Ancient Phoenician Civilization

Another great race of people descended from the Babylonian or Semitic stock were the Phoenicians. They inherited the intellectual and adventurous side of Babylonian life, and through them the use of the alphabet, or written language, was spread abroad over all the world.

The Phoenicians were earth's first-known sailors and explorers. In tiny barks, such as we of today would think scarcely safe for navigating a river, they coasted the entire Mediterranean Sea and even ventured far along the shores of the tempestuous Atlantic. They went not as traders in the ordinary sense, but as bold adventurers, eager to see new things, resolute to confront and conquer whatever sudden, unknown danger leaped upon them.

Their home lay along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, adjoining Palestine, the home of the Hebrews. There they built mighty cities--Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, celebrated in song and story, the richest, most strongly guarded towns of their day. From these, the daring little ships sped forth ready to traffic or to plunder--for the Phoenicians were ever pirates where piracy seemed most profitable--ready to turn miners and dig in the tin mines of England, or become herders and raise flocks in the fertile valleys of Spain. They were, as the Greeks called them, a "red people," ruddy of face and probably of hair. The whole world knew and liked and feared these red Phoenicians, these first ready-witted searchers of the globe.

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Read about Ancient Phoenician Civilization in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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