The town was settled by Phoenicians in the 6th or 5th century BC, and named Arshuf after Resheph, the Canaanite god of fertility and the underworld. It was then a part of the Persian Empire and governed from Sidon. Phoenicians of Arshuf produced precious purple dye, derived from murex mollusks, which they exported to the Aegean.
During the Hellenistic period it was an anchorage town, ruled by Seleucids and re-named Apollonia, as the Greeks identified Reshef with Apollo.
In 1101 Arsuf fell to a Crusader army led by Baldwin I of Jerusalem. The Crusaders, who called it Arsur, rebuilt the city's walls and created the Lordship of Arsur in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187 Arsuf was captured by the Muslims, but fell again to the Crusaders on September 7, 1191 after a battle between Richard I of England and Saladin.
John of Ibelin, Lord of Beirut (1177—1236) became Lord of Arsur in 1207 when he married Melisende of Arsur (born c.1170). Their son John of Arsur (c.1211—1258) inherited the title. The title then passed to John of Arsur's eldest son Balian (1239—1277). He built new walls, the big fortress and new harbor (1241). From 1261, the city was ruled by the Knights Hospitaller.
In 1265 sultan Baibars, ruler of the Mamluks, captured Arsur, after 40 days of siege. The Mamluks razed the city walls and the fortress to their foundations, fearing a return of the Crusaders. The destruction was so complete that the site has not been resettled since.
Textul dupa WIKIPEDIA