The reigns of the emperors Vespasian (69–79
A.D.), Titus (79–81 A.D.), and Domitian (81–96
A.D.) comprised the Flavian dynasty.
The Flavians, unlike the Julio-Claudians before
them, were Italian gentry, not Roman
aristocracy. They restored stability to Rome
following the reign of Nero (54–68 A.D.) and
the civil wars that had wreaked havoc on the
empire, and particularly on the peninsula of
Vespasian showed great moderation and
common sense in his dealings as emperor,
Vespasian recruited equestrian officers, who
brought personal wealth, and Italian and
provincial members, who brought local
knowledge, to the imperial administration and
civil service. Furthermore, he guaranteed a
stable succession with his sons Titus and
Domitian, both able administrators.
Titus is remembered principally for his
destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70
A.D., but during his reign as emperor, Rome
also witnessed a great natural disaster—the
eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
He was responsible for completing the
Amphitheatrum Flavium in 80 A.D., which
became known as the Colosseum because it
was situated near the site of a colossal statue
Domitian was responsible for signing a peace
treaty with Decebalus, the Dacian king, in 89
A.D. Although popular with his troops,
Domitian incurred the Senate’s displeasure
with his absolutist tendencies and by elevating
equestrian officers to positions of power
formerly reserved for the Senate. He
eventually succumbed to paranoia and
engaged in a vicious round of executions that
led to his own assassination in 96 A.D.
The inscription in two lines immediately under
the female figure within a frame, is of a date
posterior to the monument and reads : Lord of
Tyre, here is Tyre.
Tyre is a district capital in the South
Governorate of Lebanon.
According to the ancient Greek historian
Herodotus, Tyre was founded around 2750 BC.
and was originally built as a walled city upon
the mainland. Tyre's name appears on
monuments as early as 1300 BC. Phoenicians
from Tyre settled in houses around Memphis in
Egypt, south of the temple of Hephaestus in a
district called the Tyrian Camp.
Tyre was often attacked by Egypt and was
besieged by Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, who
was assisted by the Phoenicians of the
mainland, for five years. From 586 until 573
BC, the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar
II of Babylon until it agreed to pay a tribute.
The Achaemenid Empire conquered the city in
539 BC and kept it under its rule until 332 BC.
Alexander the Great laid siege to the city,
conquered and razed it to the ground in 332
BC. In 315 BC, Alexander's former
general Antigonus began his own siege of
Tyre, taking the city a year later.
In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence
from the Seleucid Empire.
Tyre was allowed to keep much of its
independence, as a "civitas foederata",when
the area became a Roman province in 64
BC. Tyre continued to maintain much of its
commercial importance until the Common Era.
The Tyrians, or "people of Tyre" during the
Roman period, extended their areas of
influence over the adjoining regions, such as in
In 395 Tyre became part of the Byzantine
Empire. The city remained under Byzantine
control until 638 AD, when it was occupied by
In the Revolt of Tyre (996–998), the populace
of the city rose against Fatimid rule, led by an
ordinary sailor named 'Allaqa - but were
brutally suppressed in May 998. In 1086 it fell
into the hands of the Seljuks who lost it in
1089 to the Fatimids.
After the first failed siege in 1111, Tyre was
captured during the aftermath of the First
Crusade on July 7, 1124 and became one of
the most important cities of the Kingdom of
Jerusalem. It was part of the royal domain, but
there were also autonomous trading colonies
there for the Italian merchant cities. The city
was the site of the See of Tyre, whose
archbishop was a suffragan of the Latin
Patriarch of Jerusalem; its archbishops often
acceded to the Patriarchate.
In the 13th century, Tyre was separated from
the royal domain as the Lordship of Tyre.
The Ottoman Empire conquered the region in
1516-17 and held it until World War I.
The modern state of Lebanon was declared in
The city of Tyre was particularly known for the
production of a rare and extraordinarily
expensive sort of purple dye, produced from
the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple.
The colour was, in ancient
cultures, reserved for the use of royalty.
The inscription in Latin may refer to Jean de
Montfort, lord of Tyre from 1270 until his death
in 1283, possibly as part of his crest.