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Roman Triumphal Arch, Ancient City of Tyre, Lebanon
Triumphal arches were constructed across the Roman Empire and remain one of the most iconic examples of Roman architecture. The above arch, at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tyre,Lebanon dates back to 2nd century AD. Tyre was founded around 2750 BC according to Herodotus and it appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. The commerce of the ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. "Tyrian merchants were the first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighbouring islands of the Aegean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in Spain at Tartessus. In the time of King David (c. 1000 BC), a friendly alliance was entered into between the Kingdoms of Israel and Tyre, which was ruled by Hiram I. The city of Tyre consisted of a mainland metropolis and a small Island that stood about half a mile offshore. The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple. This color was, in many cultures of ancient times, reserved for the use of royalty, or at least nobility. It was often attacked by Egypt, besieged by Shalmaneser V, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and by Nebuchadnezzar (586–573 BC) for thirteen years, without success, although a compromise peace was made in which Tyre paid tribute to the Babylonians. The prophecy mentioned in the Prophecy of Ezekiel. 26:14 of the Holy Bible found its fulfilment regarding mainland Tyre under Nebuchadnezzar. Three years after Ezekiel's Prophecy Nebuchadnezzar moved in and besieged the ancient city of Tyre. He attacked the mainland city and held it besieged for about thirteen years. He then marched into the city to find it nearly deserted. The Tyrians had abandoned the mainland and fortified themselves on the Island of Tyre. The mainland was over-run and defeated, and it was thrown down and left in ruins. The Island continued to be a mighty power in the Mediterranean until many years later.It later fell under the power of the Persians. In 332 BC, the city was conquered by Alexander the Great, after a siege of seven months in which he built the causeway from the mainland to the island, but it continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Christian era. In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence (from the Seleucids) and was allowed to keep much of its independence when the area became a Roman province in 64 Later History Jesus Christ visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) and from this region many came forth to hear him preaching (Mark 3:8; Gospel of Luke 6:17, Matthew 11:21-23). A congregation was founded here soon after the death of Saint Stephen, and Paul of Tarsus, on his return from his third missionary journey, spent a week in conversation with the disciples there. According to Irenaeus of Lyons in Adversus Haereses, the female companion of Simon Magus came from here. After a first failed siege in 1111, it was captured by the Crusaders in 1124, becoming one of the most important cities of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was part of the royal domain, although there were also autonomous trading colonies there for the Italian merchant cities. The city was the site of the archbishop of Tyre, a suffragan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; its archbishops often acceded to the Patriarchate. The most notable of the Latin archbishops was the historian William of Tyre. After the reconquest of Acre by King Richard on July 12, 1191, the seat of the kingdom moved there, but coronations were held in Tyre. In the 13th century, Tyre was separated from the royal domain as a separate crusader lordship. In 1291, it was retaken by the Mameluks which then was followed by Ottoman rule before the modern state of Lebanon was declared in 1920. Source: WikipediaOf Kings & Queens
Re - Worked Some History : Rochester Castle is perhaps the most impressive 12th-century keep (a stronghold in the shape of a square tower) in England. Standing 34.5m (113ft) tall, even today it dominates the town of Rochester. When it was built, it was the tallest castle in the kingdom. Although it is the third castle to stand on the site, the great tower at Rochester is one of the oldest in England. Building started in 1127, when custody of the castle was granted by Henry I to William de Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury. William proceeded to build a truly mighty tower. As well as being exceedingly tall, the keep was 21m (70ft) square, and at its base the walls were 3.5m (12ft) thick. Archbishop's palace : Like all true castles, however, Rochester was not just a defensive building, but a palatial residence fit for the most powerful churchman in England. Inside, there is plenty of evidence that this was once one of the grandest buildings in existence. Beautifully decorated Norman arches are visible everywhere, and the castle has a spectacular great hall and top-floor apartments. It was a very comfortable place to live. Every floor is served by an internal well-shaft, and has grand fireplaces and garderobes (toilets). Such luxuries meant that, for most of the time, life at Rochester was very pleasant. But, in 1215, a large number of English barons, tired of King John's financial oppressions, resorted to arms and forced the reluctant king to promise to behave himself in the future. The king's promises are set out in what became one of the most famous documents in English history – Magna Carta. Bad King John : When John ignored Magna Carta (he wrote to the Pope to get it torn up), he triggered a full-scale civil war. Both the king and the rebel barons were waiting for troops to arrive from France, and so control of the rivers and roads in Kent became essential. Thinking quickly, a group of barons rushed to Rochester and seized control of the castle. Two days later, John was outside, determined to take the castle by force. The result was one of the biggest and most spectacular sieges in English history. The king used every means at his disposal to try and break into the keep, including a ceaseless barrage of missiles from his five great trebuchets (catapults). The mighty tower, however, held out, even though hunger had reduced the men inside to eating their own horses. Eventually, John ended the siege by digging a mine shaft under the keep and collapsing it by burning the pit-props (which held the tunnel up) using the fat from 40 pigs. The collapse of the tunnel caused a quarter of the keep to come crashing down, and the siege was soon ended. Peace at last : A few months later John dropped dead from over-eating, and the peace of the kingdom was restored. The keep at Rochester was repaired, but when the collapsed tower was rebuilt it was made round rather than square. This is a good indication that by the 13th century, ideas about castle design were beginning to change, partly as a result of sieges such as the one at Rochester. The castle today Today Rochester Castle is in the care of English Heritage and is managed by Medway Council.
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