Early historyIn 140 BC the Phoenician village called "Biruta" was destroyed by Diodotus Tryphon in his contest with Antiochus VII Sidetes for the throne of the Macedonian Seleucid Empire, Seleucid monarchy. Later it was rebuilt on a more conventional Hellenistic civilization, Hellenistic plan—the exact date is unclear but prosperous Berytian merchants were recorded in Delos by 110–109 BCE—under the name of ''Laodicea in Phoenicia'' ( el, Λαοδίκεια ἡ ἐν Φοινίκῃ) or ''Laodicea in Canaan'' in honor of a Seleucid Laodice of Macedonia, Laodice. During the late decades of the Roman republic the city was conquered by the Romans of Pompey in 64 BC and renamed "Berytus", as a reference to the name of the old Phoenician port of Beirut, original Phoenician port-village. The city was assimilated into the Roman Empire, many veteran soldiers were sent there, and large building projects were undertaken.Beirut Travel Information
Roman coloniaIn 14 BC, during the reign of Herod the Great, Berytus became an important ''colonia (Roman), Roman colonia''. The city was named ''Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus'' in honor of Julia, the only daughter of Augustus (according to Theodore Mommsen, "Res gestae divi Augusti", II, 119). Furthermore, the veterans of two Roman legions were established in the city of Berytus by emperor Augustus: the Legio V Macedonica, fifth Macedonian and the Legio III Gallica, third Gallic. Consequently, the city quickly became fully Romanized, with two third of the inhabitants being descendants of the Roman veterans. Large public buildings and monuments were erected and Berytus enjoyed full status as a part of the empire.About Beirut and Downtown Beirut
The Law School of BerytusThe Berytian law school was widely known in the Roman empire;: it was famous the Latin motto ''Berytus Nutrix Legum'' ("Beirut, Mother of Laws"). Indeed, two of Rome's most famous jurists, Papinian and Ulpian, both natives of Phoenicia, taught there under the Severan dynasty, Severan emperors. When Justinian I, Justinian assembled his ''Digest (Roman law), Pandects'' in the sixth century, a large part of the "Corpus of Laws" -all in Latin- was derived from these two jurists, and in 533 AD Justinian recognized the school as one of the three official law schools of the empire. The law school of Beirut supplied the Roman Empire, especially its eastern provinces, with lawyers and magistrates for three centuries until the school's destruction in a powerful earthquake. After the 551 Beirut earthquake the students were transferred to Sidon.
Early Byzantine ruleUnder the Eastern Roman Empire, some intellectual and economic activities in Berytus continued to flourish for more than a century, even if the Latin language started to be replaced by the Greek language and become Hellenised again. However, in the sixth century a series of earthquakes demolished most of the temples of Heliopolis (actual Baalbek) and destroyed the city of Berytus, leveling its famous law school and killing nearly 30,000 inhabitants (according to Anonymous pilgrim of Piacenza). Furthermore, the ecumenical Christian councils of the fifth and sixth centuries AD were unsuccessful in settling religious disagreements within the surviving community. This turbulent Byzantine period weakened the already Hellenised (and fully Christian) population and made it easy prey to the newly converted Muslim Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula. Eastern Roman Berytus -reduced to the size of a village- fell to the Arabs in 635 AD.
Recent discoveriesRecently at the Garden of Forgiveness the two main streets of Roman Berytus, the ''Cardo'' and ''Decumanus Maximus'', were discovered in the Beirut Central District. Their shaded colonnades became busy markets on festival days. At other times, these streets would have been frequented by Law School students and citizens passing to the Forum or visiting temples and churches. In 1968 were discovered the "Roman Baths" Gardens, that is a landscaped public space that lies on the eastern slope of the Grand Serail, Serail Hill. It consists of a garden and a set of uncovered ruins of the ancient Roman Baths, Beirut, Roman baths of Berytus (hence the name of the place). These ruins underwent a thorough cleaning and further excavation in 1995–1997. Designed by the British landscaping firm Gillepsies, the Garden's layout is dominated with low-slung glass walls and lookout platforms that can be turned into concert venues, thus giving a 21st-century touch without harming the area's historical fabric. At the turn of the 20th century was identified the area were existed the famous Law school of Beirut, school of Roman law at Berytus. Archaeological excavations in the area between the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral and Saint George Maronite Cathedral, Beirut, Saint George Cathedral of the Maronites unearthed a funerary stele etched with an epitaph to a man named Patricius, "whose career was consecrated for the study of law". The epitaph was identified as being dedicated to the famous 5th-century law school professor. In 1994, archaeological diggings underneath the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Beirut Central District's Nejmeh Square identified structural elements of the Anastasis cathedral, but they were restricted to an area of and failed to unearth the interred school. In the 5th century, Zacharias Rhetor reported that the school stood next to the "Temple of God", the description of which permitted its identification with the Byzantine Anastasis cathedral.
Notable people* Hermippus of Berytus (fl. 2nd century AD) * Marcus Valerius Probus (c. 20/30 – 105 AD) * Vindonius Anatolius
See also* Cisterns of the Roman Baths, Beirut * Phoenicia under Roman rule * Roman Baths, Beirut * Law school of Beirut, Roman "Lex Schola" of Berytus
Bibliography* * * * *Lauffray,Jean. ''Beyrouth, Archéologie et Histoire I : période hellénistique et Haut-Empire romain'', in "Aufstieg und Niedergang des römischen Welt", vol. II, 8, New York-Berlin, 1977, p. 135-163. *Mann, J.C.