By Philip K. Hitti (auth.)
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Extra info for A Short History of Lebanon
Cedar wood of unsurpassed durability was utilized for shipbuilding. C. appear on Egyptian monuments. On Assyrian monuments of a later date trading vessels and battleships from the Lebanese coast display a different style. Phoenician discovery of the usefulness of the Pole Star and other heavenly bodies facilitated night navigation. The Greeks were pupils of Phoenicians in seamanship. They named the Pole Star after them and built their ships on their model, as evidenced by vase paintings. The same type was presumably used for Solomon's ships "by shipmen who had knowledge of the sea" (I K.
One especially significant poem describes the yearly struggle between the vegetation deity Aliyan Baal and his deadly adversary Mot ("death"). Mot first vanquishes Baal- personifying annual experience in a land where summer drought puts an end to vegetable life but with the renewal of rains in autumn and winter Baal scores his spring victory. Basically this is the Phoenician story of Tammuz as well as the Egyptian story of Osiris. Comparative studies of Ugaritic and Hebraic literatures have revealed a surprising degree of dependence of Old Testament authors upon earlier Canaanite sources.
Job 37 : 2-5 makes thunder the 41 A Short Hist01Y of Lebanon voice ofJehovah ; so do Psalm 29 : 3-5 and 2 Samuel 22 : 14. In Canaanite literature leviathan is a "writhing serpent", which it is in Isaiah 27: I. This monster of the sea is a seven-headed creature which in Greek literature becomes Herakles' (Hercules') hydra. Daniel was in Ugaritic stories a hero who "judges the case of the widow and adjudicates the cause of the fatherless" long before he appears in that capacity in the apocryphal Story of Susanna.