A Cidade do Primeiro Porto
Idioma Local: Fenício
A cidade de Biblos está na lista das cidades mais antigos do mundo. Acredita-se suas terras são continuamente habitadas há mais de cinco mil anos. Ela precede a babilônia, a suméria e qualquer cidade egípcia. Ela foi construída pelo próprio deus Enki. Os primeiros milênio de sua existência o local consistia numa vila de pescadores, mas, com o crescimento do comércio e da metalurgia, frandes construções começaram a ser erguidas A cidade se tornou um importante porto comercial que conectava o antigo império egípcio e os sumérios. É considerada um dos mais importantes portos do mediterrâneo, só rivalizado com sua cidade-irmã Tiro, com Troia e com Creta.
Décadas atrás, a influência egípcia era enorme na cidade de Biblos. O rei Rib-Hadda fez numerosa correspondência com o faraó de Amarna relatando o estado de guerra contra o inimigo Hitita e os baderneiros Habiru (Hebreu). No fim, os Habiru transformou as doze tribos numa monarquia e os hititas derrotaram as forças de Biblos com ajuda de Ugarite. A cidade de Biblos foi entregue ao príncipe de Ugarite chamado Aziru. O atual rei de Biblos é descendente deste último rei. Ele se chama Zakar. O seu governo tem mostrado grande proeminência com a queda de seus antigos vassalos hititas. O rei Zakar está reaproximando a cidade do Egito através de rotas comerciais.
An aged and ailing Rib-Hadda continued to write to Pharaoh, telling him of violent upheavals in Phoenicia and Syria, including revolutions instigated by Abdi-Ashirta’s son Aziru coupled with incursions by Apiru raiders. (e.g. EA 137)
Rib-Hadda was ultimately exiled by his younger brother Ilirabih and not long afterwards and depending on the interpretation of EA 162, either sent to be killed or offered a mayoral position in Sidon. This event is mentioned in Amarna letter EA 162 from Akhenaten to Aziru.
Eshmun é o oitavo filho do poderoso líder teocrata Zedek da fenícia. Ele é um jovem belo que adora caçar, mas a ascendência paterna considerada divina em toda a Fenício o fez nascer com grande poderes de cura. Ele tem ao seu lado suas sete irmãs chamadas de “As Andorinhas” (Kotharat, no idioma local) que possuem a augusta função de realizarem partos por toda a região e oferecer cuidados aos doentes.
Recentemente, a própria deusa Ishtar desceu dos céus para contemplar a beleza e as habilidades do jovem Eshmun. Ela deseja levar o jovem rapaz aos Céus para seu próprio prazer sexual. O jovem rapaz está rejeitando os avanços da deusa, pois seu pai o alertou que ele será incapaz de sobreviver à graça divina e poder imensurável da deusa. Além disso, o ambicioso pai não deseja perder as habilidades curativas do filho, que se mostra tão importante para seu controle sobre a cidade.
Infelizmente, a deusa se mostra cada vez impaciente e persuasiva no desejo de levar Eshmun. Por esse motivo, o pai entregou ao filho uma faca para que o rapaz castre a si mesmo para deter os avanços da deusa. Por enquanto, por motivos bem compreensíveis, o rapaz está relutante em realizar sua própria castração.
Archaeological evidence at Byblos, particularly the five Byblian royal inscriptions dating back to around 1200–1000 BC, shows existence of a Phoenician alphabet of twenty-two characters; an important example is the Ahiram sarcophagus. The use of the alphabet was spread by Phoenician merchants through their maritime trade into parts of North Africa and Europe. One of the most important monuments of this period is the Temple of the Obelisks, dedicated to the Canaanite war god Resheph, but this had fallen into ruins by the time of Alexander the Great.
Rib-Hadda (also rendered Rib-Addi, Rib-Addu, Rib-Adda) was king of Byblos during the mid fourteenth century BCE. He is the author of some sixty of the Amarna letters all to Akhenaten. His name is Akkadian in form and may invoke the Northwest Semitic god Hadad, though his letters invoke only Ba’alat Gubla, the “Lady of Byblos” (probably another name for Asherah).
Rib-Hadda’s letters often took the form of complaints or pleas for action on the part of the reigning Pharaoh. In EA 105, he begged Pharaoh to intervene in a dispute with Beirut, whose ruler had confiscated two Byblian merchant vessels. In EA 122, Rib-Hadda complained of an attack by the Egyptian commissioner Pihuri, who killed a number of Byblos’ Shardana mercenaries and took captive three of Rib-Hadda’s men.
