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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 month ago

were "the Phonecians" actually Hebrew people who became later "Jews"?

these people were the earliest known "big business people" of the mediterranean? and they even expanded out of the Mediterranean too? to Northern Gaul and even Britain , elsehwere?

were they very influential by the time of Ancient Greece? and did Ancient Greece have contact with them much? how much influence they might have had as well as the Jews by the time of Alex the Great? can explain?

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago
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    Phoenicians and Hebrews were closely related groups from late Bronze Age Canaan. During the transition to the Iron Age the Phoenician people developed into a seafaring society along the north coast. They carried on with trade enterprises along the commercial routes that their Bronze Age predecessors like Ugarit and Byblos had established.The Hebrews on the other hand were a semi-nomadic people living on the periphery of the collapsing Bronze Age cities of Canaan. They took the unrest as an opportunity to occupy these cities and form their own Israelite kingdom. It appears from the archaeological record that the Hebrews and Phoenicians continued to share their cultural closeness by using similar writing systems and worshiping many of the same deities. However, by about the 8th-7th Century BC the Hebrews had developed their own distinct monotheistic religion and script. 

    The Phoenicians were quite influential to the Greeks of the Archaic period. During the time following the prominence of the Mycenaean Greeks, but before the Classical Hellenic period, the Greek societies went into a Dark Age. This was about the same time that the Phoenicians were forming their trade relations throughout the Mediterranean, including with the Greeks. The Greeks adopted the Phoenicians writing script and followed in their wake in maritime enterprising. The Greeks likely even held their own colonial concession at Al Mina on the Syrian coast. 

    As the Greek Dark Age lightened into the Classical period the Phoenicians became a rival of the Greeks, each colonizing all over the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians famously at Carthage. By the time of Alexander the Great the conquest of Phoenicia was an important step in his eastward campaigns because it was the Persian Empire's main naval base. The Phoenician capital of Tyre took Alex nearly eight months to capture. 

    As for the Hebrew/Jewish society during the first millennium of the Iron Age, they tended to not have much external influence beyond the Levant. During the reign of Solomon they did briefly capture territory down to the Gulf of Aqabah at Ezion-geber where they could engage in trade in the Red and possibly Indian Seas. It was really the foreign powers like the Mesopotamian, Persians, Greeks and Romans who encroached on their insular society. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The Jews are descended from Abraham, born in the city of Ur in Mesopotamia; now Iraq. This is quite a distance from the Mediterranean. But Abraham did move closer there to Canaan near the coast later on. The Canaanite Israelites moved further inland later on.

    The Phoenicians were sea going people who sailed around. They didn't like being away from the sea. They were also Canaanites but from further north in Lebanon.

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