Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

History of Phoenicia

Part 2 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

the north-west, in Lat. 34 27 nearly, for the distance of a mile,
and is about half a mile wide. The site is "well adapted for a haven,
as a chain of seven small islands, running out to the north-west,
affords shelter in the direction from which the most violent winds
blow."[68] The remotest of these islands is ten miles distant from the
shore.[69] We are told that the colonists who founded Tripolis did not
intermix, but had their separate quarters of the town assigned to
them, each surrounded by its own wall, and lying at some little
distance one from the other.[70] There are no present traces of this
arrangement, which seems indicative of distrust; but some remains have
been found of a wall which was carried across the isthmus on the land
side.[71] Tripolis is now Tarabolus.

Aphaca, the only inland Phnician town of any importance, is now Afka,
and is visited by most travellers and tourists. It was situated in a
beautiful spot at the head of the Adonis river,[72] a sacred stream
fabled to run with blood once a year, at the festival which
commemorated the self-mutilation of the Nature-god Adonis. Aphaca was
a sort of Delphi, a collection of temples rather than a town. It was
dedicated especially to the worship of the Syrian goddess, Ashtoreth
or Venus, sometimes called Beltis or Baaltis, whose orgies were of so
disgracefully licentious a character that they were at last absolutely
forbidden by Constantine. At present there are no remains on the
ancient site except one or two ruins of edifices decidedly Roman in
character.[73] Nor is the gorge of the Adonis any richer in ancient
buildings. There was a time when the whole valley formed a sort of
"Holy Land,"[74] and at intervals on its course were shown "Tombs of
Adonis,"[75] analogous to the artificial "Holy Sepulchres" of many
European towns in the middle ages. All, however, have disappeared, and
the traveller looks in vain for any traces of that curious cult which
in ancient times made Aphaca and its river one of the most noted of
the holy spots of Syria and a favourite resort of pilgrims.

Twenty-three miles south of Byblus was Berytus, which disputed with
Byblus the palm of antiquity.[76] Berytus was situated on a promontory
in Lat. 33 54, and had a port of a fair size, protected towards the
west by a pier, which followed the line of a ridge of rocks running
out from the promontory towards the north. It was not of any
importance during the flourishing Phnician period, but grew to
greatness under the Romans,[77] when its harbour was much improved,
and the town greatly extended.[78] By the time of Justinian it had
become the chief city of Phnicia, and was celebrated as a school of
law and science.[79] The natural advantages of its situation have
caused it to retain a certain importance, and in modern times it has
drawn to itself almost the whole of the commerce which Europe
maintains with Syria.

Arka, or Arqa, the home of the Arkites of Genesis,[80] can never have
been a place of much consequence. It lies at a distance of four miles
from the shore, on one of the outlying hills which form the skirts of
Lebanon, in Lat. 34 33, Long. 33 44 nearly. The towns nearest to it
were Orthosia, Simyra, and Tripolis. It was of sufficient consequence
to be mentioned in the Assyrian Inscriptions,[81] though not to
attract the notice of Strabo.

Ecdippa, south of Tyre, in Lat. 33 1, is no doubt the scriptural
Achzib,[82] which was made the northern boundary of Asher at the
division of the Holy Land among the twelve tribes. The Assyrian
monarchs speak of it under the same name, but mention it rarely, and
apparently as a dependency of Sidon.[83] The old name, in the
shortened form of "Zeb," still clings to the place.

Still further to the south, five miles from Ecdippa, and about twenty-
two miles from Tyre, lay Akko or Accho, at the northern extremity of a
wide bay, which terminates towards the south in the promontory of
Carmel. Next to the Bay of St. George, near Beyrout, this is the best
natural roadstead on the Syrian coast; and this advantage, combined
with its vicinity to the plain of Esdraelon, has given to Accho at
various periods of history a high importance, as in some sense "the
key of Syria." The Assyrians, in their wars with Palestine and Egypt,
took care to conquer and retain it.[84] When the Ptolemies became
masters of the tract between Egypt and Mount Taurus, they at once saw
its value, occupied it, strengthened its defences, and gave it the
name of Ptolemas. The old appellation has, however, reasserted
itself; and, as Acre, the city played an important part in the
Crusades, in the Napoleonic attempt on Egypt, and in the comparatively
recent expedition of Ibrahim Pasha. It had a small port of its own to
the south-east of the promontory on which it stood, which, like the
other ports of the ancient Phnicia, is at the present time almost
wholly sanded up.[85] But its roadstead was of more importance than
its port, and was used by the Persians as a station for their fleet,
from which they could keep watch on Egypt.[86]

South of Accho and south of Carmel, close upon the shore, which is
here low and flat, was Dor, now Tantura, the seat of a kingdom in the
time of Joshua,[87] and allotted after its conquest to Manasseh.[88]
Here Solomon placed one of his purveyors,[89] and here the great
Assyrian monarch Tiglath-pileser II. likewise placed a "governor,"
about B.C. 732, when he reduced it.[90] Dor was one of the places
where the shell-fish which produced the purple dye were most abundant,
and remained in the hands of the Phnicians during all the political
changes which swept over Syria and Palestine to a late period.[91] It
had fallen to ruin, however, by the time of Jerome,[92] and the
present remains are unimportant.

