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Phoenicia

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(Φοινίκη ), a country whose inhabitants necessarily held important and intimate relations, not only to the Hebrews, but to all antiquity. The latest and most complete authority on this subject is Rawlinson's History of Phelnicia (London, 1889).

I. The Land.

1. Name. "Phoenice" was not the name by which its native inhabitants called it, but was given to it by the Greeks, who called those merchants who came from that coast of the Mediterranean Sea which runs parallel with Mount Lebanon Φοινικες . In Cicero (De Fin. 4:20) there occurs the doubtful reading Phoenicia (comp. the Vulgate in Numbers 33:51). However, this latter form of the name has come into general use (comp. Gesenii Monumenta Phenicia [Leips. 1837], page 338; Forbiger, Handbuch der alien Geographie [ibid. 1842-1844], page 659 sq.). This name has been variously derived. It is possibly from Phoenix the son of Agenor and the brother of Cadmus. It perhaps arose from the circumstance that the chief article of the commerce of these merchants was φοινός, purple. The word φοινός means blood-red, and is probably related to φόνος, mzurder. This derivation of the name is alluded to by Strabo (1:42). Others imagine as naturally that the color does not give name to the people, but is named after them: as our damask, from Damascus; or our "calico," from Calicut. The term, as an epithet of color, may also apply, as Kenrick supposes, to the sunburnt complexion of the people. But after all, in the opinion of others, a Greek derivation may not be admissible, for the name may be original or Shemitic though it is ridiculous in Scaliger, Fuller, and Glassius to identify it with פנג, "to live luxuriously," in allusion to the results of Phoenician wealth and merchandise. Strabo, however, maintains that the Phoenicians were called Φοίνικες , because they resided originally on the coasts of the Red Sea. Bochart, in his Canaan (1:1), derives the name from the Hebrew בני ענק, sons of Anak. Reland, in his Palcestina ex Monumentis Veteribus IIlustrata, derives it from φοίνιξ, palm-tree; and this is the etymology now generally acquiesced in. The palmtree is seen, as an emblem, on some coins of Aradus, Tyre, and Sidon; and there are now several palm-trees within the circuit of modern Tyre, and along the coast at various points; but the tree is not at the present day one of the characteristic features of the country. The native name of Phoenicia was Kendan (Canaan) or Kna, signifying Lowland, so named in contrast to the adjoining Aram, i.e., Highland, the Hebrew name of Syria. The name Kenaan is preserved on a coin of Laodicea of the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, whereon Laodicea is styled "a mother city in Canaan," ללארכא אם בכנען Kna or Chnd (Χνᾶ ) is mentioned distinctly by Herodian the grammarian as the old name of Phoenicia. Hence, as Phoenicians or Canaanites were the most powerful of all tribes in Palestine at the time of its invasion by Joshua, the Israelites, in speaking of their own territory as it was before the conquest, called it "the land of Calnaan." (See CANAAN).

In the O.T. the word Phoenicia does not occur, as might be expected from its being a Greek name. In the Apocrypha it is not defined, though spoken of as being, with Coele-Syria, under one military commander (2 Maccabees 3:5; 2 Maccabees 3:8; 2 Maccabees 8:8; 2 Maccabees 10:11; 3 Maccabees 3:15). In the N.T. the word occurs only in three passages, Acts 11:19; Acts 15:3; Acts 21:2; and not one of these affords a clew as to how far the writer deemed Phoenicia to extend. On the other hand, Josephus possibly agreed with Strabo; for he expressly says that Csesarea is situated in Phoenicia (Ant. 15:9, 6); and although he never makes a similar statement respecting Joppa, yet he speaks, in one passage, of the coast of Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt, as if Syria and Phoenicia exhausted the line of coast on the Mediterranean Sea to the north of Egypt (War, 3:9, 2).

