The PhŒnicians

Phœnicia was a narrow strip of country on the southeastern coast of the great inland sea of antiquity, lying chiefly between Mount Libanus (Lebanon) and the Mediterranean shore, and extending for about one hundred and twenty miles north of Mount Carmel. Here lay the cities Tyre and Sidon, Byblus and Berytus, Tripolis and Ptolemais. The land was fertile, and rich in timber trees and fruits, such as the pine, fir, cypress, sycamore, and cedar; figs, olives, dates, pomegranates, citrons, almonds. Here was material for trade abroad, and comfort and prosperity at home, and the coast was so thickly studded with towns as almost to make one continuous populated line.

History and Government of Phoenicia

The history of Phœnicia is peculiarly a history of separate cities and colonies, never united into one great independent state, though now and then alliances existed between several cities in order to repel a common danger. Each city of Phœnicia was governed by a king or petty chief, under or with whom an aristocracy, and at times elective magistrates, appear to have held sway. But the genius of the race cared little for political development; they devoted themselves almost exclusively to commercial pursuits.

The Great Cities of Sidon and Tyre

Sidon was probably the more ancient of the Phœnician cities. Its richly embroidered robes are mentioned in the Homeric poems. It was the greatest maritime city of the ancient world until its colony, Tyre, surpassed it, and it seems to have been subject to Tyre in the time of David and Solomon. About 700 B. C., it became independent again, but was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, about 600 B. C., and became subject to Persia about 500 B. C. Under the Persian rule, it was a great and populous city, and, coming into the hands of Alexander the Great in 333 B. C., helped him with a fleet in his siege of Tyre. Its history ends with submission to Roman power, 63 B. C.

Tyre was a powerful city as early as 1200 B. C. The friendship of its king, Hiram, with Solomon is well known from the Hebrew Scriptures; and at this time the commerce of Tyre was foremost in the Mediterranean, and its ships sailed into the Indian Ocean from the port of Elath on the Red Sea. Tyre is celebrated for its obstinate resistance to enemies. Sargon, king of Assyria, besieged the city in vain for five years (721-717 B. C). Nebuchadnezzar took thirteen years (598-585 B. C.) to capture it only partially, and it was taken by Alexander the Great after a seven months' siege, in 332 B. C. The old glory of Tyre departed with the transfer of its chief trade to the newly created city of Alexandria, though the indomitable energy of the Phœnicians again, in Roman times, made it a great seat of trade.

Phoenician Mariners Found Carthage

Phœnicia was at the height of prosperity from the eleventh to the sixth centuries B. C. As a colonizing country it preceded the Greeks on the shores and islands of the Mediterranean, and sent ships to regions that the Greeks knew nothing of, save by report of the bold mariners of Tyre. Until the rise of Alexandria about 300 B. C., the sea trade of Phœnicia was rivaled only by that of Carthage, its own colony; and Phœnician merchants still kept up their great land trade by caravans with Arabia, central Asia and northern India, Scythia and the Caucasian countries.

By far the most renowned of all Phœnician colonies—famous in history for Hannibal's heroic hate of Rome and warlike skill—was Carthage, in the center of the northern coast of Africa. The date of its foundation is put about 850 B. C. At Utica and Tunis, to the north and south, Phœnician settlements were already existing.

Vast Extent of Phoenician Commerce

The trade of Tyre and her sister cities reached almost throughout the world as then known. They imported the spices—notably the myrrh and frankincense—of Arabia; the ivory, ebony, and cotton goods of India; linen yarn and corn from Egypt; wool and wine from Damascus; embroideries from Babylon and Nineveh; pottery, in the days of Grecian art, from Attica; horses and chariots from Armenia; copper from the shores of the Euxine Sea; lead from Spain; tin from Cornwall. Phœnicia exported not only these articles of food and use and luxury, but the rich purple dyes made from the murex (a kind of shell-fish) of its own coast, the famous hue of Tyre, with which were tinged the silken costly robes of the despots. From Sidon went the famous glass produced in part from fine white sand, found plenteously near Mount Carmel. There was gold from Ophir, and interchange of cedar, sent by Hiram, king of Tyre, for building Solomon's Temple, in barter for the wheat and balm and oil of Israel's fertile land.

So important was the trade by caravans through Babylon with the interior of Asia that the great town Palmyra (or “Tadmor in the desert”) was founded or enlarged by Solomon to serve the traffic on its route through Syria to the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates.

Their Arts of Civilization Included Our Alphabet

As a money-making race the Phœnicians were skilled in arts by which the grand aim of its life could be attained. Great as they were at the dyeing vat and loom, adepts in working brass and other metals, and in fabricating glass, they were also the best ship builders and the most famous miners of their time. Their greatest service to civilization seems rather to have been in appropriating, developing, and spreading the ideas of others, especially in forming an alphabet for the Western world.

While the mythical story about Cadmus, taking his sixteen letters from Phœnicia into Greece, must be rejected, the European world owes to this race of traders the alphabetic symbols now in use. The gradual change of shape is easily traced in most of the signs as here given. The simple and ingenious device by which each sign stands for one elementary sound of human speech is largely due to the Phœnician people, as an improvement on the cumbrous hieroglyphics of Egypt. Of literature they have left nothing whatever recognized as really theirs.

Their Character and Religion

They had a name for craftiness in trade, and wealth led to worse than luxury,—to flagrant vice. Their religion was a kind of nature worship closely related to that of the Babylonians. They adored the sun and moon and five planets, the chief deities being the male Baal, and the female Ashtoreth or Astarte. At Tyre a deity was worshiped with the attributes of the Greek god Hercules. There was also the worship of Adonis, under the name of Thammuz, in the coast towns; and this included a commemoration of his death, a funeral festival, at which the women gave way to extravagant lamentations. It was Phœnician women that allured Solomon to their form of religion; it was a princess of Phœnicia, Jezebel, that brought Ahab, her husband, king of Israel, to ruin; that slew the prophets of God, and left a name proverbial of infamy in life, and for ignominious horror in her death. The work done by Phœnicia in the cause of human progress was chiefly important and interesting in material or practical things.

The Trade of the Phenicians

We found above at what an early period the migratory tribes of Arabia came into intercourse with the region of the Euphrates, and the valley of the Nile, how in both these places they purchased corn, implements, and weapons in return for their horses and camels, their skins and their wool, and the prisoners taken in their feuds. It was this exchange trade of the Arabian tribes which in the first instance brought about the intercourse of Syria with Babylonia and Egypt. Egypt like Babylonia required oil and wine for their population; metals, skins, and wool for their manufactures; wood for the building of houses and ships. For the Syrians and cities of the Phenicians the intercourse with the Arabians, and the lands of the Euphrates and Tigris, was facilitated by the fact that nations related to them in race and language dwelt as far as the border-mountains of Armenia and Iran and the southern coast of Arabia, and their trade with Egypt was facilitated in the same manner when Semitic tribes between 2000 and 1500 B.C. obtained the supremacy in Egypt and maintained it for more than three centuries. From the fact that Babylonian weights and measures were in use in Syria in the sixteenth century B.C., we may conclude that there must have been close trade relations between Syria and Babylonia from the year 2000 B.C.; and in the same manner in consequence of the conquest of Egypt by the shepherds more active relations must have commenced between Syria and the land of the Nile, at a period not much later. The supremacy which Egypt afterwards obtained over Syria under the Tuthmosis and Amenophis must have rather advanced than destroyed this; thus Sethos, towards the year 1400, used his successes against the Cheta, i. e. the Hittites, to have cedars felled on Lebanon. We may assume that even before this time, after the rise of the kingdom of the Hittites, i. e. after the middle of the fifteenth century, the cities of the Phenicians were no longer content to exchange the products of Syria, wine, oil, and brass, the manufactures of their own growing industry, purple stuffs and weapons, with the manufactures of Egypt, linen cloths, and papyrus tissues, glass and engraved stones, ornaments and drugs, on the one hand, and on the other hand with the manufactures of Babylon, cloths, ointments, and embroidered stuffs: they also carried Egyptian fabrics to Babylon, and Babylonian fabrics to Egypt. The trade of Phœnicia with Egypt and Babylonia was no longer restricted to the exchange of Phenician-Syrian products and fabrics with those of Egypt and Babylon: it was at the same time a middle trade between those two most ancient seats of cultivation, between Egypt and Babylonia. It cannot have been any detriment to this trade of the Phenicians that a second centre of civic life sprang up subsequently on the central Tigris in the growing power of Assyria. In the ruins of Chalah (p. 34) Egyptian works of art have been dug up in no inconsiderable numbers. Herodotus begins his work with the observation that the Phenicians at an early period endeavoured to export and exchange Egyptian and Assyrian (i. e. Babylonian and Assyrian) wares.

The sea lay open to the cities of the Phenicians for their intercourse with Egypt; for this route they were independent of the good will or aversion of the tribes and princes, who ruled in the south of Canaan; moreover the wood of Lebanon could not be carried by land to Egypt. We may certainly assume that the navigation of the Phenicians was enabled to obtain its earliest practice for further journeys by these voyages to that mouth of the Nile, which the Egyptians opened to foreign ships (I. 227). The free and secure use of the routes of the caravans to the Euphrates, and from this river to the Syrian coast, must have been obtained from the rulers of Syria, the princes of Hamath and Damascus, the migratory tribes of the Syrian desert, the princes whose dominions lay on the Euphrates; and would hardly be obtained without heavy payments. So much the more desirable was it, if the cities could enter into special relations with one or other of these princes, such as David and Solomon, who not only opened Israel to them, but also provided the routes with caravanserais and warehouses (p. 187). The trade-road to the Euphrates led from Sidon past Dan (Laish) in Israel to Damascus, hence northwards past Riblah and Emesa (Hems) to Hamath, from Hamath to Bambyke (Hierapolis) in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates, and then crossed over the river to Harran (I. 320). From Harran the caravans went down along the Belik to the Euphrates, then in the valley of the Euphrates to Babylon, or went eastwards past Nisibis (Nisib) to the Tigris. A shorter road to the Euphrates ran past Damascus and the oasis of Tadmor, and reached the river at Thipsach (Thapsacus) at the farthest bend to the west.[538]

We have already seen at what an early period the trade with the land of frankincense, i. e. with South Arabia, grew up for Egypt, owing to the mutual intercourse of the Arabian tribes (I. 226). The first attempt of Egypt to open a communication by sea with South Arabia falls about the year 2300 B.C. At a period not later, other Arabian tribes must have carried the incense and spices of South Arabia to Elam, Ur and Nipur, and Babylon. Syria must have received the products of South Arabia first through Babylon, then by means of direct communication with the Arabs, and lastly by the special caravans of the Phenicians. We hear of two trade-roads to that land. One led past Damascus to the oasis of Duma (Dumat el Dshandal), and from thence through the interior of Arabia to the south; the other ran through Israel past Ashtaroth Karnaim, through the territories of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, to Elath, and thence led along the coast of the Arabian Gulf to the Sabæans (I. 320). From the Sabæans and the Chatramites even before the year 1500 B.C. the caravans brought not spices only and incense, but also the products of the Somali coast. The Sabæans traversed the Arabian Gulf and carried home the products of the coast of East Africa; the southwest coast of Arabia was no longer a place for producing and exporting frankincense and spices; it became the trading-place of the Somali coast, and before the year 1000 B.C. was also the trading-place for the products of India, which ships of the Indians carried to the shore of the Sabæans and Chatramites (I. 322). It must have been a considerable increase in the extent of the Phenician trade and the gains obtained from it, when the Phenicians were able to make such a fruitful use of their connection with South Arabia that it fell into their hands to provide Egypt, with her products, and perhaps even Babylonia also. Their caravan trade with South Arabia must have been lively, and the impulse to extend it strong, as they induced king Solomon to allow them to attempt a connection by sea from Elath with South Arabia. By the foundation and success of the trade to Ophir, and the most remote places of the East which they reached, their commerce obtained its widest extent, and brought in the richest returns. With incense and balsam, there came to Tyre cinnamon and cassia, sandal-wood and ivory, gold and pearls from India, and the silk tissues of the distant East.[539]

The commerce of the Phenician cities comprised Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria, it touched Mesopotamia and Armenia, the lands of the Moschi and Tibarenes, the silver and copper mines of the Chalybes on the Black Sea.[540] When on the opening of the communication by the Red Sea with South Arabia and the countries beyond, it gained the widest extent to the south and east, it had for a whole century past traversed the entire length of the Mediterranean to the Straits of Gibraltar. We saw above how the Phenicians steered to Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, to the Ægean Sea, to the coasts of Hellas, in order to barter or dig up minerals, to collect purple-fish for their coloured stuffs, and how after the middle of the thirteenth century they began to plant settlements on these coasts. The request for minerals must have been so strongly felt in their own cities, in Egypt and the lands of the Euphrates, in the course of the twelfth century, that the ships of the Phenicians went farther and farther to the west in search of them, that Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were reached and then colonised by them. At the same time Ityke and Old Hippo were built on the coast of Africa. These supplied saltpetre, alum, and salt, skins of lions and panthers, horns of buffalos, ostrich eggs and feathers, slaves and ivory to the mother-cities. After this, about the year 1100 B.C., Gades was built on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The trade of the Phenicians now brought not only the products of Syria and the manufactures of their cities to Egypt and Babylonia; it was not merely a middle trade between those two lands, nor merely an independent trade and middle trade between South Arabia and the civilised countries; it mediated now between the East and the West, the products and manufactures of the near and distant East, and the natural products of the near and distant West, between the ancient civilisation of the East and the young life of the nations of the West. It was above all the metals of the West, the gold of the Thracian, the copper of the Italian islands, the silver of Tartessus, which the ships of the Phenicians carried into the harbours of the mother-cities: the nations of the West received in return weapons, and metal vases, ornaments, variegated cloths, and purple garments. The works of Babylonian and Egyptian style, the works which are found in the tombs of Caere, Clusium, Alsium, at Corneto and Praeneste, adorned in types at once Egyptian and Babylonian-Assyrian, like the implements and ornaments found in the tombs of Spata and Mycenæ, can only have come into the possession of the Etruscans, Latins, and Lucanians from intercourse with the Phenicians, the Phenician colonies of Sicily, or from the trade with Carthage.[541]

From Gades the Phenicians succeeded in forcing their way farther to the Atlantic Ocean. Phenician colonies were founded on the west coast of Africa. Lixus, the oldest and most important of these (Lachash, now El Araish), at the mouth of the river of the same name (now Wadi el Ghos), is said to have been the seat of a famous sanctuary of Melkarth.[542] Strabo is of opinion that these colonies of the Phenicians beyond the pillars of Hercules were built soon after the Trojan war, i. e. about the year 1100 B.C.[543] Diodorus told us already how Phenician ships, steering to the coast of Libya in order to explore the sea beyond the pillars were carried away by a storm far into the ocean, and discovered a large island opposite Libya, which, from the pleasantness of the air and the abundance of blessings, seemed fitted to be the dwelling of the gods rather than men (p. 82). We can hardly doubt, therefore, that the Phenicians visited Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Tin was early known to the ancient world, and was indispensable for the alloy of copper, but it could only be found mixed with copper in the mines of the Chalybes and Tibarenes (the Tabal of the Assyrians, the Tubal of the Hebrews), whose name is found in Genesis in Tubal-cain, the first smith, the father of them that work in brass and iron (I. 539). Besides these, there were tin mines only in the lofty Hindukush, in the north-west of Iberia, and in the south-west of England.[544] Herodotus observes: Tin and amber come from the extreme western ends of Europe. He could not learn from any eye-witness whether there was a sea there, though he had taken much trouble in the matter. Pliny tells us: Midacritus first brought tin from the island Kassiteris, i. e. the tin-island.[545] It was the Phenicians who obtained tin, and they did not obtain it from Iberia only: their ships sailed through the Bay of Biscay, they became acquainted with the shore of Brittany, which appears to have been known to them as Œstrymnis; they discovered the tin islands, i. e. the Channel Islands, the coast of Cornwall, and even the island of Albion.[546] The tin-islands or Kassiterides of the Greeks are the islands of the north-west ocean, known to the Phenicians, who procured tin from them.

