who calculated on reimbursing themselves by the treasures which they might dig out from among the ashes. As for Tennes, it is satisfactory to find that a just vengeance overtook him. The treachery which he had employed towards others was shown also to himself. Ochus, who had given him a solemn promise that he would spare his life, no sooner found that there was nothing more to be gained by letting him live, than he relentlessly put him to death.

No further resistance was made by the Phoenician cities. Ochus marched on against Egypt and effected its reconquest. The Cyprian revolt was put down by the Prince of Caria, Istricus. A calm, prelude to the coming storm, settled down upon Persia; and Phoenicia participated in the general tranquillity. The various communities, exhausted by their recent efforts, and disappointed with the result, laid aside their political aspirations, and fell back upon their commercial instincts. Trade once more flourished. Sidon rose again from her ashes, and recovered a certain amount of prosperity. She held the coast from Leontopolis to Ornithonpolis, and possessed also the dependency of Dor; but she had lost Sarepta to Tyre, which stepped into the foremost place among the cities on her fall, and retained it until destroyed by Alexander. The other towns which still continued to be of some importance were Aradus, and Gebal or Byblus. These cities, like Tyre and Sidon, retained their native kings, who ruled their several states with little interference from the Persians. The line of monarchs may be traced at Sidon for five generations, from the first Esmunazar, who probably reigned about B.C. 460-440, through three generations and four kings, to the second Strato, the contemporary of Alexander. The first Esmunazar was succeeded by his son, Tabnit, about B.C. 440. Tabnit married his sister, Am-Ashtoreth, priestess of Ashtoreth, and had issue, two sons, Esmunazar II., whose tomb was found near Sidon by M. de Vogué in the year 1855, and Strato I. Esmunazar II. is thought to have died about B.C. 400, and to have been succeeded by his brother Strato, the Proxenus of Athens, who reigned till B.C. 361. On Strato's death, his son, the second Tabnit—known to the Greeks as Tennes—mounted the throne, and reigned till B.C. 345, when he was put to death by Ochus. A second Strato, the son of Tennes, then became king, and retained his sovereignty till after the battle of Issus (B.C. 333).