The Phoenicians in general are sometimes called Sidonians (comp. Gesenii Monumenta Phoenicia, 2:267 sq.; Thesaurus Linguce Hebraicae, under the word צידון ). Justinus (18:3) alludes to the etymology of this name: "A city being built which they called Sidon, from the abundance of fishes; for the Phoenicians call a fish sidon." This statement is not quite correct. But the root צוד, which in Hebrew means only to catch beasts and birds, can also be employed in Arabic when the catching of fishes is spoken of. This root occurs also in the Aramaic, in the signification of both hunting and fishing ( (See ZIDON) ).

2. Extent. Phoenicia in general is the name applied to a country on the coast of Syria, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west and Lebanon on the east; Syria and Judaea forming its northern and southern limits respectively, situated between about 34° to 366 N. lat., and 45° to 36° E. long. Yet the extent of its territory varied so considerably at different times that the geographical definitions of the ancient writers differ in a very remarkable manner. Thus, while in Genesis 10:19 Canaan does not reach northwards beyond Sidon-a place which in early times gave the name to the whole people (יושבי צידון צידנים, Deuteronomy, Judges) and Byblus and Berytus are considered as lying beyond it (Genesis 10:15 sq.; Joshua 13:5), it comprised in the Persian period (Herod. 3:91) Posidium, as high as 35° 52'. Later still (Pliny, Strabo, Ptolemy) the Eleutherus (340 60'), and subsequently (Mela, Stephanus) the island of Aradus (34° 70'), were considered its utmost northern, limits. To the south it was at times Gaza (Genesis 10:19; Zephaniah 2:5; Herod., Philo, Eustath.), at others Egypt (Numbers 24:5; Joshua 15:4; Joshua 15:47; Strabo, Procop., etc.); and, from the Macedonian period chiefly, Csesarea is mentioned as its extreme point. Eastward the country sometimes comprised parts of Syria and Palestine, beyond the mountain-ridges of the former and the hill-chains of the latter.

It will thus be seen that the length of coast to which the name Phoenicia was applied varied at different times, and may be regarded under different aspects before and after the loss of its independence.

(1.) What may be termed Phoenicia proper was a narrow undulating plain, extending from the pass of Ras el-Beyad or Abyad, the "Promontorium Album" of the ancients, about six miles south of Tyre, to the Nahr el-Auly, the ancient Bostrenus, two miles north of Sidon (Robinson, Bib. Res. 2:473). The plain is only twenty-eight miles in length, and, considering the great importance of Phoenicia in the world's history, this may well be added to other instances in Greece, Italy, and Palestine, which show how little the intellectual influence of a city or state has depended on the extent of its territory. Its average breadth is about a mile (Porter, Handbookfor Syria, 2:396); but near Sidon the mountains retreat to a distance of two miles, and near Tyre to a distance of five miles (Kenrick, Phoenicia, page 19). The whole of Phoenicia, thus understood, is called by Josephus (Ant. 5:3, 1) the great plain of the city of Sidon (τὸ μέγα πεδίον Σιδῶνος πόλεως). In it, near its northern extremity, was situated Sidon, in the north latitude of 330 34' 05"; and scarcely more than seventeen geographical miles to the south was Tyre, in the latitude of 33° 17' (admiral Smyth's Mediterranean, page 469): so that in a straight line those two renowned cities were less. than twenty English miles distant from each other. Zarephath, the Sarepta of the N.T., was situated between them, eight miles south of Sidon, to which it belonged (1 Kings 17:9; Obadiah 1:20; Luke 4:26).