The Homeric poems often mention amber, which, worked into ornaments, Phenician ships brought to the Greeks. Ornaments of amber are met with in the oldest tombs of Cumae, in the tombs at the Lion's Gate at Mycenæ.[547] Hence the Phenicians must have been in possession of amber as early as the eleventh century B.C. Amber was found not only on the shores of the Baltic, but also on the coast of the North Sea, between the mouth of the Rhine and the Elbe. We may therefore draw the conclusion that in the eleventh and tenth centuries B.C. they must have advanced far enough in the Channel towards the mouth of the Rhine, or beyond it, to obtain amber by exchange or collect it themselves, unless we assume an extensive intercourse between the Celts and Germans.[548]

The starting-point, harbour, and emporium for the trade in the West and the voyages beyond the pillars of Melkarth in the Atlantic Ocean was Gades. Long after the naval power of the Phenicians and Carthage had perished, Gades remained a great, rich, and flourishing city of trade. Strabo describes it thus: "Situated on a small island not much more than a hundred stades in length, and scarce a stade in breadth, without any possessions on the mainland or the islands, this city sends out the most and largest ships, and seems to yield to no other city, except Rome, in the number of the inhabitants. But the greater part do not live in the city, but on ships."[549]

In the tenth century B.C. the navigation and trade of the Phenicians extended from the coasts of the Arabian Sea, from the Somali coast, and perhaps from the mouths of the Indus as far as the coast of Britain; from the coasts of Mauritania on the Atlantic to the Tigris, from Armenia to the Sabæans. Stretching out far in every direction, they had as yet suffered reverses in one region only, in the basin of the Ægean Sea. Their trade and intercourse was not indeed destroyed, but their mines, their colonies on the islands of this sea and the coasts of Hellas, were lost. Before Hiram ascended the throne of Tyre, the Phenicians, after teaching Babylonian weights and measures, the building of fortresses and walls, and mining to the Greeks, and bringing them their alphabet (p. 57), were compelled to retire before the increasing strength of the Greek cantons, not only from the coasts of Hellas, but also from the islands of the Ægean. The trade, however, with the Hellenes continued as before, in lively vigour, so far as the Homeric descriptions can be accepted as evidence. The most valuable possessions in the treasuries of the Greek princes are Sidonian works of art. Phenician ships often show themselves in Greek waters. When one of these merchantmen is anchored, the wares are set out in the ship, or under tents on the shore, or the Phenicians offer them for sale in the nearest place. A Phenician vessel laden with all kinds of ornaments lands on an island; after the Phenicians have sold many wares they offer to the queen a necklace of gold and amber, and at the same time they carry off her son, and sell him on another island. A Phenician freights a ship to Libya, and persuades a Greek to go with him as overseer of the lading: he intended to sell him there as a slave. Along with these notices in the Homeric poems on the trade of the Phenicians, an account has also come down to us from an Eastern source. The prophet Joel, who prophesied about the year 830 B.C., says, in regard to the invasion of the Philistines in Judah, which took place about the year 845 B.C., and brought them to the walls of Jerusalem (p. 252); Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of the land of the Philistines, have stolen the silver and gold of Jehovah, and carried the costly things into their temples; the sons of Judah and Jerusalem they sold to the sons of Javan (the Greeks), in order to remove them far from their land.[550]

For the colonies which the Phenicians had to give up on the Greek coasts and islands, they found a rich compensation in the strengthening and increase of their colonies on the west of the Mediterranean, on Sardinia, where they built Caralis (Cagliari) on the southern shore, on Corsica, on the north coast of Africa, where Carthage arose about the middle of the ninth century (p. 269), and on the shores of Iberia. But another loss which befell them in the East could not be made good so easily. After king Jehoshaphat's death (848 B.C.), even before the invasion of the Philistines, the kingdom of Judah, as we saw (p. 252), lost the sovereignty over the Edomites. Hence the harbour-city of Elath was lost to the Phenicians also, and the Ophir trade at an end, a century and a half after it began. Though 50 years later, when Judah under Amaziah and Uzziah had reconquered the Edomites, and Elath was rebuilt, this navigation, as it seems, was again set in motion, this restoration was of no long continuance. After the middle of the eighth century the Phenicians were finally limited for their trade with the Sabæans to the caravan routes through Arabia.

A still more serious source of danger was the approach of the Assyrian power to the Syrian coast. In the course of the ninth century (from 876 B.C.), as has been remarked above, Assyrian armies repeatedly showed themselves in Syria, and their departure had repeatedly to be purchased by tribute. As this pressure increased, and the Assyrian rulers insisted on pushing forward the borders of their kingdom towards Syria as far as the shores of the Mediterranean, as the cities of the Phenicians became subject to a power the centre of which lay in the distant interior, the trade not to the East but to the West came into question, and it was doubtful whether the cities, when embodied in a great land-power, could retain Cyprus in subjection, and keep up the trade with Egypt, and the connection with their colonies in the West. The doubt became greater when, after the beginning of the eighth century B.C., a dangerous opposition rose in the Mediterranean, and a still more serious competition against the Phenicians. Not content with driving the Phenicians out of the Ægean Sea, with obtaining possession of the islands and the west coast of Asia Minor, the Hellenes spread farther and farther to the west. Already they had got Rhodes into their hands; they were already settled off the coast of Syria, on the island of Cyprus, among the ancient cities of the Phenicians. Still more vigorous was the growth of their settlements to the west of the Mediterranean. After founding Cyme (Cumae) on the coast of Lower Italy, they built in Sicily, after the middle of the eighth century, in quick succession, Naxus (738 B.C.), Syracuse (735 B.C.), Catana (730 B.C.), and Megara (728 B.C.), to which were quickly added Rhegium, Sybaris, Croton, and Tarentum in Lower Italy (720-708 B.C.). Were the cities of the Phenicians in Sicily, Rus Melkarth, Motye, Panormus, Soloeis, and Eryx (p. 79), in a position to hold the balance against these rivals and their navigation? The injurious effects of the competition of a rival power by sea for the trade of the Phenicians must have increased when, in the seventh century, the cities of the Greeks in Sicily increased in number, and Egypt was opened to them about the middle of this century; when, in the year 630 B.C., the first Greek city, Cyrene, rose on the shore of Africa, and about the same time the Greeks entered into direct trade connections with Tartessus; when at the close of this century a Greek city was built on the shore of the Ligystian Sea, at the mouth of the Rhone, and soon after the settlements of the Greeks in Sicily and in the west of the Mediterranean began to multiply. While in this manner the field of Phenician trade was limited by the constant advance of the Greeks, the mother-cities, from the same period, the middle of the eighth century, had to feel the whole weight of the development of Assyrian power. And when this pressure ceased, in the second half of the seventh century, it was followed by the still more burdensome oppression of the Babylonian empire.

Yet in spite of all hindrances and losses, a prophet of the Hebrews after the middle of the eighth century could say of Tyre, that "she built herself strongholds, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets."[551] And Ezekiel at the beginning of the sixth century describes the trade of Tyre in the following manner: "Thou who dwellest at the entrance of the sea, who art the trader of the nations to many islands! On mighty waters thy rowers carry thee; thy trade goes out over all seas; thou satisfiest many nations; thou hast enriched the kings of the earth by the multitude of thy goods and wares. Thou art become mighty in the midst of the sea. All ships of the sea and their sailors were in thee to purchase thy wares. Persians and Libyans and Lydians serve in thee; they are thy warriors; they hang shield and helmet on thy walls: thy own warriors stand round on the walls, and brave men are on all thy towers. Syria is thy merchant, because of the number of the wares of thy skill; they make thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. Damascus is thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, in the wine of Helbon, and white wool. Judah and the land of Israel were thy merchants; they traded in thy market wheat and pastry and honey. They of the house of Togarmah (Armenia) traded in thy fairs with horses and mules. Haran, Canneh, and Asshur, and Childmad were thy merchants in costly robes, in blue cloths and embroidered work, and chests of cedar-wood full of damasks bound with cords, in thy place of merchandise. Dedan (the Dedanites [552]) is thy merchant in horse-cloths for riding. Wedan brings tissues to thy markets: forged iron, cassia, and calamus were brought to thy markets. Arabia and all the princes of Kedar are ready for thee with lambs, rams, and goats. The merchants of Sabæa and Ramah [553]traffic with thee; they occupied in thy fairs with the chief of all spices, and with all precious stones and gold. Javan (the Greeks), Tubal, and Mesech (the Tibarenes and Moschi) are thy merchants; they trade with silver, iron, tin, and lead. Many islands are at hand to thee for trade; they brought thee for payment horns of ivory and ebony. The ships of Tarshish are thy caravans in thy trade: so art thou replenished and mighty in the midst of the sea."[554]


[538]Supra, p. 187. Movers, "Phœniz." 2, 3, 244 ff.

[539]Movers, loc. cit. 2, 3, 265 ff.

[540]Vol. i. p. 538. Ezekiel xxvii. 14; xxxviii. 6.

[541]Helbig, "Annali del Inst. Arch." 1876, pp. 57, 117, 247 ff.

[542]Pliny, "Hist. Nat." s. 1; 19, 22. Cf. Movers, loc. cit. 2, 2, 537 ff.

[543]Strabo, p. 48; cf. p. 150.

[544]The German tin-mines were not opened till the middle ages; those of farther India in the last century; Müllenhoff, "Deutsche Altertumskunde," s. 24.

[545]Herod. 3, 115; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 7, 57.

[546]At a later time we meet with the name Prettanian islands. Ynis Prydein, i. e. island of Prydein, was the name given by the Welsh to their land; Müllenhoff, loc. cit. s. 88 ff, 93 ff.

[547]Helbig, "Commercio dell ambra," p. 10, n. 4. On the amber in the tombs east of the Apennines, pp. 15, 16.

[548]Müllenhoff, loc. cit. s. 223.

[549]Strabo, p. 168.

[550]Joel iii. 4 ff. On the date of Joel, supra, p. 260, n. 2. De Wette-Schrader, "Einleitung," s. 454. According to the data established above, the minority of Joash falls between 837 and 825 B.C.

[551]The older Zechariah ix. 3, and De Wette-Schrader, "Einleitung," s. 480.

[552]Vol. i. p. 314.

[553]Vol. i. p. 314.

[554]Ezekiel xxvii.

The Cities of the Phenicians

The voyages of the Phenicians on the Mediterranean; their colonies on the coasts and islands of that sea; their settlements in Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, the islands of the Ægean, Samothrace, and Thasos, on the coasts of Hellas, on Malta, Sicily, and Sardinia; their establishments on the northern edge of Africa in the course of the thirteenth and twelfth centuries B.C.; their discovery of the Atlantic about the year 1100 B.C., have been traced by us already. Of the internal conditions and the constitution of the cities whose ships traversed the Mediterranean in every direction, and now found so many native harbours on the coasts and islands, we have hardly any information. We only know that monarchy existed from an ancient period in Sidon and Tyre, in Byblus, Berytus, and Aradus; and we are restricted to the assumption that this monarchy arose out of the patriarchal headship of the elders of the tribes. These tribes had long ago changed into civic communities, and their members must have consisted of merchant-lords, ship-owners, and warehousemen, of numerous labourers, artisans, sailors, and slaves. The accounts of the Hebrews exhibit the cities of the Philistines, the southern neighbours of the Phenicians on the Syrian coast, united by a league in the eleventh century B.C. The kings of the five cities of the Philistines combine for consultation, form binding resolutions, and take the field in common. We find nothing like this in the cities of the Phenicians. Not till a far later date, when the Phenicians had lost their independence, were federal forms of government prevalent among them.

The campaigns of the Pharaohs, Tuthmosis III., Sethos, and Ramses II., did not leave the cities of the Phenicians untouched (I. 342). After the reign of Ramses III., i. e. after the year 1300 B.C., Syria was not attacked from the Nile; but the overthrow of the kingdom of the Hittites about this period, and the subjugation of the Amorites by the Israelites, forced the old population to the coast (about 1250 B.C.). One hundred and fifty years later a new opponent of Syria showed himself, not from the south, but from the east. Tiglath Pilesar I., king of Assyria (1130-1100 B.C.), forced his way over the Euphrates, and reached the great sea of the western land (p. 42). His successes in these regions, even if he set foot on Lebanon, could at most have reached only the northern towns of the Phenicians; in any case they were of a merely transitory nature.

The oldest city of the Phenicians was Sidon; her daughter-city, Tyre, was also founded at a very ancient period. We found that the inscriptions of Sethos I. mentioned it among the cities reduced by him. The power and importance of Tyre must have gradually increased with the beginning of a more lively navigation between the cities and the colonies; about the year 1100 B.C. her navigation and influence appears to have surpassed those of the mother-city. If Old Hippo in Africa was founded from Sidon, Tyrian ships sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, discovered the land of silver, and founded Gades beyond the pillars.Accordingly we also find that Tyre, and not Sidon, was mistress of the island of Cyprus.

According to the statements of the Greeks, a king of the name of Sobaal or Sethlon ruled in Sidon at the time of the Trojan war, i. e. before the year 1100 B.C.;[474] about the same time a king of the name of Abelbaal reigned in Berytus.[475] From a fragment of Menander of Ephesus, preserved to us by Josephus, it follows that after the middle of the eleventh century B.C. Abibaal was reigning in Tyre. A sardonyx, now at Florence, exhibits a man with a high crown on his head and a staff in his hand; in front of him is a star with four rays; the inscription in old Phenician letters runs, "Of Abibaal." Did this stone belong to king Abibaal?[476]

Hiram, the son of this king, ascended the throne of Tyre while yet a youth, in 1001 B.C. He is said to have again subjugated to his dominion the Kittians, i. e. the inhabitants of Citium, or the cities of Cyprus generally, who refused to pay tribute. What reasons and what views of advantage in trade induced Hiram to enter into relations with David in the last years of his reign, and unite these relations even more closely with Solomon, the successor of David, has been recounted above. It was this understanding which not only opened Israel completely to the trade of the Phenicians, but also procured to the latter secure and new roads through Israel to the Euphrates and Egypt, and made it possible for them to discover and use the road by sea to South Arabia. Thus, a good century after the founding of Gades, the commerce of the Phenicians reached the widest extension which it ever obtained. We saw that the Phenicians about the year 990 B.C. went by ship from Elath past South Arabia to the Somali coast, and reached Ophir, i. e. apparently the land of the Abhira (i. e. herdsmen) on the mouths of the Indus.[477] The other advantages which accrued to Hiram from his connection with Israel were not slight. Solomon paid him, as has been said, 20,000 Kor of wheat and 20,000 Bath of oil yearly for 20 years in return for wood and choice quarry stones, and finally, in order to discharge his debt, had to give up 20 Israelitish towns on his borders.

Hiram had to dispose of very considerable resources; his receipts must have been far in excess of Solomon's. Of the silver of Tarshish which the ships brought from Gades to Tyre, of the gold imported by the trade to Ophir, of the profits of the maritime trade with the land of incense, a considerable percentage must have come into the treasury of the king, and he enjoyed in addition the payments of Solomon. In any case he had at his command means sufficient to enlarge, adorn, and fortify his city. Ancient Tyre lay on the seashore; with the growth of navigation and trade, the population passed over from the actual city to an island off the coast, which offered excellent harbours. On a rock near this island lay that temple of Baal Melkarth, the god of Tyre, to which the priests ascribed a high antiquity; they told Herodotus that it was built in the year 2750 B.C. (I. 345). Hiram caused this island to be enlarged by moles to the north and west towards the mainland, and protected these extensions by bulwarks. The circuit of the island was now 22 stades, i. e. more than two and a half miles; the arm of the sea, which separates the island from the mainland, now measured only 2400 feet (three stades).[478] The whole island was surrounded with strong walls of masonry, which ran out sharply into the sea, and were washed by its waves, so that no room remained for the besieger to set foot and plant his scaling-ladders there. On the side of the island towards the mainland, where the docks were, these walls were the highest. Alexander of Macedon found them 150 feet high. The two harbours lay on the eastern side of the island—on the north-east and the south-east; on the north-east was the Sidonian harbour (which even now is the harbour of Sur); and on the south-east the Egyptian harbour. If the former was secured and closed by huge dams, the latter also was not without its protecting works, as huge blocks in the sea appear to show, though the dams here were no longer in perfect preservation even in Strabo's time. On the south shore of the island, eastward of the Egyptian harbour, lay the royal citadel; on the north-west side a temple of Baal Samim, the Agenorion of the Greeks. The rock which supported the temple of Melkarth appears to have been situated close to the city on the west.[479] This, like the temple of Astarte, was adorned and enlarged or restored by Hiram. For the roof he caused cedars of Lebanon to be felled. In the ancient shrine of the protecting deity of the city, the temple of Melkarth, he dedicated a great pillar of gold, which Herodotus saw there 500 years later beside an erect smaragdus, which was so large that it gave light by night. This was perhaps a symbol of the light not overcome by the darkness.[480]

Hiram died after a reign of 34 years, in the fifty-third year of his life. His son Baleazar, who sat on the throne for seven years (967-960 B.C.), was succeeded by his son Abdastartus (i. e. servant of Astarte), who, after a reign of nine years (960-951 B.C.), fell before a conspiracy headed by the sons of his nurse. Abdastartus was murdered, and the eldest of the sons of his nurse maintained his dominion over Tyre for 12 years (951-939 B.C.). Then the legitimate dynasty returned to the throne. Of the brothers of the murdered Abdastartus, Astartus was the first to reign (939-927 B.C.), and after him Astarymus (927-918 B.C.), who was murdered by a fourth brother, Pheles. But Pheles could not long enjoy the fruits of his crime. He had only been eight months on the throne when he was slain by the priest of Astarte, Ethbaal (Ithobaal). With Pheles the race of Abibaal comes to an end (917 B.C.).

