The Phoenicians

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Phoenicians. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote about a people from the Levant who were accomplished sailors and traders, and who taught the Greeks their alphabet. He called them the Phoenicians, the Greek word for purple, although it is not known what they called themselves. By about 700 BC they were trading all over the Mediterranean, taking Egyptian and Syrian goods as far as Spain and North Africa. Although they were hugely influential in the ancient world, they left few records of their own; some contemporary scholars believe that the Phoenicians were never a unified civilisation but a loose association of neighbouring city-states.

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  • Mark Woolmer 2 episodes
    Assistant Principal at Collingwood College, Durham University
  • Josephine Quinn No other episodes
    Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Oxford
  • Cyprian Broodbank No other episodes
    Professor of Mediterranean Archaeology at University College London

Reading list

  • The Phoenicians and the West: Politics, Colonies and Trade
    Maria Eugenia Aubet (trans. Mary Turton) (Cambridge University Press, 2001) Google Books →
  • The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World
    Cyprian Broodbank (Thames and Hudson, 2013) Google Books →
  • Itineraria Phoenicia
    Edward Lipinski (Peeters Publishers, 2004)
  • The Phoenicians
    Glenn Markoe (British Museum Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Phoenicians
    Sabatino Moscati (I.B. Taurus, 2001) Google Books →
  • Ancient Phoenicia: An Introduction
    Mark Woolmer (Duckworth, 2011) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 939.4 (Ancient Phoenicia)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In his masterpiece, The Histories, the Greek writer Herodotus describes how the alphabet first came to Europe.