(2.) A still longer district, which afterwards became fairly entitled to the name of Phoenicia, extended up the coast, to a point marked by the island of Aradus, and by Antaradus towards the north; the southern boundary remaining the same as in Phoenicia proper. Phoenicia, thus defined, is estimated by Mr. Grote (Hist. of Greece, 3:354) to have been about one hundred and twenty miles in length; while its breadth, between Lebanon and the sea, never exceeded twenty miles, and was generally much less. This estimate is most reasonable, allowing for the bends of the coast; as the direct difference in latitude between Tyre and Antaradus (Tortosa) is equivalent to one hundred and six English miles; and six miles to the south of Tyre, as already mentioned, intervene before the beginning of the pass of Ras el-Abyad. The claim of this entire district to the name of Phoenicia rests on the probable fact that the whole of it, to the north of the great plain of Sidon, was occupied by Phoenician colonists; not to mention that there seems to have been some kind of politicalconnection, however loose, between all the inhabitants (Diodorus, 16:41). Scarcely sixteen geographical miles farther north than Sidon was Berytus; with a roadstead so well suited for the purposes of modern navigation that, under the modern name of Beirut, it has eclipsed both Sidon and Tyre as an emporium for Syria. Whether this Berytus was identical with the Berothah and Berothai of Ezekiel 47:16, and of 2 Samuel 8:8, is a disputed point. Still farther north was Byblus, the Gebal of the Bible (Ezekiel 27:9), inhabited by seamen and calkers. Its inhabitants are supposed to be alluded to in the word Giblim, translated "stonesquarers" in the A.V. of 1 Kings 5:18 (32). It still retains in Arabic the kindred name of Jebeil. Then came Tripolis (now Tarabulus), said to have been founded by colonists from Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus, with three distinct towns, each a furlong apart from one another, each with its own walls, and each named from the city which supplied its colonists. General meetings of the Phoenicians seem to have been held at Tripolis (Diod. 16:41), as if a certain local jealousy had prevented the selection for this purpose of Tyre, Sidon, or Aradus. Lastly, towards the extreme point north was Aradus itself, the Arvad of Genesis 10:18 and Ezekiel 27:8, situated, like Tyre, on a small island near the mainland, and founded by exiles from Sidon.

During the period of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, the Phoenicians possessed the following towns, which we will enumerate successively in the direction from south to north: Dora (דור . Joshua 11:2; Joshua 17:11 sq.); Ptolemais (עכו, Judges 1:33); Ecdippa (אכזיב , Joshua 19:29); Tyre (צור, Joshua 19:29); Sarepta (צרפת, 1 Kings 17:9 sq.; Luke 4:26); Sidon (צידון, Genesis 10:15); Berytus (ברותה, Ezekiel 47:16; 2 Samuel 8:8); Byblus (גבל, Joshua 13:5); Tripolis, Simyra (הצמרי, Genesis 10:18); Arka (הערקי, Genesis 10:17); Simna (הסיני , Genesis 10:16); Aradus (הארודי, Genesis 10:18). Comp. the respective articles on these towns. Sidon is the only Phoenician town mentioned in Homer (see Iliad, 6:239; 23:743; Odyss. 15:415; 17:424).

3. Geographical Features. The whole of Phoenicia proper is well watered by various streams from the adjoining hills; of these the two largest are the Khasimiyeh, a few miles north of Tyre the ancient name of which, strange to say, is not certain, though it is conjectured to have been the Leontes and the Bostrenus, already mentioned, north of Sidon. The soil is fertile, although now generally ill-cultivated; but in the neighborhood of Sidon there are rich gardens and orchards. The havens of Tyre and Sidon afforded water of sufficient depth for all the requirements of ancient navigation, and the neighboring range of the Lebanon, in its extensive forests, firnished what then seemed a nearly inexhaustible supply of timber for ship-building. To the north of Bostrenus, between that river and Beirfit, lies the only desolate and barren part of Phoenicia. It is crossed by the ancient Tamyras or Damuras, the modern Nahr ed-Damur. From Beirut the plains are again fertile. The principal streams are the Lycus, now the Nahr el-Kelb, not far north from Beirat; the Adonis, now the Nahr Ibrahim, about five miles south of Gebal; and the Eleutherus, now the Nahr el-Kebir, in the bend between Tripolis and Antaradus.