Ethbaal ascended the throne of Tyre, and was able to establish himself upon it. He is said to have built or fortified Bothrys in Lebanon, perhaps as a protection against the growing forces of Damascus.[481] In Israel, during Ethbaal's reign, as we have seen, Omri at the head of the army made himself master of the throne in 899 B.C., just as Ethbaal had usurped the throne of Tyre. Both were in a similar position. Both had to establish their authority and found their dynasty. Ethbaal's daughter was married to Ahab, the son of Omri. What were the results of this connection for Israel and Judah we have seen already. To what a distance the power of Tyre extended in another direction is clear from the fact that Ethbaal founded Auza in the interior of Africa, to the south of the already ancient colony of Ityke (p. 82).[482] After a reign of 32 years Ethbaal was succeeded by his son Balezor (885-877 B.C.).[483] After eight years Balezor left two sons, Mutton and Sicharbaal, both under age. Yet the throne remained in the house of Ethbaal, and continued to do so even when Mutton died in the year 853 B.C., and again left a son nine years old, Pygmalion, and a daughter Elissa, a few years older, whom he had married to his brother Sicharbaal, the priest of the temple of Melkarth.[484] Mutton had intended that Elissa and Pygmalion should reign together, and thus the power really passed into the hands of Sicharbaal, the husband of Elissa. When Pygmalion reached his sixteenth year the people transferred to him the sovereignty of Tyre, and he put Sicharbaal, his uncle, to death, either because he feared his influence as the chief priest of the tutelary god of the city, or because, as we are told, he coveted his treasures (846 B.C.).[485]

Elissa fled from Tyre before her brother, as we are told, with others who would not submit to the tyranny of Pygmalion.[486] The exiles (we may perhaps suppose that they were members of old families, as it was apparently the people who had transferred the throne to Pygmalion) are said to have first landed at Cyprus, then to have sailed to the westward, and to have landed on the coast of Africa, in the neighbourhood of Ityke, the old colony of the Phenicians, and there to have bought as much land of the Libyans as could be covered by the skin of an ox. By dividing this into very thin strips they obtained a piece of land sufficient to enable them to build a fortress. This new dwelling-place, or the city which grew up round this fortress, the wanderers called, in reference to their old home, Karthada (Karta hadasha ), i. e. "the new city," the Karchedon of the Greeks, the Carthage of the Romans. The legend of the purchase of the soil may have arisen from the fact that the settlers for a long time paid tribute to the ancient population, the Maxyans, for their soil. The ox-hide and all that is further told us of the fortunes of Elissa, her resistance to the suit of the Libyan prince Iarbas,[487] her self-immolation in order to escape from this suit (Virgil made despised love the motive for this immolation), is due to the transference of certain traits from the myths of the horned moon-goddess, to whom the cow is sacred, the wandering Astarte, who also bore the name of Dido, and of certain customs in the worship of the goddess to Carthage; these also have had influence on the narrative of the flight of Elissa.[488]

The new settlement was intended to become an important centre for the colonies of the Phenicians in the West. The situation was peculiarly fortunate. Where the north coast of Africa approaches Sicily most nearly, the mountain range which runs along this coast, and forms the edge of the table-land in the interior, sinks down in gentle declivities, which thus form water-courses of considerable length, to a fertile hill country still covered with olive-gardens and orange-forests. From the north the sea penetrates deeply into the land between the "beautiful promontory" (Ras Sidi Ali) and the promontory of Hermes (Ras Addar). On the western side of this bay a ridge of land runs out, which possesses excellent springs of water. Not far from the shore a rock rises steeply to the height of about 200 feet. On this was planted the new citadel, Byrsa, on which the wanderers erected a temple to their god Esmun (I. 377). This citadel, which is said to have been about 2000 paces (double paces) in the circuit,[489] was also the city round which at a later time grew up the lower city, at first on the south-east toward the shore, and then on the north-west toward the sea. The harbour lay to the south-east, under the citadel. Some miles to the north of the new settlement, on the mouth of the Bagradas (Medsherda), at the north-west corner of the bay, was Ityke, the ancient colony of the Phenicians, which had been in existence for more than two centuries when the new settlers landed on the shore of the bay; and not far to the south on the shore was Adrymes (Hadrumetum), another city of their countrymen, which Sallust mentions among the oldest colonies of the Phenicians.[490] The Carthaginians never forgot their affection for the ancient Ityke, by whose assistance, no doubt, their own settlement had been supported.[491]

The fragment which Josephus has preserved from the annals of the kings of Tyre ends with the accession of Pygmalion and the flight of Elissa. More than two centuries had passed since the campaign of Tiglath Pilesar I. to the Mediterranean, during which the cities of the Phenicians had suffered nothing from the arms and expeditions of the Assyrians. But when Balezor and Mutton, the son and grandson of Ethbaal, ruled over Tyre (885-853 B.C.), Assurbanipal of Assyria (883-859 B.C.) began to force his way to the west over the Euphrates. When he had reduced the sovereign of Karchemish to obedience by repeated campaigns, and had built fortresses on both banks of the Euphrates, he advanced in the year 876 B.C. to the Orontes, captured the marches of Lebanus (Labnana), and received tribute from the king of Tyre, i. e. from Mutton, from the kings of Sidon, of Byblus, and Aradus. According to the inscriptions, the tribute consisted of bars of silver, gold, and lead. Assurbanipal's successor, Shalmanesar II. of Assyria (859-823 B.C.), pushed on even more energetically to the west. After forcing Cilicia to submit, he attacked Hamath, and in the year 854, as we have seen, he defeated at Karkar the united kings of Hamath, Damascus, and Israel, who were also joined by Matinbaal, the king of Aradus. But Shalmanesar was compelled to undertake three other campaigns to Damascus (850, 849, and 846 B.C.) before he succeeded, in the year 842 B.C., in making Damascus tributary. As has been remarked, Israel did not any longer attempt the decision of arms, and sought to gain the favour of Assyria; like Tyre and Sidon, Jehu sent tribute to Shalmanesar. This payment of tribute was repeated perforce by Tyre, Sidon, and Byblus, in the years 839 and 835 B.C., in which Shalmanesar's armies again appeared in Syria. Moreover, the inscriptions of Bin-nirar, king of Assyria (810-781 B.C.), tell us that Damascus, Tyre, Sidon, Israel, Edom, and the land of the Philistines had paid him tribute. It is obvious that the cities of the Phenicians would have been as a rule most willing to pay it. When Assyria had definitely extended her dominion as far as the Euphrates, it was in the power of the Assyrian king to stop the way for the merchants of those cities to Mesopotamia and Babylon, and thus to inflict very considerable damage on the trade of the Phenicians, which was for the most part a carrying trade between the East and West. What were the sums paid in tribute, even if considerable, when compared with such serious disadvantages?

Hitherto we have been able to observe monarchy in the patriarchal form of the head of the tribe, in the god-like position of the Pharaohs of Egypt, in the forms of a military principate, who ruled with despotic power over wide kingdoms, or in diminished copies of this original. It would be interesting to trace out and ascertain the changes which it had now to undergo at the head of powerful trading and commercial cities such as the Phenicians were. We have already seen that the principate of these cities was of great antiquity, that it remained in existence through all the periods of Phenician history, that it was rooted deeply enough to outlive even the independence of the cities. All more detailed accounts are wanting, and even inductions or comparisons with the constitution of Carthage in later times carry us little further. Not to mention the very insufficient accounts which we possess of this constitution, it was only to the oldest settlements of the Phenicians in Cyprus that the monarchy passed, at least it was only in these that it was able to maintain itself. The examination of these institutions of Carthage is adapted to show us in contrast on the one hand to the tribal princes of the Arabians, and on the other to the monarchy of Elam, Babel, and Asshur—what forms the feeling and character of a Semitic community, in which the burghers had reached the full development of their powers, were able to give to their state, which at the same time was supreme over a wide region; but for the constitution of the Phenician cities scarcely any conclusions can be drawn from it.

Of the internal condition of the Phenician cities, the fragment of the history of Tyre in Josephus only enables us to ascertain that there was no lack of strife and bloodshed in the palaces of the kings, and that the priests of the tutelary deity must have been of importance and influence beside the king. But it follows from the nature of things that these city-kings could not have held sway with the same complete power as the military princes of the great kingdoms of the East. The development of independence among the burghers must have placed far closer limitations upon the will of the kings in these cities than was the case elsewhere in the East. The more lively the trade and industry of the cities, the more strongly must the great merchants and manufacturers have maintained against the kings the consideration and advancement of their own interests. For the maintenance of order and peace, of law and property in the cities they looked to the king, but they had also to make important demands before the throne, and were combined against it by community of interests. They were compelled to advance these independently if the king refused his consent. Isaiah tells us that the merchants of Tyre were princes. Ezekiel speaks of the grey-haired men, the "elders" of the city of Byblus.[492] Of the later period we know with greater certainty that there was a council beside the kings, the membership in which may have belonged primarily to the chiefs of the old families, but also in part to the hereditary priests. Inscriptions of the cities belonging to Grecian times present the title "elders."[493] The families in the Phenician cities which could carry back their genealogy to the forefathers of the tribes which possessed land and influence before the fall of the Hittites, the incursions of the Hebrews, and the spread of trade had brought a mass of strangers into the city walls, would appear to have had the first claim to a share in the government; the heads of these families may at first have formed the council which stood beside the king. Yet it lies in the nature of great manufacturing and trading cities that the management of interests of this kind cannot be confined to the elders of the family or remain among the privileges of birth. Hence we may assume that the great trading firms and merchants could not long be excluded from these councils. In the fourth century B.C. the council of Sidon seems to have consisted of 500 or 600 elders.[494] Owing to the treasures of East and West which poured together into the cities of the Phenicians, life became luxurious within their walls. Men's efforts were directed to gain and acquisition; the merchants would naturally desire to enjoy their wealth. The lower classes of the closely-compressed population no doubt followed the example set them by the higher. From the multitude of retail dealers and artizans, the number of pilots and mariners who returned home eager for enjoyment after long voyages, men whose passions would be unbridled, a turbulent population must have grown up, in spite of the numerous colonies into which the ambitious as well as the poor might emigrate or be sent with the certain prospect of a better position. We saw above that the people of Tyre are said to have transferred the rule to Pygmalion. For the later period it is certain that even the people had a share in the government.[495]

The hereditary monarchy passed, so far as we can see, from the mother-cities to the oldest colonies only,i. e. the cities in Cyprus. In the other colonies the chief officers were magistrates, usually two in number.[496] They were called Sufetesi. e. judges. In Carthage these two yearly officers, in whose hands lay the supreme administration of justice, and the executive, formed with 30 elders the governing body of the city. It seems that these 30 men were the representatives of as many original combinations of families into which the old houses of the city were incorporated. The connection of the colonies and mother-cities, both in general and more especially where the colony could dispense with the protection of the mother-city, were far more mercantile and religious than political. The colonies worshipped the deities of the mother-cities, and gave them a share in their booty. We also find that descendants of priests who had emigrated from the mother-city stood at the head of the temples of the colonies. In Carthage, where the priests of Melkarth wore the purple robe, the office was hereditary in the family of Bithyas, who is said to have left Tyre with Elissa.[497]

We are acquainted with the gods of the Phenician cities, and the mode in which they worshipped them; with El and Baal-Samim, Baal-Melkarth and Baal-Moloch, Adonis, Astarte and Ashera, with the rites of continence and mutilation, of sensual excess and prostitution, of sacrifice and fire-festival, which were intended to win their favour and grace. We observed that the protecting deities of the separate states had even before the days of Hiram been united in the system of the seven great gods, the Cabiri, at whose head was placed an eighth, Esmun, the supreme deity. We saw that in this system special meanings were ascribed to them in reference to the protection of peace and law, of industry and navigation; and we cannot doubt that with the riches which accumulated in the walls of the cities, with the luxury of life which these riches permitted, the lascivious and sensual side of the worship must have increased and extended.

The life led by the kings of the old Phenician cities is described as rich and splendid. We have already assumed that the princes of the Phenician cities had a rich share in the returns of trade, and indeed the fact can be proved from the Hebrew Scriptures for Hiram, king of Tyre. Ezekiel tells us, "The king of Tyre sits like a god in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; he dwells as in Eden, in the garden of God. Precious stones are the covering of his palaces: the ruby, the topaz, the diamond, the chrysolite, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the carbuncle, the emerald, and gold; the workmanship of his ring-cases he bears upon him."[498] "His garments," we are told in a song of the Hebrews, "smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia; in ivory palaces the sound of harps gladdens him. At his right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir, in a garment of wrought gold: on broidered carpets she shall be brought to him; the young maidens, her companions, follow her."[499]

Hosea calls Tyre "a plantation in a pleasant meadow."[500] Of the city itself Ezekiel says, "The architects have made her beauty perfect. All her planks (wainscot) were of cypress, and her masts of cedar of Lebanon; the rudders are of oaks of Bashan, the benches of ivory, set in costly wood from the island of Cyprus. For sails Tyre spreads out byssus and gay woofs; blue and red purple from the islands of Elisa formed their coverlets."[501] In the description of Strabo, more than 500 years later, Tyre appears less magnificent. The houses of the city were very high, higher than at Rome; the city still wealthy, owing to the trade in her two harbours and her purple factories, but the number of these made the city unpleasant. Strabo does not mention any considerable building in the city. Of Aradus he says, "The smallness of the rock on which the city lies, seven stades only in circuit, and the number of inhabitants caused every house to have many stories. Drinking-water had to be obtained from the mainland; on the island there were only wells and cisterns."[502]

Scarcely any striking remains of the ancient buildings of Phœnicia have come down to our time. The ancient temples enumerated in the treatise on the Syrian goddess have perished without a trace; the temple of Melkarth of Tyre, the great temple of Astarte at Sidon, the temple of Bilit (Ashera) at Byblus,[503] although they were certainly not of a character easy to destroy. That the Phenicians were acquainted from very ancient periods with the erection of strong masonry was proved above. Not only have we the legend of the Greeks, that Cadmus taught them the art of masonry and built the famous walls of Thebes; we saw how Israel, about the year 1000 B.C., provided herself with masons, stone-cutters, and materials from Tyre. Hence we may also assume that the architecture of the temple and the royal palaces of Solomon described in the Books of Kings corresponded to the architecture of the Phenicians. The temples and palaces of the Phenicians consisted, therefore, of walls of large materials, roofed with beams of cedar; in the interior the materials were no doubt covered, as at Jerusalem, with planks of wood and ornaments of brass, "so that the stone was nowhere seen" (p. 183). Ezekiel has already told us that the planks of the roofs of the royal palace at Tyre were overlaid with gold and precious stones; and the Books of Kings showed us that even the floors were adorned with gold. All the remains of walls in Phœnicia that can be referred to an ancient period exhibit a style of building confined to the stone of the mountain range which hems the coast, and desirous of imitating the nature of the rocks. Blocks of large dimensions were used by preference; at first they were worked as little as possible, and fitted to each other, and the interstices between the great blocks were filled with smaller stones. Of this kind are the fragments of the walls which surround the rock on which the city of Aradus stood. Gigantic blocks, visible even now here and there, formed the dams of the harbours of Aradus, Sidon, Tyre, and Japho.[504] It was a step in advance that the blocks, while retaining the form in which they were quarried, were smoothed at the joints in order to be fitted together more firmly, and a further step still that the blocks were hewn into squares, though at first the outer surfaces of the squares were not smoothed. So far as remains allow us to see, the detached structures were of a simple and massive character, in shape like cubes of vast dimensions; the walls, as is shown by the city wall of Aradus, were joined without mortar, and in the oldest times the buildings appear to have been roofed with monoliths. Cedar beams were not sought after till larger spaces had to be covered. Beside old water-basins hewn in the rock, and oil or wine presses of the same character, we have no remains of ancient Phenician temples but those on the site of Marathus (now Amrit), a city of the tribe of the Arvadites, to the south of Aradus, and in the neighbourhood of Byblus.[505] The bases of the walls which enclose the courts and water-basins of the temple of Marathus can still be traced, as well as the huge stones which formed the three cellæ, the innermost shrines of this temple. On either side of a back wall formed of similar materials heavy blocks protrude, and are roofed over, together with this wall, by a great monolith, which protected the sacred stone or the image of the deity.[506] This heavy style of the city walls, dams, temples, and royal castles did not prevent the Phenicians, any more than the Egyptians, from building the upper stories of the dwelling-houses of their cities in light wood-work.

