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George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 429 pages of information about History of Phoenicia.
unequalled beauty, must at any rate have seen that here was one of earth’s most productive gardens—­emphatically a “good land,” that might well content whosoever should be so fortunate as to possess it.  There is nothing equal to it in Western Asia.  The Damascene oasis, the lower valley of the Orontes, the Ghor or Jordan plain, the woods of Bashan, and the downs of Moab are fertile and attractive regions; but they are comparatively narrow tracts and present little variety; each is fitted mainly for one kind of growth, one class of products.  Phoenicia, in its long extent from Mount Casius to Joppa, and in its combination of low alluvial plain, rich valley, sunny slopes and hills, virgin forests, and high mountain pasturage, has soils and situations suited for productions of all manner of kinds, and for every growth, from that of the lowliest herb to that of the most gigantic tree.  In the next section an account of its probable products in ancient times will be given; for the present it is enough to note that Western Asia contained no region more favoured or more fitted by its general position, its formation, and the character of its soil, to become the home of an important nation.

CHAPTER II—­CLIMATE AND PRODUCTIONS

Climate of Phoenicia—­Varieties—­Climate of the coast, in the south, in the north—­Climate of the more elevated regions—­Vegetable productions—­Principal trees—­Most remarkable shrubs and fruit-trees—­Herbs, flowers, and garden vegetables—­Zoology—­Land animals—­Birds—­Marine and fresh-water fish—­Principal shell-fish—­Minerals.

The long extent of the Phoenician coast, and the great difference in the elevation of its various parts, give it a great diversity of climate.  Northern Phoenicia is many degrees colder than southern; and the difference is still more considerable between the coast tracts and the more elevated portions of the mountain regions.  The greatest heat is experienced in the plain of Sharon,[21] which is at once the most southern portion of the country, and the part most remote from any hills of sufficient elevation to exert an important influence on the temperature.  Neither Carmel on the north, nor the hills of Samaria on the east, produce any sensible effect on the climate of the Sharon lowland.  The heat in summer is intense, and except along the river courses the tract is burnt up, and becomes little more than an expanse of sand.  As a compensation, the cold in winter is very moderate.  Snow scarcely ever falls, and if there is frost it is short-lived, and does not penetrate into the ground.[22]

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