The climate of Phoenicia an item of immense moment in the history of a nation varies very considerably. Near the coast, and in the lower plains, the heat in summer is at times tropical, while the more mountainous regions enjoy a moderate temperature, and in winter even heavy falls of snow are not uncommon. In the southern parts the early rains begin in October, and are, after an interval of dry weather, followed by the winter rains, which last till March, the time of the "latter" rains. From May till October the sky remains cloudless. The rare difference of temperature found in so small a compass is thus happily described by Volney: "If the heat of July is oppressive, a six hours' journey to the neighboring mountains transports you into the coolness of March; and if, on the contrary, the hoar-frost troubles you at Besharrai, a day's travel will bring you into the midst of blooming May;" or, as an Arabic poet has it, "Lebanon bears winter on its head, spring on its shoulders, autumn on its lap, and summer at its foot." The dense population assembled in the great mercantile towns greatly contributed to augment by artificial means the natural fertility of the soil. The population of the country is at present very much reduced, but there are still found aqueducts and artificial vineyards formed of mould carried up to the terraces of the native rock. Ammianus Marcellinus says (14:8), "Phoenicia is a charming and beautiful country, adorned with large and elegant cities." Even now this country is among the most fertile in Western Asia. It produces wheat, rye, and barley, and, besides the more ordinary fruits, also apricots, peaches, pomegranates, almonds, citrons, oranges, figs, dates, sugar-cane, and grapes, which furnish an excellent wine. In addition to these products, it yields cotton, silk, and tobacco. The country is also adorned by the variegated flowers of oleander and cactus. The higher regions are distinguished from the bare mountains of Palestine by being covered with oaks, pines, cypress-trees, acacias, and tamarisks; and above all by majestic cedars, of which there are still a few very old trees, whose stems measure from thirty to forty feet in circumference. The inhabitants of Sur still carry on a profitable traffic with the produce of Mount Lebanon, namely, in wood and charcoal. Phoenicia produces also flocks of sheep and goats; and innumerable swarms of bees supply excellent honey. In the forests there are bears, wolves, panthers, and jackals. The sea furnishes great quantities of fish, so that Sidon, the most ancient among the Phoenician towns, derived its name from fishing.

II. The People.

1. Respecting the ethnography of the Phoenicians, we have only to observe that the opinions are as much divided on the subject as ever. According to Genesis 10:15, Canaan had eleven "sons" ("Canaan begat Sidon his first-born, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterwards were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad"), six of whom had settled in the north of Palestine; and although all his descendants are sometimes included, both by classical writers and the Sept. (e.g. in Joshua 5:1; Joshua 5:12), in the name of Φοίνικες, yet in general the term chiefly applies to the inhabitants of the north. Scripture speaks of them as descendants of primeval giants (Autochthons) who had inhabited Canaan since the flood-that is, from times immemorial. Considering the careful attention paid by the Biblical writers to the early history of Palestine, and the close contact between the Phoenicians and Israelites, it would appear as if all traditions of a time anterior to their sojourn in that land had been long lost. Genesis 10:6, on the other hand, calls Canaan a descendant of Ham a statement which, unless explained to refer to their darker skins, would seem to war against their being indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, or a Shemitic population, an assumption much favored by their language. Herodotus, however, makes them, both on their own statements and by accounts preserved in Persian historians, immigrants from "the Erythreean Sea;" and Justin backs the notion of immigration by recording that the Tyrian nation was founded by the Phoenicians, and that these, being forced by an earthquake to leave their native land, first settled on the Assyrian lake (Dead Sea or lake of Gennesareth), and subsequently on a shore near the sea, where they founded a city called Sidon. The locality of the "Erythreean Sea," however, is a moot point still. It is taken by different investigators to stand either for the Arabian or Persian Gulf; the latter view being apparently favored by the occurrence of Phoenician names borne by some of its islands (Strabo) though these may have been given them by late Phoenician colonists. Some have seen in them the Hyksos driven to Syria. Without entering any further into these most difficult, and, in the absence of all trustworthy information, more than vague speculations, so much appears certain, that many immigrations of Shemitic branches into Phoenicia, at different periods and from different parts, must have taken place, and that these gradually settled into the highly civilized nationality which we find constituted as early as the time of Abraham (Genesis 12:6, או = then, already; comp. Aben-Ezra, ad loc., and Spinoza, Tract. Theol.Pol. chapter 8). It would be extremely vain to venture an opinion on the individuality of the different tribes that, wave-like, rushed into the country from various sides, at probably widely distant dates. The only apparently valuable tradition on the subject seems contained in the above- quoted passage of Genesis 10:15-18. But there is one point which can be proved to be in the highest degree probable, and which has peculiar interest as bearing on the Jews, viz. that the Phoenicians were of the same race as the Canaanites. This remarkable fact, which, taken in connection with the language of the Phoenicians, leads to some interesting results, is rendered probable by the following circumstances:

