History of Phoenicia eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about History of Phoenicia.
there was no attempt at the philosophy of history, nor at the graces of composition.  In some places, especially at Sidon, philosophy and science were to a certain extent cultivated.  Mochus, a Sidonian, wrote a work on the atomic theory at a very early date, though scarcely, as Posidonius maintained,[1338] one anterior to the Trojan war.  Later on, the Sidonian school specially affected astronomy and arithmetic, in which they made so much progress that the Greeks acknowledged themselves their debtors in those branches of knowledge.[1339] It is highly probable, though not exactly capable of proof, that the Tyrian navigators from a very remote period embodied in short works the observations which they made in their voyages, on the geography, hydrography, ethology, and natural history of the counties, which were visited by them.  Hanno’s “Periplus” may have been composed on a model of these earlier treatises, which at a later date furnished materials to Marinus for his great work on geography.  It was, however, in the Phoenician colony of Carthage that authorship was taken up with most spirit and success.  Hiempsal, Hanno, Mago, Hamilcar, and others, composed works, which the Romans valued highly, on the history, geography, and “origines” of Africa, and also upon practical agriculture.[1340] Mago and Hamilcar were regarded as the best authorities on the latter subject both by the Greeks and Romans, and were followed, among the Greeks by Mnaseas and Paxamus,[1341] among the Romans by Varro and Columella.[1342] So highly was the work of Mago, which ran to twenty-eight books, esteemed, that, on the taking of Carthage, it was translated into Latin by order of the Roman Senate.[1343] After the fall of Carthage, Tyre and Sidon once more became seats of learning; but the Phoenician language was discarded, and Greek adopted in its place.  The Tyrian, Sidonian, Byblian and Berytian authors, of whom we hear, bear Greek names:[1344] and it is impossible to say whether they belonged, in any true sense, to the Phoenician race.  Philo of Byblus and Marinus of Tyre are the only two authors of this later period who held to Phoenician traditions, and, presumably, conveyed on to later ages Phoenician ideas and accumulations.  If neither literature nor science gained much from the work of the former, that of the latter had considerable value, and, as the basis of the great work of Ptolemy, must ever hold an honourable place in the history of geographical progress.


1.  Phoenicia, before the establishment of the hegemony of Tyre.

Separate autonomy of the Phoenician cities—­No marked predominance of any one or more of them during the Egyptian period, B.C. 1600-1350—­A certain pre-eminence subsequently acquired by Aradus and Sidon—­Sidonian territorial ascendancy—­Great proficiency of Sidon in the arts—­Sidon’s war with the Philistines—­Her early colonies—­Her
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History of Phoenicia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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