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y, I haven't looked in the past year) shows that, of studied populations, follow Cavalli-Sforza's methods, Jews and Arabs are closely related. If there are markers that divide them off into groups, may we know the name of them? (talk) 01:28, 27 November 2007 (UTC)Dr. Kamaila

  • Well, most closely related populations would be present day Levantines such as Lebanese and Syrians (including Mizrachi Jews), regardless of religion and culture, not Jews or Arabs as a whole. Funkynusayri (talk) 17:13, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Funkynusayri , you are actually wrong: Lebanese and Tunisians (don't remember about the Syrians-I have to come over the genetical studies articles again) and Jews-all of them as whole, are the most closely related populations-it includes Ashkenazi Jews as well, but not Ethiopian Jews-that's correct-it's not my wishful thinking-it is just what the scientific studies tell us (I can cite some if it would help). Best--Gilisa (talk) 11:46, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, this is the only study that has been done: "We're not seeing a significant genetic influence from elsewhere on the coastal population in what was the Levant region," says Wells. "The people are very similar to the groups we see inland in Syria and Jordan, for example, suggesting that there wasn't a huge influx of Sea Peoples or others from outside the area. A cultural shift occurred but not a genetic one. Today's Lebanese, the Phoenicians, and the Canaanites before them are all the same people."[1]

And: "Wells and Zalloua are finding similar results among samples taken in Tunisia, site of ancient Carthage and the largest of the Phoenician colonies. "Less than 20 percent of the genetic lineages found could have come out of the Middle East," Wells continues. "They're showing the markers of aboriginal North Africans. That means the Phoenicians moved into this area and, like the Sea Peoples, had more of a cultural impact than a genetic one."[2]

Funkynusayri (talk) 14:18, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

There are more studies, and the subject been discussed in high profile. I dont have a lot of time now-but please, read this one as a good start, more to be follow (if the link won't work, just copy it to your address line). Best--Gilisa (talk) 15:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

  • More studies on Phoenicians, or Middle Easterners in general? Anyway, I couldn't get the link to work, but found this on PNAS: " A multidimensional scaling plot placed six of the seven Jewish populations in a relatively tight cluster that was interspersed with Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations, including Palestinians and Syrians."[3]

As you probably know, the Middle East is divided into simple north and south clusters, and Syrians are pretty much the same as for example Lebanese, and the Phoenicians were hardly genetically different from their neighbours anyway. Funkynusayri (talk) 17:47, 26 November 2007 (UTC) Funkynusayri (talk) 17:44, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

No, Funkynusayri-find for the word Phoenician in the body of the article-it is definitely not the main interest of it, but they are still mentioned. BTW Jews are most strongly tight to Lebanese and Tunisians from coastal cities and from eras which once were Phoenician settlements-the genetic similarity between these nations is not surprising. Will continue this discussion (+explanations and sources) later, now I must to run. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gilisa (talkcontribs) 18:02, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Awright, I'd be very interested in more info. Here's a genetic map from PNAS: [4] Funkynusayri (talk) 18:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know how accurate this map is, but what I can tell you that for ancestry you should rather stick with trees than such maps. -- (talk) 17:22, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Actually DNA and study proves that the Lebanese (modern day Phoencia) are in fact different than the Syrians. Phoenicia existed in modern day Lebanon, Syria had its own culture, Damascus. Israel/Palestine was Canaan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I have to do a project for my AP World class and write a paper on a argumentative topic about one of the early civilizations. We have covered most of the early civilizations, and I just learned about Phonecia. I am really interested in writing the paper, and went to the talk page to find out any arguments. Sadly, I don't know enough about the topic to be able to comprehend a lot of the stuff that you guys are arguing about, and the stuff I do understand, I don't know the original argument. Could somebody could please either write on this page and summarize some arguments so that I could have some context? Thank you! - Mike Jeanfreau


Phoenicians and Canaanites[edit]

I thought there was no dispute. Phoenicians are Canaanites. The term derives from the same source (the colour purple). If there is a dispute please cite a reference. John D. Croft 06:04, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by "Phoenicians." The problem comes from the alphabet and the epigrams. The well-known Phoenician alphabet did not originate in Syria. If it appears first in other areas of the world, then the Phoenicians can claim to have brought that style of writing to the eastern Mediterranean, but not necessarily to have invented it (unless they were living in those other places, at the earlist times that this script appears). There is disagreement about where the script first appeared, but there was a fad for awhile of calling it the "Iberian script" since it shows up much earlier in Celtic Iberia than it does in the Eastern Mediterranean. Doesn't seem to me you can have it both ways though. If the Phoenicians were from Canaan/Lebanon/Syria, then who were the people in Iberia? Some have claimed that the Celts were, therefore, Semitic, but there, the genetic evidence is very weak indeed. So who invented that alphabet remains a problem. (talk) 01:37, 27 November 2007 (UTC)Kamaila

  • They would most likely not have been Celts in the linguistic sense anyway, but more something similar to Basques. Funkynusayri (talk) 01:42, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and Homer says the Phoenician homeland is in the Aegean (Lemnos), apparently. I've got a dozen or more articles from the 20th century discussing these various problems with who the Phoenicians really are, but perhaps they've all been resolved recently. So, the citation saying the Phoenicians did not come from the Aegean needs to be provided, not the other way around (unless Homer is thought to be unreliable, in which case more editing of Wikipedia needs to be done than is currently the case). (talk) 01:41, 27 November 2007 (UTC) Kamaila

Here's a main citation, noting that the Phoenicians were quite early in Sardinia, Spain and Sicily: Phoenicians, Carthage and the Spartan Eunomia, by Robert Drews The American Journal of Philology © 1979 These references were way before the Hebrew Bible was ever written down (they're mentioned in the Bible, of course, as well, as being in Cannan) But read the archaeology cited in that article, these weren't Canannite settlements, they were enclaves of craftspeople, temporarily inhabited by Phoenicians while their main settlements were clearly elsewhere. Some have claimed they are from Crete itself or from Cyprus. Their name in Greek, "Phoinikos," follows proto-Hellenic phonological rules, not Semitic phonological rules. "Pho" is a pretty old Indo-European root. Is it a pretty old Semitic root too? (I don't know). At any rate, here are some linguistic citations doubting the Semitic origin of the Phoenicians: Phoenicians in the West, by Rhys Carpenter American Journal of Archaeology © 1958 Archaeological Institute of America, The Name of the Phoenicians, by G. Bonfante Classical Philology © 1941 The University of Chicago Press, and especially: The Name Phoinikes, by E. A. Speiser Language © 1936 Linguistic Society of America. Check those out and tell me who refutes them, I'm not trying to argue, I'd just really like to know where the opposing research is published. Thanks. (talk) 01:48, 27 November 2007 (UTC)Kamaila

-Kamaila you are right! The word "Phoinikas" in Proto-Hellenic language means "The red man" or "He who wears red clothes". In Modern Hellenic language we use the word "Phonos" which mean "Murder". Because of the blood.. Phoenicians is said to invent the way of producing "Porfyra" = purple dye. It is possible that Hellenes called them "Phoinikes" because of that! Porfyra dye was a very valuable trade resource!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mantidak (talkcontribs) 23:10, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Phoenicians come from the Mediterranean Sub-Stratum...if they were Canaanites the Greeks would have called them Canaanites. They have their own individual history, culture, u forgot to mention the purple dye that they are famous for, they get their name from this purple dye, Canaanites and Phoenicians are 2 different groups and I believe that by labeling them as Canaanites you are deleting their identity and blending them in. You also failed to mention the alphabet that they are famous for, the one which the Greeks borrowed and which is the modern day English alphabet You forgot to mention that many Egyptian Pharaohs coffins were made from Cedar of Lebanon during this time. Very unprofessional and poorly done.