By far the most important remains of ancient Phœnicia are the rock-tombs, which are found in great numbers and extent opposite to the islands of Tyre and Aradus, as well as at Sidon, Byblus, and among the ruins of the other cities on the spurs of Lebanon; and which at Tyre especially spread out into wide burial-places, and several stories of tombs, one upon the other. In the same style we find to the west of the ruins of Carthage long walls of rocks hollowed out into thousands of tombs, and furnished with arched niches for the reception of the dead.[507] In the oldest period the Phenicians must have placed their dead in natural cavities of rock, and perhaps they erected a stone before them as a memorial. In Genesis Abraham buries Sarah in the cave of Machpelah, and Jacob sets up a stone on the grave of Rachel.[508] Afterwards the natural hollows were extended, and whole cavities dug out artificially for tombs. The tomb of David and the tombs of his successors were hewn in the rocks of the gorge which separated the city from the height of Zion (p. 177). The oldest of the artificial tombs in Phœnicia are doubtless those which consist of cubical chambers with horizontal hewn roofs. Round one or two large chambers lower oblong depressions are driven further in the rocks to receive the corpses. The entrance into these ancient chambers are formed by downward perpendicular shafts, at the bottom of which on two sides are openings into the chambers secured by slabs of stone laid before them. Shafts of this kind must be meant when the Hebrews say in a figure of the dead, "The mouth of the well has eaten him up." Later than the tombs of this description are those the entrance to which is on the level ground (which was then closed by a stone), which have roofs hewn in low arches, and side niches for the corpses. The arched chambers approached by steps leading downward, the walls of which are decorated after Grecian patterns on the stone, or on stucco, must originate from the time of the predominance of Greek art, i. e. of the days of Hellenism. The oldest style of burial was the placing of the corpse in the cavity, the grave-chamber, and afterwards in the depression at the side of this. At a later time apparently the enclosure of the corpse in a narrow coffin of clay became common here, as in Babylonia. Coffins of lead have also been found in the rock-tombs of Phœnicia. But beside these, heavy oblong stone-coffins with a simple slab of stone as a lid were in use in ancient times; along with flat lids, lids raised in a low triangle are also found; later still, and latest of all, are coffins and sarcophagi adorned with acroteria and other ornaments of the Greek style.[509]

In the flat limestone rocks which run at a moderate elevation in the neighbourhood of Sidon, and contain the vast necropolis of that city, there is a cavern, now called Mogharet Ablun, i. e. the cave of Apollo. Beside the entrance, in a depression covered by a structure attached to the rock-wall (the rock-tombs were supplemented and extended by structures attached to the wall), was found a coffin of blackish blue stone, the form of which indicates the shape of the buried person after the manner of the mummy-coffins of Egypt, and displays in colossal relief the mask of the dead in Egyptian style, with an Egyptian covering for the head and beard on the chin; the band round the neck ends behind in two hawk's heads. The inscription in Phenician letters teaches us that this coffin contained Esmunazar, king of Sidon. Similar sarcophagi in stone, in part expressing the form even more accurately, seven or eight in number, have been discovered in other chambers of the burial-place of Sidon, and in the burial-places of Byblus and Antaradus, but only in cubical,i. e. in more ancient chambers. Marble coffins of this kind have also been found in the Phenician colonies of Soloeis and Panormus in Sicily, and of the same shape in burnt earth in Malta and Gozzo. The Phenicians, therefore, came to imitate the coffins of the Egyptians. Similar imitation of Egyptian burial is proved by the gold plates found in Phenician chambers, which are like those with which we find the mouth closed in Egyptian mummies, and the discovery of golden masks in Phenician chambers,[510] which correspond to the gilding of the masks of the face of the innermost Egyptian coffins which immediately surround the linen covering. As the face-mask of the external coffin imitated the face of the dead in stone or in coloured wood, so also ought the inner gilded face to preserve the features of the dead. This imitation of the Egyptian style of burial among the Phenicians must go back to a great antiquity. It is true that Esmunazar of Sidon did not rule till the second half of the fifth or the beginning of the fourth century B.C.[511] Yet the shape and style of his coffin reminds us of older Egyptian patterns; it is most like the stone coffins of Egypt which have come down from the beginning of the sixth century. And if the ancient tombs opened at Mycenæ behind the lion's gate belong to Carians influenced by Phenician civilisation (p. 74), if golden masks are here found on the face of the dead, the Phenicians must have borrowed this custom from the Egyptians as early as the thirteenth century, if not even earlier.

The remains which have come down to us of the sculpture, jars, and utensils of Phœnicia exhibit the double influence which the art and industry of the Phenicians underwent even at an early period. Agreeably to the close relations into which the Phenicians entered, on the one hand with Babel and Asshur, and on the other with Egypt, the effects of these two ancient civilisations meet each other on the coast of Syria. The arts of the kindred land of the Euphrates, the relations of which to Phœnicia were at the same time the older, naturally made themselves felt first. When Tuthmosis III. collected tribute in Syria at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Babylonian weight was already in use there; the jars which were brought to this king as the tribute of Syria are carefully worked, but as yet adorned with very simple and recurring patterns of lines. On the other hand, the ornaments found in the tombs of Mycenæ, gold-plates, frontlets, and armlets, exhibit ornaments like those figured on the monuments of Assyria; and the objects found in the rock-tombs on Hymettus, at Spata, point even more definitely to Babylonian patterns: winged fabulous animals and battles of beasts (a lion attacking a bull or an antelope [512]) are formed in the manner of the Eastern Semites, which brings the form of the muscles into prominence. We may assume that the influence of Egypt began with the times of the Tuthmosis and Amenophis, and their supremacy in Syria, and slowly gathered strength. The heavy style of Phenician buildings would not be made lighter or more free by the architecture of Egypt, which also arose out of building in rock. The temples of Phœnicia adopted Egyptian symbols for their ornaments; the monoliths of the roofs of those three cellæ at Marathus exhibit the winged sun's-disk, the emblem at the entrance of Egyptian temples; the chests for the dead and masks for the mummies of the Egyptians were imitated in the rock-tombs of Phœnicia. If the weaving of the Phenicians at first copied the ancient Babylonian patterns, they began under the stronger influence of Egypt to adorn their pottery and metal-work after Egyptian patterns. But they also combined the Babylonian and Egyptian elements in their art.[513] The oldest memorial of this combination is perhaps retained in that winged sphinx, which belongs to the time of the dominion of the shepherds in Egypt. In the graves on Hymettus pictures in relief of female winged sphinxes are found with clothed breasts and peculiar wings, in a treatment obviously already conventional. In Phœnicia itself are found reliefs of similar sphinxes, old men with a human face on either side of the tree of life, which meet us oftentimes in the monuments of Assyria. This combination, this use of Babylonian and Egyptian types and forms side by side, is seen most clearly on a large bowl found at Curium near Amathus, in Cyprus, and wrought with great care and skill.[514] It follows that the art of the Phenicians was essentially imitative and intended to furnish objects for trade. Of round works of sculpture we have only dwarfish deities (I. 378), the typical form of which was naturally retained, and a few lions coarsely wrought in the style of the plastic art of Babylon and Assyria.[515] The relation in which the lion stood to the god Melkarth naturally made the delineation of the lion a favourite object of Phenician art.

Phœnicia, though the home of alphabetical writing, has left us no more than two or three inscriptions, and Carthage has not left us a great number. Not that there was any lack of inscriptions in Phœnicia in ancientdays. We have heard already of ancient inscriptions at Rhodes, Thebes, and Gades. Job wishes that "his words might be graven on rocks for ever with an iron chisel and lead."[516] The inscriptions of Phœnicia have perished because they were engraved like those inscriptions of Gades, on plates of brass. Beside the inscription on the coffin of Esmunazar, king of Sidon, already mentioned, of a date about 400 B.C., only two or three smaller inscriptions have been preserved, which do not go beyond the second century B.C. In this inscription Esmunazar speaks in person; he calls himself the son of Tabnit, king of the Sidonians, son of Esmunazar, king of the Sidonians. With his mother, Amastarte, the priestess of Astarte, he had erected temples to Baal, Astarte, and Esmun. He beseeches the favour of the gods for himself and his land; he prays that Dor and Japho may always remain under Sidon; he declares that he wishes to rest in the grave which he has built and in this coffin. No one is to open the tomb or plunder it, or remove or damage this stone coffin. If any man attempts it the gods will destroy him with his seed; he is not to be buried, and after death will find no rest among the shades.[517]

There is scarcely any side of civilisation, any forms of technical art, the invention of which was not ascribed by the Greeks to the Phenicians. They were nearly all made known to the Greeks through the Phenicians; more especially the building of walls and fortresses, mining, the alphabet, astronomy, numbers, mathematics, navigation, together with a great variety of applications of technical skill. If the discovery ofalphabetic writing belongs to the Phenicians, the Babylonians were the instructors of the Phenicians in astronomy as well as in fixing measures and weights (I. 305). Yet this is no reason for contesting the statement of Strabo that the Sidonians were "eager inquirers into the knowledge of the stars and of numbers, to which they were led by navigation by night and the art of calculation."[518] In the same way the technical discoveries ascribed by the Greeks to the Phenicians were not all made in their cities; they carried on with vigour and skill what grew up independently among them as well as what they learnt from others. The making of glass was undoubtedly older in Egypt than in Phœnicia (I. 224). Egypt also practised work in metals before Phœnicia. Snefru and Chufu made themselves masters of the copper mines of the peninsula of Sinai before the year 3000 B.C. (I. 95), while the Phenicians can hardly have occupied the copper island off their coast (Cyprus) before the middle of the thirteenth century B.C. Artistic weaving and embroidery were certainly practised at a more ancient date in Babylonia than in the cities of the Phenicians. But all these branches of industry were carried on with success by the Phenicians. Sidon furnished excellent works in glass, which were accounted the best even down to a late period of antiquity. The dunes on the coast between Acco and Tyre, where is the mouth of the glass-river (Sihor Libnath),[519] provided the Phenician manufacturers with the earth necessary for the manufacture of glass. It was maintained that the most beautiful glass was cast in Sarepta (Zarpath, i. e. melting), a city on the coast between Sidon and Tyre.[520]

The purple dyeing, i. e. the colouring of woofs by the liquor from fish, was discovered by the Phenicians. They were unsurpassed in this art; it outlived by many centuries the power and splendour of their cities. Trumpet and purple fish were found in great numbers on their coasts, and the liquor from these provided excellent dye. The liquor of the purple-fish, which comes from a vessel in the throat, is dark-red in the small fish, and black in the larger fish; the liquor of the trumpet-fish is scarlet. The fish were pounded and the dye extracted by decoction. By mixing, weakening, or thickening this material, and by adding this or that ingredient, various colours were obtained, through all the shades of crimson and violet down to the darkest black, in which fine woollen stuffs and linen from Egypt were dipped. The stuffs soaked in these colours are the purple cloths of antiquity, and were distinguished by the bright sheen of the colours. The Tyrian double-dyed cloth, which had the colour of curdled blood, and the violet amethyst purple were considered the most beautiful.[521] Three hundred pounds of the raw material were usually required to dye 50 pounds of wool.[522] When the purple stuffs began to be sought after, the fish collected on the coasts of Tyre, Sidon, and Sarepta were no longer sufficient. We saw how the ships of the Phenicians went from coast to coast in order to get fresh materials for the dye, and found them in great numbers on the shores of Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Cythera, and Thera; in the bays of Laconia and Argos, and in the straits of Eubœa. Purple-fish were also collected on the greater Syrtis, in Sicily, the Balearic Isles, and coasts of Tarshish.[523] Even at a later period, when the art of dyeing with the purple-fish was understood and practised at many places in the Mediterranean Sea, the Tyrian purple still maintained its pre-eminence and fame. "Tyre," says Strabo, "overcame her misfortunes, and always recovered herself by means of her navigation, in which the Phenicians were superior to all others, and her purples. The Tyrian purple is the most beautiful; the fish are caught close at hand, and every other requirement for the dyeing is there in abundance."[524] A hundred years later Pliny adds "that the ancient glory of Tyre survived now only in her fish and her purples."[525]The consumption and expense of purple in antiquity was very great, especially in Hither Asia. At first the Phenician kings wore the purple robe as the sign of their rank; then it became the adornment of the princes of the East, the priests, the women of high rank, and upper classes. In the temples and palaces the purple served for curtains and cloths, robes and veils for the images and shrines. The kings of Babylon and Assyria, and after them the kings of Persia, collected stores of purple stuffs in their palaces. Plutarch puts the value of the amount of purple found by Alexander at Susa at 5000 talents.[526] In the West also the purple robe soon became the distinguishing garb of royalty and rank. Yet the Greeks and Romans of the better times, owing to the costliness of the material, contented themselves with the possession of borders or stripes of purple.

The weaving and embroidery of the Phenicians apparently followed Assyrian and Babylonian patterns. They must also have made and exported ceramic ware and earthen vessels in large numbers at an ancient period, as is proved by the tributes brought to Tuthmosis III., the discoveries in Cyprus, Rhodes, Thera, and at Hissarlik. In the preparation of perfumes Sidon and Tyre were not equal to the Babylonians. It is true that their manufacturers supplied susinum and cyprinum of excellent quality, but they could not attain to the cinnamon or the nard ointment, nor to the royal ointment of the Babylonians.[527]

In mining the Phenicians were masters. In regard to the Phenician skill in this art, the Book of Job says, "The earth, from which comes nourishment, is turned up; he lays his hand upon the flint; far from the dealings of men he makes his descending shaft. No bird of prey knows the path; the eye of the vulture discovers it not; the wild beasts do not tread it. Through the rocks paths are made; he searches out the darkness and the night. Then his eye beholds all precious things. The stone of the rocks is the place of the sapphire and gold-dust. Iron is taken out of the mountains; stones are melted into brass, the drop of water is stopped, and the hidden is brought to light."[528] The Phenicians dug mines for copper, first on Lebanon and then in Cyprus. We saw that they afterwards, in the second half of the thirteenth century, opened out the gold treasures of Thasos in the Thracian Sea. Herodotus, who had seen their abandoned mines there (they lay on the south coast of Thasos), informed us that the Phenicians had entirely "turned over a whole mountain." Yet even in the fifth century B.C. the mines of Thasos produced a yearly income of from two to three hundred talents. In Spain the Phenicians opened their mines in the silver mountain, i. e. in the Sierra Morena, above the lower course of the Baetis (the Guadalquivir);[529] their ships went up the stream as far as Sephela (perhaps Hispalis, Seville). The richest silver-mines lay above Sephela at Ilipa (Niebla); the best gold and copper mines were at Cotini, in the region of Gades.[530] Diodorus assures us that all the mines in Iberia had been opened by Phenicians and Carthaginians, and not one by the Romans. In the more ancient times the workmen here brought up in three days an Euboic talent of silver, and their wages were fixed at a fourth part of the returns. The mines in Iberia were carried down many stades in depth and length, with pits, shafts, and sloping paths crossing each other; for the veins of gold and silver were more productive at a greater depth. The water in the mines was taken out by Egyptian spiral pumps. Strabo observes that the gold ore when brought up was melted over a slow fire, and purified by vitriolated earth. The smelting-ovens for the silver were built high, in order that the vapour from the ore, which was injurious and even deadly, might pass into the air.[531]

The Phenicians also understood how to work skilfully the metals supplied by their mines. At the founding of Gades, which we had to place about the year 1100 B.C., iron pillars with inscriptions are mentioned which the settlers put up in the temple of Melkarth (p. 82). The brass work which the melter, Hiram of Tyre, executed for Solomon (p. 182) is evidence of long practice in melting brass, and of skill in bringing into shape large masses of melted metal. The Homeric poems speak of Sidon as "rich in brass," and "skilful;" they tell us of large beaten bowls of brass and silver of Sidonian workmanship, "rich in invention." Even at a later period the goblets of Sidon were in request. Not only metal implements and vessels of brass and copper, molten and beaten, were furnished by the Phenicians; they must also have manufactured armour in large quantities, if we may draw any conclusion about armour from the tribute imposed on the Syrians by Tuthmosis III. It is easily intelligible of what value it must have been for the nations of the West to come into the possession of splendid armour and good weapons. Besides these are the ornaments found in great numbers, and of high antiquity, in the tombs of Spata and Mycenæ, and in the excavations at Hissarlik. In Homer, Phenician ships bring necklaces of gold and amber to the Greeks. At a later time the ornaments of the Phenicians and their alabaster boxes were sought after; the carved work in ivory and wood, with which they also adorned the prows and banks of oars of their ships, is praised by Ezekiel. They also knew how to set and cut precious stones; some seals have come down to us in part from an ancient date.[532]

In ship-building the Phenicians were confessedly superior; they are said to have discovered navigation.[533]The ancient forests of cedar and cypress which rose immediately above their shores supplied the best wood, which resisted decay for an extraordinary length of time even in salt water. Much as the Phenicians used these forests in the course of a thousand years for building their ships, their palaces, and temples, as well as for exportation, they provided even in the third century B.C. a material which for extent, size, and beauty won the admiration of the Greeks.[534] The oldest ship of the Phenicians which continued through all time in use as a trading-vessel was the gaulos, a vessel with high prow and stern, both of which were similarly rounded. It was propelled by a large sail and by rowers, from 20 to 30 in number. Besides the gaulos, there was the long and narrow fifty-oar, which served for a merchantman and pirate-ship as well as for a ship of war, and after the discovery of the silver land the large and armed merchantman, the ship of Tarshish. Isaiah enumerates the ship of Tarshish among the costly structures of men.[535] Ezekiel compares Tyre to a proud ship of the sea. We know that the great transport-ships and merchantmen of the Phenicians and Carthaginians could take about 500 men on board. The Byblians were considered the best ship-builders. The keels of the ships, like the masts, were made of cedar; the oars were of oak, supplied by the oak forests of the table-land of Bashan. The mariners of Sidon and Aradus were considered the best rowers. The Greeks praise the strict and careful order on board a Phenician ship, the happy use of the smallest spaces, the accuracy in distributing and placing the lading, the experience, wisdom, activity, and safety of the Phenician pilots and officers.[536] Others commend the great sail and oar power of the Phenician ships. They could sail even against the wind, and make fortunate voyages in the stormy season of the year. While the Greeks steered by the Great Bear, which, if a more visible, was a far more uncertain guide, the Phenicians had at an early time discovered a less conspicuous but more trustworthy guide in the polar star, which the Greeks call the "Phenician star." The Greeks themselves allow that this circumstance rendered the voyages of the Phenicians more accurate and secure. On an average the Phenician ships, which as a rule did not set out before the end of February, and returned at the end of October, accomplished 120 miles in 24 hours; but ships that were excellently built and equipped, and sufficiently manned, ran about 150 miles.[537] In the fifteenth century the galleys of Venice could run from 50 to 100 miles in the Mediterranean in the 24 hours. The excellence of the Phenician navy survived the independence of the cities. Inclination towards, and pleasure in navigation, as well as skill in it, were always to be found among the populations of those cities. The Phenician ships were by far the best in the fleets of the Persian kings.


[474]Eustath. ad "Odysseam," 4, 617.

[475]Vol. i. p. 352.

[476]De Luynes, "Essai sur la numismatique des satrapies," p. 69.

[477]Above, p. 188.

[478]Curt. 4, 8. Pliny ("Hist. Nat." 5, 17) puts the distance from the mainland at 700 paces (double paces).

[479]On coins of Tyre of a later time we find two rocks, which indicate the position of the city. Ezekiel (xxvi. 4, 5) threatens that she shall be a naked rock in the sea for the spreading of nets. Joseph. "c. Apion," 8, 5, 3; Diod. 17, 46; Arrian, 2, 21, 23. Renan's view ("Mission de Phénicie," p. 546 ff.) on the Agenorion has been adopted; some others of his results appear to be uncertain.

