trip'-o-lis (Tripoils, "triple city"):
Demetrius the son of Seleucus, having fled from Rome, collected "a mighty host and fleet," sailed into the haven of Tripoils, took the city, obtained possession of the country, and put to death his cousin, Antiochus V, along with his guardian Lysias (2 Macc 14:1; Josephus, Ant, XII, x, 1). After a period of unsuccessful guerrilla warfare against Hyrcanus in Samaria, Antiochus Cyzicenus retired to Tripells (Ant., XII, x, 2). The city was founded by the Phoenicians and was a member of the Phoenician league. It was divided into 3 quarters by walls--hence, the name "triple city"--and these were occupied by settlers from Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus, respectively. The federal council of these states sat here. Its position on the Phoenician seacoast, with easy access to the interior, gave it many advantages from the commercial point of view. The Seleucid monarchs, the Romans, and Herod the Great did much to beautify the city; the last-named building a gymnasium (Josephus, BJ, I, xxi, 11). When attacked by the Arabs the inhabitants took ship and escaped. Later their places were taken by Jews and Persians. Captured by the Crusaders in 1109, it was taken by the Egyptians in 1289. The ancient city was surrounded on three sides by the sea. The site is now occupied by el-Mina, the harbor of the modern city, Tarabulus, which stands on the bank of Nahr Kadisha, about 2 miles away. The inhabitants number about 23,000. The town gives its name to a district under the vilayet of Beirut, which has always been famous for its fruitfulness.
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