It says here in WP that the Phoenicians were descended of Canaan. It also states in WP that their language was split of from the Canaanite language in the Semitic language family. Let's back track, Phoenicians are Zidonians and descended from Sidon. Sidon was Canaan's first born son (Gen 10:15). Canaan was Ham's youngest son (Gen 10:6). Therefore Phoenicians are directly in Ham's bloodline. Ham is the undisputed father of black mankind. It is also understandable that Egyptian coffins would be made of cedar since they were cousins. In King James Psalms 78:51, 105:23-27 and 106:19-22 refer to Egypt as the land of Ham. Tom 04/02/08

  • Phoenicians were a sub-group of Canaanites, it's pretty simple. The terms were not meant to be synonymous. Funkynusayri (talk) 00:05, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
"Undisputed"? These myths haven't been accepted for ages. — kwami (talk) 00:24, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Alternate proof please. Ham's lineage can be tracked throughout the old testament. If anyone has alternate proof disproving the bible or archaeology please cite the research. Also, if the Phoenicians are a sub-group of the Canaanites, the term is synonymous. Tom 04/03/08

  • The Bible isn't proof of anything. A sub-group isn't synonymous with the "macro" group. You couldn't for example say "Phoenicians" and then be referring to Canaanites as a whole. Similarly, you don't refer to all Jews in the world as Ashkenazim. Funkynusayri (talk) 14:38, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you that the 10th century European Ashkenazim aren't descended from the Early African Jews. They were more than 2000 years and a continent away from the Jews mentioned in Amos 9:7. " Are ye not as the children of Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?" But we are talking about Phoenicians who were near contemporary with the Canaanites and still on the continent of their birth. But none of this makes since to you if you feel that the Bible isn't proof of anything. So let's use Archaeology. According to E Pittard, the skulls of Phoenicians were distinctly Negroid. Their noses were flat at the end, and their mouths were wide with thick lips. He also mentioned that the Museum in Carthage that holds the tomb of the priestess of Tanit shows her to be of African origin. "Les Races et L'histoire," pp108,409-410. Paris, 1924. Also refer to B.H. Warmington, "Carthage". Warmington states that the Phoenicians actually called their land Canaan and called themselves Sidonians. p.16.1960,69. Tom 04/04/08

  • Hmmm, that has since been refuted by genetics, anyway, what would the point be? Funkynusayri (talk) 04:58, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

By whose study. Please cite the author and research. The rule is to submit sourced material. Tom 04/05/08

Okay, I have to do a project for my AP World class and write a paper on a argumentative topic about one of the early civilizations. We have covered most of the early civilizations, and I just learned about Phonecia. I am really interested in writing the paper, and went to the talk page to find out any arguments. Sadly, I don't know enough about the topic to be able to comprehend a lot of the stuff that you guys are arguing about, and the stuff I do understand, I don't know the original argument. Could somebody could please either write on this page and summarize some arguments so that I could have some context? Thank you! - Mike Jeanfreau

I disagree with both extremes here. For the 'Phoenicians had a separate identity' extreme: is Ancient Greek anthropology doctrine? Should we call all non-Egyptian Africans Lotus-eaters now? The Phoenicians were singled out by the Greeks because they were the Canaanites with whom they traded. Otherwise, please tell me what the Phoenicians called themselves. Culturally and linguistically, they were Canaanites, and referred to themselves as such (I can read Hebrew - another dialect of Canaanite, by the way - and I can read the Phoenician alphabet - that is enough to have little problem reading Phoenician, and I can attest to this). Politically, they had city-states. The intermediate Phoenician identity never existed per se, until modern Lebanese nationalism got in on the act in the last century or two, and this is not a conspiracy against that, to 'merge them (mwahahaha)'. For the other extreme: the word 'Canaan' should not be EQUATED with 'Phoenicia' - I understand it's about the best you can do in the 'former country' infobox, but perhaps another infobox should be used for this very reason - there is no native name just for Phoenicia, distinct from the rest of Canaan and its component city-states - and the difficulty is also one of time - WHEN one can first speak of Phoenicians, not just where - Byblos, for example, as a pre-Semitic settlement. The Greeks may not have been aware of this sort of issue, ascribing everything a bit too long ago to gods and mythical heroes. Harsimaja (talk) 10:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I've changed the infobox name in the English script to read 'Phoenicia' to avoid confusion, or there's no point in having the article at all - but I think the infobox should be overhauled. Harsimaja (talk) 10:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

This is a pretty old and dormant discussion. I note that Glenn Markoe says that although we don't know what they called themselves, Canaanite is the most likely. Dougweller (talk) 12:12, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
The "Phoenicians" called themselves Kananayim, the same word that in English is corrupted to Canaanite. As for the assertion above by one editor that if they called themselves Canaanites then the Greeks (Hellenes) would have called them that, I draw your attention to the fact that the Hellenes also called the land of the Aryans, as it was known to its inhabitants (in the form Iran) by the name Persia. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 08:59, 12 August 2011 (UTC)


I think that part of Descendants shoud redit, because who said that Druze are only Descendants of Phoenicians, and this contradicts with what mention in the orgin of Phoenicians in the same articles. --Hasam (talk) 16:11, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

A study done by the AUB on DNA of modern day Lebanese proves that Lebanese Muslims, Christians and Druze are ancestors of the Phoenicians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Did they invent time-travel, then :-)? (talk) 21:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
What the study actually shows is that modern Levantines are related to each other, and to ancient Levantines. Lebanese can't be proven to be more Phoenician than say, Syrians. FunkMonk (talk) 21:42, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


The Genetics discussion looks pretty dubious to me. There are likely to be (and to have been) lots of Y-DNA haplogroups present, both in 1000 BCE and today. As far as I can see that includes Haplogroups J2, J1, E3b, and probably various others too; just as would be found anywhere across the present-day Near East. The various Lebanese populations seem to be pretty similar to each other (or at least, there doesn't seem to be any published evidence that they're not); and the composition pretty much matches the trends you would expect from the gradients across the region as a whole.

But the studies quoted seem very small and very shallow, so if there was some more detailed structuring, or some moderate external admixture (the Minoans or whoever), even if it was there, I'm not sure on this data one would expect to register anything statistically significant. The article about Wells is engaging, but a bit thin. Does he ever tell us what genetic signature he was assuming for the "Sea People/Minoans"? Or why?

I guess it is useful to be able to say that there's nothing in the mix that grossly sticks out, like a sore thumb. But I'm not sure there's anything to let us go any further or be any more definitive than that. Jheald (talk) 20:18, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I think the National Geographic article where all that stuff was published would be a better source of information, if anyone could get access to it. Funkynusayri (talk) 15:28, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

In the section "Origins," there is a referent (These genes) that doesn't seem to refer to anything. AFAIK, you'd have to know you had ancient Phoenician DNA in hand to compare it to more recent people - and you'd best have it from different phases of their development. They show up in history already with boats and as traders, but do we know where their burial grounds are and have they been dug up? Genetic stuff seems really dubious to me. (talk) 01:26, 27 November 2007 (UTC)Dr.Kamaila

  • I watched the accompanying NG programme, and they apparently used the teeth of different skeletons from different periods. Funkynusayri (talk) 01:33, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • me too, I watched the same program in NG, and the time used old samples, one of them from skeleton of a phonecian in a Turkish museum. --Hasam 14:10, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

"In 2004, two geneticists educated at Harvard University..."


Seneika (talk) 16:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, so what. Removed all that, just left the bare bones. Dougweller (talk) 18:14, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


no to merger bad idea. totally different subjects. Ouedbirdwatcher (talk) 05:31, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

comment an anon user with only four prior edits mysteriously moved the merger discussion to this talk page today rather than on the punic talk page, where all prior discussion has occurred. in the prior discussion the majority of opinion has been against the merger. very odd sequence of events. i suggest the merger proposal may not be in good faith and this merge tag should be removed. Ouedbirdwatcher (talk) 05:37, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


I am moving the following sentence from the article to here, since a prior editor contested it and the sentence as stated cannot be correct:

"The Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of virtually all modern alphabets.[1]"

Ouedbirdwatcher (talk) 18:22, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

The correct statement would be "The Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of the Greek, Latin and Cyrillic alphabets". Someone else may be interested in restoring this. --Wetman (talk) 16:55, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It is good as it is, just to clarify that it doesnt influence Chinese, Japanese etc alphabets... The more correct statement would be "The Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of the Greek, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Latin and Cyrillic alphabets" --JudgeDi (talk) 08:35, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

geographic confusion in introduction[edit]

Phoenician civilization extended as far south as Gaza, but Tyre was the "southernmost" boundary of Phoenician culture? Trachys (talk) 15:02, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

This article is under constant pressure of the soccer-stadium history variety. Gaza was never Phoenician but Philistine. Not worth correcting. --Wetman (talk) 16:51, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree Philistine aka Canaan, Phoencians were never apart of the Canaanites, that whole subject must be removed. Whoever wrote: Phoenician civilization extended as far south as Gaza, but Tyre was the "southernmost" boundary of Phoenician culture?, Contradicted their selves, Phoenicia was never apart of Gaza. Gaza was Canaanites, its more closer to Egypt than Phoenicia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:29, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

