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The History of Phoenicia

By Josette Elayi


The history of the Phoenicians, explorers and merchants, is little known. What a paradox for this ingenious people, who invented the alphabet, to have left so few written traces of their existence. Their literature, recorded on papyrus, has disappeared. And yet this civilization fired the imagination of its contemporaries—the Jews in particular—inspiring terror among the Romans and Greeks, who depicted them as a cruel people who practiced human sacrifice. Their clients were the pharaohs and the Assyrians, their ships criss-crossed the Mediterranean, laden with the luxuries of the day such as wine, oil, grain, and mineral ore. Buried beneath the modern cities of Lebanon, and a few of Syria and Israel, ancient Phoenicia has resuscitated in this volume.

The History of Phoenicia

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    324 pages

    6 x 9 inches

    ISBN 978-1-937040-81-9 (paperback)

    ISBN 978-1-937040-82-6 (PDF)

    May 2018

  • Table of Contents




    Part One: Phoenicia before 1200


    1. The Prehistory of Phoenicia (ca. 70,000–3200) 

    2. Byblos and Egypt (3200–1500 BCE)

    3. The Other Proto-Phoenician Cities (3200–1500)

    4. The Small Vassal States of the Near East (1500–1200)


    Part Two: The Period Of Phoenicia’s Independence (1200–883)


    1. The Emergence of Phoenicia (ca. 1200)

    2. Egypt’s Loss of In uence in Phoenicia (1200–1000)

    3. Early Assyrian Exploration towards the West (1100–1000)

    4. Dynastic Crises in Byblos (1000–900)

    5. The Development and Expansion of the Phoenician Cities 


    Part Three: Phoenicia under Assyrian Domination (883–610) 


    1. The Beginnings of Assyrian Expansion (883–745)

    2. The Conquest of the West by the Assyrians (745–721)

    3. Domination of Phoenicia by the Sargonids (721–610)


    Part Four: Phoenicia under Babylonian Domination (610–539)


    1. Phoenicia between Egypt and Babylonia (610–605)

    2. The Peak of the Babylonian Empire (605–562)

    3. The Decline of the Babylonian Empire (562–539)


    Part Five: Phoenicia under Persian Domination (539–332) 


    1. The Establishment of the Persian Empire (539–479)

    2. The Development of the Persian Empire (479–404)

    3. The Persian Empire in Turmoil (404–333)

    4. The Fall of the Persian Empire (333–330)




    Chronological tables


    Index of Persons, Deities, Peoples, and Ancient Authors


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