Last update:
October 31, 2009
Thu AlQe'da 12, 1430

History of Tripoli

Roman and Byzantine Periods (64 BCE - to 7th Century CE)

Tripoli > History > Roman and Byzantine Periods

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Please send your comments, suggestions, or contributions to: Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri.

Major Events

64 BCE: Phoenicia and the rest of Syria became a Roman province; Tripoli, Tyre and Sidon grandet privileges of self-government (secondary role of Tripolis compared to Beirut and Sidon); Roman general Pompey beheaded Dionysius, the ruler of Tripolis, judged as tyrant.

37-36 BCE: Tripolis is a part of the donations by Marc Antony to Cleopatra.


Some of the coins issued in Tripoli during the Roman Period. Left: Coins carrying the name of Emperor Macreen. Right: Coins carrying the name of Emperor Caracalla and featuring the Zeus temple.

Legal Status

117-138 CE: Under emperor Hadrian Tripolis was granted the right of asylum and assigned a naval command; it became an important religious center with a temple for imperial cult; from numismatic evidence it must have had temples dedicated to Astarte, the Dioscuri and Zeus Haghios.


Public Works

Construction of important public buildings including municipal stadium or gymnasium due to strategic position of Tripoli midway on the imperial coastal highway leading from Antioch to Ptolemais.


Urban Form

Retained same configuration of three distinct and administratively independent quarters (Aradians, Sidonians, and Tyrians); territory outside city divided between the three quarters.

551 CE: City destroyed by earthquake and tidal wave and rebuilt with the help of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.


A Roman tomb from Tripoli (The Archeological Museum, Istanbul, Turkey).

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