The Tin Trade[edit]

Whilst it is often claimed that the Phoenicians traded as far as Cornwall for tin, it would seem that the tin trade was probably under Veneti control, operating out of Britanny, and that the Phoenicians obtained tin from Celtic middlemen in Spain. The article needs to be amended to reflect this. John D. Croft (talk) 07:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Where'd you read this theory? Very interesting.--Wetman (talk) 11:22, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Have a look at "The appropriation of the Phoenicians in British imperial ideology" by Timothy Champion in Nations and Nationalism Volume 7 Issue 4 Page 451-465, October 2001. The Phoenicians played ambivalent roles in Western historical imagination. One such role was as a valued predecessor and prototype for the industrial and maritime enterprise of nineteenth-century imperial Britain. Explicit parallels were drawn in historical representations and more popular culture. It was widely believed that the Phoenicians had been present in Britain, especially in Cornwall, despite a lack of convincing historical evidence, and much importance was placed on supposed archaeological evidence. Ideological tensions arose from the need to reconcile ancient and modern Britain, and from the Semitic origin of the Phoenicians. This example shows the power of archaeological objects to provide material support for national and imperial constructions of the past. John D. Croft (talk) 01:15, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article Phoenicianism (where I shall insert it) would benefit from this, as would the present article, which begins with a naive "etymology" and drifts along from there. --Wetman (talk) 10:18, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Further etymology.[edit]

Is it just a coincidence then, that after the Levantine Phoenician lands fell to Persia, Carthage rose in power in its own right, and rivalled Rome 300 years later? Like a phoenix, so to speak. -- (talk) 21:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

  • It is neat, but it seems the term "Phoenician" came about before the rise of Carthage. -BaronGrackle (talk) 16:09, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

RfC: posted image in Phoenicia does not relate to article and represents a possible copyright infringement[edit]

I have reverted the adding of the image Image:AncientPhonecian.jpg twice, provided my excuse and am harassed by the user who uploaded it and have been receiving vandalism warnings from his behalf (which i deleted). Now i'm being harassed and attacked and am in need for mediation or intervention, i underline that my actions were taken as personal attacks for the user User:Gennarous who keeps spamming.Eli+ 20:42, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

May I suggest you learn to use more rationale and civilised language, calling the addition of an ancient artistic depiction of a Phoenician, to an article entitled Phoenicia "spamming", and inane claims of "harrasing" and "personal attacks" is not an apropriate conduct in the slighest. If you blank a public domain image from an article , such as the ancient artistic depiction of a Phoenician woman, for no apparent reason other than WP:IDONTLIKEIT, you can expect the user who uploaded it to send a message to you notifiying that such behaviour is not acceptable. - Gennarous (talk) 22:10, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't have any particular stance on this issue, but I would advise both editors to keep a cool head on the issue, as I think both do have the best interests of the article in mind, and are trying to improve it. First, with regards to copyright, I'm not a copyright expert. To me it looks like a painting that is likely in the public domain, but I'm not sure. Would it only not be in the public domain if it were a recreation of sorts? Second, with regards to its inclusion (assuming that it is found to not violate copyright), Elie plus stated that the painting is Minoan, and not Phoenician. I'm not an art expert either, and a quick glance at the image to me does look similar to Minoan works, but given that it came from a book with the word "Phoenician" in its title, the onus is on Elie plus to prove why this is not Phoenician artwork (or, conversely, why this is a Minoan piece). If you can find this image used elsewhere labelled differently, or can lay out a case of why it cannot possibly be Phoenician, that would help your case immensely. Third, I would highly suggest both editors try to come to an agreement on possible third options. Perhaps replace this image with an equally nice image that you can both agree is Phoenician and suitable for the article. Just my thoughts. ← George [talk] 22:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Additionally, consider emailing the author. His email address is listed on the bottom of his website here. ← George [talk] 22:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • About the image, I remember that someone mentioned that it was just assumed by the author that the girl was Phoenician, because the image was made some place which the Phoenicians apparently controlled at the time, so it might actually be "original research" by the hands of the author of that book. Funkynusayri (talk) 23:56, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
The book also appears to discuss Minoans, though I'm not sure to what extent; the index has quite a few references to Minoans. ← George [talk] 00:06, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
thank you all for your time. The infamous frescoe that figures on the book's front matter is shot and enhanced by a certain Jurgen Liepe in Akrotiri, in santorini. This is pure Minoan art. the fact that the Phoenicians and the greek akrotirians have had long standing commercial relation is not a secret, in fact the Phoenicians had settled in santorini for centuries. this frescoe however depicts a Minoan woman from akrotiri ,it should be placed in the santorini, akrotiri/ minoan articles. Thank you Gennarous for your vandalism warnings they were fun, i think i know my people's history and art better. tata Eli+ 18:41, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
oh and the image is copyrighted ... have fun Eli+ 18:43, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Images that are thousands, not to mention hundreds, of years old can't be copyrighted. Funkynusayri (talk) 19:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Photographs can be copyrighted though. Someone reviewing the book on noticed this also:"On the cover of this book is a detail from one of the frescoes found on the Greek, Aegean island of Thera (Santorini). This site was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1623 BC. It is not "Phoenician", or Lebanese!
On Thera, scenes/decorations depicted on wall frescoes are replicated on the daggers which have been found in the shaft graves of the Greek mainland city of Mycenae. Indeed, the same type of dagger has been found on Thera. Ships depicted on one of the frescoes on Thera are identical to ships depicted on signet rings, as per examples from graves on the Greek mainland site of Tyrins. Boar's tusk helmets depicted on another fresco at Thera are attested to on the entire Greek mainland as well as on Krete and are described in great detail as being worn by the Greeks besieging Troy in Homer's Iliad. A lady depicted on an adjacent fresco to the one pictured on the cover wears ear rings identical to those which are found in another of the shaft graves at Mycenae. The writing of Mycenaeans, known as "Linear B", was translated in 1954 by the Englishman Michael Ventris: it is Greek & dates to the 15th century BC. How do Mycenaean/Greek motifs come to be used as illustrating the world of Lebanese/Phoenicians? This book is propaganda. You don't have to go beyond the front cover to realise this.
Holst's book itself is clearly not a reliable source. His other books are about New Age stuff, the only books published by the publisher of this book are his books which means it is probably self-published. His book has received no scholarly attention and he's published nothing in historical journals.--Doug Weller (talk) 07:42, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Fascinating. So it might not apply to a photograph of a coin or an inscribed tablet though. --Doug Weller (talk) 08:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
OK I C thanks ;) Eli+ 17:42, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Phoenician gods[edit]

At the moment this is sourced from - a personal website whose author believes in Atlantis, etc -- in other words, an unreliable source. I think it needs deleting and rebuilding (and probably in a different place in the article). While I'm thinking about it, why does the paragraph on genetics say something about purple?--Doug Weller (talk) 08:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Heh, the article is a mess, do with it what you like! Funkynusayri (talk) 08:19, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Come on, don't be shy, say what you really think about it. :-)--Doug Weller (talk) 08:31, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
the article is beyond hopeless, it ought to be rewritten from scratch, many important aspects are omitted and the article barely speaks of Gebal (byblos). worse yet is the deities part.... no mention of the mythology or of the ugaritic myths ( the only ones that survived), no mention also of sanchuniaton or Philo !!!!!!!!!!

hopeless really, i'm really hesitating to edit. Eli+ 08:19, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Association with Hebrew language[edit]

What is the reasoning behind rewording "Phoenicians spoke the Phoenician language, which belongs to the group of Canaanite languages in the Semitic language family." to "Phoenicians spoke the Phoenician language, a Canaanite language mutually intelligible with Hebrew"? Also, please provide a better source than the one cited for consideration in the discussion. ← George [talk] 00:02, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I've reviewed this website again, but I still think we need a better source, given that this appears to be a personal website and doesn't list an author; for all we know it could be a student's essay. Additionally, while the correlation between ancient Hebrew (prior to a change of alphabet, apparently) and the Phoenician language is an interesting piece of trivia, I still think it makes more sense to list what language branches it is a part of (the Canaanite branch of the Northwest Semitic languages, apparently). ← George [talk] 00:37, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I've put instead that its closest living relative is Hebrew. A good compromise, don't you think?--Yolgnu (talk) 03:12, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

