city-states were all linked
by their common ancestors, language, and writing.
interests were their trade arrangements, their customs, and
rituals and beliefs. Nevertheless, even though they were only
a one or two day
march from each other, they never were able to
unite as a single power when
they were attacked.
TYRE, THE PURPLE DYE CENTER
Tyre was the major region for the
purple dye industry, which
probably began as early as the 18th century B.C.
The dye was
carefully extracted, a few drops at a time from the murex,
shell-fish found in the waters off of Tyre and sidon. The process
used to extract
the fluid was so difficult and so expensive that
only the rich could afford to buy
the dyed fabric. It is because of
this Phoenician fabric that we still use the
expression "born in
the purple" to mean one who is born rich.
ON THE SEA The Mediterranean
Sea allowed the Phoenicians to wander, to
explore, and to discover.
It was their link to a world that awaited their skill and
art. These fine merchants brought their dye, fabric, ceramics, glass,
wine, crops, and oil from port to port. They became the
world's finest maritime
nation. The Phoenicians were not only
adventurous merchants but expert
sailors and navigators as well.
They colonized parts of Cyprus, Rhodes, and the
Phoenician sailors journeyed east to the Black Sea and west
places such as Corinth, Thebes, Sardinia, Palermo, Marseille,
Malta. They were known to have gone as far as
Gibraltar and Cadiz in Spain.
By about 1000 B.C., they had finally
reached the Atlantic Ocean. The Greeks
were influenced in their
navigation by the Phoenicians, who taught them to sail
by the North
star. The Greeks have designs on their ships similar to those