1st. The native name of Phoenicia, as already pointed out, was Canaan, a name signifying "lowland." This was well given to the narrow slip of plain between the Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea, in contrast to the elevated mountain range adjoining; but it would have been inappropriate to that part of Palestine conquered by the Israelites, which was undoubtedly a hill-country (see Movers, Das Phoenizische Alterthum, 1:5); so that, when it is known that the Israelites at the time of their invasion found in Palestine a powerful tribe called the Canaanites, and from them called Palestine, the land of Canaan, it is obviously suggested that the Canaanites came originally from the neighboring plain, called Canaan along the sea-coast.

2d. This is further confirmed through the name in Africa whereby the Carthaginian Phoenicians called themselves, as attested by Augustine, who states that the peasants in his part of Africa, if asked of what race they were, would answer, in Punic or Phoenician, "Canaanites" (Opera Omnia, 4:1235; Exposit. Epist. ad Rom. § 13).

3d. The conclusion thus suggested is strongly supported by the tradition that the names of persons and places in the land of Canaan not only when the Israelites invaded it, but likewise previously, when "there were yet but a few of them," and Abraham is said to have visited it-were Phoenician or Hebrew: such, for example, as Abimelek, "father of the king" (Genesis 20:2); Melchizedek, "king of righteousness" (Genesis 14:18); Kirjath-sepher, "city of the book" (Joshua 15:15). As above observed, in Greek writers also occurs the name χνά for Phcenicia (comp. Gesenii Thesaurus Linguae Hebraicae [Leips. 1839], 2:696, and Gesenii Monumenta Phoenicia, page 570 sq.). The dialect of the Israelites perhaps resembled more the Aramaean, and that of the Phoenicians more the Arabic; but this difference was nearly effaced when both nations resided in the same country, and had frequent intercourse with each other. Concerning the original country of the Phoenicians and their immigration into Canaan, comp. especially Bertheau, Zur Geschichte der Israeliten (Gottingen, 1840), pages 152-186, and Lengerke, Kanaan, Volks- und Religionsgeschichte Israels (Kinigsberg, 1844), 1:182 sq.

