Introduction of Sidon
Ancient Phoenician port, 22 mi N of its daughter city and rival, Tyre. Founded c. 3000 b.c., it was one of the great cities of Phoenicia from the third millennium b.c., and at times all Phoenicians were called Sidonians. Traditionally noted for its glass manufactures and its purple dyes, extracted from a sea creature here, it was ruled successively by the major ancient powers: Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Persia, under which it reached its greatest prosperity, the Macedonian Empire of Alexand er the Great, and its successors the Seleucid Empire, and Rome. Herod the Great lavished much building and development on the city.
It often changed hand s during the period of the Crusades, was sacked by the Mongols in 1260, but prospered again under the Ottoman Empire from 1517. It declined in the 18th century, especially after the expulsion of French traders in 1791 and a destructive earthquake in 1837. Sidon was ultimately overshadowed by its own colony, Tyre, but was always an important port in antiquity. The city was heavily damaged in June 1982 during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Some slight excavation has been carried out in the heavily populated modern city.