BERYTUS ber’ i tus. Berytus is modern Beirut in Lebanon, in ancient times one of the great ports of the Phoen. coast, rivaling Byblos to the N and Tyre and Sidon to the S. Berytus finds no mention in the OT (Berothai of
Herod I adorned Berytus and here held the dramatic assize before which he arraigned and sentenced his two sons (Jos, Antiq. XVI. xi. 2). Agrippa I and a.d. 69 had gathered and conferred at Berytus (Tacitus, Hist. 2. 81). Berytus became famous in imperial times as a center of learning, esp. of legal studies. Its ancient history was virtually ended by the disastrous earthquake of a.d. 521.presented theaters to the city, and in Berytus, according to Josephus (B.J. VII. iii. 1.), Titus celebrated the fall of Jerusalem and Vespasian’s birthday with games. This was appropriate, for the forces of the eastern armies which raised Vespasian to the principate in
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
ber’-i-tus, be-ri’-tus (Berutos; Arabic: modern Beirut, Beyrout, Beyrouth): An ancient Phoenician city situated on the North side of a promontory jutting out from the base of Lebanon to the West into the Mediterranean and forming a bay on the North connected with the fable of George and the Dragon, and hence called George’s Bay. The city is about 25 miles North of Sidon and about 12 South of the famous Lycus or Dog River, at the mouth of which are found the sculptured rocks bearing the monuments of the ancient kings of Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria.
The city has been thought by some to be the Berothai of
Though not mentioned inor it appears in the history of Herod the Great as an important town where was assembled a court of 150 judges, presided over by Saturninus, a former Roman consul, to try the case which Herod brought against his two sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, who were condemned there by the Roman court (Ant., XVI, xi, 2). Beirut was a Roman colony at this time where many veterans settled and it afterward became the seat of a great Roman law school which was attended, in the days of Justinian, by thousands of students. It was utterly destroyed by an earthquake in 551 AD, and for a time was abandoned. Many remains of temples and public buildings of the Roman period remain. It rose to some importance during the Crusades and is at present the chief seaport of Syria, and has the only harbor on the coast. It is a town of about 125,000 inhabitants.