Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘inhabitants of Mediterranean Sea shores

Empires that ruled the Near-East: And a quick 90-second video-map attached

You may view first this 90-second Maps-of-War video of the various empires that ruled over the Near-East (Levant) region in the last 5,000 years on this multimedia site  of the Imperial History of the Middle East
Traditional History accounts are totally biased toward the stories of the Empires.  In the history of the Near-East (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and the sea stretch of Turkey), you find archeologists stating that this temple, that arena, that edifice, that work of art is related to the civilization of the Empire that ruled the region at certain period.
Fact is, it is the inhabitants of the Near-East who were the architets, artisans, work-force, and even the ones who paid the tribute (money) in order for these work of arts to be erected. For example, archeological sites of existing theater, hypodromes, temples, castles, fortes, aqueducts…existed for centuries before Rome started building such edifices after it conquered Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  The same goes to all other Empires such as Persian, Greek…
You may read more details in link attached in note 2.
I am re-editing a post published on March 2008 under “Who are we, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea shores?”

I have this theory, backed by historical accounts and substantiated by archeological and ontological finding, that the Near East (Levant) region has been the crossroad for the innumerable waves of immigrations from East to West and to a lesser extent from Eastern Africa via Egypt to the west.  This is a valid hypothesis that could be adopted as an alternative direction and guide to studying our people.

I take the first premise that most locations had their own indigenous people for various reasons going far back to thousands of years; this premise is only just, logical and convenient.  I also offer the second premise that emigrants prefer moving toward areas with abundance of water and greener pastures. The successive waves of immigration have started in full bloom before the seventh millennia of our calendar.

People from Central Asia tended to march towards Northern Iran and then onward to the Anatolian plateau (Turkey), rich in rivers and water reserves from the melting of snow-covered majestic Taurus mountain chains.

The populations in Iran were inclined to settle the shores of the great Tigris River (Dujlah) in Iraq. From there, they forked either south along the mighty river or northward.  Moving south was initially the preferred route because the climate is warmer and because it is almost impossible to navigate upward the Tigris River in its northern section.  They settled and built the ancient and mighty Empires around Ur and Basra on the mouth of the Tigris River which empties in the Arab/Persia Gulf and then they expanded along the Arabian Gulf shores.

The Empires of the Antiquity (Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon) constituted the trading centers from the Arabian Gulf to the coasts of the Western Indian Ocean.  The Prophet Abraham is said to have moved out with his tribe from the great city of Ur, and most probably progressed south-west along the Red Sea coast. (Actually, the Israelite tribes are initially from Yemen, where most of their idols such as Hud still exist)

Later, the mighty Empire of Babylon based its Capital further north of Ur on the Tigris River.

Aramaic was the main mother language with various dialects for each region: Iraq was the hotbed of civilization for over 4 millennia before Christ, starting by the kingdoms of Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Ashur. All the regions from Iran, Kurdistan, the Arabic Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the western part of Turkey were under the hegemony of either one of these empires.

The main religion and Gods, the main language, and the tradition for trading and doing business and administrations were homogeneous.

Moving north the Tigris River the hardy immigrants settled and built mighty Empires like Assyria in Nineveh (Ninawa) around Mosul and in the current Kurdish homeland. Those immigrants who moved north the river overflowed to the Anatolian Plateaus in Turkey and settled along the mighty Euphrates River (Al Furat) and built the Hittite Empire that discovered iron and invaded Egypt, where they were called the Hyksos, and settled there for a long time until they signed a peace treaty with Ramses II.

It is recounted that prosperous Troy was vanquished by the Greeks, after ten years of siege, because the Hittite Empire was endeavoring at that junction to reach the sea and thus, aided the Greek invaders to destroy their natural enemy.  The more recent power coming from the Anatolian plateau that conquered the Middle East is the Ottoman Empire.

The waves of immigration descended along the Euphrates River and jointed the Orontes River (Al Assy, going counter to topography) and built many City-States along these rivers and many reached the Mediterranean Sea.