2. Government. Two principal divisions existed anciently among these Canaanites: these were those of the interior of Palestine, and the tribes inhabiting the sea-coast, Phoenicia proper. By degrees three special tribes, more powerful than the rest, formed, as it were, the nucleus around which the multitude of minor ones gathered and became one nationality, viz. the inhabitants of Sidon, of Tyre, and of Aradus. Three principal elements are to be distinguished, according to classical evidence (Cato, comp. Serv. ad En. 4:682), in the constitution of Phoenician states: 1. The aristocracy, consisting of certain families of noble lineage, which were divided into tribes (שבט ), families (משפחה, Phoen. חבין ), and gentes (בית אבות ), the last generally of the number of 300 in each state or colony. Out of the "tribes" were elected thirty principes (Phoen. רב ), who formed a supreme senate; besides which there existed another larger representative assembly of 300 members, chosen from the gentes. 2. The lower estates of the people, or "plebs" itself, who do not seem to have had their recognised special representatives, but by constant opposition, which sometimes broke out in open violence, held the nobles in check. 3. The kingdom, at first hereditary, afterwards became elective. Nor must the priesthood be forgotten; one of the most powerful elements in the Phoenician commonwealth, and which in some provinces even assumed, in the person of the highpriest, the supreme rule. There was a kind of federal union between the different states, which, according to their importance, sent either their kings or their judges, at the head of a large number of their senators, to the general councils of the nation, held at stated periods either at Sidon or Tyre. The colonies were governed much as the home-country, except that local affairs and the executive were intrusted to two (annual, as it would seem) judges (שופטים, suffetes) elected by the senate an institution which for some time also replaced the monarchical form in Tyre. When Tripolis was founded by Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus, as a place of joint meeting for their hegemony, every one of these cities sent 100 senators to watch her special interests at the common meeting; and the senate of Sidon seems, in the 4th century B.C., at least, to have consisted of 500 to 600 elders, some of whom were probably selected more for their wealth than for their noble lineage. The king sometimes combined in his person the office of highpriest. The turbulent seething mass of the people, consisting of the poorer families of Phoenician descent, the immigrants of neighboring tribes, the strangers, and the whole incongruous mass of workmen, tradespeople, sailors, that must have abounded in a commercial and maritime nation like the Phoenicians, and out of whose midst must have arisen at times influential men enough was governed, as far as we can learn, as "constitutionally" as possible. The unruly spirits were got rid of in Roman fashion somehow in the colonies, or were made silent by important places being intrusted to their care, under strict supervision from home. Only once or twice do we hear of violent popular outbreaks, in consequence of one of which it was mockingly said that Phoenicia had lost all her aristocracy, and what existed of Phoenicians was of the lowest birth, the offspring of slaves. As the wealth of all the world accumulated more and more in the Phoenician ports, luxury) and too great a desire to rest and enjoy their wealth in peace, induced the dauntless old pirates to intrust the guard of their cities to the mariners and mercenary soldiers, to Libyans and Lydians "they of Persia and of Lud and of Phut," as Ezekiel has it; although the wild resistance which this small territory offered in her single towns to the enormous armies of Assyria, Babylonia and Greece shows that the old spirit had not died out. The smaller states were sometimes so much oppressed by Tyre that they preferred rather to submit to external enemies (comp. Heeren, Ideen, etc., page 15 sq.; Beck, Anleitung zur genaueren Kenntniss der Welt- und Volkergeschichte, page 252 sq., and 581 sq.).

3. History. One of the most powerful and important nations of antiquity, Phoenicia has yet left but poor information regarding her history. According to Josephus, every city in Phoenicia had its collection of registers and public documents (comp. Targum to Kirjath-Jearim, Judges 1:11; Judges 1:15). Out of these, Menander of Ephesus, and Dias, a Phoenician, compiled two histories of Tyre, a few fragments of which have survived (comp. Josephus, Contra Revelation 1:17-18; Ant. 8:5, 3; 13:1 sq.; 9:14, 2; Theophil. Ad Autol. 3:22; Syncellus, Chron. page 182). Sanchoniatho is said to have written a history of Phoenicia and Egypt, which was recast by Philo of Byblus, under the reign of Hadrian, and from his work Porphyrius (4th century A.D.) took some cosmogonical quotations, which found their way into Eusebius (Praep. Evang. 1:10). Later Phoenician historians' works (Theodotus, Hesycrates, Moschos, mentioned as authors on Phoenicia by Tatianus, Contra Grcecos, § 37) are likewise lost. Gesenlius mentions, in his Monumenta Phoenicia (page 363 sq.), some later I;hoenician authors, who do not touch upon historical subjects. Thus nothing remains but a few casual notices in the Bible, some of the Church fathers, and classical writers (Josephus, Syncellus, Herodotus, Diodorus, Justin), which happen to throw some light upon the history of that long- lost commonwealth. A great part of this history, however, being identical with that of the cities mentioned, in which by turns the hegemony was vested, fuller information will be found under their special headings. The names of the kings from Hiram to Pygmalion are preserved by Josephus (Apion, 1:18) in a fragment from the history of Tyre by Menander of Ephesus. We give them, with the computations of the reigns by Movers (ut sup. II, 1:140, 143, 149), Duncker (Gesch. des A lterthums [3d ed. Berl. 1863-7], 1:526 sq.), and Hitzig (Urgesch. und Mythol. der Philistber, page 191). See also Herzog, Encyklop. 11:620 sq.

