Thursday, September 30, 2010
Phoenicians , Lebanon's Epic Heritage. By Sanford Holst
The Phoenician were known mostly for their trading empire in the meditaerranean basin. From theeir humble beginning on the Lebanese coast they started out as settlers eking a living from fishin in the mediterranean. Later on they would use dugout logs to go lout further into the sea and catch more fish. As their boat making ability improved they would sail out further and explore different locations. THese were trading opportunities. They would trade fish in exchabnge for fancy cloths gold and spices. Later on they would nstart trading their cedar logs off to counties like Egypt. In fat it was Phoenician lumber and know how that built the temple to Horus in Egypt. The Phoenicians would several times over create a massive trading empire. How did they do it and what was their secret?
Their first principal was peaceful resolution of differences. For most of their history the Phoenician had no military whatsoever. If there was a problem they always tried to resolve their problem with negotiation. When that failed they would get their citizens and wealth and abandon the city state.
Their second principal was internationl trade. They did business with everybody. Because of them them goods from all over the world were sent all over the world. In fact it was the Phoenicians who introduced the Egyptians to the Maltese stonesmiths who would later on build the pyramids.
The third principal was relgious tolerance. They allowed Gods from other nations to be housed in their territory. Egyptian Goddess Hathor took up residence in a Phoenician tmeple in byblos. The Phoenicains always did their best to blend in with the locals and appear almiost indistinct
THe fourth principal was creating partnerships. If faces with a problem the Phhoenicians would partner up with other peoples facing a similiar problem. A good example of this is when they were threatended by the Egyptians and the Hittites. The Pheoinicians partnered up with the Kaska from Norhtern Turkey and transferred them ship to atack many parts in the Middle East. Including Egyopt and the Hittites.
The village was also a partnershp of everyone when it came to a business venture . Everyone played their part and everyone got paid.
Respect for women was the fifth. Women played a role in leadership and inpreparing the ships for their shipments.
Last they had equality and privacy. They would never share their secrets.
The Phoebnicians set up colonies al over the Aegfean sea and helped for the Minoan society with the Cretans. That later fell due to Volcanic activity and Mycenean aggression. They would recover after the invasion of the sea peoples. Whom they helped by shipping them from Northern Anatolia to the Aegean Islands, Greece, Hittite Empire and Egypt.
The Phoenicians were a rare society who knew how to get along. The book has a good bibliography and it is easy to read. You will learn a lot from reading this book.
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