Last update:
October 30, 2009
Thu AlQe'da 11, 1430

Names of Tripoli City through History

Tripoli > History > Historical Names of Tripoli

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Historical Names of Tripoli City

A succession of ancient names for Tripoli had been found ever since the Phoenician age.

Ancient names

In the letters of Tell el-Amarina the name "Derbly" was mentioned and in other places "Ahlia" or "Wahlia" are mentioned (14th century BCE).

In an engraving that talks about the invasion of Tripoli by the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II (888-859 BCE) new names were mentioned, some of which are: Mahallata or Mahlata, Mayza, and Kayza.

The British omniscient Prested claimed that Tripoli had various names around the first half of the 5th Century BC some of which are: Niwam, Nogus, and Herinkiro.

Phoenician Name

Athar: as observed on a coin issued in 189 to 188 BCE

In ancient times, this was the center of a Phoenician confederation which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripoli, from the Greek meaning triple city. Phoenicians made their first conference in Tripoli and founded the House of Consultants which gathered theirs nobles (i.e., Polio Trion) to take crucial decisions. This is why it was also named "The Metropolis of Phoenicia". This is why Tripoli is considered as the first United Nations Center in the history of the ancient world.

Greek Name

When the Greeks came, they added the letter "s" on its name and it became "Tripolis".

Arabic Names

When Arabs conquested the city at about 518 CE, Tripoli had a variety of names that included: the Princedom of Tripoli, the State of Tripoli, Eastern Tripoli Kingdom. In addition, the names Tarabulus or Atrabulus, also Tarablus al-Sham (Tripoli of Syria), to differentiate it from Tarablus al-Gharb (Tripoli of Libya), were also used.

Crusader Name

It was called the Countess of Tripoli since the Count of the French city Toulouse, Raymond of St. Jil, ruled it during the Crusade Wars. The city was also simply named "Triple".

Contemporary Names

Al-Fayha'a: derived from the Arabic verb Faha which is used to indicate the spread of a certain smell. Tripoli was best known with its vast orange orchards. During the season of blooming, the pollen of orange flowers gets carried by the air spreading a splendid odor that can be felt anywhere in the city and its suburbs, hence the name al-Fayha'a.

Tripoli (Trablous as pronounced by it's residents)


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