History of Phoenicia eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about History of Phoenicia.
not the isolated character of the first, but shows marks of Assyrian, and still more of early Egyptian, influence.  The third Phoenician “world” is that of Gebal or Byblus.  Its limits would seem to be the Eleutherus on the north, and on the south the Tamyras, which would allow it a length of a little above eighty miles.  This district, it has been said, preserved to the last days of paganism a character which was original and well marked.  Within its limits the religious sentiment had more intensity and played a more important part in life than elsewhere in Phoenicia.  Byblus was a sort of Phoenician Jerusalem.  By their turn of mind and by the language which they spoke, the Byblians or Giblites seem to have been, of all the Phoenicians, those who most resembled the Hebrews.  King Jehavmelek, who probably reigned at Byblus about B.C. 400, calls himself “a just king,” and prays that he may obtain favour in the sight of God.  Later on it was at Byblus, and in the valleys of the Lebanon depending on it, that the inhabitants celebrated those mysteries of Astarte, together with that orgiastic worship of Adonis or Tammuz, which were so popular in Syria during the whole of the Greco-Roman period.[4105] The fourth Phoenician “world” was that of Tyre and Sidon, beginning at the Tamyras and ending with the promontory of Carmel.  Here it was that the Phoenician character developed especially those traits by which it is commonly known to the world at large—­a genius for commerce and industry, a passion for the undertaking of long and perilous voyages, an adaptability to circumstances of all kinds, and an address in dealing with wild tribes of many different kinds which has rarely been equalled and never exceeded.  “All that we are about to say of Phoenicia,” declares the author recently quoted, “of its rapid expansion and the influence which it exercised over the nations of the West, must be understood especially of Tyre and Sidon.  The other towns might furnish sailors to man the Tyrian fleet or merchandise for their cargo, but it was Sidon first and then (with even more determination and endurance) Tyre which took the initiative and the conduct of the movement; it was the mariners of these two towns who, with eyes fixed on the setting sun, pushed their explorations as far as the Pillars of Hercules, and eventually even further."[4106] The last and least important of the Phoenician “worlds” was the southern one, extending sixty miles from Carmel to Joppa—­a tract from which the Phoenician character was well nigh trampled out by the feet of strangers ever passing up and down the smooth and featureless region, along which lay the recognised line of route between Syria and Mesopotamia on the one hand, Philistia and Egypt on the other.[4107]


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History of Phoenicia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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