[480]Vol. i. 367; Menander in Joseph. "c. Apion." 1, 17, 18.

[481]Joseph. "Antiq." 8, 13, 2.

[482]Joseph. loc. cit.

[483]In order to bring the reigns of Josephus into harmony with his total, the total, which is given twice, must be retained. Hence nothing remains but to replace, as Movers has already done, the three and six years given by Josephus for Balezor and Mutton by the eight and 25 years given by Syncellus.

[484]On the identity of the names Acerbas, Sichaeus, Sicharbas, Sicharbaal, Serv. "ad Æneid," 1, 343; Movers, "Phoeniz." 2, 1, 355.

[485]Justin, 18, 4.

[486]Timaeus, fragm. 23, ed. Müller; Appian, "Rom. Hist." 8, 1.

[487]Timaeus, fragm. 23, ed. Müller.

[488]Vol. i. 371; Movers, "Phœniz." 1, 609 ff.

[489]Oros. 4, 22; Strabo, p. 832.

[490]Sall. "Jug." 19.

[491]The various statements about the year of the foundation of Carthage are collected in Müller, "Geograph. Græci min." 1, xix. It is impossible to fix the foundation more accurately than about the middle of the ninth century B.C. We may place it in the year 846 B.C. if we rest on the 143⅔ years of Josephus from the building of the temple (according to our own date 990 B.C.), and the round sum given by Appian—that 700 years elapsed from the founding by Dido to the destruction of the city; "Rom. Hist." 8, 132.

[492]Ezekiel xxvii. 9.

[493]Renan, "Mission de Phénicie," p. 199.

[494]Diod. 16, 41, 45; fragm. 23, ed. Bipont; cf. Justin. 18, 6.

[495]Joseph. "Antiq." 14, 12, 4, 5; Curt. 4, 15.

[496]Liv. 28, 37; Movers, "Phœniz." 2, 1, 490 ff, 529 ff.

[497]Servius, "ad Æneid." 1, 738.

[498]Ezekiel xxviii. 2-17.

[499]Psalm xlv. 9-15. Though it is doubtful whether there is any reference here to Tyre, the court-life of the Israelites was imitated from the Phenicians.

[500]Hosea ix. 13.

[501]Ezekiel xxvii. 4-7.

[502]Strabo, pp. 754, 756.

[503]Lucian, "De Syria dea," 3-5.

[504]Renan, "Mission de Phénicie," p. 39 ff, 362.

[505]Ceccaldi, "Le Monument de Sarba," Revue Archéolog. 1878.

[506]Renan, "Mission de Phénicie," p. 60 ff.

[507]Beulé, "Nachgrabungen zu Karthago," s. 98 ff (translation).

[508]Gen. xxxv. 20.

[509]Renan, loc. cit. 412 ff.

[510]In Cyprus also a mask of this kind has been found.

[511]Von Gutschmid, in "Fleckeisens Jahrbücher," 1875, s. 579.

[512]ΑΘΗΝΑΙΟΝ σ´ γ´ πίναξ; A. 7, B. 8.

[513]Helbig, "Cenni sopra l'arte fenicia," p. 17 ff.

[514]Ceccaldi, "Les fouilles de Curium," Revue Archéolog. 1877.

[515]Renan, loc. cit. pp. 175, 181, 397.

[516]Job xix. 23.

[517]Rödiger, "Z. D. M. G." 9, 647; Schlottmann, "Inschrift Esmunazars;" Halévy, "Mélanges," pp. 9, 34; Oppert, "Records of the Past," 9, 109.

[518]Strabo, p. 757.

[519]Joshua xix. 26. Strabo, p. 758. Tacitus says, "On the shore of Judæa the Belus falls into the sea: the sand collected at the mouth of this river, when mixed with saltpetre, is melted into glass. The strip of shore is of moderate extent, but inexhaustible;" "Hist." 5, 7

[520]Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 5, 17.

[521]Adolph Schmidt, "Forschungen auf dem Gebiete des Alterthums," s. 69.

[522]Schmidt, loc. cit. 129 ff.

[523]Herod. 4, 151; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 9, 60; Strabo, pp. 145, 835.

[524]Strabo, p. 757.

[525]Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 5, 17.

[526]Plut. "Alex." c. 36.

[527]Movers, "Phœniz." 3, 103.

[528]Job xxviii. 1-11. In this description the author could only have Phenician mines in his eye.

[529]Müllenhoff, "Deutsche Altertumskunde," 1, 120 ff.

[530]Strabo, p. 142. Kotini = the Oleastrum of the Romans; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 3, 3. Ptolem. 2, 4, 14.

[531]Strabo, pp. 175, 176, 120; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 7, 57.

[532]Ezekiel xxvii. 5, 6; Levy, "Siegel und Gemmen." If the first text of the Pentateuch represents the names of the tribes of the people as engraved upon the precious stones in the shield on the breast of the high priest (Exod. xxv. 7; xxviii. 9 ff, supra, 207), the author had, no doubt, the work of Phenician artists in his eye.

[533]Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 5, 13.

[534]Diodor. 19, 58.

[535]Isaiah ii. 16.

[536]Xen. "Œcon." 8, 12.

[537]Movers, "Phœniz." 3, 182 ff, 191 ff.

The Navigation and Colonies of the Phenicians

At the time when Babylonia, on the banks of the Euphrates, flourished under the successors of Hammurabi in an ancient and peculiar civilisation, and Assyria was struggling upwards beside Babylonia on the banks of the Tigris, strengthening her military power in the Armenian mountains and the ranges of the Zagrus, and already beginning to try her strength in more distant campaigns, a Semitic tribe succeeded in rising into eminence in the West also, in winning and exerting a deep-reaching influence on distant and extensive lands. It was a district of the most moderate extent from which this influence proceeded, its dominion was of a different kind from that of the Babylonians and Assyrians; it grew up on an element which elsewhere appeared not a favourite with the Semites, and sought its points of support in settlements on distant islands and coasts. By this tribe the sea was actively traversed and with ever-increasing boldness; by circumspection, by skill, by tough endurance and brave ventures it succeeded in extending its dominion in ever-widening circles, and making the sea the instrument of its wealth and the bearer of its power.

On the coasts of Syria were settled the tribes of the Arvadites, Giblites and Sidonians (I. 344). Their land extended from the mouth of the Eleutherus (Nahr el Kebir) in the north to the promontory of Carmel in the south. A narrow strip of coast under Mount Lebanon, from 10 to 15 miles in breadth and some 150 miles in length, was all that they possessed. Richly watered by the streams sent down from Lebanon to the sea, the small plains formed round their mouths and separated by the spurs of the mountain ranges are of the most abundant fertility. The Eleutherus is followed to the south by the Adonis (Nahr el Ibrahim), and this by the Lycus (Nahr el Kelb); then follow the Tamyras (Nahr Damur), the Bostrenus (Nahr el Auli [63]), the Belus (the Sihor Libnath of the Hebrews, now Nahr Naman), and lastly the Kishon. Above the shore rise hills clothed with date-palms, vines and olives; higher up on Lebanon splendid mountain pastures spread out, and above these we come to the vast forests (I. 338) which provide shade in the glowing heat, as Tacitus says,[64] and to the bright snow-fields which crown the summit of Lebanon. Ammianus speaks of the region under Lebanon as full of pleasantness and beauty. The upper slopes of the mountain furnish pasture and forests; in the rocks are copper and iron. The high mountain-range, which sharply divided the inhabitants of the coast from the interior (at a much later time, even after the improvements of the Roman Cæsars, there were, as there are now, nothing but mule-tracks across Lebanon [65]), lay behind the inhabitants of the coast, and before them lay the sea. At an early period they must have become familiar with that element. The name of the tribe which the Hebrew Scriptures call the "first-born of Canaan" means "fishermen." The places on the coast found the sea the easiest means of communication. Thus the sea, so rich in islands, the long but proportionately narrow basin which lay before the Sidonians, Giblites and Arvadites, would soon attract to longer voyages the fishermen and navigators of the coast.

We found that the beginning of civilisation in Canaan could not be placed later than about the year 2500 B.C., and we must therefore allow a considerable antiquity to the cities of the Sidonians, Giblites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Arkites. The settlement on the site of Sidon was founded, no doubt, before the year 2000 B.C., and that on the site of Byblus cannot certainly be placed later than this period.[66] The campaigns which the Pharaohs undertook against Syria and the land of the Euphrates after the expulsion of the Shepherds could not leave these cities unmoved. If the Zemar of the inscriptions of Tuthmosis III. is Zemar (Simyra) near Aradus, and Arathutu is Aradus itself, the territories of these cities were laid waste by this king in his sixth campaign (about the year 1580 B.C.); if Arkatu is Arka, south of Aradus, this place must have been destroyed in his fifteenth campaign (about the year 1570 B.C.). Sethos I. (1440-1400 B.C.) subdued the land of Limanon (i. e. the region of Lebanon), and caused cedars to be felled there. One of his inscriptions mentions Zor, i. e. Tyre, among the cities conquered by him. The son and successor of Sethos I., Ramses II., also forced his way in the first decades of the fourteenth century as far as the coasts of the Phenicians. At the mouth of the Nahr el Kelb, between Sidon and Berytus, the rocks on the coast display the memorial which he caused to be set up in the second and third year of his reign in honour of the successes obtained in this region.[67] In the fifth year of his reign Ramses, with the king of the Cheta' defeats the king of Arathu in the neighbourhood of Kadeshu on the Orontes, and Ramses III. about the year 1310 B.C., mentions beside the Cheta who attack Egypt the people of Arathu, by which name, in the one case as in the other, may be meant the warriors of Aradus.[68] If Arathu, like Arathutu, is Aradus, it follows, from the position which Ramses II. and III. give to the princes of Arathu, that beside the power to which the kingdom of the Hittites had risen about the middle of the fifteenth century B.C., and which it maintained to the end of the fourteenth,[69] the Phenician cities had assumed an independent position. The successes of the Pharaohs in Syria come to an end in the first decades of the fourteenth century. Egypt makes peace and enters into a contract of marriage with the royal house of the Cheta; the Syrians obtain even the preponderance against Egypt (I. 152), to which Ramses III. towards the end of the fourteenth century was first able to oppose a successful defence.

The overthrow of the kingdom of the Hittites, which succumbed to the attack of the Amorites (I. 348) soon after the year 1300 B.C., must have had a reaction on the cities of the Phenicians. Expelled Hittites must have been driven to the coast-land, or have fled thither, and in the middle of the thirteenth century the successes gained by the Hebrews who broke in from the East, over the Amorites, the settlement of the Hebrews on the mountains of the Amorites, must again have thrown the vanquished, i. e. the fugitives of this nation, towards the coast.

With this retirement of the older strata of the population of Canaan to the coast is connected the movement which from this period emanates from the coasts of the Phenicians, and is directed towards the islands of the Mediterranean and the Ægean. It is true that on this subject only the most scanty statements and traces, only the most legendary traditions have come down to us, so that we can ascertain these advances only in the most wavering outlines. One hundred miles to the west off the coast of Phœnicia lies the island of Cyprus. On the southern coast of this island, which looked towards Phœnicia, stood the city of Citium, Kith and Chith in the inscriptions of the Phenicians, and apparently Kittii in those of the Assyrians. Sidonian coins describe Citium as a daughter of Sidon.[70] After this city the whole island is known among the Semites as Kittim and Chittim; this name is even used in a wider sense for all the islands of the Mediterranean.[71] The western writers state that before the time of the Trojan war Belus had conquered and subjugated the island of Cyprus, and that Citium belonged to Belus.[72] The victorious Belus is the Baal of the Phenicians. The date of the Trojan war is of no importance for the settlement of the Phenicians in Cyprus, for this statement is found in Virgil only. More important is the fact that the settlers brought the Babylonian cuneiform writing to Cyprus. This became so firmly rooted in use that even the Greeks, who set foot on the island at a far later time, scarcely before the end of the ninth century, adopted this writing, which here meanwhile had gone through a peculiar development, and had become a kind of syllabic-writing, and used it on coins and in inscriptions even in the fifth century B.C.[73] The settlement of the Sidonians in Cyprus must therefore have taken place before the time in which the alphabetic writing, i. e. the writing specially known as Phenician, was in use in Syria, and hence at the latest before 1100 B.C. How long before this time the settlement of the Phenicians in Cyprus took place can, perhaps, be measured by the fact that the Cyprian alphabet is a simplification of the old Babylonian cuneiform writing. The simplified form would undoubtedly have been driven out by the far more convenient alphabetic writing of the Phenicians if the Cyprian writing had not become fixed in use in this island before the rise of the alphabetic writing. Further, since the Phenicians, as we shall see, set foot on the coast of Hellas from about the year 1200 B.C. onwards, we must place the foundation of the colonies on the coasts nearest them, the settlement in Cyprus, before this date, about the middle of the thirteenth century B.C.

What population the Phenicians found on Cyprus it is not possible to discover. Herodotus tells us that the first inhabitants of the island were Ethiopians, according to the statements of the Cyprians. It is beyond a doubt that not Citium only, but the greater part of the cities of the island were founded by the Phenicians, and that the Phenician element became the ruling element of the whole island.[74] It is Belus who is said to have conquered Cyprus, and to whom the city of Citium is said to belong; i. e. Citium worshipped the god Baal. At Amathus, to the west of Citium, on the south coast of the island, which was called the oldest city on Cyprus, and which nevertheless bears a distinctly Semitic name (Hamath), Adonis and Ashera-Astarte were worshipped,[75] and these deities had also one of their oldest and most honoured seats of worship at Paphos (Pappa in the inscriptions), on the west coast. The Homeric poems represent Aphrodite as hastening to her altar at Paphos in Cyprus. Pausanias observes that the Aphrodite of Cyprus was a warlike Aphrodite,[76] and as the daughters of the Cyprians surrendered themselves to the foreign seamen in honour of this goddess,[77] it was the Astarte-Ashera of the Phenicians who was worshipped at Amathus and Paphos. The Zeus of the Cyprian city Salamis (Sillumi in the inscriptions of the Assyrians), to whom, according to the evidence of western writers, human sacrifices were offered, can only be Baal Moloch, the evil sun-god of the Phenicians. In the beginning of the tenth century B.C. the cities of Cyprus stood under the supremacy of the king of Tyre.[78] The island was of extraordinary fertility. The forests furnished wood for ship-building; the mountains concealed rich veins of the metal which has obtained the name of copper from this island.[79]Hence it was a very valuable acquisition, an essential strengthening of the power of Sidon in the older, and Tyre in the later, period.

Following Zeno of Rhodes, who wrote the history of his home in the first half of the second century B.C.,[80]Diodorus tells us: The king of the Phenicians, Agenor, bade his son Cadmus seek his sister Europa,[81] who had disappeared, and bring back the maiden, or not return himself to Phœnicia. Overtaken by a violent storm, Cadmus vowed a shrine to Poseidon. He was saved, and landed on the island of Rhodes, where the inhabitants worshipped before all other gods the sun, who had here begotten seven sons and among them Makar. Cadmus set up a temple in Rhodes to Poseidon, as he had vowed to do, and left behind Phenicians to keep up the service; but in the temple which belonged to Athena at Cnidus in Rhodes he dedicated a work of art, an iron bowl, which bore an inscription in Phenician letters, the oldest inscription which came from Phœnicia to the Hellenes. From Rhodes Cadmus came to Samothrace, and there married Harmonia. The gods celebrated this first marriage by bringing gifts, and blessing the married pair to the tones of heavenly music.[82]

Ephorus says that Cadmus carried off Harmonia while sailing past Samothrace, and hence in that island search was still made for Harmonia at the festivals.[83] Herodotus informs us that Cadmus of Tyre, the son of Agenor, in his search for Europa, landed on the island of Thera, which was then called Callisto, and there left behind some Phenicians, either because the land pleased him or for some other reason. These Phenicians inhabited the island for eight generations before Theras landed there from Lacedæmon. The rest went to the island of Thasos and there built a temple to Heracles, which he had himself seen, and the city of Thasos. This took place five generations before Heracles the son of Amphitryon was born. After that Cadmus came to the land now called Bœotia, and the Phenicians who were with him inhabited the land and taught theHellenes many things, among others the use of writing, "which as it seems to me the Hellenes did not possess before. They learnt this writing, as it was used by the Phenicians; in the course of time the form of the letters changed with the language. From these Phenicians the Ionians, among whom they dwelt, learnt the letters, altered their form a little, and extended their use. As was right, they called them Phenician letters, since the Phenicians had brought them into Greece. I have myself seen inscriptions in Cadmeian letters (i. e.from the time of Cadmus) in the temple of Ismenian Apollo at Thebes."[84] According to the narrative of Hellanicus, Cadmus received an oracle, bidding him follow the cow which bore on her back the sign of the full moon, and found a city where she lay down. Cadmus carried out the command, and when the cow lay down wearied, where Thebes now stands, Cadmus built there the Cadmeia (the citadel of Thebes).[85]According to the statement of Pherecydes Cadmus also built the city of Thebes.[86] With Hecatæus of Miletus Cadmus passes as the discoverer of letters; according to others he also discovered the making of iron armour and the art of mining.[87]

The direction of the Phenician settlements, which proceeds in the Ægean sea from S.E. to N.W., cannot be mistaken in these legends. First Rhodes, then the Cyclades, then the islands on the Thracian coast, Samothrace and Thasos, were colonised; and at length, on the strait of Eubœa, the mainland of Hellas was trodden by the Phenicians, who are said to have gained precisely from this point a deep-reaching influence over the Hellenes. The legend of Cadmus goes far back among the Greeks. In the Homeric poems the inhabitants of Thebes are "Cadmeians." The Thebaid praised "the divine wisdom of Cadmus;" in the poems of Hesiod he leads home Harmonia, "the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite," and Pindar describes how the Muses sang for "the divine Cadmus, the wealthiest of mortals, when in seven-gated Thebes he led the ox-eyed Harmonia to the bridal-bed."[88] Agenor, the father of Cadmus, is a name which the Greeks have given to the Baal of the Phenicians.[89] Cadmus himself, the wealthiest of mortals, who leads home the daughter of a god and a goddess,—who celebrates the first marriage at which the gods assemble, bring gifts and sing,—whose wife was worshipped as the protecting goddess of Thebes,[90]—whose daughters, Ino, Leucothea and Semele, are divine creatures, whom Zeus leads to the Elysian fields,[91]—can only be a god. He seeks the lost Europa, and is to follow the cow which bears the sign of the full moon. We know the moon-goddess of the Phenicians, who bears the crescent moon and cow's horns, the horned Astarte, who wears a cow's head, the goddess of battle and sensual desire, and thus the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. "The great temple of Astarte at Sidon," so we find in the book of the Syrian goddess, "belongs, as the Sidonians say, to Astarte; but a priest told me that it was a temple of Europa, the sister of Cadmus." The meaning of the word Europa has been discussed previously (I. 371). Cadmus, who seeks the lost moon-goddess, who at length finds and overcomes her, and celebrates with her the holy marriage, is the Baal Melkarth of the Phenicians. The death-bringing Istar-Astarte is changed into Bilit-Ashera, into the fruit-giving goddess;[92] the gloomy Europa changes into Harmonia, the goddess of union, birth and increase, yet not without leaving to her descendants deadly gifts. It is the myth of Melkarth and Astarte which the Greeks present to us in the story of Cadmus; with this myth they have connected the foundation of the Phenician settlements in Rhodes, Thera, Samothrace, Thasos and Bœotia; they have changed it into the foundation of these colonies. The name Cadmus means the man of the East; to the Hebrews the Arabs who dwelt to the east of them were known as Beni Kedem, i. e. sons of the East.[93] To the Greeks the Phenicians were men of the East, just as to the English of the thirteenth century the merchants of Lubeck were Easterlings. The citadel of Thebes, which the men of the East built, preserved the name of Cadmus the son of the East, and kept it alive among the Greeks.