This source is good but it still seems like a bit of trivia and I agree with George. [5]--Doug Weller (talk) 07:01, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I've moved your addition to the Phoenician language article, which is more appropriate, and already discusses the relation of Hebrew and the Phoenician language. I also updated that article to clarify that it was closely related to ancient Hebrew, per Doug's source. Cheers. ← George [talk] 07:46, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I've put what I put here on that page (that Hebrew is Phoenician's closest living relative). By the way, saying that it's most closely related to "ancient" Hebrew is redundant; languages don't become more genetically distant to each other over time.--Yolgnu (talk) 09:23, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

  • They do, Hebrew is a good example, modern Hebrew is quite different from ancient Hebrew, just like all other languages are different from their ancient counterparts, so saying that Hebrew in general is mutually intelligible with ancient Phoenician is rather misleading, since this would only be true of the ancient version. Ancient and modern Hebrew wold hardly even be mutually ineligible. Funkynusayri (talk) 09:33, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Languages do change over time, considerably in some cases. Hebrew is certainly one of them.--Doug Weller (talk) 10:05, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
You clearly didn't read what I said. I'm no longer arguing that Hebrew and Phoenician are mutually intelligible (it's basically impossible to tell, anyway), and I never said that languages don't change over time. Rather, I said that Hebrew is Phoenician's closest living relative, and that languages don't change genetically over time (eg. Italian has higher mutual intelligibility with Old French than Modern French, but in terms of genetic relationship it is equally close to both of them).--Yolgnu (talk) 10:54, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, take Maltese for example, many would argue that it isn't Arabic anymore. Funkynusayri (talk) 12:30, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe not, but Hebrew is still equally related to both Arabic and Maltese.--Yolgnu (talk) 21:31, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons,by Lawrence Waddell[edit]

Review: by Roland G. Kent of The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons, Discovered by Phoenician and Sumerian Inscriptions in Britain, by Pre-Roman Briton Coins and a Mass of New History by L. A. Waddell Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 45, (1925) points out that Waddell accepts "the precise historicity of the Chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth and everything else that has been handed down about early Britain...The Indo-Europeans, whom he calls Aryans, were in origin the Sumerians, the Hittites, and the Phoenicians, the last named being the sea-going branch. The Phoenicians made a settlement and partial conquest of Britain about 2800 B. c. The "Brutus the Trojan" of the Chronicles, who was really the Peirithoos of Greek legend, came to Britain in 1103 B. c., and conquered Caledonia, thereby giving the start to the story of his slaying the Calydonian boar. These Phoenicians brought with them the sun-worship and Bel-fire rites, of which survivals are to be traced in many places. The INARA of Briton coins is identical in name with the Sanskrit Indra and St. Andrew" Elsewhere Waddell, an Aryan supremacist who thought that Smites contributed nothing of real value, tries to "show that Egypt, far from owing its civilization to indigenous Semitic peoples, had been colon- ized and civilized around 2780 B.C. by Aryan Sumerians led by Sargon of Akkad. Sargon, he argues, was descended from Ikshvaku, the "immortal Aryan," who, as the "greatest" culture hero of all time, is the founder of agriculture and solar religion..." Which is why I removed the reference to the book.--Doug Weller (talk) 11:36, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Missing link: [6] -- (talk) 20:10, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Clearing out the article to make way for improving it[edit]

I've deleted quite a bit -- there's nothing wrong with deleting huge chunks if it's part of an attempt to improve the article. Go to it. I've also asked an expert about good books, and am told "the standards are Glenn Markoe, The Phoenicians (the most recent); Donald Harden, The Phoenicians; and Sabatino Moscati, World of the Phoenicians." I've just ordered the Markoe book from Amazon and the other 2 from the library.

Sanford Holst[edit]

This New Age writer has published a book on the Phoenicians that is beginning to be used for references. It is self-published (the 'publisher' that publishes his books only publishes his books), so not an acceptable source.--Doug Weller (talk) 12:32, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Map of Phoenicia[edit]

The first map needs a date. JMcC (talk) 07:11, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

The meaning of Phoenician[edit]

I always thought and read that Phoenician meant purple people, or a similar translation, just as the article states. I recently came across a book "The Punic Wars" by Nigel Bagnall, who states, "Those who settled in Tyre were given the name Phoenician by the Greeks, meaning dark-skinned." Has anyone else come across a similar translation? And if so would this mean there is a little uncertainty in both translations? Skipper 360 (talk) 11:32, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Etymology statement needs more work[edit]

The opening affirmation: "The name Phoenician, through Latin punicus, comes from Greek phoînix," is quite obviously inaccurate. I'm not an expert on the topic, but it is still plainly obvious that the word "Phoenician" cannot possibly have come "through punicus". It is evident that "Phoenician" comes from the Greek phoinikê etc. via (i.e. through) a (Late) Latin form Phoenicia. That these forms bear a relation to the Latin term Punicus also needs to be stated somewhere, but the suggestion that Eng. Phoenician comes from Latin Punicus is linguistic nonsense. I wonder if someone with a bit of linguistic sense and historical knowledge can clean up this text. --A R King (talk) 12:59, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

In Critical Path, by R. Buckminster Fuller, he discusses what "the Egyptians call the "Land of Pun." He mentions this to be "Somaliland." (The word pun in South African coloreds' language means "red"- the Red Sea is the Pun Sea, the Pun as the Pun of Pun-icians, or later Phoenicians, of Carthage's and Rome's Pun-ic Wars.)" (Critical Path, pg. 17) R. Buckminster Fuller, (1981)--Rhys6smith (talk) 21:31, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Cyrus the Great conquers Phoenicia....[edit]

I'm no expert by any means, but according to the top table, Cyrus conquers Phoenicia 333 BC! That should be Alexander, right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:11, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


This article should make more of the connection with Egypt. The Phoenicians were around thousands of years before the Sea Peoples or the Persians and this vast period of existence should be emphasized. The Wiki articles on Byblos and Ba‘alat Gebal both attest to the age of these people. David Redford's Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times ISBN 0-691-03606-3 lays out the proofs of early and sustained trade dating from before the building of the pyramids. Although the article claims trade started with the Greeks, Byblos and the Lebanon coastal area had a sea trade with Egypt documented in the 2nd dynasty period. In fact trade probably occurred with pre-dynasty Egypt. This clearly pre-dates the Greek trade. This also should be considered in the origin section since Phoenician towns were in place 7000 years ago. Legends of them coming from India or the horn of Africa are only legends.(An aside- either myth or legend is better than saying oral truths.) They have no objective basis. The Phoenicians built on existing Neolithic sites, spoke a similar language as the other groups in the area, and were situated to have naturally developed sea trade (narrow coastal plain and nearby cedar forests which could be used to build ships and for trade); so the statement that archeologists believe they developed from native peoples should be at the beginning of the origins section with other theories placed in secondary position.Nitpyck (talk) 20:17, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