It is known that the Orontes and Euphrates shores were studded with numerous large and prosperous City-States like Homs, Hama, Tel Amarna, Van, and Mary because it was the preferred land trade route towards Iraq, Persia and ultimately China.

The alternative more direct route was through the Syrian Desert passing by Palmyra (Tadmor) but it was way too harsh and inconvenient.  Actually, almost all invasions coming from further East and North used the coastal and Euphrates River corridors to loot and conquer Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and ultimately Egypt. All these immigrants might have initially fled from persecutions and tribal warfare and also because of changing weather conditions and draughts.

The waves coming from Eastern Africa settled first in Egypt and fled for many reasons to the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea toward the Maghreb regions and also to the eastern shores and settled in the sea cities of Canaan that includes Palestine, and Lebanon.

A large number had to emigrate very often from the cities of Canaan after repeated invasions of the Moguls, Persian, Iraqi, and Egyptian Empires:  These Empires made it a routine to invade and loot the rich Canaan City-States for their accumulated treasures and for their skilled workers.

All these immigrants ended up in Syria and the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea of Canaan and some settled in Egypt. The ancient city of Byblos in Lebanon extended its civilization and built the cities of Sidon and Beyrouth and other sea towns and invented a new alphabet of 22 letters.  Sidon built Tyr and Akka.

As the Empires in Iraq, Persia, and Egypt invaded these cities the settled inhabitants of these prosperous seashore cities had to immigrate again to the southern and western shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Note 1:  I read recently that a newly excavated City-State by the current city of Rukka (Northern Syria) is as old as 5,500 BC; many millenia before the City-States in southern Iraq.  The society was very structured and copper was imported from Southern Turkey.  A vast temple was excavated in southern Turkey that is 11,000 years BC.

Note 2:

Who are we, the inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea shores? (Part 2; March 1, 2008)


Sidon (Saida) and Tyr (Sour) in Lebanon built trading posts all around this Mediterranean Sea,  promoting commerce and exercising their own brand of beliefs and traditions.

Elissa, a daughter of the king of Tyr, fled and built Carthage in Tunisia.  Once Carthage solidified its institutions, it built Cadis (Cadesh) in Spain, and thus controlling the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean. Carthage aimed for a higher level of trade by taking hold of the strategic isthmuses in the Mediterranean Sea such as Messina (Sicily and Italy) and the strait of Gibraltar that leads to Portugal, Britain and Ireland.

 No maritime commerce could be undertaken without landing in one of Carthage “contoires” or trading posts. Carthage conquered most of the islands like Sardinia, Corsica, Cyprus, and Sicily and settled in Spain.

The Phoenicians dominated all the Mediterranean Sea trade for over one thousand years

The maritime power of their Greek competitor had been destroyed by invasions coming from the north (the Philistine), and left the Phoenicians masters of the sea.  The barons of this tertiary industry or the commissioning of maritime and even land transports of goods, from one producing country to consuming countries, were located in either Tyr or Sidon.

These barons hired rammers and soldiers and workers from all over the region. They had also their own sophisticated depots and handled the transactions from beginning to end and exported contracting jobs and skilled workers. 

The main Phoenician cities, and especially Tyr and Sidon, concentrated on the secondary industries where semi finished goods were transformed into quality products. The Phoenicians applied the current colonial trade strategies thousands of years ago, without the backing of indigenous military power such as the Greek and especially the Roman Empires did.


It is worth mentioning that the Canaan entrepreneurs didn’t focus much on the artistic part in their culture, or in their constructions and monuments during periods of autonomy, but they lavished their ingenuity when they were under the domination of powerful Empires so that they could rely on “State funding” for great and beautiful monuments. (Revenues generated from taxes they paid to the occupying force)

The Arab Islamic conquest of this region didn’t contribute much in the numbers of immigrants, since the Arabian Peninsula was scarcely populated and the glory of this Empire in the sciences, medicine and the translation of ancient cultures were rooted first on the scholars in Syria and Lebanon during the Umayyad dynasty, then the Persians during the Abbasid dynasty, and the various Moorish dynasties that ruled Spain (mainly Andalusia).

