(ἡ Τρίπολις), the Greek name of a city of great commercial importance, which served at one time as a point of federal union for Aradus, Sidon, and Tyre (hence the name the threefold city), which each had here its special quarter. What its Phoenician name was is unknown; but it seems not impossible that it was Kadytis, and that this was really the place captured by Necho, of which Herodotus speaks (2, 159; 3, 5). Kadytis is the Greek form of the Syrian Kedutha, "the holy," a name of which a relic still seems to survive in the Nahr-Kadish, a river that runs through Tarabalus, the modern representative of Tripolis. All ancient federations had for their place of meeting some spot consecrated to a common deity, and just to the south of Tripolis was a promontory which went by the name of Θεοῦ πρόσωπον.
It was at Tripolis that, in the year B.C. 351, the plan was concocted for the simultaneous revolt of the Phoenician cities and the Persian dependencies in Cyprus against the Persian king Ochus. Although aided by a league with Nectanebus, king of Egypt, this attempt failed, and in the sequel a great part of Sidon was burned and the chief citizens destroyed. Perhaps the importance of Tripolis was increased by this misfortune of its neighbor, for soon after, when Alexander invaded Asia, it appears as a port of the first order. After the battle of Issus, some of the Greek officers in Darius's service retreated thither, and not only found ships enough to carry themselves and eight thousand soldiers away, but a number over and above, which they burned in order to preclude the victor from an immediate pursuit of them (Arrian, 2, 13). The destruction of Tyre by Alexander, like that of Sidon by Ochus, would naturally tend rather to increase than diminish the importance of Tripolis as a commercial port. When Demetrius Soter, the son of Seleucus, succeeded in wresting Syria from the young son of Antiochus (B.C. 161), he landed there and made the place the base of his operations. It is this circumstance to which allusion is made in the only passage in which Tripolis is mentioned in the Bible (2 Macc. 14:1). The prosperity of the city, so far as appears, continued down to the middle of the 6th century of the Christian aera. Dionysius Periegetes applies to it the epithet λιπαρήν in the 3rd century. In the Peutinrge Table (which probably was compiled in the reign of the emperor Theodosius), it appears on the great road along the coast of Phoenicia, and at Orthosia (the next station to it northwards) the roads which led respectively into Mesopotamia and Cilicia branched off from one another. The possession of a good harbor in so important a point for land traffic doubtless combined with the richness of the neighboring mountains in determining the original choice of the site, which seems to have been a factory for the purposes of trade established by the three great Phoenician cities. Each of these held a portion of Tripolis surrounded by a fortified wall, like the Western nations at the Chinese ports; but in A.D. 543 it was laid in ruins by the terrible earthquake which happened in the month of July of that year, and overthrew Tyre, Sidon, Berytus, and Byblus as well. On this occasion the appearance of the coast was much altered. A large portion of the promontory Theuprosopon (which in the Christian times had its name, from motives of piety, changed to Lithoprosopon) fell into the sea, and, by the natural breakwater it constituted, created a new port, able to contain a considerable number of large vessels. The ancient Tripolis was finally destroyed by the sultan El-Mansur in A.D. 1289, and the modern Tarabalus is situated a couple of miles distant to the east, and is no longer a port. El- Myna, which is perhaps on the site of the ancient Tripolis, is a small fishing village. Tarabalus contains a population of fifteen or sixteen thousand inhabitants, and is the center of one of the four pashalics of Syria. It exports silk, tobacco, galls, and oil, grown in the lower parts of the mountain at the foot of which it stands, and performs, on a smaller scale, the part which was formerly taken by Tripolis as the entry point for the productions of a most fertile region (Diod. Sic. 16:41; Strabo, 16:2; Vossius ad Melam, 1, 12; Theophalnes, Chronographia, sub anno 6043). For the modern place, see Pococke, 2, 146 sq.; Maundrell, p. 26;
Burckhardt, p. 163 sq.; Porter, Handbook, p. 542; Badeker, Palestine, p. 509 sq. (where a map is given). SEE PHOENICIA.