How are you defining Phoenician? Does Redford say Phoenicians were trading with Egypt before the pyramids? Can you name these 7000 year old Phoenician towns? There's nothing to discuss here without reliable sources making these statements specifically about a people called Phoenician. dougweller (talk) 22:17, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
That's the problem - the word "Phoenician" is a relatively modern construct used by people who didn't have the best research tools at their disposal - very little is left of anything they wrote (most of it is in Carthage, which is interesting) and there's no way (see what I wrote below) that they suddenly showed up in boats, jumped off them, and built a string of cities instantaneously. The genetic markers associated with them show up in Lebanon/Canaan at around 5000BP (3000 BCE: ). Where were they before then - and where did they build their boats (because evidence of boating arrives with them)? There has already been major boating culture off the coast of Africa before then...hmmm, in the Red Sea - specifically from Eritrea, carrying all manner of goods to Egypt, much of which was then brokered in trade to Sumerians (poor Sumerians off any major water routes to Africa; the ancestors of today's Beduoins and other desert caravanserers unloaded the boats and camelled them up to Sumeria...)
I'd say therefore that the Phoenicians were boating people whose first major voyages involved bringing the copper ore from southern parts of Africa to Egypt - since someone had to do it. This lines up with what Herodotus says. Phoenicians had a habit of learning whatever language the locals spoke and intermarrying with locals, and trading goods where ever they could sail. But they were sailing *well before* they arrived in Lebanon. Did the people of Jericho/Canaan independently invent boating and mimic the boats of the people of Eritrea? No one knows. Where the Phoenicians an ethnic group (modern genetic research seems to say no, they were not). So to define them as the next person does, below, as people who show up in Lebanon already possessed of boating skills begs the question of...where, exactly, they built their boats. That they'd choose Lebanon as a base of operation is understandable - not a lot of wood left to build boats in many places around their homelands. I suspect that if one did the complex research necessary (or read what has already been written - and it's voluminous) one would find that "Phoenician goods" themselves come from many, many places - and that by tracking, over time, where those goods came from, you'd see it would point to an East African homeland. That's just the opinion of someone who is in a neighboring field of study and has kept on eye on this question for 35 years, though. Still just measured opinion - but the article itself does not lend itself to easy edits to get away from the extensive mythology that insists the Phoenicians are FROM Canaan. If they came from Eritrea, it is still possible that they spoke a Semitic language - as the etire Semitic language group has its roots in and around Ethiopia. LeValley 22:35, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd define the Phoenicians as the people living on the Lebanon coast who were noted seagoing traders and speakers of a west semitic language. You're right Redford writes about trade with Byblos and Egypt. And the 7,000 date comes from the Byblos wiki (Byblos built on a Neolithic town site dated to 5000bc), The name Phoenician is obvious English from the Greek so no-one in Byblos would have used that name for themselves until long after the Persian conquest of the area if ever. The Egyptians traded with Byblos from 2nd dynasty through to periods after the Iron Age and the coming of the Philistines and the rise of Israel . But the Egyptians didn't call them Phoenicians. While the people in Byblos may have been displaced sometime during that period there is no record of this happening. And while it is entirely possible that one group of people could have been replaced by another who spoke a similar language and had similar skill sets and worshiped similar gods it seems that Occam outweighs an account passed from the Persians to Herodotus. At any rate what I'm asking for is a move to the top of the origins section the paragraph already in the page saying most archeologists believe the Phoenicians came from the people already there. So we start with what the experts currently think, followed with what past periods believed and ending with fringe theories.Nitpyck (talk) 02:35, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, Markoe says their ethnic identity (other than that they have general Semitic roots) is a mystery, and that they may not have had a national identity themselves. He does say that the Phoenician Iron Age cities are direct descendants of their Canaanite predecessors. Which is probably where the section should start. dougweller (talk) 14:22, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I've moved a bit, there's a lot of uncited stuff. I also created an article on Sabatino Moscati just now, only a stub though. dougweller (talk) 15:18, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the article should make more of the connection with Egypt - and Anatolia. But, they didn't just pop up in Cana'an, either - they were a boat-using people from Eritrea, who grew in numbers and skills as a result of close association with Egypt and their excellent navigational skills - learned in the Red Sea and by venturing out into the Indian Ocean. Because their main source of trade/income was bringing things to Egypt, they soon began to work around the eastern Mediterranean as well, and established communities there (and you would have to do way more reading in gene markers to understand the complexity of "Phoenician" ethnicity - they are like Gypsies, they pick up and drop off people everywhere - but of course, there are still consistent markers to follow, a genetic trail. I have no trouble classifying their language as Afro-Asiatic - but to go further than that, to make it specifically Semitic - at such an early date as they appear - is problematic. At any rate, I'm convinced their homeland is no more Canaan than it is Iberia - none of those theories make sense. They are likely from Ethiopia/Somalia. This makes sense in other ways too, including the fact that Phoenicians had boats big enough to transport copper ore- most of Egypt's ore comes from southern regions of Africa, as isotope analyis shows. SOMEONE had to be boating around the Red Sea/Indian Ocean long, long before Phoenicians show up in Lebanon - and in all prehistory as presented by reputable archaeologists, no people simply show up one day with all the arts and technologies to instantly build cities - they had to practice somewhere. Now, as to other archaeological evidence about what goods had to be transported where to build the civilizations of Egypt, Sumeria and Anatolia (just to name three), but the materials were frequently not local and there is scant to no evidence of huge trains of humans walking these routes with baskets of copper ore - supplying such travel at the pace it would have gone would have left eco-archaeological evidence galore. They were using boats and we know them today as the Phoenicians - after they get to the Mediterranean. But that's not where they're from....LeValley 21:50, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Additional information[edit]

The article generally lacks information. For example, one of the oldest inscription in Phoenician is on an inner apse of the southern temple of Ġgantija in Xagħra, Gozo (discovered in 1912). It reads, "To the love of our Father Jahwe". The fact that Abbe Barthelemy was able to decipher and reconstruct the Phoenician (and Punic) Language and alphabet at all is due to the Cippi of Melkarth (now in the Louvre and National Museum in Valletta) etc. The note on language's exclusion is especially strange in an otherwise fairly developed article. ja fiswa imċappas bil-hara! (talk) 22:35, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Phoencia Article[edit]

National Geographic has created an expedition called "Quest For The Phoencians" They say that the majority of Lebanese whether Muslims or Christians are direct Phoenicians descendants they figured this out doing DNA tests, I have cited the source and people keep reverting my edits, I say this is purely biased. What do you think? I made a valid edit and cited it from National Geographic and its still being reverted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:25, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Personally I'm ok. with the edit insofar as it mentions only the Lebanese. But I cannot see the mentions to Malta, Lebanese diaspora and the Punic wars in the provided link. If other links can be provided then I would not object even though I am not a fan of DNA information being added into articles in order to determine racial continuity. However I would defer to the opinion of the local experts and any other consensus that may form. Dr.K. praxislogos 02:43, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
National Geographic does not do scientific research, so what is the actual source for the DNA research? -- What peer reviewed publication was it in? Dougweller (talk) 06:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
National Geographic makes documentaries not DNA experiments, so the DNA research was simply reported in the documentary along with some claims about DNA characteristics of the Phoenicians which were matched to those of the modern Lebanese population. The documentary did not specify what constitutes a Phoenician DNA trait or how it was discovered. Neither did it say where the research was published. So if we are looking for academic grade publications to back-up these claims there are none at the moment. Dr.K. praxislogos 14:34, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

A new source of text for the article ! (How can we call for a "scraping party" around it ?)[edit]

Hello all.

A book on Phoenicia called "Who Were The Phoenicians ?" just went online with several major chapters opened to the public under the CC license (see explicit permission of the website owner here ). These chapters are open for usage by Wikipedia articles (under proper reference and linking to the original book website). Each chapter is presented in a PDF file, but the text can be copied from it.

My question is how do I call the attention of the people of this article (and other articles that are related), to become aware of this new resource for use? Link to the website: Another small note, the author of the book is in a not-so-good health these days (I am using an under statement). My personal wish is to help make as much of the book publicized and used (inside Wikipedia) for him to enjoy the fruits of his labor. please help me with that!

Talgalili (talk) 11:41, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Can I link to the book's website?[edit]

I wish to give a link in the end of the article to: Free chapters from the book "WHO WERE THE PHOENICIANS?