The extreme Phnician city on the south was Japho or Joppa. It lay in
Lat. 32 2, close to the territory of Dan,[93] but continued to be
held by the Phnicians until the time of the Maccabees,[94] when it
became Jewish. The town was situated on the slope of a low hill near
the sea, and possessed anciently a tolerable harbour, from which a
trade was carried on with Tartessus.[95] As the seaport nearest to
Jerusalem, it was naturally the chief medium of the commerce which was
carried on between the Phnicians and the Jews. Thither, in the time
of Solomon, were brought the floats of timber cut in Lebanon for the
construction of the Temple and the royal palace; and thither, no
doubt, were conveyed "the wheat, and the barley, and the oil, and the
wine," which the Phnicians received in return for their firs and
cedars.[96] A similar exchange of commodities was made nearly five
centuries later at the same place, when the Jews returned from the
captivity under Zerubbabel.[97] In Roman times the foundation of
Csara reduced Joppa to insignificance; yet it still, as Jaffa or
Yfa, retains a certain amount of trade, and is famous for its palm-
groves and gardens.

Joppa towards the south was balanced by Ramantha, or Laodicea, towards
the north. Fifty miles north of Aradus and Antaradus (Tortosa), in
Lat. 35 30 nearly, occupying the slope of a hill facing the sea,
with chalky cliffs on either side, that, like those of Dover, whiten
the sea, and with Mount Casius in the background, lay the most
northern of all the Phnician cities in a fertile and beautiful
territory.[98] The original appellation was, we are told,
Ramantha,[99] a name intended probably to mark the /lofty/ situation
of the place;[100] but this appellation was forced to give way to the
Greek term, Laodicea, when Seleucus Nicator, having become king of
Syria, partially rebuilt Ramantha and colonised it with Greeks.[101]
The coins of the city under the Seleucid show its semi-Greek, semi-
Phnician character, having legends in both languages. One of these,
in the Phnician character, is read as /l'Ladika am b'Canaan/, i.e.
"of Laodicea, a metropolis in Canaan," and seems to show that the city
claimed not only to be independent, but to have founded, and to hold
under its sway, a number of smaller towns.[102] It may have exercised
a dominion over the entire tract from Mount Casius to Paltos, where
the dominion of Aradus began. Laodicea is now Latakia, and is famous
for the tobacco grown in the neighbourhood. It still makes use of its
ancient port, which would be fairly commodious if it were cleared of
the sand that at present chokes it.[103]

It has been said that Phnicia was composed of "three worlds" with
distinct characteristics;[104] but perhaps the number of the "worlds"
should be extended to five. First came that of Ramantha, reaching from
the Mons Casius to the river Badas, a distance of about fifty miles, a
remote and utterly sequestered region, into which neither Assyria nor
Egypt ever thought of penetrating. Commerce with Cyprus and southern
Asia Minor was especially open to the mariners of this region, who
could see the shores of Cyprus without difficulty on a clear day. Next
came the "world" of Aradus, reaching along the coast from the Badas to
the Eleutherus, another stretch of fifty miles, and including the
littoral islands, especially that of Ruad, on which Aradus was built.
This tract was less sequestered than the more northern one, and
contains traces of having been subjected to influences from Egypt at
an early period. The gap between Lebanon and Bargylus made the Aradian
territory accessible from the Clesyrian valley; and there is reason
to believe that one of the roads which Egyptian and Assyrian conquest
followed in these parts was that which passed along the coast as far
as the Eleutherus and then turned eastward and north-eastward to Emesa
(Hems) and Hamath. It must have been conquerors marching by this line
who set up their effigies at the mouth of the Nahr-el-Kelb, and those
who pursued it would naturally make a point of reducing Aradus. Thus
this second Phnician "world" has not the isolated character of the
first, but shows marks of Assyrian, and still more of early Egyptian,
influence. The third Phnician "world" is that of Gebal or Byblus. Its
limits would seem to be the Eleutherus on the north, and on the south
the Tamyras, which would allow it a length of a little above eighty
miles. This district, it has been said, preserved to the last days of
paganism a character which was original and well marked. Within its
limits the religious sentiment had more intensity and played a more
important part in life than elsewhere in Phnicia. Byblus was a sort
of Phnician Jerusalem. By their turn of mind and by the language
which they spoke, the Byblians or Giblites seem to have been, of all
the Phnicians, those who most resembled the Hebrews. King Jehavmelek,
who probably reigned at Byblus about B.C. 400, calls himself "a just
king," and prays that he may obtain favour in the sight of God. Later
on it was at Byblus, and in the valleys of the Lebanon depending on
it, that the inhabitants celebrated those mysteries of Astarte,
together with that orgiastic worship of Adonis or Tammuz, which were
so popular in Syria during the whole of the Greco-Roman period.[105]
The fourth Phnician "world" was that of Tyre and Sidon, beginning at
the Tamyras and ending with the promontory of Carmel. Here it was that
the Phnician character developed especially those traits by which it
is commonly known to the world at large--a genius for commerce and
industry, a passion for the undertaking of long and perilous voyages,
an adaptability to circumstances of all kinds, and an address in
dealing with wild tribes of many different kinds which has rarely been
equalled and never exceeded. "All that we are about to say of
Phnicia," declares the author recently quoted, "of its rapid
expansion and the influence which it exercised over the nations of the
West, must be understood especially of Tyre and Sidon. The other towns
might furnish sailors to man the Tyrian fleet or merchandise for their
cargo, but it was Sidon first and then (with even more determination
and endurance) Tyre which took the initiative and the conduct of the
movement; it was the mariners of these two towns who, with eyes fixed
on the setting sun, pushed their explorations as far as the Pillars of
Hercules, and eventually even further."[106] The last and least
important of the Phnician "worlds" was the southern one, extending
sixty miles from Carmel to Joppa--a tract from which the Phnician
character was well nigh trampled out by the feet of strangers ever
passing up and down the smooth and featureless region, along which lay
the recognised line of route between Syria and Mesopotamia on the one
hand, Philistia and Egypt on the other.[107]