Name.

Menander.

Movers.

Duncker.

Hitzig.

Hiram I ....

34 years

980-947

1021-991.

1031-997

Balcazar....

7 (17) years

946-940

991-994

997-990

Abdastartus

9 years

939-931

974-965

990-981

Unknown ..

12 years

930-919

965-953

981-969

 

Astartus....

12 years

918-907

953-941

969-957

Astaryimus.

9 years

906-898

941-932

957-948

Pheles......

8 months

 

 

 

Ithobal ....

32 (12) years

897-866

931-898

948-916

Balezorus..

6 (8, 18) years

865-858

898-890

916-910

Myttonus...

9 (25, 12) years

857-833

890-861

910-901

Pygmalion.

47 (40,48) years

832-785

861-813

900-853

 

Broadly speaking, we may begin to date Phoenician history from the time when Sidon first assumed the rule, or about B.C. 1500. Up to that time it was chiefly the development of the immense internal resources, and the commencement of that gigantic trade that was destined soon to overspread the whole of the then known world, which seem to have occupied the attention of the early and peaceful settlers. The symbolical representative of their political history during that period is El, or Belitan, builder of cities, supreme and happy ruler of men. The conquest of Canaan by the Israelites marks a new epoch, of which lists of kings were still extant in late Greek times. We now hear first of Sidonian colonies, while the manufactures and commerce of the country seem to have reached a high renown throughout the neighboring lands. The Israelites drove out Sidonian settlers from Laish, near the sources of the Jordan. Somewhat later (beginning of 13th century), Sidonian colonization spread farther west, founding the (island) city of Tyre, and Citium and Hippo on the coast of Africa. About 1209, however, Sidon was defeated by the king of Askalon, and Tyre, assuming the ascendency, ushered in a third period, during which Phoenicia reached the summit of her greatness. At this time, chiefly under the brilliant reign of Hiram, we hear also of a close alliance with the Israelites, which eventually led to common commercial enterprises at sea. After Hiram's death, however, political dissensions began to undermine the unparalleled peace and power of the country. His four sons ruled, with certain interruptions, for short periods, and the crown was then assumed by Ethbaal, the father of Jezebel. His grandson, Mattan, left the throne to his two children, Pygmialion and Dido (Elissa). The latter, having been excluded from power by her brother, left the country, together with some of the aristocratic families, and founded Carthage (New-Town), about B.C. 813. Of the century that followed, little further is known save occasional allusions in Joel and Amos, which tell of the piratical commerce of Tyrians and Sidonians. Assyrian, Chaldsean, Egyptian invasions followed each other in turns during the last phase of Phoenician history, dating from the 8th century, and soon reduced the flourishing country to insignificance.

Deeds of prowess, such as the thirteen years' siege sustained by Tyre against overwhelming forces, could not save the doomed country. Her fleet destroyed, her colonies wrested from her or in a state of open rebellion, torn by inner factions, Phoenicia was ultimately (together with what had been once Nebuchadnezzar's empire) embodied with Persia B.C. 538. Once more, however, exasperated by the enormous taxes imposed upon them, chiefly during the Greek war, together with other galling measures issued by the successive satraps, the Phoenicians, under the leadership of Sidon, took part in the revolution of Egypt against Artaxerxes Mnlemon and Ochus, about the mnide die of the 4th century B.C., which ended very unhappily for them. Sidon, the only city that refused to submit at once at the approach of the Persian army, was conquered, the citizens themselves setting fire to it, and more than 40,000 people perished in the flames. Although rebuilt and repeopled shortly afterwards, it yet never again reached its ancient grandeur, and to Tvre belonged the hegemony, until she, too, had to submit, after a seven years' siege, to Alexander, who through the battle on the Issus (B.C. 333) had made all Phoenicia his as part and parcel of the gigantic Persian empire. Under Antiochus the Great, all except Sidon became subject to Seleucidian sway. Pompey, incorporating Phoenicia with Syria (B.C. 65), made it a Roman province. During the civil wars of Rome, when Cassius divided Syria into small provinces, and sold them separately, Tyre again became for a short period a principality, with a king of its own. Cleopatra in her turn received Phoenicia as a present from Antony. What shadow of independence was still left to the two ancient cities was taken from them by Augustus (A.D. 20). Tyre, however, retained much of her previous importance as an emporium and a manufacturing place through the various vicissitudes of Syrian history during the sixteen centuries that followed, until the Ottoman Turks conquered the country, and the opening up of the New World on the one hand, and of a new route to Asia on the other, destroyed the last remnant of the primitive grandeur of one of the most mighty empires of the ancient world, and one which has contributed one of the largest shares to the civilization of all mankind.

