Place:Sidon, South Lebanon, Lebanon


Alt namesSaidasource: Wikipedia
Saydasource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 94
Saydāsource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 1113
Saïdasource: Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1979); Times Atlas of the World (1985) plate 34
Zidonsource: Wikipedia
Ṣaydāsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Coordinates33.55°N 35.367°E
Located inSouth Lebanon, Lebanon
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Sidon, known locally as Sayda or Saida, is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate, of which it is the capital, on the Mediterranean coast. Tyre to the south and Lebanese capital Beirut to the north are both about away. Sidon has a population of about 80,000 within city limits, while its metropolitan area has more than a quarter-million inhabitants.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

In the years before Christianity, Sidon had many conquerors: Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and finally Romans. Herod the Great visited Sidon. Both Jesus and Saint Paul are said to have visited it, too (see Biblical Sidon below). The city was eventually conquered by the Arabs and then by the Ottoman Turks.


Sidon 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.[1]

Phoenicia in early classical antiquity

Sidon 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 colonising 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.

In AD 1855, the sarcophagus of King Eshmun’azar II was discovered. From a Phoenician inscription on its lid, it appears that he was a "king of the Sidonians," probably in the 5th century BC, and that his mother was a priestess of ‘Ashtart, "the goddess of the Sidonians." In this inscription the gods Eshmun and Ba‘al Sidon 'Lord of Sidon' (who may or may not be the same) are mentioned as chief gods of the Sidonians. ‘Ashtart is entitled ‘Ashtart-Shem-Ba‘al, '‘Ashtart the name of the Lord', a title also found in an Ugaritic text.

Nebuchadnezzar II subjugated the city to be part of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. At the end of the Persian era, in 351 BC, Phoenicia was invaded by Artaxerxes III.

Persian and Hellenistic periods

Like other Phoenician city-states, Sidon suffered from a succession of conquerors, first by the Persian Achamenid empire in the 6th century BC, ending with its occupation by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, and the start of the Hellenistic era of Sidon's history. The Persian influence seems to have been profound, as is observed in the change of the architectural style of the city. Under the successors of Alexander, it enjoyed relative autonomy and organised games and competitions in which the greatest athletes of the region participated. In the Hellenistic-period necropolis of Sidon, important finds such as the Alexander Sarcophagus, the Lycian tomb and the Sarcophagus of the Crying Women were discovered, which are now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul.

Roman period

When Sidon fell under Roman domination, it continued to mint its own silver coins. The Romans also built a theater and other major monuments in the city. In the reign of Elagabalus, a Roman colony was established there. During the Byzantine period, when the great earthquake of AD 551 destroyed most of the cities of Phoenice, Beirut's School of Law took refuge in Sidon. The town continued quietly for the next century, until it was conquered by the Arabs in AD 636.

Crusader-Ayyubid period

On 4 December 1110, Sidon was captured after the siege of Sidon, a decade after the First Crusade, by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem and King Sigurd I of Norway. It then became the center of the Lordship of Sidon, an important vassal-state of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Saladin captured it from the Crusaders in 1187, but German Crusaders restored it to Christian control in the Crusade of 1197. It would remain an important Crusader stronghold until it was finally destroyed by the Ayyubids in 1249. In 1260, it was again destroyed by the Mongols led by Kitbuqa. The remains of the original walls are still visible.

Ottoman period

After Sidon came under Ottoman Turkish rule in the early 16th century, it became the capital of the Sidon Eyalet (province) and regained a great deal of its earlier commercial importance. Starting in the 18th century the city was dominated by the Hammud family of notables, who monopolized the production and exporting of cotton in the region and built numerous palaces and public works in the city. The Hammuds also served as government customs agents and tax collectors for various Ottoman religious foundations.

During the Egyptian–Ottoman War, Sidon – like much of Ottoman Syria – was occupied by the forces of Muhammad Ali of Egypt. His ambitions were opposed by the British Empire, which backed the Ottomans. The British Admiral Charles Napier, commanding a mixed squadron of British, Turkish and Austrian ships, bombarded Sidon on 26 September 1840, and landed with the storming column. Sidon capitulated in two days, and the British went on to Acre. This action was recalled in two Royal Navy vessels being named .

After World War I

After World War I it became part of the French Mandate of Lebanon. During World War II the city, together with the rest of Lebanon, was captured by British forces fighting against the Vichy French, and following the war it became a major city of independent Lebanon.

Following the Palestinian exodus in 1948, a considerable number of Palestinian refugees arrived in Sidon, as in other Lebanese cities, and were settled at the large refugee camps of Ein el-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh. At first these consisted of enormous rows of tents, but gradually houses were constructed. The refugee camps constituted de facto neighborhoods of Sidon, but had a separate legal and political status which made them into a kind of enclaves. At the same time, the remaining Jews of the city fled, and the Jewish cemetery fell into disrepair, threatened by coastal erosion.

On Easter Sunday, 19 April 1981, at least sixteen people were killed in Sidon after the (South Lebanon Army) SLA’s long-range artillery indiscriminately shelled the city centre. It was reported that it was in response to a request from Bashir Gemayel in connection with ongoing Syrian attacks on Phalangist positions around Zahle. Israel denied involvement.

After the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon Sidon was occupied by the Israeli army for almost two and a half years.

On 18 August 1997, following a roadside bomb near Jezzine which killed of two teenage members of a SLA leader’s family, SLA artillery shelled Sidon killing seven civilians and wounding thirty-five. Hizbollah responded the following day by firing 60–80 rockets into the security zone and northern Israel. According to UNIFIL observers the missiles appeared to be targeted at uninhabited areas. The attack on Sidon is credited with leading to a truce between Hizbollah and Amal and increased cooperation between the two groups and the Lebanese Army. This was evident in the Ansariya ambush the following month.

Sidon was a small fishing town of 10,000 inhabitants in 1900, but studies in 2000 showed a population of 65,000 in the city, and around 200,000 in the metropolitan area. The little level land around the city is used for cultivation of some wheat, vegetables, and fruits, especially citrus and bananas. The fishing in the city remains active with a newly opened fishery that sells fresh fish by bidding every morning. The ancient basin was transformed into a fishing port, while a small quay was constructed to receive small commercial vessels. (Refer to the "Old City" and the "Architecture and landscape" sections below.)

Saida Municipal Stadium was inaugurated in 2000 for the Asian Football Confederation's Cup 2000.

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