Baalshillem I

Summary


Baalshillem I (also transliterated Baalchillem, meaning "recompense of Baal"; Phoenician: 𐤁𐤏𐤋𐤔𐤋𐤌, known in Greek as Sakton) was a Phoenician King of Sidon (c. 450 – c. 366 BC), and a vassal of the Achaemenid Empire. He was succeeded by his son Abdamun to the throne of Sidon.[1][2]

Baalshillem I
Reignc.  450 BC – c.  426 BC
Predecessor?
SuccessorAbdamun
Phoenician language𐤁𐤏𐤋𐤔𐤋𐤌
DynastyBaalshillem I dynasty
ReligionCanaanite polytheism
Beige marble statue of a stout young child aged about two years old lying on his left side. The child's head is shaven, his eyes gaze over the viewer's shoulder and his lower body is covered in a draping cloth that hangs limply between his flexed feet. The child supports his torso with his left hand in which he holds an unidentifiable object, he also holds a small bird in his right hand. The sculpture rests on a heavy socle inscribed with barely visible letters spanning the upper part of the socle vertically.
Baalshillem Temple Boy: a votive marble statue of a royal child, inscribed in Phoenician, from the Eshmun sanctuary, c. 400s BC

EtymologyEdit

The name Baalshillem is the Latinized form of the Phoenician 𐤁𐤏𐤋𐤔𐤋𐤌‎ (BʿLŠLM), meaning "recompense of Baal".[3][4] Alternative spellings of the king's name include Baalchillem.[5]

ChronologyEdit

The absolute chronology of the kings of Sidon from the dynasty of Eshmunazar I onward has been much discussed in the literature; traditionally placed in the course of the fifth century, inscriptions of this dynasty have been dated back to an earlier period on the basis of numismatic, historical and archaeological evidence. The most complete work addressing the dates of the reigns of these Sidonian kings is by the French historian Josette Elayi who shifted away from the use of biblical chronology. Elayi used all the available documentation of the time and included inscribed Tyrian seals and stamps excavated by the Lebanese archaeologist Maurice Chehab in 1972 from Jal el-Bahr, a neighborhood in the north of Tyre, ⁣[6][7][8][9][10] Phoenician inscriptions discovered by the French archaeologist Maurice Dunand in Sidon in 1965,[11] and the systematic study of Sidonian coins which were the first coins to bear minting dates in antiquity based on the years of reign of the Sidonian kings.[12][13]

Baalshillem I was the first among Sidonian monarchs to mark coins with issuing dates corresponding with the years of his reign as of year 30 which corresponds to 372 BC. Elayi established that Baalshillem I's year of accession was 450 BC and that he reigned until 426 BC.[14][15][16][17]

Historical contextEdit

In 539 BC, Phoenicia fell under the Achaemenid rule; it was divided into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre, Byblos and Arwad.[18][19] Eshmunazar I, a priest of Astarte and the founder of his namesake dynasty was enthroned King of Sidon around the time of the Achaemenid conquest of the Levant.[20] During the first phase of Achaemenid rule, Sidon flourished and reclaimed its former standing as Phoenicia's chief city.[20][21][22] In the mid 5th century BC, Eshmunazar's dynasty was succeeded by that of Baalshillem I; this dynastic turnover coincides with the time by which Sidon began to independently mint its own coinage bearing the images of its reigning kings.[15]

Epigraphic and numismatic sourcesEdit

The name of Baalshillem I is known from a votive statue of a "temple boy" offered to Eshmun, the Phoenician god of healing, by the great-grandson of King Ballshillem I, his namesake Ballshillem II. The base of the Baalshillem temple boy statue bears a Phoenician inscription known as KAI 281.[23][24] The inscription reads:

This (is the) statue that Baalshillem, son of King Ba'na, king of the Sidonians, son of King Abdamun, king of the Sidonians, son of King Baalshillem, king of the Sidonians, gave to his lord Eshmun at the "Ydll" Spring. May he bless him.[23]

The statue is of note because its inscription provides the names of four kings of Sidon from the Baalshillem I dynasty.[23][25] The statue also represents the young future king Abdashtart I, who may have been five or six months of age at the time of the dedication of the statue.[26]

Baalshillem I is also known from the coins he struck under his reign. The coins dating from the reign of the Baalshillem I dynasty show the abbreviated names of the respective kings, a custom of the Sidonian royalty.[26] King Baalshillem I's name is abbreviated as B.[2] The obverse of the coins of Baalshillem I usually showed a galley in front of Sidonian wall fortifications.[26]

