II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > B. Kingdoms of Western Asia and Africa, to 323 B.C.E. > 6. Phoenicia, Carthage, and the Phoenician Colonies, c. 1200–322 B.C.E. > c. Phoenicia
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
c. Phoenicia
The Rise of Sidon. Sidon and Byblos were the chief city-states at the beginning of the 12th century. Tyre had been destroyed by the Sea Peoples but was refounded by Sidonians in the 12th century. It was well protected, located on an island off the coast, and became the capital of the Sidonian state, which by 1000 dominated Phoenicia. By this time the population of Phoenicia had reached approximately 200,000.  2
The Dynasty of Abibaal. Under Abibaal (c. 1000), Tyre was transformed into a superb harbor and Abibaal's son Hiram I (969–935) entered into an alliance with David of Israel, which continued in the time of Solomon (See c. 1000–965). Phoenician artisans designed and built the temple of Solomon, and joint Phoenician-Israelite fleets sailed in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Hiram I unified all of Phoenicia from Mount Carmel to Arvad, though vassal dynasties continued to rule at Byblos and Arvad under Sidonian suzerainty. Little is known of Hiram's successors other than their names and dates: Baalmazzar I (935–919), Abd`ashtart (918–910), Ashtart (909–898), and `Astartrom (897–889). The last king of Abibaal's dynasty, Pilles (888) was assassinated by the high priest of Astarte, Ittobaal, who founded a new dynasty.  3
The Dynasty of Ittobaal. Ittobaal (887–856) married his daughter Jezebel to Ahab, the son of Omri of Israel, and may also have linked his house by marriage to Ben Hadad I of Damascus. Baalmazzar II (849–830) paid tribute to Shalmeneser in 842 and was succeeded by Mittin (829–821) and then by Pu`mayton (Pygmalion, 821–774). Pygmalion's sister Elissa or Dido is credited with founding the city of Carthage in 814. Hiram II (774–c. 730) paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III in 738, but his successor Luli (c. 730–701) joined with the Egyptians and Judah in an unsuccessful rebellion against the Assyrians and fled to Cyprus. Sennacherib appointed Ittobaal II as king. The next Assyrian vassal king, ‘Abdmilkot, rebelled against Esarhaddon, who defeated the Phoenicians, razed Sidon to the ground, and built a new city opposite it called Kar-Esarhaddon. ‘Abdmilkot was executed and what was left of Sidon became an Assyrian province.  4
THE ASCENDANCE OF TYRE. The destruction of Sidon left Tyre as the leading city of Phoenicia. Baalu (c. 680) rebelled in the reign of Esarhaddon but soon capitulated: his mainland territories were taken from him, and he paid tribute. After the decline of the Assyrian Empire, the Phoenicians enjoyed a brief period of independence, though they never regained their former position, as Greek colonization had ended their near monopoly of trade in the Mediterranean (See c. 800).  5
Babylonian domination. Nebuchadnezzar (See 626–604) invested Tyre in 587, during the reign of Ittobaal III. The siege lasted 13 years; the city probably surrendered in 573. At first, Tyre was ruled by judges (sufetes) under Babylonian domination, but after a short time the monarchy was restored.  7
Phoenicia under Persian Rule. When Cyrus came to power in Babylon (539) Phoenicia was bloodlessly absorbed into the Persian Empire (See 556–530). It was designated as the fifth satrapy, but vassal kings continued to rule in Sidon, Tyre, Arvad, and Byblos. Phoenician fleets played an important part in Persia's wars against Greece. In c. 350, Tennes led a revolt against the Persians in Sidon, which was crushed by Artaxerxes III with great loss of life. When Alexander invaded Phoenicia, Tyre was the only city to resist under its last king, Azemilkos. The siege lasted from January to August 332. Alexander built an enormous mole across to the island city, which permanently connected it to the mainland. (See The Persian Empire)  8
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.