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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Location of Tyre
Map of Lebanon in Middle East Countries

Tyre is a city in the Southern Lebanon.

Variants of name


The name of the city means "rock" [1] after the rocky formation on which the town was originally built. The adjective for Tyre is Tyrian, and the inhabitants are Tyrians.


Tyre originally consisted of two distinct urban centers, Tyre itself, which was on an island just off shore, and the associated settlement of Ushu on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland coast by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city,[2] demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone.[3]


Tyre was founded around 2750 BC according to Herodotus and its name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. Philo of Byblos (in Eusebius) quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon's work is said to be dedicated to "Abibalus king of Berytus"—possibly the Abibaal who was king of Tyre.[13]

There are ten Amarna letters dated 1350 BC from the mayor, Abimilku, written to Akenaten. The subject is often water, wood, and the Habiru overtaking the countryside, of the mainland, and how it affected the island-city.

A king of Cyprus took Tyre using his fleet in the 370s BC, "a remarkable success about which little is known," according to historian Robin Lane Fox.[Robin Lane Fox, 1973, page 181.]

In 332 BC, the city was conquered by Alexander the Great, after a siege of seven months in which he built the causeway from the mainland to within a hundred meters of the island,[17] where the sea floor sloped abruptly downwards.[18] The presence of the causeway affected local sea currents causing sediment accumulation, which made the land connection permanent to this day and transformed the erstwhile Tyre island into a peninsula.

Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era.

In 315 BC, Alexander's former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later.

In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence (from the Seleucids) and was allowed to keep much of its independence, as a "civitas foederata", when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC.

Herodotus and Jat History

The ancient Jat History would have been drowned in oblivion if there had been no Herodotus who was rightly called the Father of History. This Greek luminary requires more than passing attention. All modern men of letters read his voluminous works. His whole intellectual life was spent in writing about the events of not only his own times, but also of the centuries preceding his time. The correctness of his works has been confirmed by the recent discoveries of the monuments of Babylon and Nineveh excepting one philological mistake which was not intentional and which will be described in detail later on.[4]

This wonderful man was born about 484 BC in a Greek city of Asia Minor, Halicarnassus, which was under the overlordship of the Jat empire of Manda. Here he was able to obtain and read and study manuscripts of nearly everything that had been written in the Greek language before his time. He traveled widely with freedom and comfort about the Greek archipelagos. He went to Babylon and to Susa the new capital the Persians had set up in Babylonia to the east, of the Tigris, the monuments of which are now being unearthed by Dr. Girshmann, Chief of the French Archaeological Mission in Susa. He also toured along the coast of the Black Sea and accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge about Jats called Scythian Getae, who were then distributed over south Russia. He went to the south of Italy, explored the antiquities of Tyre, coastal Palestine, landed at Gaza, and made a long stay in Egypt.[5]

As his knowledge accumulated he conceived the idea of writing a great history of the attempts of Persia to subdue Greece. But in order to introduce that history he composed an account of the past of Greece, Persia, Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Scythia—the original Jat country—and of the geography and peoples of these countries. It is from this wonderful historian that we learn about the most interesting Jat Empire of Manda with its capital at Ecbatana, the modern Hamadan in Persia. The succeeding Persian Empire, the most powerful in antiquity, was only an offshoot of this Jat Empire. [6]

Migration from Sapta-Sindhu

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[7] states: "Mohanjodaro sold its seals at Ur and Kish. The humped bull of tile Guts of the Indus valley was developed as winged sentinel of Assyrian palaces at Nineveh. It is represented as human-headed & bearded emblem of bull-god of prosperity on the columns of Apadan. The Indus bull created the Apis bull of the Egyptians. The Indus metric system standardised the weights and measures of Mesopotamia and further west. The cheque and banking system of the Panis (Phoenicians) of the Sapta Sindhu and their coins struck and minted at Carthage, Sodom and Tyre, after migrations there, became models for the currency and banking in the west. All these are the solid proofs, now universally accepted, of the migrations to and occupations of those countries by Indians in the hoary past (B.S.Upadhayaya, 1973: 2).

Naga worship in Tyre

"In addition to the Tyrian coins and other monuments which in themselves would suffice to prove the prevalence of serpent worship on the seaboard of Syria, we have a direct testimony in a quotation from Sanchoniathon, an author who is supposed to have lived before the Trojan War. This passage is in itself sufficient to throw light on the feelings of the ancients on this subject. It may be worthwhile to quote it fully. Taautus attributed a certain divine nature to dragons and serpents, an opinion which was afterwards adopted both by the phoenicians and Egyptians. He teaches that this genus of animals abounds in force and spirit more than any other reptiles; that there is something fiery in their nature, and though possessing neither feet nor any external members for motion common to other animals, they are yet more rapid in their motion than any other. Not only has it the power of renewing its youth, but in doing so receives an increase of size and strength, so that after having run through a certain term of years it is again absorbed within itself. For these reasons this class of animals was admitted into temples, and used in sacred mysteries. By the Phoenicians they were called the good demon, which was the term also applied by the Egyptians to Cneph. who added to him the head of a hawk to symbolize the vivacity of that bird. [8]

