Where Was Beirut in Ancient Times?

Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, is a bustling metropolis located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This city has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. In this article, we will explore where Beirut was in ancient times and uncover some fascinating facts about this historical city.

Early History

Beirut’s earliest known history dates back to the Bronze Age when it was known as Berytus. The city was inhabited by the Phoenicians who were renowned for their seafaring skills and trade. They established Berytus as an important trading center due to its strategic location on the coast.

During this time, Berytus became a prosperous city with a thriving economy that attracted people from all over the region. The Phoenicians built an impressive harbor and developed a sophisticated system of trade that allowed them to establish lucrative business relationships with other civilizations including Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.

Roman Era

In 64 BC, Beirut came under Roman rule after being conquered by Pompey the Great. The Romans recognized the strategic importance of Beirut and transformed it into an important commercial center. They built several public buildings such as theaters, temples, baths, and markets that reinforced Beirut’s position as a thriving metropolis.

One of Beirut’s most significant structures from this era is the Roman Law School which was established in 200 AD. This school was renowned for its legal teachings and attracted students from all over the Roman Empire who came to study under some of the most prominent legal minds of the time.

Medieval Era

In 635 AD, Beirut was conquered by Muslim forces led by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid during the Arab-Islamic Conquest. During this period, Beirut became an important cultural center for Islamic scholarship with several notable philosophers and scholars such as Al-Farabi and Ibn Rushd residing in the city.

In the 12th century, Beirut was ruled by the Crusaders who transformed the city into a fortified stronghold. The Crusaders built several castles and fortresses including the famous Castle of Beirut which still stands today as a testament to this era.

Modern Era

In 1516, Beirut came under Ottoman rule and remained so until the end of World War I. During this time, Beirut experienced significant growth with several public works projects such as roads and hospitals being constructed.

In the early 20th century, Beirut became a hub for cultural and intellectual exchange which attracted writers, artists, and scholars from all over the world. This era saw the emergence of several prominent Lebanese writers such as Khalil Gibran whose works continue to be celebrated today.


In conclusion, Beirut’s rich history spans thousands of years from its early days as Berytus to its current status as a thriving metropolis. Throughout its history, Beirut has been shaped by various civilizations that have left their mark on the city’s architecture, culture, and identity. Today, Beirut remains a vibrant city that is renowned for its beauty, culture, and hospitality.