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Phoenicians
History of Lebanon
 2 Centuries after Hammurabi’s reign,
Babylonian empire fell to Nomadic Warriors
 Fertile Crescent broke into small kingdoms
 New people moved into the regions
Phoenician Location
 Present day Lebanon
 33.50º North
 35.50º East
 Popular cities:
 Tyre
 Byblos
 Sidon
Geography
 Narrow coastal planes
 Beeka Valley separates
 Borders Israel & Syria
Climate
 Mediterranean
 Mild to cool
 Wet winters
 Dry, hot summers
 Mountains  heavy rain
& snow
Resources
 Snails - most valuable dye
 60,000 snails to 1 pound
 Cedar trees- hard, usable
wood
Wealth from Trade
 Purple dye
 Cedar trees
Relying on Trade
 Cedar is other valuable resource
 Relied on Trade
 Traded goods from other lands
 Own colonies too
 Competed with other city-states
 Interacted through trade
Excellence in Sailing
 Desired trade
 Traveled Mediterranean Coasts
 Narrow, single sailed vessels with longs
oars
Colonies
 1100-700 BCE, founded trading colonies
 300 cities in Africa’s Med. Coast
 Carthage was greatest
The Alphabet
 Only 22 symbols
 First appeared around 900 BCE
 Passed on to other cities
 Many common people could master
 Literacy became widespread
Culture
 Shared & collected
ideas
 Purple dye for royalty
 Based on trade & ships
 Alphabet
Technology & Tools
 Boats: single-sailed vessels with long oars
 Alphabet: started with the Phoenicians
 Weapons, cloth, wine, slaves, glass, and ivory
Peace and War
 Peaceful society
 Focused on trade
Law & Order
 Hierarchy Status
 “Kings and Priests still had much
more power of the trades.”
 Alphabet & Laws
Social Status





King + Priests
Wealthy Commoners
Free Commoners
Slaves
Typical Social Status
Summary
 Most powerful traders in Mesopotamia
area
 Invented alphabet
 Started the importance of sailing
 Created the royal purple color
Fun Facts
 Purple dye- made from the squeezing of
60,000 smelly snail glands
 Traded- anything and everything
believed valuable
 “Later, Carthage rivaled Rome in
power.”
Location
 Phoenicia was centered in
the north of ancient Canaan
 It was a coastal area along
the Mediterranean Sea
 Modern Day Lebanon, Syria,
Palestinian Territories and
Israel
Important cities






Arvad
Byblos
Berytus
Sidon
Tyre
Caesarea
 Tripoli
 Baalbek
 Carthage
Government
 Individual city-states
 Each city-state had an
independent
government
 The king, the temple
priests, and the council
of wealthy merchants
were the main sources
of power
religion
 They worshipped gods
and goddesses sacred to
specific city-states
 Each god and goddess
represented a different
aspect of life
FAMILY LIFE



The men had control
over the family
Men could sell their
wives or the children to
pay off debts
Women were held high
in the family

Only priests and
scribes could read and
write
Economic system
 They had a trade-based
economy
 Their main good was a purple
dye derived from snails found
on the Tyre island
 Due to the dye’s scarcity and
the time in which it took to
make, it became very
expensive
Economic system
 They established
trading colonies along
the Mediterranean coast
 They also traded:





Wine
Glass
Timber
Olive oil
Precious metals
Social classes
King
Merchant
aristocrats
Businessmen, craftsmen,
dealers, shopkeepers,
entrepreneurs
Normal working men
Slaves
Cultural Development
 Spoke a Semitic language
 A seagoing culture where
trade was the center of
civilization
 Were skilled architects
 Wealthy trading towns
whose centers were the
temples
City Structure
 Urban, small trading towns along the
Mediterranean coast
 Temple was the center of the city
 Built buildings up to 6 stories high
Rights of slaves
 Laws protected slaves from
mistreatment
 Slaves could earn their own money,
purchase property, and own their own
freedom
 A freed slave could reach high office in
the community
Rights of women
 No evidence of polygamy
 In the case of divorce, the
woman was given her
possessions
 Had fundamental rights
 Women could press charges,
make trading contracts, invest in
trading, and adopt heirs
Technology
 The Phoenician
Empire had many
advancements in:
 shipbuilding
 pottery
 iron-working
 literature
 alphabet
Phoenician alphabet
 First appeared around 900
B.C.
 Made an alphabet with 22
symbols
 The Greeks adopted the
alphabet and added 4
symbols
Human-environment
interactions
 Phoenicia’s location on the coast of the
Mediterranean Sea enabled trade with other
coastal regions
 Also, Phoenicia’s lack of natural resources
encouraged its people to trade goods for
necessary items
COOPERATION
Phoenicians were
never interested in
conquest
 They focused on
autonomy and
trade
 Became the naval
and trading power
in the region

cooperation
The Phoenicians
initial trading
partners were the
Greeks
Established strategic
commercial trading
outposts
 They chose peace
over war but were
defensive
CONFLICT
They were successively
conquered by the
Egyptians, Assyrians,
Babylonians, Persians,
Greeks, and Romans
 The rise of Greece
destroyed Phoenicia’s
eastern Mediterranean
trade routes