What we can gather from Grecian legend is confirmed by some statements of historians and by traces which tell of settlements of the Phenicians. Thucydides informs us that the Phenicians colonised most of the islands of the Ægean.[94] Diodorus has already told us with regard to Rhodes that in the temples of this island were Phenician works of art and inscriptions, and that in Rhodes the sun-god and the seven children which he begot there were worshipped. In the number eight made by these deities we can hardly fail to recognise the eight great deities of the Phenicians; the sun-god at their head is the Baal of the Phenicians (I. 357). And if Diodorus mentions Makar among the seven sons of the sun-god of Rhodes,—if according to others Rhodes, like Cyprus, was called Macaria,—Makar is a Greek form of the name Melkarth. We further learn that on the highest mountain summit in Rhodes, on Atabyris, Zeus was worshipped under the form of a bull, and that a human sacrifice was offered yearly to Cronos. In Atabyris we cannot fail to recognise the Semitic Tabor, i. e. the height. We found above that the Phenicians worshipped Baal under the form of a bull, and the Greeks are wont to denote Baal Moloch by the name of Cronos.[95] These forms of worship continued to exist even when at a later time Hellenic immigrants had got the upper hand in Rhodes. It was the Dorians who here met with resistance from the Phenicians at Camirus and Ialysus; they got the upper hand, but admitted Phenician families into their midst,[96] and continued their sacred rites. Diodorus informs us that the Phenicians whom Cadmus had left behind on Rhodes had formed a mixed community with the Ialysians, and that it was said that priests of their families had performed the sacred duties.[97] Even at a later time Rhodes stood in close relation with Phœnicia, especially with the city of Aradus.[98] Thus it happened that the colonies which the Rhodians planted in the seventh and sixth centuries in Sicily, Gela and Acragas, carried thither the worship of Zeus Atarbyrius. Zeus Atarbyrius was the protecting deity of Acragas, and human sacrifices were offered to his iron bull-image on the citadel of that city as late as the middle of the sixth century. The coins of Gela also exhibit a bull.[99] Of the island of Thera, Herodotus told us that the Phenicians colonised it and inhabited it for eight generations, i. e. for more than 250 years according to his computation. Herodotus names the chief of the Phenicians whom Cadmus left behind on Thera; others speak of the two altars which he erected there.[100] The descendants of these Phenicians were found here by the Greek settlers from Laconia. It is certain that even in the third century B.C. the island worshipped the hero Phœnix.[101] Of the island of Melos we learn that it was occupied by Phenicians of Byblus, and named by them after their mother city;[102] the island of Oliaros near Paros was, on the other hand, according to Heraclëides Ponticus, occupied by the Sidonians.[103] Strabo informs us that Samothrace was previously called Melite (Malta); from its height (the island is a mountain rising high in the sea and covered with oak forests; the summit reaches 5000 feet) it obtained the name of Samos, "for high places are called Sami;"[104] as a matter of fact the stem of the word of this meaning, like the name Melite, belongs to the Phenician language. Ephorus has already told us (p. 56) that the Samothracians sought for Harmonia at their festivals; Diodorus represents Cadmus as celebrating the marriage with Harmonia on Samothrace as well as at Thebes, and we learn from Herodotus that the Cabiri, i. e. the great gods of the Phenicians, were worshipped on Samothrace; votive tablets of the island dating from Roman times still bear the inscription, "to the great gods," i. e. to the Cabiri.[105] The islands of Imbros and Lemnos also worshipped the Cabiri; Lemnos especially worshipped Hephæstus, who had a leading place in this circle.[106] The island of Thasos is said, according to the statement of the Greeks, to have been called after a son of Phœnix, or Agenor, of the name of Thasos, who was consequently a brother of Cadmus. Herodotus saw on the island a temple which the Phenicians had built to Heracles, i. e. to Baal-Melkarth, and the mines which they had made on the coast opposite Samothrace; "they had overturned a great mountain in order to get gold from it."[107]Herodotus also tells us that the temple of Aphrodite Urania on the island of Cythera off the coast of Laconia was founded by the Phenicians, and Pausanias calls this temple the oldest and most sacred temple of Urania among the Hellenes; the wooden image in this temple exhibited the goddess in armour. Aphrodite Urania is with the Greeks the Syrian Aphrodite; if she was represented on Cythera in armour it is clear that she was worshipped there by the Phenicians as Astarte-Ashera, i. e. as the goddess of war and love.[108]

Not in the islands only, but on the coasts of Hellas also, the Phenicians have left traces of their ancient occupation, especially in the form of worship belonging to them. On the isthmus of Corinth Melicertes, i. e.Melkarth, was worshipped as a deity protecting navigation; Corinthian coins exhibit him on a dolphin.[109]Aphrodite, whose shrine stood on the summit of Acrocorinthus, was worshipped by prostitution like the Ashera-Bilit of the Phenicians. In Attica also, in the deme of Athmonon, there was a shrine of the goddess of Cythera, which king Porphyrion, i. e. the purple man, the Phenician, is said to have founded there at a very ancient time "before king Actaeus."[110] At Marathon, where Heracles was worshipped, and of whom the name represents the Phenician city Marathus, rose a fountain which had the name Makaria, i. e. Makar,[111] the name of Melkarth, which we have already met with in Cyprus and Rhodes, and shall meet with again. More plainly still do the tombs lately discovered in Hymettus at the village of Spata attest the ancient settlement of the Phenicians on the Attic coast. These are chambers dug deeply into the rock after the Phenician manner, with horizontal roofs after the oldest fashion of Phenician graves; and shafts lead down to them from the surface. The ornaments and works in glass, ivory, gold and brass discovered here, which are made after Babylonian and Egyptian models, can only have been brought by the Phenicians.[112] The citadel of Thebes, as has been said, retains the name of Cadmus; the poetry of the Greeks praised the mighty walls, the seven gates of Thebes. We know the number seven of the great Phenician gods; we can prove that the seven gates were dedicated to the gods of the sun, the moon and the five planets;[113] and the Greeks have already admitted to us that they received the wearing of armour, the art of mining and masonry and finally their alphabet from Cadmus, i. e. from the Phenicians, the Cadmeans of Thebes.

In the Homeric poems Europa, the daughter of Phœnix, bears Minos to Zeus. The abode of Minos is the "great city" of Cnossus in Crete; he receives each nine years the revelations of his father Zeus; for his daughter Ariadne Dædalus adorns a dancing place at Cnossus. After his death Minos carries in the under world the golden sceptre, and by his decisions puts an end to the contentions of the shades.[114] His descendants rule in Crete.[115] Later accounts tell us that Zeus in the form of a bull carried off Europa from Phœnicia, and bore her over the sea to Crete. The wife of her son Minos, Pasiphaë, then united with a bull which rose out of the sea, and brought forth the Minotaur, i. e. the Minos-bull, a man with a bull's head.[116]The son of Minos, Androgeos (earth-man) or Eurygyes (Broadland), was destroyed in Attica by the bull of Marathon, who consumed him in his flames.[117] To avenge the death of Androgeos Minos seized Megara, and blight and famine compelled the Athenians to send, in obedience to the command of Minos, seven boys and seven girls every ninth year to Crete, who were then sacrificed to the Minotaur.[118] Others narrate that Hephæstus had given Minos a man of brass, who wandered round the island and kept off foreign vessels, and clasped to his glowing breast all who were disobedient to Minos.[119] When Dædalus retired before the wrath of Minos from Crete to Sicily, Minos equipped his ships to bring him back; but he there found, according to Herodotus, a violent death.[120] The king of the Sicanians, so Diodorus tells us, gave him a friendly welcome, and caused a warm bath to be prepared, and then craftily suffocated him in it. The Cretans buried their king in a double grave; they laid the bones in a secret place, and built upon them a temple to Aphrodite, and as they could not return to Crete because the Cretans had burned their ships, they founded the city Minoa in Sicily; but the tomb of Minos was shown in Crete also.[121]

A bull-god carries the daughter of Phœnix over the sea to Crete and begets Minos; a bull who rises out of the sea begets with Pasiphaë, i. e. the all-shining, the Minos-bull, to which in case of blight and famine boys and girls are sacrificed in the number sacred among the Semites; Androgeos succumbs to the heat of the bull of Marathon, an iron man slays his victims by pressing them to his glowing breast. These legends of the Greeks are unmistakable evidence of the origin of the rites observed in Crete from the coast of Syria, of the settlement of Phenicians in Crete. The bull-god may be the Baal Samim or the Baal Moloch of the Phenicians; Europa has already revealed herself to us as the moon-goddess of the Phenicians (p. 58); Pasiphaë is only another name for the same goddess, the lady of the nightly sky, the starry heaven. We know that on occasions of blight human sacrifices were offered to Baal Moloch, the fiery, consuming, angry sun-god, and that these sacrifices were burnt. Ister, a writer of the third century B.C., tells us quite simply; In ancient times children were sacrificed to Cronos in Crete.[122] Before the harbour of Megara lay an island of the name of Minoa; at the time of the summer heat before the corn was ripe, the Athenians offered peace-offerings at the Thargelia, "in the place of human sacrifices,"[123] that the consuming sun might not kill the harvest. The name of the island and this custom, as well as the flames of the bull of Marathon, prove that beside the worship of the Syrian goddess at Athmonon, and the worship of Melkarth at Marathon, the worship of Baal Moloch had penetrated as far as Megara and Attica. Minos, the son of the sky-god, the husband of the moon-goddess, who from time to time receives revelations from heaven, and even after his death is judge of the dead, is himself a god; his proper name is Minotaur, a name taken from the form of the bull's image and the bull's head. When Baal Melkarth had found and overcome Astarte, after he had celebrated with her the holy marriage, he went to rest according to the Phenician myth in the waters of the western sea which he had warmed. The Phenicians were of opinion that the beams of the sun when sinking there in the far west had the most vigorous operation because of their greater proximity.[124] Minos goes to Sicily; there in a hot bath he ends his life, and over his resting-place rises the temple of Astarte-Ashera, with whom he celebrated his marriage in the west, and who by this marriage is changed from the goddess of war into the goddess of love. The tombs of Minos in Crete, Sicily, and finally at Gades, of which the Greeks speak, are in the meaning of the Phenician myth merely resting-places of the god, who in the spring wakes from his slumber into new power. The Greeks made Minos, who continued to live in the under-world, a judge in the causes of the shades, and finally a judge of the souls themselves. On the southern coast of Sicily, at the mouth of the Halycus, lay the city which the Greeks called Minoa or Heraclea-Minoa after Minos. To the Phenicians it was known as Rus Melkarth (p. 78), a title which proves beyond doubt that Minos was one of the names given by the Greeks to this god of the Phenicians.

The worship of Baal Moloch, which the Phenicians brought to Crete and the shores of Megara and Attica, was not all that the Greeks personified in the form of Minos; they did not confine themselves to one side of the myth of Baal Melkarth. When Grecian colonists settled subsequently in Crete they found the cities of the Phenicians full of artistic capacity, and their life regulated by legal ordinances. Thus their legend could place the artist Dædalus, the discoverer and pattern of all art-industry, beside Minos, and refer to Minos the ordinances of the cities. Zeus himself had revealed these arrangements to him. At a later time the Greek cities of Crete traced their own institutions back to Minos; here and there they may perhaps have followed a Phenician model, or they may have given out that such a model had been followed. Plato represents Minos as receiving the wise laws which he introduced into Crete from Zeus. With Aristotle also Minos is the founder of the Cretan laws.[125] In the circle of the Cabiri the sky-god Baal Samim was the protector and defender of law (I. 377).

Lastly, Minos is with the Greeks at once the representation and expression of the dominion which the Phenicians exercised in ancient times over the islands of the Ægean sea, before the settlements of the Greeks obtained the supremacy over the islands and the ships of the Greeks took the lead in these waters. In the age of the Heroes, so Herodotus tells us, Minos established the first naval empire; the Carians, who inhabited the islands, he made his subjects; they did not indeed pay tribute, but they had to man his ships whenever necessary.[126] "The oldest king," says Thucydides, "of whom tradition tells us that he possessed a fleet was Minos. He ruled over the greatest part of the Greek sea and the Cyclades, which he colonised, driving outthe Carians and making his sons lords of the islands."[127] Minos, as a king ruling by law, is then said to have put an end to piracy.

The Phenicians could not certainly have left out of sight the largest of the islands, which forms the boundary of the Ægean sea; and the traditions of the Greeks can hardly go wrong if they make this island the centre of the naval supremacy of Minos, i. e. of the supremacy of the Phenicians over the Cyclades. Crete must have been the mainstay of their activity in the Ægean, just as Thebes was the point on the mainland where they planted the firmest foot. The title Minoa seems to lie at the base of the name of Minos, a title borne not only by the island off Megara and the city in Sicily, but also by two cities in Crete (one on the promontory of Drepanum, the other in the region of Lyctus), by some islands near Crete, a city in Amorgus, and a city in Siphnus. The name Minoa (from navah ) could mean dwelling; it is certain evidence of a Phenician settlement. But the Phenicians have left traces of their existence in Crete beside the names Minos and Minoa and the forms of worship denoted by them. Coins of the Cretan cities Gortys and Phæstus exhibit a bull or a bull-headed man as a stamp. Near the Cretan city of Cydonia the Jardanus, i. e. the Jordan, falls into the sea; the name of the city Labana goes back to the Phenician word libanon, i. e. "white." Cnossus, the abode of Minos in Homer and Herodotus,[128] was previously named Kairatus; Karath  in Phenician means city. Itanus, in Crete (Ethanath  in the Semitic form), is expressly stated to be a foundation of the Phenicians.[129]

With regard to the state of civilisation reached by Syria before the year 1500 B.C., we may draw some conclusions from the fact that not merely did the civilisation of Egypt influence the shepherds of Semitic race who ruled over Egypt at that period, but that Semitic manners and customs left behind traces in Egypt (I. 128). Hence we may assume that the Syrians carried their wine and their oil to the Nile at the time when their kinsmen ruled there (1950-1650 B.C.). The civilisation of Syria appears more clearly from the tributes imposed by Tuthmosis III. on Syria, which are here and there illustrated by the pictures accompanying the inscriptions of this Pharaoh. The burdens imposed on the Syrians consist not only of corn, wine, oil and horses; not only of gold, silver and iron, but also of arms and works of art, among which the pictures allow us to recognise carefully-decorated vessels. On the other hand, it is clear from the fact that the Babylonian weights and measures were in use in Syria at this time (I. 304) that the Syrians before this period were in lively intercourse with the land of the Euphrates, that even before the sixteenth century B.C. caravans must have traversed the Syrian deserts in every direction, and even then the Syrians must have exchanged the products of their land for Babylonian stuffs and the frankincense which the Arabians on their part carried to Babylon. The dependence of Syria on Egypt under the Tuthmosis and Amenophis can only have augmented the intercourse of the Syrians with the land of the Nile. Afterwards Sethos I. (1440-1400) caused wood to be felled on Lebanon; it must have been the places on the coast under Lebanon which carried to Egypt in their ships, along with the wine and oil of the coast and the interior, the wood so necessary there for building and exchanged it for the fabrics of Egypt. Wood for building could not be conveyed on the backs of camels, and the way by sea from the Phenician towns to the mouths of the Nile was far easier and less dangerous than the road by land over rocky heights and through sandy deserts. Hence, as early as the fifteenth century B.C., we may regard the Phenician cities as the central points of a trade branching east and west, which must have been augmented by the fact that they conveyed not only products of the Syrian land to the Euphrates and the Nile, but could also carry the goods which they obtained in exchange in Egypt to Babylonia, and what they obtained beyond the Euphrates to Egypt. At the same time the fabrics of Babylon and Egypt roused them to emulation, and called forth an industry among the Phenicians which we see producing woven stuffs, vessels of clay and metal, ornaments and weapons, and becoming pre-eminent in the colouring of stuffs with the liquor of the purple-fish, which are found on the Phenician coasts. This industry required above all things metals, of which Babylonia and Egypt were no less in need, and when the purple-fish of their own coasts were no longer sufficient for their extensive dyeing, colouring-matter had to be obtained. Large quantities of these fish produced a proportionately small amount of the dye. Copper-ore was found in Cyprus, gold in the island of Thasos, and purple-fish on the coasts of Hellas. When the fall of the kingdom of the Hittites and the overthrow of the Amorite princes in the south of Canaan augmented the numbers of the population on the coast, these cities were no longer content to obtain those possessions of the islands by merely landing and making exchanges with the inhabitants. Intercourse with semi-barbarous tribes must be protected by the sword. Good harbours were needed where the ships could be sheltered from storm and bad weather, where the crews could find safety from the natives, rest and fresh stores of water and provisions. Thus arose protecting forts on the distant islands and coasts, which received the ships of the native land. Under the protection of these intercourse could be carried on with the natives, and they were points of support for the collection of the fish and the sinking of mines.

