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By Philip K. Hitti (auth.)

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All this took place despite the fact that Lebanon had no Greek cities but only immigrants, comprising war veterans, traders, artists and scholars sprinkled in its cities. It should, however, be remembered that as Semites were being Grecized, Greeks were being Semitized. The Orientalization of the Hellenic world was no less effective than the Hellenization of the Orient. Seleucid kings adopted additional Semitic names. Gods were amalgamated. Baal became Zeus. Melkarth, as noted above, was identified with Herakles.

Sensing that Egypt was then experiencing a rejuvenation, the Tyrian ruler established new relations with the Pharaoh and successfully defended his city against a besieging Assyrian army. The siege, which began two years before the accession of Elu-eli and ended in 722, could not have been even undertaken without the co-operation of the fleets of pro-Assyrian Phoenician states. Tyre emerged victorious and imposed its authority over neighbouring states. In 701 Elu-eli planned another anti-Assyrian uprising which this time included Ascalon and Ekron.

Its monarch Eshmun Azar (ca. 280) extended his sway as far south as Joppa (Jaffa). His Egyptian-styled anthropoid sarcophagus (now in the Louvre) E 53 A Short History of Lebanon was found in Sidon with many other similar sarcophagi, now on display in the National Museum, Beirut. For over a century after that (198-82) Lebanon formed a part of the Seleucid kingdom. Under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164), whose ruling ambition was the continuation of the welding process of his multinational domain into a unit, Lebanese cities started holding periodic festivals in the Greek style and combining the offering of sacrifices with pageantry and gymnastic contests.

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