Remains of the Crusader
Church in Tyre, with columns from the temple Melqart
(Phoenician רצ, ṣūr, "rock"; Greek Τúρος; Latin Tyrus):
port in Phoenicia and one of the main cities in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Greek researcher Herodotus
of Halicarnassus visited Tyre in the
mid-fifth century BCE. In Histories
2.44, he offers a description of the sanctuary
of Melqart, whom he
calls Heracles, because the Greeks believed these two deities were
Herodotus on the Temple of Melqart
Because I wanted to know more about it, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, because I had been
told that in that place there was a holy temple of Heracles. The
sanctuary was richly furnished, there were many votive
offerings, and I noticed two pillars: one of pure gold and one
of an emerald stone of such size as to shine by night.
the priests of the god, and asked them how long ago their temple had
been built, and I discovered that they were at variance with the
Greeks, because they said that the temple had been built when Tyre had
beend founded, and that this happened 2,300 years ago.