The Phoenician Empire


Length: 753 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The Phoenician Empire


The Mediterranean Sea has spawned many civilizations through history. The Phoenicians, which originated around 1200 BCE, is one example. Despite the rather small size of this civilization, its impact on our world has been considerable. Being a seafaring nation, the Phoenicians established colonies all over the Mediterranean area, including the present-day cities of Carthage and Tripoli. As notable traders, they shared cultures with many nations, which allowed their invention of the alphabet to spread throughout Eurasia. The Phoenician Empire continued to evolve until its eventual incorporation into the Persian and Macedonian Empires, around 400 BCE.

Phoenicia is an ancient region lying on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Empire peaked at around 1000 BCE, and developed until around 700 BCE. Phoenicia, now known as Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, was naturally isolated from other civilizations by the Lebanon Mountains in the east, and the great sea on the west. The small region stretched about 320 kilometers long and about 25 kilometers wide. This geographical isolation gave the Phoenicians enough protection to evolve into a strong nation, while giving it the freedom to trade and explore across the Mediterranean.

Although little is known about the ancient civilization, it is known that the government was, at least in part, a monarchy. Royalty was considered a matter of divine descent, so kings could not be chosen outside of the royal family. The merchant families also held much power in Phoenicia, due to their great influence in public affairs. Although the name Phoenicia implies that the civilization was a unified state, the nation consisted of separate city-kingdoms. Each Phoenician City was considered independent from one another, and was ruled by its own king.

Phoenicians were known as the most distinguished seafaring traders and merchants of the ancient world. In fact, they called themselves Kena'ani (or Canaanites), which is Hebrew for "Merchant". They established trading colonies all over the Mediterranean Sea, including Carthage, Simyra, Zarephath, Byblos, and Tyre (Sur). Maritime trading also reached into the Atlantic Ocean to England. Some of the goods traded included glass, color dyes, metals, horses, ebony and ivory, linen, coral, honey, spices, oil and precious stones.

