- /fi nish"euh, -nee"sheuh/, n.an ancient kingdom on the Mediterranean, in the region of modern Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.
* * *Ancient region, Middle East.Corresponding to modern Lebanon, with adjoining parts of Syria and Israel, its chief cities were Sidon, Tyre, and Berot (modern Beirut). The Phoenicians were notable merchants, traders, and colonizers (see Carthage) of the Mediterranean region in the 1st millennium BC. The area was conquered successively by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Macedonians under Alexander the Great. In 64 BC it was incorporated into the Roman province of Syria.
* * *▪ historical region, Asiaancient region corresponding to modern Lebanon, with adjoining parts of modern Syria and Israel. Its inhabitants, the Phoenicians, were notable merchants, traders, and colonizers of the Mediterranean in the 1st millennium BC. The chief cities of Phoenicia (excluding colonies) were Sidon, Tyre, and Berot (modern Beirut).It is not certain what the Phoenicians called themselves in their own language; it appears to have been Kenaʿani (Akkadian: Kinahna), “Canaanites.” In Hebrew the word kenaʿani has the secondary meaning of “merchant,” a term that well characterizes the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians probably arrived in the area about 3000 BC. Nothing is known of their original homeland, though some traditions place it in the region of the Persian Gulf.At Byblos, commercial and religious connections with Egypt are attested from the Egyptian 4th dynasty (c. 2613–c. 2494); extensive trade was certainly carried on by the 16th century, and the Egyptians soon established suzerainty over much of Phoenicia. The 14th century, however, was one of much political unrest, and Egypt eventually lost its hold over the area. Beginning in the 9th century, the independence of Phoenicia was increasingly threatened by the advance of Assyria, the kings of which several times exacted tribute and took control of parts or all of Phoenicia. In 538 Phoenicia passed under the rule of the Persians. The country was later taken by Alexander the Great and in 64 BC was incorporated into the Roman province of Syria; Aradus, Sidon, and Tyre, however, retained self-government. The oldest form of government in the Phoenician cities seems to have been kingship—limited by the power of the wealthy merchant families. Federation of the cities on a large scale never seems to have occurred.The Phoenicians were well known to their contemporaries as sea traders and colonizers, and by the 2nd millennium they had already extended their influence along the coast of the Levant by a series of settlements, including Joppa (Jaffa, modern Yafo), Dor, Acre, and Ugarit. Colonization of areas in North Africa (e.g., Carthage), Anatolia, and Cyprus also occurred at an early date. Carthage became the chief maritime and commercial power in the western Mediterranean. Several smaller Phoenician settlements were planted as stepping stones along the route to Spain and its mineral wealth. Phoenician exports included cedar and pine wood, fine linen from Tyre, Byblos, and Berytos, cloths dyed with the famous Tyrian purple (made from the snail Murex), embroideries from Sidon, wine, metalwork and glass, glazed faience, salt, and dried fish. In addition, the Phoenicians conducted an important transit trade.In the artistic products of Phoenicia, Egyptian motifs and ideas were mingled with those of Mesopotamia, the Aegean, and Syria. Though little survives of Phoenician sculpture in the round, relief sculpture is much more abundant. The earliest major work of Phoenician sculpture to survive was found at Byblos; it was the limestone sarcophagus of Ahiram, king of Byblos at the end of the 11th century.Ivory and wood carving became Phoenician specialties, and Phoenician goldsmiths' and metalsmiths' work was also well known. Glassblowing was probably invented in the coastal area of Phoenicia in the 1st century or earlier.Although the Phoenicians used cuneiform (Mesopotamian writing), they also produced a script of their own. The Phoenician alphabetic script of 22 letters was used at Byblos as early as the 15th century. This method of writing, later adopted by the Greeks, is the ancestor of the modern Roman alphabet. It was the Phoenicians' most remarkable and distinctive contribution to arts and civilization.Phoenician religion was inspired by the powers and processes of nature. Many of the gods they worshiped, however, were localized and are now known only under their local names. A pantheon was presided over by the father of the gods, El, but the goddess Astarte (Ashtart) was the principal figure in the Phoenician pantheon. See also Phoenicia (Lebanon).
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Phoenicia — (. [cite book | last = Casson | first = Lionel | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World | publisher = The Johns Hopkins University Press | date = December 1 1995 | location = | pages = 57 58 | url =… … Wikipedia
Phoenicia — (Тулуза,Франция) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: 7, Boulevard Bonrepos, 31000 Тулуз … Каталог отелей
Phoenicia — Phoenicia, NY U.S. Census Designated Place in New York Population (2000): 381 Housing Units (2000): 246 Land area (2000): 0.462845 sq. miles (1.198762 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.462845 sq … StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places
Phoenicia, NY — U.S. Census Designated Place in New York Population (2000): 381 Housing Units (2000): 246 Land area (2000): 0.462845 sq. miles (1.198762 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.462845 sq. miles… … StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places
PHOENICIA — vide PHOENICE Item nomen totius illius terrae spatii, quod a fluv. Eleuthero, iuxta mare Mediterraneum, Pelusiam usque se olim extenderat: postea vero limites contractiores facti sunt … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale
Phoenicia — [fə nish′ə, finē′shə; fənish′ə, ] ancient region of city states at the E end of the Mediterranean, in the region of present day Syria & Lebanon … English World dictionary
PHOENICIA — a country on the E. shore of the Levant, stretching inland to Mount Lebanon, at first extending only 20 m. N. of Palestine, but later embracing 200 m. of coast, with the towns of Tyre, Zarephath, Sidon, Gebal, and Arvad. The country comprised… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Phoenicia — geographical name ancient country SW Asia at E end of the Mediterranean in modern Syria & Lebanon … New Collegiate Dictionary
Phoenicia — noun a) the land of city states of the Phoenicians which around 1000 BC was situated on the coast of present day Syria and Lebanon, and included the cities of Tyre and Sidon. b) the trading empire of the Phoenicians which spread across most of… … Wiktionary
Phoenicia — (Acts 21:2). (See Phenicia.) … Easton's Bible Dictionary