By Philip K. Hitti (auth.)
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Its army, as it had done under Thutmose, advanced as far as the Euphrates. There it was routed (605) thanks to the brilliant generalship of Nebuchadnezzar, son and successor-to-be of Nabopolassar. Nebuchadnezzar took the offensive and in 597 captured Jerusalem, capital of Judah. Following the established pattern, the Phoenician states, which tended to gravitate Egypt-ward, half-heartedly acknowledged the new Mesopotamian suzerainty. Again like a field of wheat, the Phoenicians bent temporarily before the storm but did not break.
Recolonized early in the Roman Empire the unhappy city was again destroyed (ca. D. 6g8) by the Arabs. Cisterns, arches of an aqueduct, tumbled walls and a Roman Catholic monastery close by modern Tunis mark the site of what was once a rival of Rome. LITERARY AND RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY THE second pre-Christian millennium was one of cultural pluralism in the Near East, with Canaan, Egypt and Mesopotamia interacting, exchanging their intellectual products and, with the Canaanites, serving as the intermediary.
The city was provided with a royal residence for the Persian satrap and for the emperor when on a state visit. Sidon, Tyre, Byblus and Aradus, however, were allowed a measure of autonomy, including issuance of their own coinage. Phoenician cities materially profited by the Pax Persica and the new facilities of communication. Their seemingly inexhaustible supply of cedar wood, though now a state domain, continued to be a source of revenue. Their fleet, the largest and best equipped in the eastern Mediterranean, was in demand by' Persian warring emperors.
A Short History of Lebanon by Philip K. Hitti (auth.)