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(also Jebeil), a town in Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast in the mukhafaz (province) of Mount Lebanon. Population, about 3,000. Jubayl has a railroad station and a brewery.
In ancient times, it was known by the Greek name Byblos (in Akkadian, Gubla; in Hebrew, Gebal). From the third to the second millennium B.C., Jubayl was the most important commercial and trading center of Phoenicia. It had lively trade relations with Egypt, exporting timber in exchange for papyrus, linen, and other goods. At the end of the second millennium B.C., with the rise in Phoenicia of Tyre and Sidon, Jubayl lost its position of leadership. Subsequently, Assyria and Babylonia frequently conquered the town. During the rule of the Achaemenids and during the Hellenistic-Roman period, it experienced an upsurge, coining its own money (from the fifth century B.C.) and achieving self-government. In the seventh century A.D. it was conquered by the Arabs.
Systematic excavations in Jubayl have been conducted since 1921. The remains of buildings from the Phoenician period have been found (the temples of the goddess Baalat and the god Resheph), as well as buildings of the Roman period (a temple, basilica, nymphaeum, and theater). Other buildings found in Jubayl include the ruins of medieval stone fortress walls, a castle (12th to 13th century), the Church of St. John the Baptist (12th century; western facade, 20th century), and a baptistry (13th century). A new center of the town is being built according to the design of the Lebanese architect A. Edde.
REFERENCESDunand, M. Fouilles de Byblos, vols. 1-2. Paris, 1937-58.
Klengel, M. Geschichte Syriens im 2 Jahrtausend von unserer Zeit, part 2. Berlin, 1969.