Archaeological evidence has shown that the Phoenician civilization began to develop around 3000 BC and that it was trading with the Egyptians shortly after that. But it wasn't until about 1200 BC that the Phoenicians began to establish the great commercial empire that has made them celebrated. Their ships, equipped for both commerce and war, dominated the Mediterranean; some say that they sailed as far as Britain and may have even voyaged all the way around Africa.
Take a virtual reality tour of one of history's most intriguing ancient civilizations. Sail with a Phoenician captain to the ancient ports of the Mediterranean Byblos, Rhodes, Tharros, Motya, and the famous Roman naval base at Carthage.
The Mediterranean Sea played a key role in the development of the ancient world. Here, explore four smaller cultures that had an enormous influence on subsequent history, particularly trade and cultural exchange: the Phoenicians, the Hebrews, the Minoans, and the Mycenaeans.
The history of the Phoenicians, explorers and merchants, is little known. What a paradox for this ingenious people, who invented the alphabet, to have left so few written traces of their existence. Their literature, recorded on papyrus, has disappeared. And yet this civilization fired the imagination of its contemporaries--the Jews in particular--inspiring terror among the Romans and Greeks, who depicted them as a cruel people who practiced human sacrifice. Their clients were the pharaohs and the Assyrians, their ships criss-crossed the Mediterranean, laden with the luxuries of the day such as wine, oil, grain, and mineral ore. Buried beneath the modern cities of Lebanon, and a few of Syria and Israel, ancient Phoenicia has resuscitated in this volume.
Phoenicia has long been known as the homeland of the Mediterranean seafarers who gave the Greeks their alphabet. But along with this fairly well-known reality, many mysteries remain, in part because the record of the coastal cities and regions that the people of Phoenicia inhabited is fragmentary and episodic. In this magnum opus, the late Brian Peckham examines all of the evidence currently available to paint as complete a portrait as is possible of the land, its history, its people, and its culture. In fact, it was not the Phoenicians but the Canaanites who invented the alphabet; what distinguished the Phoenicians in their turn was the transmission of the alphabet, which was a revolutionary invention, to everyone they met. The Phoenicians were traders and merchants, the Tyrians especially, thriving in the back-and-forth of barter in copper for Levantine produce. They were artists, especially the Sidonians, known for gold and silver masterpieces engraved with scenes from the stories they told and which they exchanged for iron and eventually steel; and they were builders, like the Byblians, who taught the alphabet and numbers as elements of their trade.
Who were the ancient Phoenicians, and did they actually exist? The Phoenicians traveled the Mediterranean long before the Greeks and Romans, trading, establishing settlements, and refining the art of navigation. But who these legendary sailors really were has long remained a mystery. In Search of the Phoenicians makes the startling claim that the "Phoenicians" never actually existed. Taking readers from the ancient world to today, this monumental book argues that the notion of these sailors as a coherent people with a shared identity, history, and culture is a product of modern nationalist ideologies--and a notion very much at odds with the ancient sources. Josephine Quinn shows how the belief in this historical mirage has blinded us to the compelling identities and communities these people really constructed for themselves in the ancient Mediterranean, based not on ethnicity or nationhood but on cities, family, colonial ties, and religious practices. She traces how the idea of "being Phoenician" first emerged in support of the imperial ambitions of Carthage and then Rome, and only crystallized as a component of modern national identities in contexts as far-flung as Ireland and Lebanon. In Search of the Phoenicians delves into the ancient literary, epigraphic, numismatic, and artistic evidence for the construction of identities by and for the Phoenicians, ranging from the Levant to the Atlantic, and from the Bronze Age to late antiquity and beyond. A momentous scholarly achievement, this book also explores the prose, poetry, plays, painting, and polemic that have enshrined these fabled seafarers in nationalist histories from sixteenth-century England to twenty-first century Tunisia.
Examines the history, people, culture, civilization, and achievements of the Phoenicians, whose supremacy in shipbuilding and navigation enabled them to be masters of the ancient world for three hundred years.
The Phoenician crucible -- Settlements and dependencies -- Tyr and Sidon as rivals -- westward expansion -- The Persian threat -- The glory of Carthage -- Primitive gods -- The invention of the alphabet -- A world of merchants -- A decisive step for mankind.
I. The people, their origin and affinities --- II. Geography --- III. History of the Phoenicians in their homeland --- IV. The Phoenician expansion ... VI. Government, constitution, social structure --- VII. Religion --- VIII. Language, script, texts.
A definitive four-part study of the Phoenicians: Part 1 treats their history, military and political organization, commerce and industry, alphabet, and religion; part 2 is on the great areas of their expansion, e.g., North Africa and Spain; part 3 focuses on Phoenician art, e.g., jewelry, pottery, and coins; part 4 details the Phoenicians contacts with Etruscans, Egyptians, and others. Many translators, museologists, and other specialists have contributed to this extraordinary volume, which also contains a catalog of the special Phoenician exhibit in Venice's Palazzo Grassi museum. There are more than 1500 illustrations.
Between the eighth and the sixth centuries BC, Phoenicians established the first trading system to encompass the entire length of the Mediterranean basin, from their homeland, in what is now Lebanon, to colonies in Cyprus, Tunisia, Sicily, Sardinia and southern Spain. The Phoenician state was able to maintain its independence, depite the territorial expansion of the Assyrians, in return for tribute provided by its western colonies. Archaeological research over the last two decades has changed our understanding of these colonies and their relationship to local Iron Age communities.
The Phoenicians in the East -- Name, people, and region -- History -- Religion -- Art -- Economy and trade -- Script and language -- Phoenician expansion -- The Phoenicians in Cyprus -- Phoenicians and Carthaginians in Africa -- History -- Religion -- Art -- Economy and trade -- Script and language -- The colonies in the west -- Malta, Gozo, Pantelleria -- Sicily -- Sardinia -- Spain