Chancel of a church, marble
Beirut, Byzantine Period
This architectural element was used in Byzantine churches to delimit the area reserved to the clergy. It consists of a pillar and a stone slab ending with a wild goat. There must have been another identical element on the other side of this area.




The "Jealousy" Mosaïc with a Greek Inscription
Beirut, Byzantine Period
This mosaïc decorated the entrance of a rich house located at the heart of Byzantine Beirut. The purpose of the inscription,Envy is an evil; it has beauty however/ it eats out the eyes and the heart of the envious, was to protect the inhabitants against envy and evil.





Unguentarium, glass
Tyre, Byzantine Period
This elongated vase illustrates the craftsmanship of the Phoenicians in the production of glass vessels. During the 1st c. B.C., the Phoenicians invented the blowing technique which revolutionized the industry of glass. This industry witnessed a very important development during the Byzantine and Islamic periods and it still survives in some Lebanese towns.





Low relief David and the lion, marble
Beirut, Byzantine Period
These reliefs depicting historical scenes probably belonged to a piece of furniture. They represent biblical scenes like the struggle between David and the Lion and the sacrifice of Abraham's son.

 

After the death of Theodosius in 395 A.D., the Roman empire was divided into a western and an eastern empire. The Lebanese cities were attached to the latter and converted to Christianity which became state religion in 392. They followed the imperial order to destroy pagan temples but heathen cults like those in honor of Adonis and Jupiter Heliopolitanus remained alive among the population and survived for several centuries.

Basilicas with floors covered with rich mosaïcs representing religious themes were erected along the coast in Beirut, Khalde, Shehim, Zahrani (near Sidon) and Tyre. Others were built in the mountains, in Beit-Mery and Ghine, and in the Beqaa, in Baalbek.

Urban development which started in the Roman period continued under Byzantine rule and the hinterland too witnessed an era of prosperity with the development of agriculture, mainly oil and wine production, and of silk, glass and purple industry. As a result of this prosperity, rich villas decorated with mosaïc or marble floor were built in Jnah, Ouzaï and Baalbek.

The Beirut Law School was the focus of the country's intellectual life and it attracted students from all over the empire. In 551, an earthquake followed by a tidal wave destroyed Beirut and other coastal cities
The reconstruction process was slow and the land was still healing from this terrible blow as the Arabs victoriously marched into Lebanon.





Jewellry, gold, perls and semi-precious stones
Beirut , Byzantine Period
1- Ring, gold and semi-precious stones
2- Bracelet with ibex headed, gold
3- Earrings, gold, perls and semi-precious stones
These jewels belong to a treasure dated to the end of the 5th c. or the beginning of the 6th c. A.D. They were hidden in a jar buried under the floor of a byzantine villa in Beirut which has been probably reconstructed after the strong earthquake of 551 A.D.



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