Tyre, city, Square Building

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

Square building

Situated along Tyre's Mosaic Road, the "Square Building" or "Rectangular Arena" is about forty-five meters long and thirty-five meters wide. It was originally built in the Hellenistic period, but in its present form, it dates to the fourth century CE. It was built from a local type of limestone and had seats on all sides. About two thousand people may have been able to gather over here.

Its function is unknown. A smaller but comparable building is the prytaneum in Priene, the meeting place of the city's prytaneis (executive magistrates), and indeed, it is possible that Tyre's city council, or the council of the Roman province of Phoenicia, gathered in this building. An alternative theory is that the rectangular structure served as some kind of arena for martial arts. An inscription mentioning a successful boxer, has been found in the neighborhood.