After this, Eusebius or Philo goes on to quote several other authors to the same effect, among others the Magian Zoroasters, who describes the hawk-headed deity as "the chief, the best, and the most learned of the gods;" but from the context it appears that there is here some confusion between the serpent god and the eagle- headed deity of the Assyrians, who is generally supposed to represent Nisroch [9] and whose image so frequently occurs in the sculptures. It scarcely admits of a doubt but that this eagle-headed deity of the Assyrians became the Garuda of the Hindu mytholooy, who before the time when Eusebius wrote, had taken so important a position in the serpent worship of the Hindus, but it is still not clear how the confusion between the two objects, crept into the passage as we now find it. Eusebius certainly understood the quotations as applying to the serpent ................ The coins of Tyre represent in some instances a tree with a serpent coiled round its trunk, and on either hand two rude stone pillars (Petrae Ambrosiae... ?) or an altar with two serpents rising from the angles of its base. Others represent the serpent coiled around a rude stone obelisk, with Tyrian Hercules contending with serpent. Taken in conjunction with the above quotation, these, with others that might be quoted, suffice to show that the serpent was honoured, perhaps worshipped in Tyre from an early period down to the time of Alexander." [10]

Chapter xxviii. capture of Oazira.— advance to the rock of Aornus.

Arrian[11] writes....WHEN the men in Bazira heard this news, despairing of their own affairs, they abandoned the city about the middle of the night, and fled to the rock as the other barbarians were doing. For all the inhabitants deserted the cities and began to flee to the rock which is in their land, and is called Aornusi. For stupendous is this rock in this land, about which the current report is, that it was found impregnable even by Heracles, the son of Zeus. I cannot affirm with confidence either way, whether the Theban, Tyrian, or Egyptian Heracles penetrated into India or not; but I am rather inclined to think that he did not penetrate so far for men are wont to magnify the difficulty of all difficult enterprises to such a degree as to assert that they would have been impracticable even to Heracles. Therefore, I am inclined to think, that in regard to this rock the name of Heracles was mentioned simply to add to the marvellous-ness of the tale. The circuit of the rock is said to be about 200 stades (i.e., about twenty-three miles), and its height where it is lowest, eleven stades (i.e., about a mile and a quarter). There was only one ascent, which was artificial and difficult; on the summit of the rock there was abundance of pure water, a spring issuing from the ground, from which the water flowed; and there was also timber, and sufficient good arable land for 1,ooo men to till. When Alexander heard this, he was seized with a vehement desire to capture this mountain also, especially on account of the legend which was current about Heracles. He then made Ora and Massaga fortresses to keep the land in subjection, and fortified the city of Bazira. Hephaestion and Perdiccas also fortified for him another city, named Orobatis, and leaving a garrison in it marched towards the river Indus. When they reached that river they at once began to carry out Alexander’s instructions in regard to bridging it. Alexander then appointed Nicanor, one of the Companions, viceroy of the land on this side the river Indus; and in the first place leading his army towards that river, he brought over on terms of capitulation the city of Peucelaotis, which was situated not far from it. In this city he placed a garrison of Macedonians, under the command of Philip, and then reduced to subjection some other small towns situated near the same river, being accompanied by Cophaeus and Assagetes, the chieftains of the land. Arriving at the city of Embolima, which was situated near the rock Aornus, he left Craterus there with a part of the army, to gather as much corn as possible into the city, as well as all the other things requisite for a long stay, so that making this their base of operations, the Macedonians might be able by a long siege to wear out the men who were holding the rock, supposing it were not captured at the first assault. He then took the bowmen, the Agrianians, and the brigade of Coenus, and selecting the lightest as well as the best-armed men from the rest of the phalanx, with 200 of the Companion cavalry and zoo horse-bowmen, he advanced to the rock. This day he encamped where it appeared to him convenient; but on the morrow he approached a little nearer to the rock, and encamped again.


  1. Bikai, P., "The Land of Tyre", in Joukowsky, M., The Heritage of Tyre, 1992, chapter 2, p. 13
  2. Presutta, David. The Biblical Cosmos Versus Modern Cosmology. 2007, page 225, referencing: Katzenstein, H.J., The History of Tyre, 1973, p.9
  3. Robin Lane fox, Alexander the Great 1973:181f.
  4. Antiquity of the Jat race - by Ujagar Singh Mahil, Delhi (1954)
  5. Antiquity of the Jat race - by Ujagar Singh Mahil, Delhi (1954)
  6. Antiquity of the Jat race - by Ujagar Singh Mahil, Delhi (1954)
  7. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The identification of the Jats, p.308
  8. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.12
  9. Layard, Nineveh and its remains, abridged edition P-46
  10. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.12
  11. Arrian Anabasis Book/4b

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