Geographical sites:

  • Tyre (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #678437)
    Pleiades_icon Tyrus/Col. Septimia Severa settlement, circus Geocontext: es-Sur LEB
    Description: The ancient city of Tyre (modern es-Sur on the coast of Lebanon). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part because of its "important archaeological remains, mainly from Roman times."


Text #3771

Diodorus Siculus. The Library of History. Vol. 8
[Diod. 17.41.5--17.41.8. Translated by C. H. Oldfather. Harvard University Press. 1935. (12 Vols.) pp. 235--237]

As the Macedonian construction came within range or missiles, portents were sent by the gods to them in their danger. Out of the sea a tidal wave tossed a sea-monster of incredible size into the midst of the Macedonian operations. It crashed into the mole but did it no harm, remained resting a portion of its body against it for a long time and then swam off into the sea again. This strange event threw both sides into superstition, each imagining that the portent signified that Poseidon would come to their aid, for they were swayed by their own interest in the matter.

There were other strange happenings too, calculated to spread confusion and terror among the people. At the distribution of rations on the Macedonian side, the broken pieces of bread had a bloody look. Someone reported, on the Tyrian side, that he had seen a vision in which Apollo told him that he would leave the city. Everyone suspected that the man had made up the story in order to curry favour with Alexander, and some of the younger citizens set out to stone him; he was, however, spirited away by the magistrates and took refuge in the temple of Heracles, where as a suppliant he escaped the people’s wrath, but the Tyrians were so credulous that they tied the image of Apollo to its base with golden cords, preventing, as they thought, the god from leaving the city.

Text #3772

Quintus Curtius Rufus. The History of the Life and Reign of Alexander the Great. Vol. 1
[Bk. 4 Ch. 4 Verse 16 pp. 371--372]

At this time it hap­pened that a whale, of no ordinary size, after having been seen to beat about the channel, laid itself against the pier, with its back projecting above the water, so as to be conspicu­ous to parties. Then, near the head of the pier, it plunged again into the sea; alter­nately displaying and concealing itself, it finally sunk from view near the walls of the city.

Both parties construed, the appearance of the monster as an auspice to themselves. The Macedonians concluded, that it had marked the track in which they should extend the mole:­ the Tyrians imagined, that Neptune was vindi­cating his right to the invaded deep, and that suddenly as he had snatched away the whale, the mole would fall to ruin: under this delu­sion, they proceeded to festivity, and gorged themselves with wine. At sunrise they launched their vessels, which they had adorned with garlands of flowers, confident of victory, and rejoicing prematurely.

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