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Copy of Phoenicians
Transcript of Copy of Phoenicians
Photo based on: 'horizon' by pierreyves @ flickr
Located between modern Lebanon and adjoining parts of Syria and Israel, the Phoenicians arrived in the area around 3000 BCE and lived there until 700 CE.
The Phoenicians were composed by city-states that were ruled by hereditary kingship, with the king being assisted by a council of elders.
The Phoenicians were a huge force in maritime trading and they spread ideas, myths, concepts, from the Assyrians and Babylonian to the Aegean reaching the Greeks.
The culture was very much turned to the sea and its power. Their economy was actually built over international trade of goods through maritime ways.
Maritime Expansion: Colonization
Their domains extended throughout the Mediterranean coast. The most important colony was Carthage, North Africa. Carthage was founded by the city-state of Tyre and it had a great location for maritime trade, having two natural harbours and being placed in a central position in the Mediterranean.
For the men was
filled with fishing,
trading and hunting whereas the Middle Eastern had a rich wildlife. Enjoyments and popular activities were usually banqueting, drinking wine and playing various instruments.
Dressing for men were cotton or linen tunic (shenti), topped with a conical hat. The shenti of higher men were more decorated. Men would also wear a lot of accessories like collars, rings, bracelets all very elaborated. The women were covered from neck to feet in various layers of clothes meticulously placed. Phoenician women also used a large number of ornaments and accessories.
Phoenician diet was filled with cereals, usually wheat and barley; fruits, like pomegranates, figs, apples, almonds, grapes, etc; wine, very abundant in the banquets; milk, also very common; and meat from sheep, cattle, rabbits,
chicken and game.
Phoenician artists were very gifted on a small scale creating beautiful artifacts like bracelets, rings, amulets, bowls, jewelry boxes, etc. Materials usually used included ivory, gold, silver, copper, bronze and terra-cota.There was a lot of Greek and Egyptian influence in Phoenician art.
Writing and Science
The Phoenician most important contribution for humanity is the alphabet. They invented the first alphabet with 22 letters, using cuneiform writing, and that alphabet was the base for many of the languages in the Western World and Asia. Phoenicians had a lot of developments on navy and were the first to developed from simple sails to large boats that could cross seas and make powerful relation between empires. Besides the alphabet and some maritime technologies the Phoenician also invented glass, used in decorative arts. Phoenicians were very well known for their tyrian purple dye that was used by greek and roman royalties clothing, for its rarity and so social value. The tyrian purple is made from sea shells called murex.
There was not a centralized government in Phoenicia because it followed a city-state dynamic. But in each city-state there was an own government that is in charge of keeping the population safe and feed and guaranteeing the success in trades and relations between themselves and other forces from the Ancient World. In return the population had to pay taxes in order for all this to happen. The military forces of Phoenicia were very weak what made the invasions on Phoenicia possible. The military forces were very weak due to their focus on the sea, leaving a weak infantry to protect the cities.
The society was divided in classes where the higher merchants and rich traders were in the top forming the aristocracy; followed by smaller businessman, shopkeepers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs. Below them there was the regular working man and at the end slaves.
There was no formal education like the Babylonians and the Egyptians but the knowledge that children had was passed within the family. That education would make the child able to work in the family business, signifying professional qualification.
Higher merchants and rich traders
Smaller businessman, shopkeepers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs
Working men and slaves
In Phoenicia jobs were hereditary and you learned everything from your parents.
The aristocracy was composed of higher traders so if the family was very active in trades and therefore being very rich they could belong to the aristocracy.
Priests had very high jobs as well, for they were hold close with aristocracy and royalty.
Craftsmen that created jewelry and accessories were present.
Commerce and shops were also present in Phoenician society.
Although there aren't much information about agriculture we do know that farmers were also present at Phoenicia, cultivating cereals and herding animals.
Phoenician religion was polytheistic and based on the powers of nature, but the gods were localized because of the city-state dynamics of the Phoenicians. There was a wide Parthenon ruled by El the father of gods and supervisor of agriculture, and his wife Asherah or Ashtarte goddess of the Sea and mother of gods.
Because of the almost destruction of Phoenician culture there are no rituals that still survives until this day.
The trades were extremely important for the Phoenicians, because those were what made possible their rise to glory.
The Phoenicians had a very strong relation to the sea and mostly of their trades was made there. Because of that the Phoenicians developed their ships and their knowledge of navy influenced all the Mediterranean cultures.
Their most important trade-partners were Egypt, Cyprus, Crete and later the majority of the Mediterranean Sea.
Merchants and Trade
Are they a civilization or not?
•This is a small resume of Phoenician history, told by its main events. It is important to remind that because of the city-state dynamics, protection from outside invaders was very hard. Phoenicians were turned to the sea, so their infantry was very weak, thus the constant invasions. The Phoenician decline came from the several invasions that destroyed their cultural identity especially the Arabic, even though they lasted for thousands of years.
Men X Women
In Phoenician society differently of other societies of the time, women and men shared equality in status. In the arts women were always depicted with men in such banquets and playing music instrument. They were also participating in different religious festivals and processions.
Some Phoenicians known leaders were: Pygmalion, who shifted from trading to colonization; Dido, queen of Carthage and Hiram I, that raised Tyre to a trading force.
Each Phoenician city-state had its own currency. Each coin usually represented the patron god or goddess of the city in material like gold, silver but more commonly copper.
Crack this riddle down!
Here we have the Phoenician alphabet and a mysterious sentence. Your challenge today is to decifrate the following phrase and remember, the special prize goes for the first one to crack this riddle!