This famous sequence of letters recognized to lot of the world dates ago to the 16th century B.C.E.

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A fairly small group of traders and also merchants well-known as the Phoenicians produced the structure for the contemporary English alphabet and other alphabets. They organized a device of 22 consonants into what ended up being the alphabet offered not only by English speakers, yet by speakers of many of the world"s languages.

The Phoenicians lived along the Mediterranean shore in what is currently Lebanon. They lived in a variety of different city-states, the most well known of which were Tyre, Byblos, and also Sidon. This Phoenician locations were regularly in dispute with each other for supremacy of the region. Because of this lack of cooperation, the Phoenicians to be conquered and also forced to pay tribute come the basically every empire in the region, consisting of the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and also Greeks.


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Alphabet Soup

When the Phoenicians produced their new alphabet, they operated from signs that were already in use amongst the Semitic-speaking peoples of Canaan and Mesopotamia. As early on as 3000 B.C.E., the Sumerians and also the Egyptians had currently invented creating systems based upon symbols. These early on scripts were generally used by merchants and also traders to record contracts, receipts, and lists that goods.

The merchants and also traders of Phoenicia wanted something that would not it is in too challenging to learn and would it is in quick and also easy come use. Unfortunately, both the Egyptian and Sumerian writing equipment did not meet these criteria very well. They used hundreds of different facility symbols come represent concepts (ideograms) and syllabic sounds (phonograms).

The Phoenicians establish that most words were made up of only a small variety of simple sounds. They discovered that this sounds could be stood for in just 22 symbols and their various combinations. In their newly produced alphabet, the Phoenicians offered symbols or letters only for consonants, although their spoken language did contain vowel sounds. The contemporary Hebrew and Arabic alphabets, i m sorry were straight influenced by the Phoenician one, still perform not contain icons for vowels.


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From Ugaret come Malaga to Hadrumet, the trade-savvy Phoenicians influenced virtually every city along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Phoenicians spread out their alphabet with their substantial trading network that stretched throughout the entire Mediterranean region. The Greeks embraced it and by the 8th century B.C.E. Had added vowels. Later, the Romans additionally used a version of this very same alphabet that is virtually similar to the one offered today in the English-speaking world.

Trading on the High Seas

The Phoenicians were the greatest traders in the ancient world because that the duration between 1000 B.C.E. And also 600 B.C.E. These to be highly expert shipbuilders and also sailors built solid and fast sailing ship to bring their goods. Lock learned exactly how to navigate and how to usage the north Star come sail at night. That is feasible that they even sailed as far as Britain and also around the southern guideline of Africa.

To fight turn off pirates who often harassed trading ships, the Phoenicians designed special warships to accompany their trading fleets. Oarsmen would certainly propel a sharp ramming machine at the prior of the boat into an enemy"s vessel, putting a hole right into it that would reason it to sink.

To expand in trading, the Phoenicians also built outposts that later became an excellent cities in their own right. The most famed of this outposts to be Carthage (located in contemporary Tunisia). Carthage eventually became wealthy and powerful enough to an obstacle the roman Republic.

Phoenician vendors acted together middlemen for their neighbors. They transported linen and also papyrus from Egypt, copper from Cyprus, embroidered towel from Mesopotamia, flavors from Arabia, and also ivory, gold, and slaves indigenous Africa to destinations transparent the Mediterranean.


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Given their place on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, that was herbal for the Phoenicians to require to water. Castle are recognized as more comparison ship building contractors of the old world.

The Phoenicians also had beneficial resources and highly professional artisans. Indigenous a tiny shellfish called the murex they created a brilliant purple dye. This dye was applied to woolen garments, i m sorry were very prized not only for your beauty, but also for your high cost. It take it 60,000 murex to create one lb of dye. The dye ended up being known as royal purple and also was worn by roman emperors.

Skilled artists also produced beautiful glass, pottery, textiles, woodwork, and also metalwork, that were preferred by people all end the ancient world. King Solomon of Israel even used Phoenician artisans and also resources to construct the an excellent Hebrew holy place to Yahweh.

By 572 B.C.E., the Phoenicians fell under the harsh dominion of the Assyrians. They ongoing to trade, however encountered difficult competition from greek over profession routes. As the fourth century B.C.E. Approached, the Phoenicians" two most necessary cities, Sidon and also Tyre, were destroyed by the Persians and Alexander the Great. Many Phoenicians left the Mediterranean coast for their trading colonies, and also Phoenicia people and also ideas were soon assimilated right into other cultures.

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Phoenicians in SpainThe Phoenicians cruised to the finish of the world, i m sorry at the time was Spain. Follow me the way, they started Carthage in phibìc Africa and mined the tremendous mineral resources of southerly Spain. Occasionally Phoenician ships to be so heavily laden through precious metals that they had to make anchors from silver. This website dedicated to discussing the Spanish legacy explores the impacts of the Phoenician people, such together Spanish temples constructed for Phoenician gods, and the beginning of olive oil in Spain.

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