Tyre, city, Mosaic Road

Tyre (Phoenician רצ, ṣūr, "rock"; Greek Τúρος; Latin Tyrus): port in Phoenicia and one of the main cities in the eastern Mediterranean.

Mosaic road

Like most cities in the Roman Near East, Tyre had a "colonnaded road"; other examples are known from Apamea, Berytus, Cyrrhus, Damascus ("the street that is called the straight one" mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles), Diocaesarea, Laodicea, Palmyra, and Side. These were the monumental streets, used for religious processions - and to impress the visitors. That the sidewalks were covered with mosaics, was not unique: you can see the same in the Street of the Curetes in Ephesus.

In Tyre, however, the main passageway was covered with mosaics as well. And this was most unusual. The decision to pave the street in this way must have been taken during the last years of the second century. During the civil war of 193/194, Tyre had staunchly defended Septimius Severus against Pescennius Niger, and had been sacked by Niger's Moorish javelin men and archers; the victorious Severus may well have expressed his gratitude in a truly royal way. In the Byzantine age, the pavement was renewed.