Sidon (Arabic: صيدا, صيدون, Ṣaydā; French: Saida; Phoenician: 𐤑𐤃𐤍, Ṣdn; Biblical Hebrew: צִידוֹן, Ṣīḏōn; Greek: Σιδών), translated to 'fishery' or 'fishing-town', is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Tyre and 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital, Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the first-born son of Canaan, who was a son of Ham, thereby making Sidon a great grandson of Noah. (Genesis 10:6,15-20)
History[edit | edit source]
Ancient History[edit | edit source]
Sidon (Classical Arabic: صَيْدونْ Saydoon) has been inhabited since very early in prehistory. The archaeological site of Sidon II shows a lithic assemblage dating to the Acheulean, whilst finds at Sidon III include a Heavy Neolithic assemblage suggested to date just prior to the invention of pottery. It was one of the most important Phoenician cities, and it may have been the oldest. From there and other ports a great Mediterranean commercial empire was founded. Homer praised the skill of its craftsmen in producing glass, purple dyes, and its women's skill at the art of embroidery. It was also from here that a colonizing party went to found the city of Tyre. Tyre also grew into a great city, and in subsequent years there was competition between the two, each claiming to be the metropolis ('Mother City') of Phoenicia. Glass manufacturing, Sidon's most important enterprise in the Phoenician era, was conducted on a vast scale, and the production of purple dye was almost as important. The small shell of the Murex trunculus was broken in order to extract the pigment that was so rare it became the mark of royalty.