4. Occupations. Commerce and colonization were the elements by which this grandeur was chiefly accomplished. Regarding the former, we have already hinted at the overflowing wealth and almost unparalleled variety of home products which this small country furnished forth, and which, far too abundant for their own consumption, easily suggested the idea of exportation and traffic of exchange. Their happy maritime position further enabled them to do that which Egypt and Assyria, with all their perfection of industry and art, were debarred from doing; partly, it is true, through their isolated habits and narrow laws, but chiefly by the natural limits of their countries. To Phoenicia alone it was given to supply the link that was to connect the East with the West, or at least with Europe and Western Africa. Communicating by means of Arabia and the Persian Gulf with India and the coast of Africa towards the equator; and on the north, along the Euxine, with the borders of Scythia, beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, with Britannia, if not with the Baltic, their commerce divides itself into different great branches according to those natural highways. From the countries on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, the coasts of Arabia, Africa, and India, they exported spice, precious stones, myrrh, frankincense, gold, ivory, ebony, steel, and iron, and from Egypt embroidered linen and corn. In exchange they brought not only their own raw produce and manufactures, but gums and resins for embalming, also wine and spices. From Mesopotamia and Syria came the emeralds and corals of the Red Sea; from Babylon the manifold embroideries; wine and fine wool from Aleppo and the Mesopotamian plains; from Judaea the finest wheat, grape-honey, oil, and balm. Another remote region, Armenia, furnished troops of riding and chariot horses and mules; and this same country, or, rather, the south-eastern coast of the Euxine, further furnished the Phoenician emporiums with slaves of a superior market-value-for pirating and slave-dealing went hand in hand with their maritime calling- with copper, lead, brass (or ichalcum), and tunnies, which they also fetched, together with conger-eels, from the Atlantic coast. Their extensive early commerce with Greece is frequently alluded to in Homer, and is further shown by the remarkable fact of the abundance of Shemitic or Phoenician words in Greek for such things as precious stones, fine garments, vessels, spices, and Eastern plants in general, musical instruments, weights and measures, etc. (comp. μύῤῥα, מר; κίνναμον , קנמון; κάννα , קנה; λίβανος , לבנה; χαλβάνη , galbanum, : חלבנה; νάρδος , נרד; σάμφειρος שפיר; ἴασπις, ישפה; βύσσος , בווֹ; κάρπασος , כרפס; νάβλα , נבל; τύμπανον, ת ; σαμβύκη, סבכא; κύπρος , כפר; ὕσσωπος , אזוב; κιβώρυον, כפור; σάκκος , שק; χάρτς ,; δέλτος, חדט; ἀῤῥαβών, ערבון; μνᾶ , מנה; κάβος, קב ; δραχμή, דרכמון ; κόρος, כר , etc.). Beyond the Strait, along the north and west coast of Africa, they received skins of deer, lions, panthers, domestic cattle, elephants' skins and teeth, Egyptian alabaster, castrated swine, Attic pottery and cups, probably also gold. Yet the most fabulously rich mines of metalssuch as silver, iron, lead, tin they found in Tartessus. So extensive and proverbial was this commerce that we enumerate its elements in detail.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Phoenicia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/phoenicia.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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