Who were the Phoenicians? Most of us have heard something about them--the mysterious race of seafarers who sailed the Mediterranean some 3000 years ago. But few people really know much about them. Was it true that they invented the alphabet, creating the letters that we read today? And was it true that they worshipped bloodthirsty gods, who demanded that they sacrifice their young children?
From their wealthy city states along the coast of the eastern Meterranean (now Lebanon, Syria, and Israel), the Phoenicians traded far and wide, gaining great riches and prestige. Any written record they left of their lives and beliefs, however, has long since vanished. As people, they remain mysterious. Yet the Phoenicians were at the center of things in their day. As we learn more about them, we learn about other ancient cultures, too, such as the Egyptians, Hebrews, and Greeks. This book also includes the dramatic story of the Carthaginians, a Phoenician colony on the coast of North Africa (now Tunisia), which became a powerful empire and rivaled Rome itself.
Like others in the carefully researched and beautifully produced "Cultures of the Past" series, THE PHOENICIANS includes chapters on both political and cultural history, the religion and its effect on society, and the present-day heritage of this fascinating ancient culture. In fact, the people of Lebanon today are as inventive and smart, as far-traveled and good at making money, as their ancestors the Phoenicians.
You can order THE PHOENICIANS from your usual book supplier or direct from the publisher (which may cost a little less), at 1-800-821-9881.
SOME QUESTIONS TO TALK ABOUT . . .
Do you know any Lebanese people (or restaurants or stores run by Lebanese people)? What do you think they would say if you suggested that they were like the Phoenicians?
If you were a young man in a Phoenician city, how would you feel about setting out on a long trading voyage?
How do you suppose Phoenician women spent their time? Do you think they were happy?
If an invading army was threatening your Phoenician city, and you were a member of the king's council, what would you advise him to do?