The main inhabitants of northern Africa, Spain, the southern parts of France and Italy and the eastern countries of the Mediterranean Sea are essentially immigrants from Central Asia, Iran, East Africa and Egypt after having settled in Canaan for several centuries.  

The wave of immigrations were East to West, except in few periods were the skilled workers were transferred under duress by conquering Monarchs to build new emerging capitals by the Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane the Moguls.

I tend to consider that the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, which includes Greece, were mostly immigration waves coming from Eastern Europe, but the culture, the religions, and the trades were mainly the endeavors of the Canaan’s population, of which the Phoenicians are the famously known mariners and comprador traders.

The northern Turkish sea shore were natural extention to the eastern shores, though the central Turkish plateau witnessed successive waves of immigration from the Caucasus region. 

The current Christian residents of Mount Lebanon are a mixture of two big waves of immigrations:

The first wave occurred after the conclave of Nicee in 325 during Emperor Constantine.  In that epoch, the new friend of the Christians, Emperor Constantine, who lived as a pagan most of his life, summoned to the conclave all the bishops of the various Christian sects.   This major event transformed drastically the Christian doctrine and dogma as well as the church institution.  The conclave decided by a slight majority to confer divine nature to Jesus, declared his mother Mary a virgin, selected only four Books to represent the New Testament as orthodox and banished the hundreds alternative versions that were available at the time and banished women from the clergy institution and ordered the bishops to done luxurious attire and then gradually introduced the pagan symbols to lure in the pagans to the newly adopted religion and then gave the pagan festivities Christian meanings and connotations. 

Most of the so-called heretic Christian sects that were comfortable with the temporal nature of Jesus and Mary and had their selected preferred and unified versions of the New Testament had to flee persecutions to inaccessible mountains.  Those living in Turkey moved to the Anatolian Plateau, Kurdistan, Armenia and the Caucasus and those in Syria and Palestine moved to Mount Lebanon.

The second major modern wave of immigration occurred around the year 1000 when Byzantium recaptured the western shores of Turkey from the Seljouk dynasty and the “Orthodox” Christian sects chased out the other “heretical” Christian sects such as the Maronites living on the Oronte River.

The Mameluk Empire had dislodged the last remaining Crusaders’ strongholds and stopped the drive of the Mogul invasion in Palestine. I believe that the new fundamentalist converts to Islam in Central Asia and Kurdistan, the regions of which the Mameluks originated from, exercised great zeal to solidifying the Sunni Moslem sect.  Mount Lebanon was a refuge for these Christian immigrants and the archeological finds show that women wore multi layers of colorful dresses as currently wore in these remote regions. 

This natural Nation, comprised of the current States of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, is self-contained; self sufficient and well delimited by natural borders, but was never able to constitute an independent political entity in modern time.

This natural Nation by any criteria of what define a Nation simply was opened to the expansion of far more populous Nations under highly centralized governments on all its borders, and because it proved to be a major crossroad for immigrations westward. 

It is the case even today at a more accelerated pace after the US invasion of Iraq and the strategic plan of the US to controlling the Greater Middle East in a Pax Americana.

Note: Before the Arab hegemony that started in around the year 640, almost all the family names and cities were Aramaic or having Aramaic roots.  The fourth caliph, Imam Ali, once wrote that his ancestors before “Kusai” had Aramaic names and that his tribe Kuraich (an Aramaic name) came from “Kawssa” nearby the current city of Kufa in Iraq. 

The Aramaic language survived the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods until way into the Arabic period. 

The Arab language, the language of the Koran, is basically a branch of Aramaic and the spoken Arab is a dialect. It is well known that Christ spoke Aramaic and before Jesus died on the crucifix he addressed his God Eely for abandoning him to his destiny. 

Eel was the name of the Aramaic God and not Jehovah, a tribal God, of the strict Jews in Judea.

The Koran uses an Aramaic root for Eel such as Elle and Allah.




June 2023

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