Tribune, marble
Sanctuary of Eshmun, Bustan esh Sheikh (near Sidon)
ca. 350 B.C.
This "tribune" which is considered by some scholars to be an altar is an example of Greek sculpture made in Phoenicia. It displays sculptured reliefs arranged in two registers: the upper one represents an assembly of the gods with Apollo in the center holding a cithera, while. the lower one represents a procession of dancers and musicians.



Funerary Stele of Robia with a Greek Inscription :
Good Robia who never harmed anyone, farewell.
Painted limestone
Sidon, Hellenistic Period
This funerary inscription is dedicated to the memory of the woman represented on the stele.The relief follows the artistic norms used during the 2nd c. B.C.






Statue of Venus, marble
Beirut, Hellenistic Period
This statue was uncovered in Beirut Central District excavations. It clearly shows Greek characteristics which continued to influence local art until the 1st c. B.C.





Figurine of Eros, terracotta
Kharayeb (near Tyre), Hellenistic Period

In 333 B.C., the decisive victory won by Alexander the Great over the Persian king Darius III opened the gates of Phoenicia to the Greek conqueror.

Tired from the Persian yoke, the Phoenician cities welcomed the Hellenic king. Only Tyre resisted but the island city was stormed after a long siege
After Alexander's untimely death, his successors, Ptolemes and Seleucids, fought over the control of the territories. In 198 B.C. Phoenicia came under Seleucid rule. Monarchy was then abolished and the Phoenician cities were ruled by high officials bearing Greek names. They enjoyed however some autonomy and were given the right to mint coins.

Greek influence which had made its way to Phoenicia during the Persian period became now stronger: educated people spoke Greek and adopted a Greek lifestyle. In Kharayeb, local craftsmen copied figurines imported from the Aegean world.

This spreading hellenisation interacted with the local Semitic population substratum which remained faithful to its gods and its language. It resulted in an artistic and architectural symbiosis best illustrated in the ruins of Umm el 'Amed and Bustan esh Sheikh.




Figurine of Hermes carrying a ram, terracotta
Kharayeb (near Tyre), Hellenistic Period
These figurines were moulded in the workshops of Kharayeb. They display a lively character which goes beyond the religious symbolism inherited from the Hellenistic art.





Funerary Stele of Baalshamar with a phoenician inscription :
To Baalshamar, son of 'Abdosir, commemorative stele, which 'Abdosir, erected for his father, the chief of the porters
Limestone, Umm el 'Amed, Hellenistic Period
The Phoenician inscription on the stele shows the persistence of the local language and cults despite the strong hellenization of the area during this period.

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