Historical Reprints History of Phoenicia

History of Phoenicia

History of Phoenicia
Catalog # SKU1079
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name George Rawlinson



George Rawlinson

The Empire of Phoenicia is one of the 'least written about,' great civilizations of the ancient world. TGS Historical Reprints keeps this rare research volume available to the public.

Phoenicè, or Phoenicia, was the name originally given by the Greeks--and afterwards adopted from them by the Romans--to the coast region of the Mediterranean, where it faces the west between the thirty-second and the thirty-sixth parallels. Here, it would seem, in their early voyagings, the Pre-Homeric Greeks first came upon a land where the palm-tree was not only indigenous, but formed a leading and striking characteristic, everywhere along the low sandy shore lifting its tuft of feathery leaves into the bright blue sky, high above the undergrowth of fig, and pomegranate, and alive. Hence they called the tract Phoenicia, or "the Land of Palms;" and the people who inhabited it the Phoenicians, or "the Palm-tree people."


The first attempts of the Phoenicians to navigate the sea which washed their coast were probably as clumsy and rude as those of other primitive nations. They are said to have voyaged from island to island, in their original abodes within the Persian Gulf, by means of rafts. When they reached the shores of the Mediterranean, it can scarcely have been long ere they constructed boats for fishing and coasting purposes, though no doubt such boats were of a very rude construction.

Probably, like other races, they began with canoes, roughly hewn out of the trunk of a tree. The torrents which descended from Lebanon would from time to time bring down the stems of fallen trees in their flood-time; and these, floating on the Mediterranean waters, would suggest the idea of navigation. They would, at first, be hollowed out with hatchets and adzes, or else with fire; and, later on, the canoes thus produced would form the models for the earliest efforts in shipbuilding. The great length, however, would soon be found unnecessary, and the canoe would give place to the boat, in the ordinary acceptation of the term. There are models of boats among the Phoenician remains which have a very archaic character, and may give us some idea of the vessels in which the Phoenicians of the remoter times braved the perils of the deep. They have a keel, not ill shaped, a rounded hull, bulwarks, a beak, and a high seat for the steersman. The oars, apparently, must have been passed through interstices in the bulwark.

From this rude shape the transition was not very difficult to the bark represented in the sculptures of Sargon, which is probably a Phoenician one. Here four rowers, standing to their oars, impel a vessel having for prow the head of a horse and for stern the tail of a fish, both of them rising high above the water. The oars are curved, like golf or hockey-sticks, and are worked from the gunwale of the bark, though there is no indication of rowlocks. The vessel is without a rudder; but it has a mast, supported by two ropes which are fastened to the head and stern. The mast has neither sail nor yard attached to it, but is crowned by what is called a "crow's nest"--a bell-shaped receptacle, from which a slinger or archer might discharge missiles against an enemy.

Softcover, 5 x 8, 330+ pages


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