city-states were all linked by their common ancestors, language, and writing.
Their mutual interests were their trade arrangements, their customs, and their
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.
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, a
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
their art. These fine merchants brought their dye, fabric, ceramics, glass, metals,
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
Aegean Islands. Phoenician sailors journeyed east to the Black Sea and west to
places such as Corinth, Thebes, Sardinia, Palermo, Marseille, Corsica, and
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 from