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Hiram I

Hiram I was king of Tyre from 969 BC to 936 BC.During his reign, Tyre grew out from a satellite to the more important city of Sidon to the most important of the Phoenician cities and the holder of a large trading empire.

Hiram allied himself with king Solomon of Israel, the upcoming power of the region; together they would fill the power gap that was left by the retreat of Egypt when Assyria and Damascus were unable to do so. Through the alliance with Solomon, Hiram ensured himself access to the major trade routes to Egypt, Arabia and Mesopotamia. The two kings also joined forces in starting a trade route over the Red Sea, connecting the Israeli harbour of Ezion-geber with a land called Ophir.

Both kings grew rich through this trade, and Solomon built a magnificent palace and a temple for Yahweh, while Hiram extended the Tyrean harbour, enlarged the city by joining the two islands on which it was built, and built a royal palace and a temple for Melkart.

Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by Baal-Eser I (935-919).

Hiram is revered by the Freemasons (as Hiram Abiff) for his part in the construction of Solomons temple (which they believe that they were assistants in creating). During the height of Masonic membership in America, Hiram became a common name.