We ‘did’ Tyre on Friday, Lebanon’s southernmost city. Tyre has a very long and rich history, some say dating as far back as 2,700 BC, but I like its Roman part the most. Tyre was ‘incorporated’ (we’d say ‘occupied’ these days) into the Roman Empire in 64 BC, and the Romans left lots of monuments in its wake, including an aqueduct, a triumphal arch, a roman road, a necropolis and apparently the largest hippodrome in the Roman world.
There’s a three-bay monumental arch. The archway stands astride a Roman road that led into the ancient city. My dad is on the sidewalk, my mom on the road.
I find the road the most impressive part; it comes complete with sidewalk. The Romans were the first civilization that built and maintained a systematic network of roads through their empire for military and trade purposes and Tyre was also connected. The part where the pavement is still in place runs from the triumphal arc (triumphant for what I haven’t been able to figure out) to the old Roman town (which now lies partially buried under the new town).
A genuine colonnaded Roman road.
I am into Roman roads, so to speak. In my next life, I have decided, I am going to study archeology & history, and will focus on Roman roads. Just so you know.
I found this web site with a very interesting article on the Roman road network in this region. It is written by ‘the enemy’, as they say here in Lebanon, but I figure since I am not in contact with the man in question, I am not in violation of anything. It is a good read. He’s into Roman roads as well.Here are some parts of his article;