A titular see of Phoenicia. Byblos is the Greek name of Gebal "The Mountain", one of the oldest cities in Phoenicia Prima, quoted in an Egyptian inscription as early as 1550 B.C. Its inhabitants were skilled in stone and wood-carving ( 1 Kings 5:18 ) and in shipbuilding ( Ezekiel 27:9 ). It was governed by kings, the last of whom was dethroned by Pompey. It is celebrated chiefly for its temple of Adonis, or Thammouz, whose voluptuous worship spread thence over Greece and Italy. It was the native place of Philo, a Greek historian and grammarian. As a Christian see it was suffragan to Tyre and according to one tradition, its first bishop was John Mark, the companion of St. Paul and St. Barnabas. Five other bishops are known before 553 ( Lequien, Or. Chr., II, 821). The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 551 ( Malalas, Chronogr., XVIII, P.G., XCVII, 704) and was in ruins as late as 570 (Pseudo-Antoninus, ed. Geyer, 159). The Crusaders took it in 1104; it then had a Greek bishop, but he was obliged to yield his see to a Latin successor, and from 1130 to 1500 about twenty Latin bishops are known ( Lequien, Or. Chr., III, 1177; Eubel, Hier. Cath., I, 139; II, 119). Many Latin bishops are mentioned in "Revue Bénédictine", 1904, 98, sqq.; 1907, 63, sq. The modern Arabic name is Gebail. It is a mere village with about 1,000 inhabitants, almost all Christians (650 Maronites ). There are thirteen churches; three of them are very beautiful and trace their origin to the Crusades. There is also at Byblos a castle of the same time, likewise some ruins of temples of Adonis and Isis. Gebail is yet a diocese for the Orthodox Greeks. For the Catholic or Melkite Greeks, the title of Byblos is united with Beirut, and for the Maronites with that of Batroun (Botrys).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online