GenealogyEdit

Baalshillem I's dynasty succeeded that of Eshmunazar I; his heir was his son Abdamun.[27][28]

Baalshillem I dynasty
Baalshillem I
Abdamon
Baana
Baalshillem II
Abdashtart I

[29][28]

See alsoEdit

  • King of Sidon — A list of the ancient rulers of the city of Sidon

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Markoe 2000, p. 58.
  2. ^ a b Elayi 2006, p. 9.
  3. ^ Ingraham 1997, p. 541.
  4. ^ Bonnet 2017, p. 59.
  5. ^ Vanel 1967, p. 73.
  6. ^ Kaoukabani 2005, p. 4.
  7. ^ Elayi 2006, p. 2.
  8. ^ Chéhab 1983, p. 171.
  9. ^ Xella & López 2005b.
  10. ^ Greenfield 1985, pp. 129–134.
  11. ^ Dunand 1965, pp. 105–109.
  12. ^ Elayi 2006.
  13. ^ Elayi & Elayi 2004.
  14. ^ Elayi 2006, pp. 9, 22, 31.
  15. ^ a b Elayi 2006, p. 8.
  16. ^ Elayi 2007, p. 100.
  17. ^ Elayi 2010, p. 164.
  18. ^ Elayi 2006, p. 1.
  19. ^ Boardman et al. 2000, p. 156.
  20. ^ a b Zamora 2016, p. 253.
  21. ^ Elayi 2006, p. 7.
  22. ^ Pritchard & Fleming 2011, pp. 311–312.
  23. ^ a b c Elayi 2018a, p. 249.
  24. ^ Xella & López 2005a, p. 122 footnote.
  25. ^ Vance 1994, p. 12.
  26. ^ a b c Elayi 2018a, p. 250.
  27. ^ Elayi 2006, p. 9–11.
  28. ^ a b Gibson 1982, p. 115.
  29. ^ Elayi 2006, pp. 9–10.

BibliographyEdit

  • Boardman, John; Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière; Lewis, David Malcolm; Ostwald, Martin (2000). The Cambridge Ancient History: Persia, Greece and the Western Mediterranean c.525 to 479 B.C. Vol. 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521228046.
  • Bonnet, Corinne (2017). "Cartographier les mondes divins à partir des épithètes : prémisses et ambitions d'un projet de recherche européen (ERC Advanced Grant)". Rivista di studi fenici. XLV.
  • Chéhab, Maurice (1983). "Découvertes phéniciennes au Liban" [Phoenician discoveries in Lebanon]. Atti del I congresso internazionale di studi Fenici e Punici [Proceedings of the first International Congress of Phoenician and Punic studies] (in French).
  • Dunand, Maurice (1965). "Nouvelles inscriptions phéniciennes du temple d'Echmoun, près Sidon" [New Phoenician inscriptions from the temple of Echmoun, near Sidon]. Bulletin du Musée de Beyrouth (in French). Ministère de la Culture – Direction Générale des Antiquités (Liban). 18: 105–109.
  • Elayi, Josette; Elayi, A. G. (2004). Le monnayage de la cité phénicienne de Sidon à l'époque perse (Ve-IVe s. av. J.-C.): Texte [The coinage of the Phoenician city of Sidon in the Persian era (V–IV s. av. J.-C.): Text] (in French). Paris: Gabalda. ISBN 9782850211584.
  • Elayi, Josette (2006). "An updated chronology of the reigns of Phoenician kings during the Persian period (539–333 BCE)" (PDF). Digitorient. Collège de France – UMR7912. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-07-30.
  • Elayi, Josette (2007). "Gerashtart, King of the Phoenician City of Arwad in the 4th century BC". The Numismatic Chronicle. 167: 99–104. ISSN 0078-2696. JSTOR 42666933.
  • Elayi, Josette (2010). "An Unexpected Archaeological Treasure: The Phoenician Quarters in Beirut City Center". Near Eastern Archaeology. 73 (2–3): 156–168. doi:10.1086/nea25754044. ISSN 1094-2076.
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  • Gibson, John Clark Love (1982). Textbook of Syrian Semitic inscriptions. Vol. 3. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780198131991.
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Preceded by
?
King of Sidon
c. 450– c. 426BC
Succeeded by
Baana