conflict
The Persians then
conquered the Phoenicians
because of the loss of
trade power
Phoenicians retreated to
Carthage
There they prospered until
the were destroyed by
Romans in the Punic Wars
Fall of Phoenicia
 The Phoenician
empire fell when
Alexander the Great
defeated Persia.
 Over time all of the
city states were
conquered
 Phoenicia and its
culture disappeared
 It later became Syria
Summary
 They failed to use all of their elements of
national power
 They succeeded economically, but did not use
their wealth to protect their own borders
 They made contributions which were
fundamental in future civilizations
Technology
The Alphabet, Bireme, and
Glass
The Alphabet
 First used Cuneiform
 Began using alphabet around 1050 BCE
 Quicker to learn and easier to use for
trading
Bireme
 Ships important to Phoenician society
 Made improvements on Unireme to
make the Bireme
 1st appeared in 8th century BCE
Glass
 Egyptians first to use glass beads,
produced naturally
 Phoenicians developed techniques
make it artifically
 Developed even better technique,
glass-blowing, under Roman rule
Economy
Maritime Trade, Trade Empire,
Exports
Maritime Trade
 Most of trade conducted across
Mediterranean Sea at ports
 Many colonies became trade centers,
such as Carthage
Trade Empire
 Phoenicians controlled trade around
Mediterranean between 1200-800 BCE
 Many city-states continued to be
predominant powers long after this
Exports
 Main Export: Tyrian Purple powder
 Manufactured in Sarepta and Mogador
from the Murex snail shells
 Trading Partners with Greece
 Traded slaves, wood, glass and purple
powder
Human-Environment
Interaction
The Sea, Dyes
The Sea
• The Phoenicians were particularly good when
it came to the sea
• Because of this they became a strong naval
and trading power of the region
Dyes
 The Phoenicians became famous and
wealthy for their dyes, specifically for:
 Reds- from kermes, tiny bugs that live in
oak trees
 Blues- African indigos
 Royal Purple- most famous and important,
came from the Murex sea-snail's shells
Important Individuals
The Kings of the Phoenicians
The Kings of the Phoenicians
 Many kings stood out in the Phoenician empire
 Hiram I – developed the city Tyre into one of
the most important cities of the Phoenician
empire
 Ithobal I – expanded much of the Phoenician
empire and established colonies overseas
Kings (cont.)
 Elulaios – Assyria captured Tyre under
his riegn but he headed many revolts
against the Assyrians
 Baal-Eser II – was ruler when Phoenicia
was at its height of influence and
exceeded any other empire
 Pygmalion – built the colonies Kition,
Social Instiutions
Religion and Sciences,
Government
Religion and Sciences
 The Phoenicians were polytheists and
they built many temples to worship
their gods
 They were also great administrators,
accountants, and engineers.
 They built the first temple in Jerusalem
in the mid-900’s
Government
 The Phoenicians had three different
power bases to maintain control:
 First came the kings
 Followed by the temple and the priests
 And finally the councils of elders
Conflicts
Early Wars, The Punic Wars
Early Wars
 Phoenicia was split into many city-states, which
fought for control of the seas and trade
 In 675 and 640 BCE, the Assyrians invaded and
defeated the city-states Tyre and Sidon on the
Eastern Mediterranean
 The Babylonians attacked Tyre in 585 BCE ,13 years
of fighting, ended with compromise in 572 BCE
Early Wars
 The Eastern Phoenicians allied with
Greeks against Persia and Egypt
 Persia and Egypt won the fighting in
539 BCE
 The Eastern city-states thus went under
control of Cyrus the Great, emperor of
Persia
The Punic Wars
 The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought
between Rome and Carthage between 264 and 146
BCE
 In 813 BCE, the Phoenicians founded Carthage, a
colony in North Africa which became a predominant
city-state
 Carthage and Rome were powerful cities in the 200s
and 100s which led to their conflicts in the Punic
Wars
The Punic Wars
 The First Punic War was a conflict
over the control of Sicily between
264 and 241 BCE
 The Second Punic War was a series
of campaigns led by Hannibal,
leader of Carthage, against Roman
Italy from 218 to 201 BCE
 The Third Punic War was the Siege of
Carthage by the Romans from 149 to 146
BCE
Bibliography
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenicia
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http://phoenicia.org/trade.html
http://phoenicia.org/cities.html
http://www.geocities.com/soho/lofts/2938/histcult.html
http://www.democracyinlebanon.org/Documents/CDLDocumentaries/Phoenicians(NatGeo).htm
http://store.fantazpets.com/images/puzzles/boats/phoeni
cian.jpg
http://www.oldandsold.com/a1photos/grecian_urns_articl
es15_pottery_rs.jpg
http://www.unrv.com/provinces/syria.php
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0860355.html
Saggs, H.W.F. The Babylonians
Heath, D.C. World History
Bibliography
 Gore, Rick, and Robert Clark. "Who were the Phoenicians?"
National Geographic. National Geographic. 11 Nov. 2008
<http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature2/?fs=
www3.nationalgeographic.com>.
 "Lebenon." The World Factbook. 6 Nov. 2008. Central
Intelligence Agency. 11 Nov. 2008
<https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/le.html>.
 “Phoenician.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia.
Steven, Mark A. ed. 1 vol. Massachusetts: Springfield 2000.
 Khalaf, Salim G. "A Bequest Unearthed, Phoenicia,." Phoenician
Encyclopedia. Sept. 1996. Encyclopedia Phoeniciana. 11 Nov.
2008 <http://www.phoenicia.org/>.