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Berytus

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 2 Sam 8:8 and Berothah of Ezek 47:16 are not Berytus) but is cited in Egyp. records as early as a 15th cent. list of Tothmes III. It is also found in the Amarna letters of about 1400 b.c., when Berytus, important to Egypt as a cedar port and maritime outpost against the Hittites, was firmly in the hands of an Egyp. vassal named Ammunira. This local chief, at any rate, gave asylum to one Rib-Addu of Byblos, a pro-Egyp. leader who was driven out of the northern town. Berytus functioned as a trading port through the imperial centuries of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and the Seleucid period. It played no notable part in history comparable to that of the royal Phoen. ports of Tyre and Sidon, except that the city was taken and destroyed by Tryphon in his struggle for the