The Phoenicians book

The Phoenicians

Glenn E. Markoe

The Phoenicians is an illuminating insight into a lost civilisation. They are one of the great enigmas of the ancient world, celebrated as learned scribes, who passed on the first written alphabet.

Published price: US$ 85.95

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The Phoenicians

The Phoenicians is an illuminating insight into a lost civilisation. They are one of the great enigmas of the ancient world, celebrated as learned scribes, who passed on the first written alphabet.

Production Details

The Phoenicians book

Bound in buckram, blocked with a design by Frances Button

Set in Imprint

344 pages

32 pages of colour plates

Book Size: 10" x 6¾"

Chronicling a dominant ancient force

The Phoenicians are one of the great enigmas of the ancient world. They were celebrated as learned scribes, who passed on the first written alphabet; as vaunted seafarers and merchants, who from the Levantine coast established a network of trading routes across the Mediterranean; as skilled engineers, who built monumental harbours at their great cities of Sidon, Tyre, Byblos and Carthage, and as gifted artisans, whose beautiful craftsmanship was noted by Homer. Yet they were also despised as cheaters and hucksters; as unscrupulous profiteers, who kidnapped the helpless and traded in human lives; as a morally corrupt people who prostituted and butchered their children in honour of their gods. Inspiring such enmity is a sign of how dominant a force the Phoenicians became in Iron Age society.

Compared to the architectural and literary heritage of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Persians, with whom the Phoenicians came into contact in trade and war, the material evidence for Phoenician culture is fragmentary. Tyre and Carthage were razed to the ground in Macedonian and Roman sieges, destroying the great libraries in each city. Papyrus scrolls of historic and commercial records are no more. But, as Glenn E. Markoe shows, enough can be teased from archaeological finds and classical and Biblical sources to build a fascinating picture of the scale of Phoenician naval and military activity between 1200 and 300 BC. Two thousand years before Vasco da Gama, Phoenician sailors circumnavigated the African continent; their fast and agile fleet played a crucial role in the Persian wars against Greece and Egypt; and when a Carthaginian army landed on Sicily in 480 BC, it comprised a staggering 300,000 men drawn from every corner of the Mediterranean world.

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Review by rgourley on 14th Sep 2013

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

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