Why did the phoenicians not develop into an agricultural society

What did the Phoenicians contribute to Western civilization?

The Phoenicians are also credited with innovations in shipbuilding, navigation, industry, agriculture, and government. Their international trade network is believed to have fostered the economic, political, and cultural foundations of Classical Western civilization.

What happened to the Phoenicians?

Following Alexander, the Phoenician homeland was controlled by a succession of Macedonian rulers: Laomedon (323 BC), Ptolemy I (320), Antigonus II (315), Demetrius (301), and Seleucus (296). The rise of Macedon gradually ousted the remnants of Phoenicia’s former dominance over the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes.

What did the Phoenicians do for mass production?

The Phoenicians were early pioneers in mass production, and sold a variety of items in bulk. They became the leading source of glassware in antiquity, shipping thousands of flasks, beads, and other glass objects across the Mediterranean.

Why did the Phoenician city states not expand overseas?

Phoenician city states generally lacked the numbers or even the desire to expand their territory overseas. Few colonies had more than 1,000 inhabitants; only Carthage and some nearby settlements in the western Mediterranean would grow larger.



Being a society of independent city-states, the Phoenicians apparently did not have a term to denote the land of Phoenicia as a whole; instead, demonyms were often derived from the name of the city an individual hailed from (e.g. Sidonian for Sidon, Tyrian for Tyre, etc.) If the Phoenicians did possess an etymon to denote the land overall, some scholars believe that they would have used “Canaan” and therefore referred to themselves as “Canaanites”.


Since little has survived of Phoenician records or literature, most of what is known about their origins and history comes from the accounts of other civilizations and inferences from their material culture excavated throughout the Mediterranean. The scholarly consensus is that the Phoenicians’ period of greatest prominence was 1200 BC to the end of the Persian period (332 BC).


The people now known as Phoenicians, similar to the neighboring Israelites, Moabites and Edomites, were a Canaanite people. Canaanites are a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples that emerged in the Levant in at least the third millennium BC. Phoenicians did not refer themselves as such but rather are thought to have referred to themselves as “Kenaʿani”, meaning Canaanites.
One 2018 study of mitochondrial lineages in Sardinia concluded that the Phoenicians were “inclu…


The Phoenicians served as intermediaries between the disparate civilizations that spanned the Mediterranean and Near East, facilitating the exchange of goods and knowledge, culture, and religious traditions. Their expansive and enduring trade network is credited with laying the foundations of an economically and culturally cohesive Mediterranean, which would be continue…

Important cities and colonies

The Phoenicians were not a nation in the political sense. However, they were organized into independent city-states that shared a common language and culture. The leading city-states were Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos. Rivalries were expected, but armed conflict was rare.
Numerous other cities existed in the Levant alone, many probably unknown, in…

Society and culture

Since very little of the Phoenicians’ writings have survived, much of what is known about their culture and society comes from accounts by contemporary civilizations or inferences from archaeological discoveries. The Phoenicians had much in common with other Canaanites, including language, religion, social customs, and a monarchical political system centered around city-states. How…


The religious practices and beliefs of Phoenicia were generally common to those of their neighbors in Canaan, which in turn shared characteristics common throughout the ancient Semitic world. Religious rites were primarily for city-state purposes; payment of taxes by citizens was considered in the category of religious sacrifices. Unfortunately, the Phoenician sacred writings known to th…

Leave a Comment