Rib-Hadda was involved in a long-standing dispute with Abdi-Ashirta, the ruler of Amurru (probably in southeastern Lebanon and southwestern Syria), who hired mercenaries from among the Habiru, Shardana, and other warlike tribes. EA 81 contains a plea for Egyptian aid against Amurru, whose ruler Rib-Hadda accused of luring away his followers and inciting them to rebellion. He reported further that an assassin sent by Abdi-Ashirta had attempted to kill him. Rib-Hadda pleaded with Akhenaten to send Pítati to defend him from the forces of Amurru and from his own increasingly resentful peasantry. In one of the most poignant of the Amarna texts, Rib-Hadda wrote “the people of Ammiya have killed their lord and I am afraid.” (EA 75). He added: “like a bird in a trap so I am here in Gubla (ie: Byblos).” (EA 74 & EA 81) Zemar, a city previously under his control, fell to Abdi-Ashirta (EA 84). Shortly thereafter the Egyptian commissioner Pahannate was withdrawn from northern Canaan, leaving Rib-Hadda without even the appearance of Egyptian support. His pleas for assistance evidently went unanswered (EA 107) and caused much annoyance to Akhenaten. Akhenaten’s irritation with Rib-Hadda is recounted in EA 117 where the pharaoh is quoted saying to Rib-Hadda “Why do you alone keep writing to me?” (EA 117) While Abdi-Ashirta is reported to have been killed in EA 101, this only provided temporary relief to Rib-Hadda since the former was succeeded by his son Aziru; Rib-Hadda soon after complains about the depredations caused by “the sons of Abdi-Ashirta” in several Amarna letters to Akhenaten such as EA 103 and EA 109
In EA 89, Rib-Hadda reported a coup d’etat in neighboring Tyre, in which the ruler of Tyre, his fellow kinsmen, was killed along with his family. Rib-Hadda’s sister and her daughters, who had been sent to Tyre to keep them away from Abdi-Ashirta’s Amurru invaders, were also presumed to be among those killed. If this was not bad enough, Rib-Hadda wrote again to report that the Hittites were invading Egyptian protectorates in Syria and burning “the King’s lands”. (EA 126). At one point Rib-Hadda was forced to flee to exile in Beirut, under the protection of king Ammunira. (EA 137) In EA 75, Rib-Hadda details the changing political situation around Byblos:
- [Ri]b Hadda says to his lord, king of all countries, Great King: May the Lady of Gubla grant power to my lord. I fall at the feet of my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. May the king, my lord, know that Gubla (ie: Byblos), the maidservant of the king from ancient times, is safe and sound. The war, however, of the Apiru against me is severe. (Our) sons and daughters and the furnishings of the houses are gone, since they have been sold [in] the land of Yarimuta for our provisions to keep us alive. “For the lack of a cultivator, my field is like a woman without a husband.” I have written repeatedly to the palace because of the illness afflicting me, [but there is no one] who has looked at the words that keep arriving. May the king give heed [to] the words of [his] servant… …The Apiru killed Ad[una the king] of Irqata-(Arqa), but there was no one who said anything to Abdi-Ashirta, and so they go on taking (territory for themselves). Miya, the ruler of Arašni, seized Ar[d]ata, and just now the men of Ammiy<a> have killed their lord. I am afraid. May the king be informed that the king of Hatti has seized all the countries that were vassals of the king of Mitan<ni>…Send arc[hers] 
Irimayašša, or Iriyamašša was an Egyptian official, of the 1350–1335 BC Amarna letters correspondence, written from a 15-20 year time period. The 2 letters that reference him are regarding Byblos/Gubla, and Ashkelon/(Ašqaluna), in western and southwestern Canaan.
- Say [t]o the king, my lord: Message of Rib-Hadda, your servant. May the Lady of Gubla grant power to the king, my lord. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, my Sun, 7 times and 7 times. As to the king’s having written to me,
- “Irimayašša is coming to you,”
- …he has not come to me. As to the king’s having written to me,
- “Guard yourself and guard the city of the king where you are,”
- …who can guard me? Look, formerly my ancestors [were str]ong. There was war against the[m, but] a garrison [of the king] was wi(t)h them. There were provisions from the king at their disposal. [Though the war against me] is seve[re], I have [n]o [provision]s [from the king or gar]ri[son of the king]. Wh[at shall I] do? As for the mayors, [the]y are the ones who strik[e] our city. They are like dogs, and there is no one who wants to serve them. What am I, who live among ‘Apiru, —to do? If now there are no provisions from the king for me, my peasantry is going to fi[gh]t (against me). A[ll] lands are at war against me. If the desire of the king is to guard his city and his servant, send a garrison to guard the city. [I] will guard it while I am [a]live. When [I] die, who is going to [gu]ard it? -EA 130, lines 1-52 (complete)
(See note at talk, for the paragraphing of the two quotes.)
EA 370, by Pharaoh to Yidya of Ašqaluna-(Ashkelon)
EA 370, “From the Pharaoh to a vassal” has the body of the letter damaged, and only includes the introduction to Yidya, “to guard”, and also the ending formula of the Pharaoh’s letters. See: letter 370, Yidya.