Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of
Of the many things manufactured at Tyre, the inhabitants of Damascus, once the chief city of Syria, took some: for the multitude of all riches:
in lieu of the vast quantity of rich things there made, they traded with them for them: in the wine of Helbon, and white wool;
Helbon very probably is the same with the Chalybon of Ptolemy F16, which he places in Syria; a place famous for wine, as Strabo F17 reports; the kings of Persia, he says, through riches fell into luxury, so that they would have wheat brought from Assos in Aeolia, and Chalybonian wine out of Syria, and water from Eulaeus (the river Ulai in ( Daniel 8:2 ) ), which was lightest of all; and so Athenaeus F18 says, the kings of the Persians drink only Chalybonian wine; which, says Posidonius, was made at Damascus in Syria, from whence the Persians transplant vines: Helbon is thought to be the same with Aleppo; the grapes there are all white, and make a strong wine, as Monsieur Thevenot F19 relates; and who also observes, that the wines of Damascus are treacherous and strong: and the wool they bought was such as it came off of the backs of the sheep, and the purer and whiter sort of it; which was brought to Tyre, and by them bought, and dyed purple, for which dye the Tyrians were famous.
F16 Geograph. l. 5. c. 15.
F17 Ibid. l. 12. p. 505.
F18 L. 1. c. 22.
F19 Travels, part 2. B. 1. c. 5. p. 25. & c. 7. p. 33.