I am not doing it yet since I am not sure if to add it or not. On the one hand, it has a lot of information on it. On the other hand, it has a link for buying the book from which the chapters are taken. So can I or can't I add the link ? Thanks, Talgalili (talk) 11:46, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you very much for discussing this first. There is a real problem in that the book appears to be self-published [7] and I can only find one mention of it as a citation in Google Books, and that is in a book not relevant to the topic here. So, it fails WP:RS and can't be used as a source for Wikipedia articles. I see he thinks the Phoenicians orginated as a tribe of Israel -- this is very much a fringe view and would need a much better source (ie one that is cited in other reliable sources). Dougweller (talk) 12:11, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Hello Dougweller, Thanks for replying! The book is indeed self published and I wasn't aware of the rules you mentioned (they make sense though). It was published many years ago in Hebrew, and has now been translated to English. Since it was published in just the recent month (or so), it is yet to have been cited, and I will await this to change before offering it as a link again.
Also, the author did a very thorough work on this book (over 20 pages of bibliography). I believe it holds a lot of useful information, how would you suggest I proceed in promoting contributers to scavenge the book free chapters (of which there are many) for content ?
Thanks again Talgalili (talk) 13:04, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
As I said, I think it fails WP:RS and should not be used. But if you disagree, why not ask at WP:RSN? Z. Sitchin has huge bibliographies on his books claiming we were genetically engineered by aliens from Nibiru, large bibliographies prove very little. Dougweller (talk) 14:44, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi Dougweller, we are not in disagreement I fully see your point. I contacted the author's son, he said that the book got letters from distinguished professor in the field, standing for the book's value. But the letter are written in Hebrew. One such letter was received (and translated into English) from Meir Ben-Dov a well known scholar in the field (so I have been told), and the translated letter can be read on
But I understand from you that this will not be enough (since it is an outside source but it is cited within "our control" (of the book/website). It makes sense, yet still I would like to find a way to solve the validation issue. I will see what else I can do. Thank you Dougweller for taking the time to answer. Talgalili (talk) 16:17, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Update: I just received two letters (in Hebrew) supporting the value of the book from professor her in Israel. I understand this is not enough to allow use of the material, but I am wondering how to proceed with this. Just for future reference, I am adding their text here: Talgalili (talk) 17:57, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Updated 2 I wrote about this in the following page
In hope of receiving an advice on what to do. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Talgalili (talkcontribs) 18:29, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I second Dougweller's thanks for bringing this to the discussion page first, and for being candid in explaining the context of your desire to mention the book. You say that the book in question has "over 20 pages of bibliography"; if the book is based on sources which themselves meet the reliable sources criteria and the book faithfully reproduces the source material without modification, embellishment or interpretation which would qualify as original research then it may be appropriate to cite it citing its sources, in much the same way as one might cite a wikipedia article citing reliable sources. What do other editors think? Of course if, as Dougweller has said, the subject matter is WP:FRINGE then any use would have to respect WP:WEIGHT.
If the consensus is that the book cannot be used as a source, but mention is made in the article of the theories that it proposes then you could consider listing it under "External links" as further reading for those interested in the theories; WP:EL offers guidance on external links. -- Timberframe (talk) 19:09, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Hello Timberframe, thank you for the support :)
The Bibliography can be viewed here (it contains 21.5 pages) :
I imagine some of the conclusions he reaches might be in dispute. Yet, the list of ways in which he composes his arguments could have value.
I do agree that this could be a valuable link to add. But the big advantage of this source is (in my view) that it gives so much text (and context) for the free use of Wikipedia (we are talking tens and tens of pages of CC licensed text.) So in order to allow contributers to use the work, I wish to have it as a reliable source (for which I will see what can be done to have some of the positive feedback the book received to an online medium). Thanks again Timberframe for the kind response. Talgalili (talk) 20:10, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Letters supporting the book authority and research[edit]

Letter 1 - From Dr Yaakov Kahanov[edit]

Dr Yaakov Kahanov is the Head of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa. Senior Lecturer, Department of Maritime Civilizations, University of Haifa.


שלום רב,

הערצתי הרבה והערכתי למבצע ההוצאה לאור של "מי היו הפניקים" בתרגומו לאנגלית. לא רבים מכירים את ספרו של ניסים גנור, ואין פלא, בוודאי לא רבים מכירים את השמות אליהם מתייחס הספר כמו למשל פטרי וגרסטנג. הספר הוא מחקר מעמיק, מקיף ומרתק עם אמירה ברורה, אם כי מפתיעה. מן הראוי היה שימצא את מקומו בין ספרי לימוד ההיסטוריה הבסיסיים. אולם ברור, שבעולם החומרנות והחמדנות, זו אשליה. כותב הספר בהתייחסו להירודוטוס (עמוד 173 בספר בעברית), מציע כי אין הפניקים והיהודים שני עמים, אלא שני סוגים של פניקים. ההיסטוריה של הספנות בעת העתיקה מכירה בפניקים כציוויליזציה ימית, בעוד שהיהודים לא היו יורדי ים (למעט כמובן מספר מקרים יוצאים מן הכלל). אם כך, אנו למדים כי אותם שני זרמים של פניקים היו נבדלים זה מזה לא רק מבחינה תרבותית דתית ויותר מאוחר מבחינה מדינית, כפי שטוען נסים גנור מחבר הספר, אלא גם במבחן הים: הזרם האחד—היהודים, לא היו יורדי ים, ואילו הזרם השני, שהתמיד במסורת הישנה—הפניקים, היו יורדי ים.

קיוויתי עוד אתמול להשתתף במפגש ולהציג מצגת קצרה על השיט הפניקי ועל ספינותיהם. כידוע, למרות אלפי שרידי כלי שיט טרופים שנתגלו ברחבי הים התיכון, מתוכם כמה עשרות בחופינו, את שרידי כלי השיט הפניקים אפשר למנות על אצבעות יד אחת. לצערי נבצר הדבר ממני. ברכותיי להוצאת הספר, יישר כוח לעושים במלאכה, ואיחולי רפואה שלמה לדר' ניסים גנור.

יעקב כהנוב

ראש המכון ללימודי ים ע"ש ליאון רקנאטי

אוניברסיטת חיפה

Letter 2 - From Prof. Itamar Singer[edit]

Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History and Cultures


ברצוני לברך את מר נ.ר. גנור לרגל ההוצאה לאור של התרגום האנגלי לספרו "מי היו הפיניקים".

התרבות הפניקית הייתה אחת התרבויות המעניינות והחשובות של המזרח התיכון הקדום. מרצועת חוף צרה בלבנון וצפון ארץ-ישראל הם חלשו על קשרי מסחר ענפים עם עמים רבים באגן הים התיכון, ואף מעבר למיצרי גיברלטר. כמחוללי תרבות מובילים הם הפיצו לכל קצוות העולם העתיק את נכסי התרבות של הלבאנט, ובראש וראשונה את מכמני הכתב האלפביתי השמי.

מחקר הפניקים אינו עיסוק פשוט. המקורות הפנימיים אינם רבים אך המקורות החיצוניים עליהם רבים ומגוונים – מצריים, אשוריים, בבליים, יווניים, וכמובן עבריים. שילוב המקורות הללו לכדי תמונה שלמה ככל היותר מחייב מיומנויות רבות ויכולת הבחנה בין עיקר לטפל. מתוך סקרנות בוערת ואהבה לשמה התגייס מר גנור לבחון מחדש את מאות המקורות החיצוניים והמקראיים והגיש מארג מרתק ומקורי. נושאים רבים בעולם הקדום נתונים במחלוקת ושחזורים שונים מוצעים, אך המשימה העיקרית היא לשמור על נר התמיד של המחקר ולהרחיב את מעגל המתעניינים בנושא כמה שיותר. ספרו של מר גנור משיג משימות אלו ואני מאחל לו בריאות טובה והמשך מחקר פורה.

פרופ' אמריטוס איתמר זינגר


More news - now the entire content of the book is free for use[edit]

Hello all,

After some more talk with the book publisher, the book is now completely free for use by Wikipedia, please see the list of chapters here:

Although I still didn't find academic reference to the quality of the book, since the book includes numerous quotes from other resources (some not available online), I believe it to be a valuable source for use by this article writers.

Best, Talgalili (talk) 11:56, 19 December 2009 (UTC)


1. Famous for being excellent sailors. 2. They did not build an empire. 3. Established colonies throughout the Mediterranean world. 4. They made books, Phoenician Alphabet (22 letters) and made Tyrian purple (dye) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rockon9057 (talkcontribs) 23:33, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

The Carthaginians most certainly DID build an empire. HammerFilmFan (talk) 17:34, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Phoenician influence on Minoan Civilization?[edit]

Acording to the WP Minoan entry, the Minoans used Linear A script.

Attempts to link Linear A with Phoenician were dealt with thusly:

In 2001, the journal Ugarit-Forschungen, Band 32 published the article "The First Inscription in Punic — Vowel Differences in Linear A and B" by Jan Best, claiming to demonstrate how and why Linear A notates an archaic form of Phoenician.[6] This was a continuation of attempts by Cyrus Gordon in finding connections between Minoan and West Semitic languages. His methodology drew widespread criticism. While one or two terms may apparently be of Semitic origin (such as KU-RO, see below), there is yet not enough evidence to secure a connection between the language of Linear A and Semitic idioms. Contrary to most other scripts used for Semitic languages, Linear A presents many written vowels.