In order to obtain the raw material necessary for their industry no less than to carry off the surplus of population, the Phenicians were brought to colonise Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Thera, Melos, Oliarus, Samothrace, Imbros, Lemnos and Thasos. In the bays of Laconia and Argos, in the straits of Eubœa,[130]purple-fish were found in extraordinary quantities. The Phenicians settled in the island of Cythera in the bay of Laconia, which, as Aristotle says, was once called Porphyrussa from its purple-fish,[131] and there erected that ancient temple to the oriental Aphrodite, Aphrodite in armour, just as in Attica in the deme of Athmonon they founded the temple of the Syrian Aphrodite and excavated the tombs on Hymettus.[132]Midway between the straits of Eubœa and the bay of Corinth, which abounded with purple-fish, rose the strong fortress of the Cadmeia, and on Acrocorinthus the shrine of Ashera.

Herodotus and Thucydides told us above (p. 67) that the Carians inhabited the islands of the Ægean sea. These were they whom Minos had made subject to his dominion. Beside this, we are informed more particularly that the Carians had possessed the island of Rhodes, which lay off their coast, and had dwelt on Chios and Samos (I. 571). What degree of civilisation was reached by the population of the islands of the Ægean sea before the Phenicians came into relations with them may be inferred to some extent from the discoveries made in the island of Thera. In and beneath three layers of ashes and tufa caused by vast eruptions of the volcanos of this island have been discovered stone instruments, pottery of the most rudimentary kind, in part with the rudest indications of the human face and figure, and beside these weapons of copper and brass. In the upper layers of the tufa we find far better pottery decorated in the Phenician style. On Melos also, and in the tombs at Camirus in Rhodes, vessels of the same kind have been discovered; and, finally, in the highest of the layers at Thera are gold ornaments of the most various kinds, and ornaments of electron, i. e. of mixed gold and silver, all of a workmanship essentially non-Hellenic. From these facts we may draw the conclusion that the ships of the Phenicians brought to these inhabitants their earliest weapons in brass and copper, their pottery and ornaments; that the Carians of the islands, following these patterns, raised their own efforts to a higher stage, and that afterwards the Phenicians themselves settled in the islands and made themselves masters of them. Perhaps we may even go a step further. In the lower strata of the excavations at Hissarlik, on the Trojan coast, we find exactly the same primitive pottery, with the same indications of human forms, as in Thera, while in the refuse lying above this are idols and pottery adorned after Phenician patterns, which correspond exactly to the idols of Cyprus, as well as ornaments like those of Thera. Hence in this region also we may assume that the Phenicians gave the impulse and the example to the development of civilisation, and the more so as the name of the city of Adramyttion on the Trojan coast repeats the name of a Phenician foundation on the coast of North Africa (Adrames, Hadrumetum), and even Strabo ascribes the worship of the Cabiri to some places on the Trojan coast.[133] Far more definite traces of the Phenician style and skill are in existence on the shore of the bay of Argos. The ancient tombs which have been recently discovered behind the lions' gate at Mycenæ are hewn in the rocks after the manner of the Phenicians. As in the ancient burying-places of the Phenicians, a perpendicular shaft forms the entrance to the sepulchral chambers; the corpses are laid in them without coffins, as was the most ancient custom in Phœnicia. The masks of beaten gold-leaf which were found on the faces of five or six of the corpses buried here are evidence of a custom which the Phenicians borrowed from the gilded faces of Egyptian coffins.[134] The corpses are covered with gold ornaments and other decorations. There is a large number of weapons and ornaments of gold, silver, copper, brass and glass in the tombs; the execution exhibits a technical skill sometimes more, sometimes less practised. The ornaments remind us of Babylonian and Assyrian patterns; the idols in burnt clay are in the Phenician style; the palm-leaves and palms, antelopes and leopards which frequently occur, point to regions of the East; the articles of amber and the ostrich egg can only have reached the bay of Argos in Phenician ships. Still there are grave reasons for refusing to believe that the persons buried in this tomb are princes of the Phenicians. The numerous pieces of armour show that the dead who rest here were buried with their armour, which is not the traditional custom either with regard to the Phenicians or the Hellenes, but which Thucydides quotes as a mark of the tombs of the Carians.[135] We learn, moreover, even from the Homeric poems, that the Carians loved gold ornaments, and further, that the Greeks improved their armour after the pattern of the Carians (I. 572). As we also find the double axe of the Carian god, the "Zeus Stratius" as the Greeks called him, the "axe-god," the Chars-El in the Carian language (I. 573), on some ornaments of the tombs of Mycenæ, the supposition forces itself upon us that Carians from the western islands must have occupied the shore of the bay of Argos. In any case, the tombs of Mycenæ, both from their position and their contents, announce to us that the people who excavated them and placed their dead in them were dependent on the style and skill of the Phenicians.

Can we fix the time at which the Phenicians first set foot on the islands of Hellas? Herodotus tells us that Troy was taken in the third generation after the death of Minos.[136] If we put three full generations, according to the calculation of Herodotus, between the death of Minos and the conquest of Ilium, the first event took place 100 years before the second. Since, according to the data of Herodotus, the capture of Ilium falls in the year 1280 or 1260 B.C., Minos would have died in the year 1380 or 1360 B.C. The landing of the Phenicians on Thasos and the expedition of Cadmus from Phœnicia beyond the islands to Bœotia are placed by Herodotus five generations before Heracles, and Heracles is placed 900 years before his own time. If we reckon upwards from the year 450 or 430 B.C., Heracles lived about the year 1350 or 1330 B.C., and Cadmus five generations, i. e. 166⅔ years, before this date, or about the year 1516 or 1496 B.C.[137] On the island of Thera, Herodotus further remarks, the Phenicians whom Cadmus left behind him there had dwelt for eight generations, i. e. 266⅔ years, before the Dorians came to the island.[138] Melos was also occupied by Dorians, who asserted in 416 B.C. that their community had been in existence 700 years,[139] according to which statement the Dorians came to Melos in the year 1116 B.C. With this event the Phenician rule over the island came to an end. If we assume that Thera, which is close by Melos, was taken from the Phenicians by the Dorians at the same time as the latter island, the eight generations given by Herodotus for the settlements of the Phenicians on Thera would carry us back to the year 1382 B.C. (1116 + 266⅔), a date which is certainly in agreement with his statement about the death of Minos, but contradicts the date given for Cadmus, who yet, according to the narrative of Herodotus, left behind the settlers on Thera and Thasos when he first sailed to Bœotia. Herodotus fixes dates according to generations and the genealogies of legend. The five generations which separated Cadmus from Heracles were for him, no doubt, Polydorus, Labdacus, Laius, Œdipus and Polynices; for the three generations between the death of Minos and the capture of Troy we find in Homer only two, Deucalion and Idomeneus.[140] But we can still find from Herodotus' calculations how far back the Greeks placed the beginning and the end of the empire of the Phenicians over their islands and coasts. Beyond this the chronographers do not give us any help. Eusebius and Hieronymus (Jerome) place the rape of Europa in the year 1429 or 1426 B.C.; the rule of Cadmus at Thebes in the year 1427 B.C. or 1319 (1316) B.C.; the settlement of the Phenicians on Thera, Melos, and Thasos in the year 1415 B.C.; the beginning of the rule of Minos in the year 1410 B.C., or, according to another computation, in the year 1251 B.C.[141]

We can hardly obtain fixed points for determining the time of the settlements of the Phenicians in the Ægean sea. In the lower strata of the excavations at Hissarlik, on the coast of Troas, clay lentils have been found with Cyprian letters upon them.[142] Since the Greeks declared that they learnt their alphabet from the Phenicians and Cadmus, and since as a fact it is the alphabet of the Phenicians which lies at the root of the Greek, the Cyprian letters can only have been brought thither by Phenician ships from Cyprus before the discovery of the Phenician letters, or from the islands off the Trojan coast occupied by the Phenicians, from Lemnos, Imbros and Samothrace; otherwise they must have come to the Troad at a later time by Cyprian ships or settlers, a supposition which is forbidden by the antiquity of the other remains discovered with or near the lentils. Among the sons of Japheth, the representative of the northern nations, Genesis mentions Javan, i. e. the Ionian, the Greek; and enumerates the sons of Javan: Elisha, Tarshish, Chittim, and Dodanim or Rodanim—the reading is uncertain.[143] It is a question whether the genealogical table in Genesis belongs to the first or second text of the Pentateuch, i. e. whether it was written down in the middle of the eleventh or of the tenth century B.C. In any case it follows that in the beginning of the eleventh or tenth century B.C.the name and nation of the Ionians was known not only in the harbour-cities of Phœnicia, but in the interior of Syria, and the inhabitants of the islands and of the northern coasts of the Mediterranean were reckoned in the stock of these Ionians. Chittim is, as was remarked above, primarily the island of Cyprus; the Rodanim are the inhabitants of Rhodes (Dodanim would have to be referred to Dodona); Elisha is Elis in the Peloponnese, or the island of Sicily, if the name is not one given generally to western coasts and islands;[144] Tarshish is Tartessus, i. e. the region at the mouth of the Guadalquivir. If Ezekiel mentions the purple which the Phenicians bring from "the isles of Elishah,"[145] the islands and coasts of the Ægean sea are plainly meant, on which the Phenicians collected the fish for their purple dye. This much is clear, that at least about the year 1000 B.C. not only the islands and coasts of the Ægean were known in Syria, but even then the name of the distant land of Tarshish was current in Syria. We shall further see that as early as 1100 B.C. Phenician ships had passed the straits of Gibraltar. Hence we may conclude that the Phenicians must have set foot on Cyprus about the year 1250 B.C., and on the islands and coasts of Hellas about the year 1200 B.C.

Thucydides observes that in ancient times the Phenicians had occupied the promontories of Sicily and the small islands lying around Sicily, in order to carry on trade with the Sicels.[146] Diodorus Siculus tells us that when the Phenicians extended their trade to the western ocean they settled in the island of Melite (Malta), owing to its situation in the middle of the sea and excellent harbours, in order to have a refuge for their ships. The island of Gaulus also, which lies close to Melite, is said to have been a colony of the Phenicians.[147] On the south-eastern promontory of Malta there was a temple of Heracles-Melkarth,[148]the foundation walls of which appear to be still in existence, and still more definite evidence of the former population of this island is given by the Phenician inscriptions found there. The island, like the mother-country, carried on weaving, and the products were much sought after in antiquity. On Gaulus also, a name mentioned on Phenician coins, are the remains of a Phenician temple. Between Sicily and the coast of Africa, where it approaches Sicily most nearly, lay the island of Cossyra, coins of which bear Phenician legends. Along with a dwarfish figure they present the name "island of the sons,"[149] i. e. no doubt, the children of the sun-god whom we met with in Rhodes. On the east coast of Sicily there lay, on a small promontory scarcely connected with the mainland (now Isola degli Magnisi), the city of Thapsos, the name of which reveals its founders; Tiphsach  means coming over, here coming over to the mainland. In the same way the promontory of Pachynus (pachun  means wart), further to the south, and the harbour of Phœnicus are evidence of Phenician colonisation. On the south coast of Sicily, not far from the mouth of the Halycus, the Phenicians built that city which is known to the Greeks as Makara and Minoa, or Heracleaminoa; the coins of the city present in Phenician characters the name Rus-Melkart, i. e. "head (promontory) of Melkarth."[150] Off the west coast of Sicily the Phenicians occupied the small island of Motye.[151] On this coast of the larger island, on Mount Eryx, which rises steeply out of a bald table land (2000 feet above the sea), they founded the city of Eryx, and on the summit of the mount, 5000 feet high, they built a temple to the Syrian Aphrodite. In Diodorus it is Eryx the son of Aphrodite who builds this temple; Æneas then adorns it with many votive offerings, "since it was dedicated to his mother."[152] Virgil represents the temple as being founded on the summit of Eryx, near to the stars, in honour of Venus Idalia, i. e. the goddess worshipped at Idalion (Idial) on Cyprus by the immigrants from the East, who, with him, are the companions of Æneas.[153] The courtezans at this temple, the sensual character of the worship, and the sacred doves kept here (in a red one the goddess herself was supposed to be seen [154]), even without the Phenician inscriptions found there, would leave no doubt of its Syrian origin. The mighty substructure of the building is still in existence. Dædalus is said to have built it for the king of the Sicanians (p. 64). Beside the Syrian goddess, the Phenicians also worshipped here the Syrian god Baal Melkarth. According to the account of Diodorus, Heracles overcame Eryx in wrestling, and so took his land from him, though he left the usufruct of it to the inhabitants.[155] The kings of Sparta traced their origin to Heracles. When Dorieus, the son of Anaxandridas, king of Sparta, desired to emigrate in his anger that the crown had fallen to his brother Cleomenes, the oracle bade him retire to Eryx; the land of Eryx belonged to the Heraclids because their ancestor won it. The Carthaginians, it is true, did not acknowledge this right; Dorieus was slain, and most of those who followed him.[156] On the north coast of Sicily, Panormus (Palermo) and Soloeis were the most important colonies of the Phenicians. Panormus, on coins of the Phenicians Machanath, i. e. the camp, worshipped the goddess of the sexual passion; Soloeis (sela, rock) worshipped Melkarth. In a hymn to Aphrodite, Sappho inquires whether she lingers in Cyprus or at Panormus.[157] Motye, Soloeis and Panormus were in the fifth century the strongest outposts of the Carthaginians in Sicily.[158]

On Sardinia also, as Diodorus tells us, the Phenicians planted many colonies.[159] The mountains of Sardinia contained iron, silver, and lead. According to the legend of the Greeks, Sardus, the son of Makeris, as the Libyans called Heracles, first came with Libyans to the island. Then Heracles sent his brother's son Iolaus, together with his own sons, whom he had begotten in Attica, to Sardinia. As Heracles had been lord of the whole West, these regions belonged of right to Iolaus and his companions. Iolaus conquered the native inhabitants, took possession of and divided the best and most level portion of the land which was afterwards known by the name of Iolaus; then he sent for Dædalus out of Sicily and erected large buildings, which, Diodorus adds, are still in existence; but in Sicily temples were erected to himself, and honour paid as to a hero, and a famous shrine was erected in Agyrion, "where," as Diodorus remarks of this his native city, "even to this day yearly sacrifices are offered."[160] Makeris, the supposed father of Sardus, is, like Makar, a form of the name Melkarth. If Sardinia and the whole West as well as Eryx is said to have belonged to Heracles, if Heracles sends out his nearest relations to Sardinia, if the artist Dædalus is his companion here as he was the companion of Minos in Crete and Sicily, it becomes obvious that the temples of Baal Melkarth on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily lie at the base of these legends of the Greeks, that it was the Phenicians who brought the worship of their god along with their colonies to these coasts, to which they were led by the wealth of the Sardinian mountains in copper. As we already ventured to suppose (I. 368), Iolaus may be an epithet or a special form of Baal.[161]

The legend of the Greeks makes Heracles, i. e. Baal Melkarth, lord of the whole West. As a fact, the colonies of the Phenicians went beyond Sardinia in this direction. Their first colonies on the north coast of Africa appear to have been planted where the shore runs out nearest Sicily; Hippo was apparently regarded as the oldest colony.[162] In the legends of the coins mentioned above (p. 53) Hippo is named beside Tyre and Citium as a daughter of Sidon. When a second Hippo was afterwards founded further to the west, opposite the south coast of Sardinia, at the mouth of the Ubus, the old Hippo got the name of "Ippoacheret," and among the Greeks "Hippon Zarytos," i. e. "the other Hippo."[163] Ityke (atak, settlement, Utica), on the mouth of the Bagradas (Medsherda), takes the next place after this Hippo, if indeed it was not founded before it. Aristotle tells us that the Phenicians stated that Ityke was built 287 years before Carthage,[164] and Pliny maintains that Ityke was founded 1178 years before his time.[165] As Carthage was founded in the year 846 B.C. (below, chap. 11), Ityke, according to Aristotle's statement, was built in the year 1133 B.C.With this the statement of Pliny agrees. He wrote in the years 52-77 A.D., and therefore he places the foundation of Ityke in the year 1126 or 1100 B.C.

