Page 0266

266 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

MISH, famous for more than one decisive battle fought in her vicinity. The strategic

position was one of great importance. By this route, as through a gate, the armies of

Mesopotamia and the South must make their way in their invasions of Syria. Here the

nations of the West-Egyptians, Phoenicians, Israelites-must debouch, if at all, into

Babylonia.

Far distant on the Mediterranean lay queenly TYRE, greatest of the maritime cities of the

Empire. The position was strong, easily defensible. At first the shore was chosen; but at

a later date, when Tyre had grown to be the wealthiest metropolis of the West, the city

was carried out to a littoral island, which became thenceforth the principal seat of

business and defense. The shore-town was known as Old Tyre. The people of the city were

the most enterprising of their times. They were manufacturers, merchants, sailors; large-

minded and courageous; ready for any enterprise, and quick in the spirit of adventure.

Their manufactures were of matchless beauty and excellence. Kings, princes, and nobles

were proud to wear the royal-dyed fabrics of Tyre. Several times in the vicissitudes of

the nations the city was besieged, and a few times taken; but its fortunate position and

the genius of its inhabitants upheld its preeminence even down to the days of the

Mohammedan conquests. Next may be mentioned the rival city