Tyre, an ancient Phoenician port city on the eastern Mediterranean coast. It was the main port of Phoenicia's trade empire. Tyre was situated on both the mainland and an island, which eventually became joined to form a peninsula. The site, 45 miles (72 km) southwest of present Beirut, Lebanon, is now occupied by the Lebanese city of Sur. There are a few remains of Greco-Roman Tyre, but most of the ruins date from the 12th and 13th centuries, when the Crusaders ruled the city.
Tyre's founding date is not known, but its far-flung maritime trade was well established by 1100 B.C. Tyre was world famous for its industries and especially for its skill in making highly valued purple dyes. In the 10th century B.C. King Hiram of Tyre made the city into a fortress; he had the main harbor facilities moved to the island and had the island surrounded by sea walls. These measures were ineffectual, however, and Tyre at various times was either ruled by or forced to pay tribute to the Assyrians, Babylonians (Chaldeans), and Persians.
Tyre fell to Alexander the Great after a long siege in 332 B.C. and to the Macedonian general Antigonus, founder of the Antigonid Kingdom, in 316 B.C. The city became a part of the Roman Empire in 64 B.C. In the seventh century A.D. Tyre fell under Muslim rule. The Crusaders took the city in 1124. After it was retaken and sacked by the Muslims in 1291, the city never regained the commanding position it once held as a commercial center. Tyre was part of the territory the Ottoman Turks conquered in 1516.