About the same time, i. e. about the year 1100 B.C., the Phenicians had already reached much further to the west. In his Phenician history, Claudius Iolaus tells us that Archaleus (Arkal, Heracles [166]), the son of Phœnix, built Gadeira (Gades).[167] "From ancient times," such is the account of Diodorus, "the Phenicians carried on an uninterrupted navigation for the sake of trade, and planted many colonies in Africa, and not a few in Europe, in the regions lying to the west. And when their undertakings succeeded according to their desire and they had collected great treasures, they resolved to traverse the sea beyond the pillars of Heracles, which is called Oceanus. First of all, on their passage through these pillars, they founded upon a peninsula of Europe a city which they called Gadeira, and erected works suitable to the place, chiefly a beautiful temple to Heracles, with splendid offerings according to the custom of the Phenicians. And as this temple was honoured at that time, so also in later times down to our own days it was held in great reverence. When the Phenicians, in order to explore the coasts beyond the pillars, took their course along the shore of Libya, they were carried away far into the Oceanus by a strong wind, and after being driven many days by the storm they came to a large island opposite Libya, where the fertility was so great and the climate so beautiful that it seemed by the abundance of blessings found there to be intended for the dwelling of the gods rather than men."[168] Strabo says, the Gaditani narrated that an oracle bade the Tyrians send a colony to the pillars of Heracles. When those who had been sent reached the straits of Mount Calpe they were of opinion that the promontories which enclosed the passage, Calpe and the opposite headland of Abilyx in Libya,[169] were the pillars which bounded the earth, and the limit of the travels of Heracles, which the oracle mentioned. So they landed on this side of the straits, at the spot where the city of the Axitani (Sexi) now stands; but since the sacrifices were not favourable there they turned back. Those sent out after them sailed through the straits, and cast anchor at an island sacred to Heracles, 1500 stades beyond the pillars, opposite the city of Onoba in Iberia; but as the sacrifices were again unfavourable they also again turned home. Finally, a third fleet landed on a little island 750 stades beyond Mount Calpe, close to the mainland, and not far from the mouth of the Bætis. Here, on the east side of the island, they built a temple to Heracles; on the opposite side of the island they built the city of Gadeira, and on the extreme western point the temple of Cronos. In the temple of Heracles there were two fountains and "two pillars of brass, eight cubits in height, on which is recorded the cost of the building of this temple."[170] This foundation of Gades, which on the coins is called Gadir and Agadir, i. e. wall, fortification, the modern Cadiz, and without doubt the most ancient city in Europe which has preserved its name, is said to have taken place in the year 1100 B.C.[171] If Ityke was founded before 1100 B.C. or about that time, we have no reason to doubt the founding of Gades soon after that date. Hence the ships of the Phenicians would have reached the ocean about the time when Tiglath Pilesar I. left the Tigris with his army, trod the north of Syria, and looked on the Mediterranean.

The marvellous and impressive aspect of the rocky gate which opens a path for the waves of the Mediterranean to the boundless waters of the Atlantic Ocean might implant in the Phenician mariners who first passed beyond it the belief that they had found in these two mountains the pillars which the god set up to mark the end of the earth; in the endless ocean beyond them they could easily recognise the western sea in which their sun-god went to his rest. That Gades, on the shore of the sea into which the sun went down, was especially zealous in the worship of Melkarth, that the descent of the god into the western ocean (the supposed death of Heracles [172]) and the awakening of the god with the sun of the spring were here celebrated with especial emphasis, is a fact which requires no explanation. The legends of the Hesperides, the daughters of the West, in whose garden Melkarth celebrates the holy marriage with Astarte (I. 371), of the islands of the blest in the western sea, appear to have a local background in the luxuriant fertility and favoured climate of Madeira and the Canary islands.

The land off the coast of which Gades lay, the valley of the Guadalquivir, was named by the Phenicians Tarsis (Tarshish), and by the Greeks Tartessus. The genealogical table in Genesis places Tarsis among the sons of Javan. The prophet Ezekiel represents the ships of Tarshish as bringing silver, iron, tin and lead to Tyre. "The ships of Tarshish," so he says to the city of Tyre, "were thy caravans; so wert thou replenished and very glorious in the midst of the sea."[173] The Sicilian Stesichorus of Himera expresses himself in more extravagant terms. He sang of the "fountains of Tartessus (the Guadalquivir) rooted in silver." The Greeks represent the Tartessus, the river which brought down gold, tin, iron in its waters, as springing from the silver mountain,[174] and according to Herodotus the first Greek ship, a merchantman of Samos, which was driven about the year 630 B.C. by a storm from the east to Tartessus, made a profit of 60 talents.[175]Aristotle tells us that the first Phenicians who sailed to Tartessus obtained so much silver in exchange for things of no value that the ships could not carry the burden, so that the Phenicians left behind the tackle and even the anchor they had brought with them and made new tackle of silver.[176] Poseidonius says that among that people it was not Hades, but Plutus, who dwelt in the under-world. Once the forests had been burned, and the silver and gold, melted by an enormous fire, flowed out on the surface; every hill and mountain became a heap of gold and silver. On the north-west of this land the ground shone with silver, tin and white gold mixed with silver. This soil the rivers washed down with them. The women drew water from the river and poured it through sieves, so that nothing but gold, silver and tin remained in the sieve.[177]Diodorus tells the same story of the ancient burning of the forests on the Pyrenees (from which fire they got their name), by which the silver ore was rendered fluid and oozed from the mountains, so that many streams were formed of pure silver. To the native inhabitants the value of silver was so little known that the Phenicians obtained it in exchange for small presents, and gained great treasures by carrying the silver to Asia and all other nations. The greed of the merchants went so far that when the ships were laden, and there was still a large quantity of silver remaining, they took off the lead from the anchors and replaced it with silver. Strabo assures us that the land through which the Bætis flows was not surpassed in fertility and all the blessings of earth and sea by any region in the world; neither gold nor silver, copper nor iron, was found anywhere else in such abundance and excellence. The gold was not only dug up, but also obtained by washing, as the rivers and streams brought down sands of gold. In the sands of gold pieces were occasionally found half-a-pound in weight, and requiring very little purification. Stone salt was also found there, and there was abundance of house cattle and sheep, which produced excellent wool, of corn and wine. The coast of the shore beyond the pillars was covered with shell-fish and large purple-fish, and the sea was rich in fish (the tunnies and the Tartessian murena so much sought after in antiquity),[178] which the ebb and flow of the tide brought up to the beach. Corn, wine, the best oil, wax, honey, pitch and cinnabar were exported from this fortunate land.[179]

If the Phenicians were able in the thirteenth century to settle upon Cyprus and Rhodes, the islands of the Ægean and the coasts of Hellas, their population must have been numerous, their industry active, their trade lucrative. That subsequently in the twelfth century they also took into possession the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia and North Africa by means of their colonies is a proof that the request for the raw products and metals of the West was very lively and increasing in Syria and in Egypt, in Assyria and Babylonia. The market of these lands must have been very remunerative to the Phenicians in order to induce them to make their discoveries, their distant voyages and remote settlements. If the Phenicians about the year 1100 B.C.were in a position to discover the straits of Gibraltar, the fact shows us that they must have practised navigation for a long time. The horizon of the Greek mariner ended even in the ninth century in the waters of Sicily, and in the fifth century B.C. the voyage of a Greek ship from the Syrian coast to the pillars of Heracles occupied 80 days.[180] After the founding of Gades the Phenicians ruled over the whole length of the Mediterranean by their harbour fortresses and factories. Their ships crossed the long basin in every direction, and everywhere they found harbours of safety. They showed themselves no less apt and inventive in the arts of navigation than the Babylonians had shown themselves in technical inventions and astronomy; they were bolder and more enterprising than the Assyrians in the campaigns which the latter attempted at the time when the Phenicians were building Gades; they were more venturesome and enduring on the water than their tribesmen the Arabians on the sandy sea of the desert. In the possession of the ancient civilisation of the East their mariners and merchants presented the same contrast to the Thracians and Hellenes, the Sicels, the Libyans and Iberians which the Portuguese and the Spaniards presented 2500 years later to the tribes of America.


[63]Robinson, "Palestine," 3, 710.

[64]Tac. "Hist." 5, 6.

[65]Rénan, "Mission de Phénicie," p. 836.

[66]Vol. i. pp. 344, 345.

[67]Vol. i. p. 151.

[68]Vol. i. p. 153.

[69]Vol. i. p. 344.

[70]The legend runs, "From the Sidonians, Mother of Kamb, Ippo, Kith(?), Sor," Movers, "Phœniz." 2, 134.

[71]Isaiah xxiii. 1, 19; Jeremiah ii. 10; Ezekiel xxvii. 6; Joseph. "Antiq." 1, 6, 1.

[72]Virgil, "Æn." 1, 619, 620.

[73]Brandis, "Monatsberichte Berl. Akad." 1873, s. 645 ff.

[74]Herod. 7, 90.

[75]Stephan. Byz. Ἀμαθοῦς.

[76]"Odyss." 8, 362; Tac. "Annal." 2, 3; Pausan. 1, 14, 6; Pompon. Mela, 2, 7.

[77]Vol. i. p. 359.

[78]Joseph. "in Apion." 1, 18; "Antiq." 8, 5, 3, 9, 14, 2.

[79]Movers, "Phœniz." 2, 239, 240.

[80]Diod. 5, 56.

[81]In Homer Europa is not the daughter of Agenor but of Phœnix ("Il." 14, 321), just as Cadmus, Thasos, and Europa are sometimes children of Agenor and sometimes of Phœnix. In Hdt. 1, 2 it is Cretans who carry off Europa, the daughter of the king of Tyre.

[82]Diod. 4, 2, 60; 5, 56, 57, 58, 48, 49.

[83]Ephor. Frag. 12, ed. Müller.

[84]Herod. 4, 147; 2, 45, 49; 5, 58, 59.

[85]Frag. 8, 9, ed. Müller.

[86]Frag. 40-42, 43-45, ed. Müller.

[87]Frag. 163, ed. Müller.

[88]"Theog." 937, 975; Pind. "Pyth." 3, 88 seqq.

[89]Movers, "Phœniz." 1, 129, 131.

[90]Plut. "Pelop." c. 19.

[91]Pind. "Olymp." 2, 141.

[92]Vol. i. 271.

[93]Movers, "Phœniz." 1, 517.

[94]Thac. 1, 8.

[95]Vol. i. 363, 364.

[96]Athenæus, p. 360.

[97]Diod. 5, 58.

[98]Bœckh. C. I. G. 2526.

[99]Hefter, "Götterdienste auf Rhodos," 3, 18; Welcker, "Mythologie," 1, 145; Brandis, "Munzwesen," s. 587.

[100]Schol. Pind. "Pyth." 4, 88; Pausan. 3, 1, 7, 8; Steph. Byz. Μεμβλίαρος.

[101]Bœckh. C. I. G. 2448.

[102]Herod. 4, 147; Steph. Byz. Μῆλος.

[103]Steph. Byz. Ὠλίαρος.

[104]Strabo, pp. 346, 457, 472; Diod. 5, 47.

[105]Vol. i. 378; Herod. 2, 51; Conze, "Inseln des Thrakischen Meeres," e. g. s. 91.

[106]Strabo, p. 473; Steph. Byz. Ἴμβρος; vol. i. 378.

[107]Herod. 2, 44; 6, 47.

[108]Herod. 1, 105; Pausan. 1, 14, 7; 3, 23, 1.

[109]Pausan. 10, 11, 5; Bœckh, "Metrologie," s. 45.

[110]Pausan. 1, 2, 5; 1, 14, 6, 7.

[111]Strabo, p. 377; Pausan. 1, 32, 5.

[112]ΑΘΗΝΑΙΟΝ ς´ γ´, 1877, and below, chap. xi.

[113]Brandis, "Hermes," 2, 275 ff. I cannot agree in all points with the deductions of this extremely acute inquiry.

[114]"Il." 14, 321; 18, 593; "Odyss." 19, 178; 11, 568.

[115]"Odyss." 11, 523.

[116]Diod. 4, 60.

[117]Serv. ad "Æneid." 6, 30.

[118]Hesych. ἐπ᾿ Εὐρυγύν ἀγών; Plut. "Thes." c. 15; Diod. 4, 65.

[119]Apollodor. 1, 9, 26; Suidas, Σαρδώνιος γέλως.

[120]Herod. 7, 110.

[121]Diod. 4, 76-78; Schol. Callim. "Hymn. in Jovem," 8.

[122]Istri frag. 47, ed. Müller.

[123]Istri frag. 33, ed. Müller.

[124]Müllenhoff, "Deutsche Alterthumskunde," i. 222.

[125]Plato, "Minos," pp. 262, 266, 319, 321; "De. Legg," init.; Aristot. "Pol." 2, 8, 1, 2; 7, 9, 2.

[126]Herod. 1, 171; 3, 122; 7, 169-171.

[127]Herod. 1, 4.

[128]Herod. 3, 122.

[129]Strabo, p. 476; Steph. Byz. Ἰτανός.

[130]Pausan. 3, 21, 6.

[131]Aristotle, in Steph. Byz. Κύθηρα.

[132]Above, p. 63.

[133]Strabo, p. 479.

[134]Below, chap. 11.

[135]Thuc. 1, 8.

[136]Herod. 7, 171.

[137]Herod. 2, 44, 145.

[138]Herod. 4, 147.

[139]Thuc. 5, 112.

[140]Herod. 5, 89; "Il." 13, 451; "Odyss." 19, 178.

[141]Euseb. "Chron." 2, p. 34 seqq. ed. Schöne. Even in Diodorus, 4, 60, we find two Minoses, an older and a younger.

[142]Lenormant, "Antiq. de la Troade," p. 32.

[143]Genesis x. 2-4: 1 Chron. i. 5-7.

[144]Kiepert, "Monatsberichte Berl. Akad." 1859.

[145]Ezek. xxvii. 7.

[146]Thuc. vi. 2.

[147]Diod. v. 12.

[148]Ptolem. 4, 3, 47.

[149]Ai benim ; Movers, "Phœniz." 2, 355, 359, 362.

[150]Heracl. Pont. frag. 29, ed. Müller; Gesen. "Monum." p. 293; Olshausen, "Rh. Mus." 1852, S. 328.

[151]Thuc. 6, 2.

[152]Diod. 4, 83.

[153]"Æn." 5, 760.

[154]Diod. 4, 83; Strabo, p. 272; Athenæus, p. 374; Aelian, "Hist. An." 4, 2; 10, 50.

[155]Diod. 4, 23.

[156]Herod. 5, 43.

[157]Steph. Byz. Σολοῦς. Sapphon. frag. 6, ed. Bergk; it is possible that Panormus on Crete may be meant.

[158]Thuc. 6, 2.

[159]Diod. 5, 35.

[160]Diod. 4, 24, 29, 30; 5, 15; Arist. "De mirab. ausc." c. 104; Pausan. 10, 17, 2.

[161]Movers ("Phœniz." 1, 536) assumes that Iolaus may be identical with Esmun (I. 377).

[162]Sallust, "Jugurtha," 19, 1.

[163]Movers, loc. cit. s. 144.

[164]"De mirab. ausc." c. 146.

[165]"Hist. nat." 16, 79.

[166]Arkal or Archal may mean "fire of the All," "light of the All."

[167]Etym. Magn. Γαδεῖρα.

[168]Diod. 5, 19, 20.

[169]On the meaning given in Avienus ("Ora marit") of Abila as "high mountain," and Calpa as "big-bellied jar," cf. Müllenhoff, "Deutsche Alterthumsk," 1, 83.

[170]Strabo, pp. 169-172. Justin (44, 5) represents the Tyrians as founding Gades in consequence of a dream. In regard to the name cf. Avien. "Ora marit," 267-270.

[171]Movers, "Phœniz." 2, 622. Strabo (p. 48) puts the first settlements of the Phenicians in the midst of the Libyan coast and at Gades just after the Trojan war, Velleius (1, 2, 6, in combination with 1, 8, 4), in the year 1100 B.C. Cf. Movers, loc. cit. S. 148, note 90. The Greeks called both land and river Tartessus. The pillars of the Tyrian god "Archaleus," are with them the pillars of their "Heracles," which he sets up as marks of his campaigns. Here, opposite the mouth of the Tartessus, they place the island Erythea, i. e. the red island on which the giant Geryon, i. e. "the roarer," guards the red oxen of the sun: Erythea is one of the islands near Cadiz; Müllenhoff, Deutsche "Alterthumsk:" 1, 134 ff.

[172]Sall. "Jugurtha," c. 19.

[173]Ezek. xxvii. 12, 25.

[174]In Strabo, p. 148; Müllenhoff, loc. cit. 1, 81.

[175]Herod. 4, 152.

[176]"De mirab. ausc." c. 147.

[177]In Strabo, p. 148.

[178]Aristoph. "Ranae," 475.

[179]Diod. 5, 35; Strabo, p. 144 seqq.

[180]Scylax, "Peripl." c. 111.