The Minoan Civilization predated the Phoeicians and were conquered by the Myceneans before the Bronze Age Collapse.

the following sentence in this WP entry would therefor appear to be incorrect:

"Phoenician traders disseminated this writing system along Aegean trade routes, to coastal Anatolia, the Minoan civilization of Crete"

Souljar (talk) 10:43, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The Minoan Civilization predated the Phoenicians. What source do you have for that? Byblos, a Phoenician city, is at least 9,000 years old. The people of Phoenicia were trading, by sea, with Egypt during the first dynasty, 5,000 years ago. and were conquered by the Myceneans before the Bronze Age Collapse. What source do you have for any Mycenaean any control south of Asia Minor? Are you trying to conflate the Sea People with the Mycenaean? What citations do you have for the conquest of the Phoenician city states? Nitpyck (talk) 23:19, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Saying Byblos was either Phoenician or a city 9,000 year sago is a stretch. This is equivalent to saying Istanbul was a "Turkish city" 7,000 years ago on the basis of evidence of Neolithic settlement remains in the area. For all we know, indeed more likely, Byblos was a proto indo European j2 settlement at its origins108.18.78.19 (talk) 00:10, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Byblos was never Proto-Indo-European. It was Semitic from its origins although other linguistic groups (Hurrians, Egyptians) have been influential from time to time. John D. Croft (talk) 08:08, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Phoenician alphabet.-Minoan and Mycenean civilization.[edit]

The Phoenician alphabet has nothing to do with the syllabical scripts which were used by the Minoans(Linear A) and the Mycenean Greeks (Linear B),long before the alphabetical Phoenician script.The original idea was propably Egyptian but it was limited in spelling foreign names.-- (talk) 13:22, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Classification of Phoenician Languages[edit]

Having recently undertaken a review of the literature on Phoenician language, what is known about it, and whether its classification as Afro-Asiatic/subgroup Semitic is accurate, I was surprised to learn how little evidence there is, in Canaan, of the language. There are more Phoenician inscriptions in the place later known as Carthage than in Canaan. Indeed, the abruptness with which the Phoenicians begin to build cities in Canaan argues that they had some practice with city building elsewhere- perhaps north Africa. At any rate, since this article states with such certainty that the homeland of the Phoenicians is known, and their language is certainly classified (and that they themselves created the alphabet they're using - when it seems to be a syncretic construction of symbols from throughout the Mediterranean), citations are needed. I'd really like to read those articles and books, because the ones I'm reading aren't giving me such certain information.--LeValley 21:24, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Can you enlighten us with the results of your review of the Phoenician language? And how would you classify the Phoenician language? And what information do the books you read give you? And what were those books so we can check them out? Coz it seems to me that you haven't read any article or book on the Phoenician language! --Xevorim (talk) 21:31, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Archaeology of Lebanon, Phoenician period[edit]

It doesn't appear that the Phoenicians arrived 5000BP with a system of writing already in hand. The 5000BP date is coming from layered archaeological digs and from Y chromosome analysis. It's great they agree. At the same time, a new kind of art appeared - in great quantities. The art reminds one somewhat of the Cyclades at around the same time. But, here's a link to a group of figurines designed to show the Phoenicians as they saw themselves, in a group:


To me, they have the elongated body proportions of a tropical people - and their headgear seems Egyptian-influenced. I don't think the article needs to do more than just show the picture - but I don't know how to get copyrights for this without going to Lebanon, myself.--LeValley 23:33, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Phoenician Alphabet[edit]


The following sentence from the article sounds incorrect:

"The Greeks adopted the majority of these letters but changed some of them to vowels which were significable in their language, giving rise to the first true alphabet."

Why isn't the Phoenician alphabet considered a true alphabet?

Regards, Naji —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

The Phoenician script is not considered a true alphabet because it does not include letters which are dedicated to represent vowels (which Greek does have by reassigning Phoenician letters to represent their vowels, thus, for example, eta became eta). Peter Daniels proposed referring to an alphabet that are like the Phoenician and Hebrew ones as an "abjad" (from the Arabic script equivalent of "a-b-c-d" id est, the letters 'alif-baa-jiim-daal = '-b-j-d). Mr. Daniel's suggestion has been widely accepted, so we often now refer to the Phoenician script as an "abjad" rather than an "alphabet". — al-Shimoni (talk) 19:34, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Reinstated this as I agree with Shimoni. Without vowels how can an "alphabet" even be said to be phonetic? English is not phonetic (you don't pronounce all "A"'s the same for example cake vs car), while Greek is, yet Phoenician does not even have vowels, you don't know if BLB is belebe balebe boleba whatever. (talk) 14:55, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Didn't cuneiform (which predates Greek script) include vowels? Nitpyck (talk) 05:02, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Cuniform is in no way an alphabet. (talk) 00:05, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Palestine and the Kingdom of Israel[edit]

This is the problem with POV pushing. At some point, someone found a book discussing Phoenicia in the context of "a broader cultural unity embracing the whole area of Syria and Palestine", and then they went and added that Phoenicia was in modern day Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and northern Israel. Someone sees this, doesn't like that only mentions Palestine, so they add the Kingdom of Israel too, just for good measure. This sentence is the very first of the article. All it should do is make clear where Phoenicia was in terms of modern countries. Phoenicia covered the coast that today make up Lebanon, Syria, and northern Israel. We shouldn't be mentioning ancient kingdom that overlapped with parts of Phoenicia between then and now. The source cited for Palestine wasn't even talking in geographic terms, it was talking in cultural terms. Let's leave this simple, and keep both POV pushing sides out, identifying the modern area where Phoenicia once was. ← George talk 20:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

The phoenician named the phoenician by the Greeks to refer to geography. The phoenician called themselves the Canaanite. The Phoenician or Canaanite are the left over from wars from Ancients Greek, Persian, and Egyptian at eastern coast of the mediterranean sea during the 3rd millennium BC. the Phoenician heavily influenced by the Greeks and Egyptians via the language and tradition, at same time Phoenician discovered the alphabet system. the word “Phoe” means red in ancient Greek referring to the land. on the other hand, the only languages still referring the name of that land with “Phoe” today are the Greek and Arabic. in Arabic the land is still call “fa la st een” which’s the name influenced by the Greek and Aramaic languages. however, The kingdom of Israel came later in history at 2nd and 1st millennium. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Samiaqel (talkcontribs) 02:58, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

"Modern Yemen" in a 5th C BCE Quotation???[edit]

In the history section is a quote of Herodotus, which includes the following:

[...] on the shores of the Erythraean Sea, modern Yemen, [...]

Why would Herodotus refer to "modern Yemen" in the 5th century BCE? Either someone has come later on Wikipedia and edited the quote, or someone didn't quote Herodotus correctly. This should either be removed, or put into square brackets to indicate that it was not part of his quote. — al-Shimoni (talk) 18:34, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


Why isn't there any archaeological data in the origins section? If you couldn't find any, you probably didn't look hard. The ancients are not the great sources they thought they were. (talk) 23:41, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

here's one answer. take out a 15 buck membership in american schools of oriental research, access their archives at jstor, go to their bulletin and read the article on early iron age Dor, number 349 Feb 2008 and its references. They relate the Phoenicians to the Sikili, a member of the Sea Peoples who also populated Sicily. (talk) 12:56, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Just wanted to mention that "Sea Peoples" was only the Egyptian name for those people. The other cultures had other names for them. Therefore, reading only one antique source is also POV. -- (talk) 20:36, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

New Sarkophagus picture[edit]

Would be this picture something for the article? --Soenke Rahn (talk) 11:30, 28 October 2011 (UTC)


I didn't want to just take out the reference to genetic testing of Palestinians, but since Gaza was a Phillistine settelent, not a Canaanite settlement, and since I found the flag addition and replacing of Israel with Palestine in the page history, it seems possible to also be dubious. The reference makes no mention, though it doesn't mention the other places except Malta in detail either, so perhaps the information is based on a more detailed version. It isn't incomprehensible that the population of the West Bank would have been tested, since several genetic studies have been done showing high relations to previous inhabitants. Aslbsl (talk) 01:40, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

What started as an outgrowth of politics, an edit where someone replaced every mention of "Israel" with "Palestine", now has created confusion. I requested sources months ago, since the one cited does not support these edits. It seems unlikely that the Phillistine settlement in Gaza also supported Phoenicians. Aslbsl (talk) 12:06, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that this is a misquote of Herodotus or merely arguing about the facts within the quotation? If you can't make this distinction perhaps you ought'nt to be making edits.(Bjhodge8 (talk) 12:09, 22 October 2012 (UTC))
If your concern is with the veracity of Herodotus, please go to the end of that very long and distinguished line.(Bjhodge8 (talk) 12:30, 22 October 2012 (UTC))

"who migrated out of Africa and settled in the fertile lands of the Middle East and beyond"[edit]

