Ancient West Asia , The Phoenicians

During the Late Bronze Age (around 1300 BC), another group of Semitic people dwelling on the Mediterranean coast in what is now known as modern Lebanon grew in importance. In the past, these people went by the name of the Canaanites, but were later called the Phoenicians. They basically capitalized off of the weaknesses of others, as seen told in this article.

The Phoenicians rise to power took place for one simple reason , they grew stronger while the kingdoms that once controlled them grew weaker. This allowed the civilization to become more independent from the Egyptians, Hittites, and the Assyrians. One of the things that Phoenicians are known for excelling in is traveling across the seven seas. They became known as grand sailors, who prospered through trade all over the Mediterranean, including with Greece.

During the Dark Ages, the Phoenicians became more powerful and decided to implement colonies throughout the Mediterranean. As a result, a variety of cities were established in many different locations, allowing the Phoenician people to grow in numbers and influence. While there were many important colonies created throughout the region, one of the most significant of the colonies that they established was called Carthage, which was situated in Africa.

After the Dark Ages had passed, the Phoenicians began to trade with the Greeks once again and also included the Etruscans into their plans of prosperity. During this time, they mastered the alphabet and taught it to the people they did business with. They are known in history as the people that developed an early alphabet, which greatly influenced the Greeks.

Unfortunately, the Phoenicians fell victim to a power that most of the other West Asian civilizations unsuccessfully tried to ignore , the Persians , who conquered many regions at this time. After they became conquered, the Phoenicians were not able to guide their colonies. This meant that places like Carthage and the other colonies became independent.

If you were wondering what happened to the Phoenicians, Alexander the Great is responsible for an attack on their main capital in 332 BC. He bested the head of the Persian navy (Tyre) and after a long battle, was able to capture Tyre. This automatically made the Phoenicians part of his empire.

Facts About the Phoenicians

·    The Phoenicians developed a purple dye that became wildly popular with monarchs. Throughout the Mediterranean, they requested the Phoenician invention for the color of their tunics.

·    Carthage is the same colony that fought with Rome for superiority in the Middle East.

·    Some of the kings associated with Phoenicia were named Hiram. One of them is known for finding the cedar trees for King Solomon’s temple , located in Jerusalem.

·    Primary cities linked to the Phoenicians include Sidon and Tyre. Both are still found in Lebanon to this day.

·    The Phoenicians set up colonies located in Spain, North Africa and Cyprus.