Maritime trading would not be possible for the Phoenicians without developed nautical technology. Phoenicians were known for having extremely advanced ships and navigation. Ships were built with a keeled hull, which allowed them to travel on the open seas.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Phoenician Empire." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Nov 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=23516>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay The Phoenicians - The Phoenicians originated in modern day Lebanon. Their cities were located near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; the Lebanon Mountains towered behind them. When the Phoenicians began expanding, instead of going over the mountains they expanded out into the sea. As the Phoenicians expanded they formed new colonies and established trade routes (see appendix A). However the Phoenicians exploration and trade did not stop in the Mediterranean, it extended into Brittany, pushed deep into Africa, and reached the Americas....   [tags: The Phoenicians]
:: 10 Works Cited
2934 words
(8.4 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire Essay - The era dominated by Roman empire is one the most well-known and influential periods of history, home to famous names from Julius Caesar to Jesus Christ. At its height, Rome’s territory stretched from the Atlantic coastline to the Middle East, reigning over 60 million people, one-fifth of the population of the ancient world. However, the Roman empire’s treatment of their conquered people’s and their own citizens ultimately led to the permanent downfall of Rome. Even in the century before the official replacement of the Roman republic by the empire, Rome expanded immensely as a result of the Punic wars....   [tags: Ancient Rome] 1027 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Civilization is Connected from the Mesopotamians to the Powerful Roman Empire - Time persistently progresses forward unimpeded. With each elapsing second the present moment changes into the past and creates history. History is filled with a plethora of events, people, and concepts that have left an enduring influence. Society has developed many components which became foundational to Western culture from the Mesopotamian civilizations to the emergence of the Romans. The contributions of a variety of cultures shaped the course of Western history. The Mesopotamians and Egyptians are among the first civilizations to make a valuable contribution to Western Civilization....   [tags: ancient history] 833 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Cost of Empire Essay - The Cost of Empire An empire is, literally, a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government. However, what is sacrificed or given up during the process of creating and maintaining an empire; what is the “cost” of empire. In the Aeneid of Virgil, Virgil depicts these costs from three different perspectives. The first viewpoint is on a personal level; during the course of the epic, Aeneas paid the price when his father, wife, lover, and son of his ally were killed, or killed themselves....   [tags: Aeneid of Virgil, Roman Empire] 2146 words
(6.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Contribution of the Kushan Empire to Buddhism Essay - The material world constantly changes according to the natural law of impermanent. History had shown that while one civilization perished, another develops. However, for some disappeared civilization, vast information remained intact, while other buried in ruins or even no trace is left behind. It is essential to note that without past there would not be possible for current and future. Therefore, history is very important. According to David Hume: History is not only a valuable part of knowledge, but opens the door to many other parts, and affords materials to most of the sciences....   [tags: Kushan Empire]
:: 11 Works Cited
1868 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Cause of the Fall of the Roman Empire Essay - There are many different beliefs on how and why the Roman Empire ended. It was strong for a time. It was founded on geography, military strength, and wise leadership. Throughout Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa, the Roman Empire spread. There were multiple causes to the fall of Rome including economic reasons, political reasons, military reasons invasions and threats by both internal and external forces 476 a.d was the ending year for most of the Empire, but the Eastern Empire grew and contributed to society for another thousand years....   [tags: Roman Empire, fall of the Roman Empire, history, ] 547 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Ottoman Empire Essay - Ottoman Society The Ottoman Empire has many different and very complex components to their society. Some of these components to the society were the Palace, religious establishment, the military governance, and the bureaucracy. The person who usually oversees all of these components and helps them run efficiently is the sultan of the empire. Through the Sultan’s leadership, and the combination of these components helped towards the growth and maintenance of the Ottoman society. First off, the Sultan had many people in the palace to take care of his matters and to help him....   [tags: empire, religion, growth] 774 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Causes For The Fall of the Roman Empire Essay examples - What major events led to the eventual decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Categorized between internal and external factors with broad reasoning, doesn’t lend itself to just a few events as the cause for the actual fall. From the internal factors: socio-economic problems and political corruption with the emperors and senate with their selfish, indulgence lifestyles with gladiator games being a major expense from the coffers, moral decline impacted the richest Romans with immorality, various outlandish sexual behaviors, gambling on most any activities and public lewd/sexual acts in the Colosseum....   [tags: The Fall of the Roman Empire] 361 words
(1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The History of the Byzantine Empire Essay - As the Roman Empire expanded to help govern it better it brought out the Western (old) Romans in Western Europe and the Eastern (new) Romans in Eastern Europe. Many in the west saw the east as Greeks, but the Eastern Romans saw themselves as the Roman Empire with its capital in Constantinople. Early on Emperor Constantine sought to keep the two united but as the fifth and sixth centuries rolled around they each had gone their separate ways. With chaos in the west, the east thrived after the west fell under Germanic tribes and the east later became known as the Byzantine Empire....   [tags: Roman Empire, Europe History]
:: 1 Works Cited
899 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about An Analysis of Russo's Empire Falls - An Analysis of Russo's Empire Falls The characters in Empire Falls go through many changes throughout the novel. By the end of the novel Miles is changed drastically. He begins the novel as a slow moving, trusting, somewhat depressed individual. By the end of the novel, Miles has achieved an epiphany. No longer letting the world step on his dreams, Miles goes after with a roar the dreams and desires that have lain dormant for twenty years. His ex-wife, Janine, also comes to realize that the dreams she thought she had are not necessarily what she wants after all....   [tags: Empire Falls Essays] 559 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




These ships used both oars and large square sails that were supported on high masts to propel themselves. Phoenicians also built strong warships complete with battering rams and iron bows to defend against enemy ships. Phoenicians are also credited as the first civilization to use Polaris (the North Star) in navigation.

Phoenician crafts were an important part of their trading industry. The civilization was famous for its Tyrian purple dye, often considered worth its weight in gold, which was extracted from Murex sea snails. The dye was used on expensive linen, and later used in royal garments of the nations the traded with Phoenicia. Using imported materials, Phoenicians also specialized in glass production, and perfected the production of transparent glass. Other crafts include wine making and metallurgy. The latter was used in currency. Interestingly enough, a coin produced in Phoenicia, which bares a map of the world, included what resembles the American continents! However, questions on weather the Phoenicians actually discovered the Americas remain unanswered.

One of the most important Phoenician contributions to humanity was its 22-character alphabet. It was a revolutionary in that it highly simplified the process of reading and writing. Prior to this invention, societies had to create thousands of symbols for the thousand of words in their language. The Phoenician alphabet uses the 22 characters to represent 22 different sounds, which when put together, form a word.

Although the alphabet leaves out vowel sounds, it directly led to the Greek alphabet. Later, it evolved even further to become our Modern Roman alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet also closely compares to the Early Aramaic, Nabatian, and Arabic alphabets.
Although the Phoenician Empire did not leave a very conspicuous trail in its path, its contributions to human civilization are of great importance. Being the most noteworthy seafaring and trading nations of its time, the Phoenicians connected Mediterranean cultures by establishing trade routes throughout Eurasia. Specialized crafts of the society included glass production, metallurgy, and textiles. The biggest contribution of the society was the phonetic (the word usage is not a coincidence) alphabet, which later evolved into the Modern Roman alphabet we use today.


Return to 123HelpMe.com