I removed this and it was replaced. The source says "Haplogroup F (marked by mutation M89) first appeared around 45,000 years in Northern Africa or the Middle East. This marker is found in 90 to 95 percent of all non-Africans. The first people to leave Africa (not my ancestors) likely followed a coastal route that eventually ended in Australia. My ancestors were part of the second great wave of migration out of Africa; they followed the expanding grasslands and plentiful game to the Middle East and beyond." I think "who migrated out of Africa and settled in the fertile lands of the Middle East and beyond" is a misunderstanding of what the source actually says. Dougweller (talk) 19:51, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

That actually was the African homo sapiens. He went to Europe where he captured and interbred with the Neanderthals forming the modern Asiatic people, which travelled to Asia and even to North and South America. The African human also went to Asia on its own: Aborigines are descendend from him. That's why even modern African natives have no Neanderthal DNA, and subsequently less diseases which primarily came from the Neanderthal. Moreover, modern Asiatics have up until 4 times more Neanderthal DNA than North Africans and Europeans. It's scientifically proven thay the Neanderthal had a bigger brain, better developed vision, less social skills and heavy damages due to fighting (probably also due to Mammut hunting). Modern humans have more African genes than Neanderthal genes though, probably due to some not yet understood genetic dominance. Yet when you compare African people with Asian people, obviously there are differences in memory and social scills. Modern "intelligence tests" only test vision and memory functions, not social skills, that's why clever scientists introduced the EQ, but our schools still dont't test these kind of abilities (that's why we are where we are now). Interestingly Europeans are the most "bastardic" people with the highest IQ and EQ. So much about Hitlers stupid idea of race segregation. -- (talk) 19:37, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


" Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. " Since the three major Phoenician cities (Byblos, Sidon and Tyre) predate 1500 BC by at least a thousand years saying they were Phoenician built cities is incorrectly phrased. Either the dating is off or the Phoenicians conquered/occupied already existing cities.

If it were up to me I'd go with around 3,000 BC for the start of the Phoenician culture since that's when Byblos existed as a city and we know they were already trading by seagoing ships with Egypt; otherwise we should say something about who it was they replaced. Nitpyck (talk) 05:48, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Disagree - Archeological evidence does not support this. Even according to the Wiki pages, no scholarly resource, it states that Phoenician culture/writing cannot be traced back farther than 1200-1500 BC. For all we know, Byblos was simply an independent vassal city-state to Egypt prior to this time. Ckruschke (talk) 18:23, 24 April 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke

¨Location of Phoenicia¨... Really?[edit]

I don't wish to make a big fuss over this, particularly as I look over how easily riled this article has made some previous editors, but... I'm sorry, perhaps I'm losing my ability to read, but the picture at the top of the article purportedly showing the location of Phoenicia... does not actually even have Phoenicia labelled anywhere, let alone be focused thereupon. Can someone please link a more appropriate geographical picture? I'd love to know where this area's borders actually were. Thanks! Imperator Nox (talk) 04:03, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


I have already brought this up on the user's talk page who edited the article on Lebanon, [9], but the dates added here are not consistent with most sources. Also, please read above discussion, [10]. This article seems to be all over the place and is ignoring a lot of material. It needs a lot of work. ProfessionalScholar (talk) 21:28, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Bible verse[edit]

Please see this discussion here since it is a content dispute: [11]. Thanks. ProfessionalScholar (talk) 22:22, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Does it still exist?[edit]

Does Phoenicia still exist today? -- (talk) 01:36, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

No. Dougweller (talk) 06:40, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
But the people still live...that's what counts. I see Phoenician people everyday, the Neanderthal didn't win. :) -- (talk) 21:01, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

The Hellenic Phoenicians[edit]

There is simply no mention here of how closely related the Phoenicians were to other Hellenic peoples who we now call the (H)Ellenes or Greeks. The 'Upper' Canaanites were different people from the other people in Canaan (hence the distinction) and were at war with Judea, repeatedly. It is very likely (because it is historically known) that the Lebanese (and others) are descents of those Phoenicians who did not leave the area squeezed in between Assyria, Anatolia and Tyre, Tyre which was partly abandoned and recolonized (maintained) by the Greeks who traded there and had other settlements with the Phoenicians along the coasts, an example is 'ape island' near Corsica.

It seems very political, the whole movement to claim the Phoenicians were Semitic. The men did not reportedly practice circumcision. The history of the Phoenicians, as written in the Hebrew bible states that they were an enemy at war with more than one Semitic group. The Phoenicians were also very far from Babylon and have no connection to it.

Not everyone native to the Mid-east or historically from there is Semitic, and it has nothing to do with recent developments or agendas. The origins of European history are built on the development the Greek civilization and it's roots in and connections to the cultures that preceded: the Phoenicians, Mesopotamian and Egyptian most notably. Most of the western world shares this in common. Many people around the world with the same ancestors? Who would have thought?

The ancient Greek peoples used the written Phoenician language notation and it wasn't a secret, but there was no conflict or war between the two factions, a la Trojan War. Gee, you think they weren't related? Even though the evidence already exists. Phoenician leaders married into Greek families and it's in the written record. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:26, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Talk Pages are not a forum for expressing personal views or discussing the topic - your opinions have no zero/nada/zip value. The TP's are for the discussion of Reliable Sources (citations) for the improvement of the article. HammerFilmFan (talk) 17:38, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Legacy section[edit]

Not only are such long quotes inappropriate, these 2 19th century quotes don't represent modern view on the legacy, or indeed on the Phoenicians, and the hyperbole in an encyclopedic article is for me embarrassing. Sure, a legacy section is great, but maybe it should, for instance, mention their alphabet? Warwick Ball's Out of Arabia: Phoenicians, Arabs, and the Discovery of Europe looks like a good source, of course there is Markoe, Richard Miles (historian)'s book Ancient Worlds: The Search for the Origins of Western Civilization, The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine, etc. Dougweller (talk) 11:32, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

I would strongly support Doug Weller's opinions here. These lauditory claims mask the true legacy of the Phoenicians, and fail to mention their real contributions.
  1. The spread of the alphabet throughout the Mediterranean extended literacy beyond a narrow caste of hierarchical priests.
  2. They re-opened the trade routes in the Eastern Mediterranean that connected the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations after the long hiatus of the Bronze Age collapse recovered, beginning the "Orientalising" trend later seen in Greek art.
  3. They invented a more democratic and flatter oligarchic social structure than any people prior to the Athenian revolution, and in this were an inspiration to Greek constitutional government.
  4. They pioneered the development of multi-tiered oared shipping throughout the Mediterranean region, being the first people exploring beyond the Straits of Gibraltar.
  5. They were the first Eastern Mediterranean people to colonise the Western Mediterranean in any significant way (Shardana may have preceeded them in Sardinia), opening up urban development and trade in this region.
  6. Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans freely admitted what they owed to the Phoenicians, and Phoenician influence can be traced in the Iberian and Celtic worlds from the 8th century onwards.
  7. The first generation of Greek Philosophers (Thales, Anaxoras, Pythagoras) all had Phoenician ancestry.
Any legacy section should stress these facts. Thanks Doug for drawing my attention to the weaknesses. Regards, John D. Croft (talk) 16:12, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Paleo-Hebrew alphabet[edit]

Much talk is made in the article about how the Greek alphabet is so similar to the Phoenecian, with small changes such as the addition of vowels. However, that the Phoenecian alphabet was almost (if not completely) identical with the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (which was also the original alphabet of the Jewish scriptures and Hebrew Bible), is not mentioned at all. I'm sure this was left out inadvertently due to the zealousness of the article to demonstrate that the natural course of events went from a Phoenecian alphabet to a Greek one and ultimately to a literate Europe. However, the article should nonetheless mention how significant this alphabet was to the flourishing of ancient Hebrew culture and religion.Jimhoward72 (talk) 18:49, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Today part of?[edit]

In the info box at the side, it says today part of...and lists several countries including Italy, Spain, Morocco, Algeria and more. The Map there shows Phoenicia coloured orange then shows the trade routes and cities it traded with, at least I think that's what it's showing. To me saying "today part of" even in an info box looks like it's telling me that parts of those countries listed like Spain etc where part of Phoenicia's territory, not just traded with. Were those cities on the map trade destination cities or actually controlled by Phoenicia. (Or is there another reason like tiny islands in the Med that belonged to Phoenicia but now Spanish, Moroccan dependencies, but I doubt it). If I'm right should that list be shortened or the header of it at least be altered to read something different like traded with areas or something along those lines? Do I make sense.  Carlwev  07:05, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^