Lebanon in History from the Earliest Times to the Present

By Philip K. Hitti | Go to book overview
The American Numismatic Society A COIN OF ARADUS Obverse and reverse of a silver stater of Aradus, early fourth century B.C. The head is that of a male deity, laureate, hair and whiskers dotted. The reverse shows a galley with figurehead on prow and an inscription probably signifying "from (or of) Aradus"

CHAPTER X A PERSIAN PROVINCE

THE arrival of the Persians -- an Indo-European people -- on the Mediterranean coast marked the end of the Semitic hegemony, a hegemony that was not to reassert itself until the rise of the Moslem Arabians over a thousand years hence. The empire founded by Cyrus ( 550-530 B.C.) was so enlarged by his son Cambyses and by Darius as to extend from the Hindu Kush and beyond the Indus to the Aegean and from the Caucasus to the Indian Ocean. For the first time that vast area was brought under one central political administration, and a strong one at that. The far-flung parts of the empire were linked by a new system of roads,1 with stations for royal messengers. A uniform metallic currency was introduced. Aramaic became so widespread in use as to constitute a sort of lingua franca for the entire realm. The two great cultures of the age, the Semitic and the Indo-Iranian, were afforded the earliest opportunity to interact if not to fuse.

Darius I ( 521-485) divided his empire into twenty satrapies (provinces), the fifth of which comprised not only Lebanon and

sidon, capital of Syrian satrapy

____________________
1
Cf. Esth. 8:9-10.

-150-

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