Circumstances which led the Phnicians to colonise--Their colonies
best grouped geographically--1. Colonies of the Eastern
Mediterranean--in Cyprus, Citium, Amathus, Curium, Paphos,
Salamis, Ammochosta, Tamisus, and Soli;--in Cilicia, Tarsus;--in
Lycia, Phaselis;--in Rhodes, Lindus, Ialysus, Camirus;--in Crete,
and the Cyclades;--in the Northern Egean; &c. 2. In the Central
and Western Mediterranean--in Africa, Utica, Hippo-Zaritis, Hippo
Regius, Carthage, Hadrumetum, Leptis Minor, Leptis Major, and
Thapsus;--in Sicily, Motya, Eryx, Panormus, Solocis;--between
Sicily and Africa, Cossura, Gaulos, and Melita;--in Sardinia,
Caralis, Nora, Sulcis, and Tharros;--in the Balearic Isles;--in
Spain, Malaca, Sex, Abdera. 3. Outside the Straits of Gibraltar;--
in Africa, Tingis, and Lixus; in Spain, Tartessus, Gades, and

The narrowness of the territory which the Phnicians occupied the
military strength of their neighbours towards the north and towards
the south, and their own preference of maritime over agricultural
pursuits, combined to force them, as they began to increase and
multiply, to find a vent for their superfluous population in colonies.
The military strength of Philistia and Egypt barred them out from
expansion upon the south; the wild savagery of the mountain races in
Casius, northern Bargylus, and Amanus was an effectual barrier towards
the north; but before them lay the open Mediterranean, placid during
the greater portion of the year, and conducting to a hundred lands,
thinly peopled, or even unoccupied, where there was ample room for any
number of immigrants. The trade of the Phnicians with the countries
bordering the Eastern Mediterranean must be regarded as established
long previously to the time when they began to feel cramped for space;
and thus, when that time arrived, they had no difficulty in finding
fresh localities to occupy, except such as might arise from a too
abundant amplitude of choice. Right in front of them lay, at the
distance of not more than seventy miles, visible from Casius in clear
weather,[1] the large and important island, once known as Chittim,[2]
and afterwards as Cyprus, which played so important a part in the
history of the East from the time of Sargon and Sennacherib to that of
Bragadino and Mustapha Pasha. To the right, well visible from Cyprus,
was the fertile tract of Cilicia Campestris, which led on to the rich
and picturesque regions of Pamphylia, Lycia, and Caria. From Caria
stretched out, like a string of stepping-stones between Asia and
Europe, the hundred islets of the gean, Cyclades, and Sporades, and
others, inviting settlers, and conducting to the large islands of
Crete and Euba, and the shores of Attica and the Peloponnese. It is
impossible to trace with any exactness the order in which the
Phnician colonies were founded. A thousand incidental circumstances--
a thousand caprices--may have deranged what may be called the natural
or geographical order, and have caused the historical order to diverge
from it; but, on the whole, probably something like the geographical
order was observed; and, at any rate, it will be most convenient, in
default of sufficient data for an historical arrangement, to adopt in
the present place a geographic one, and, beginning with those nearest
to Phnicia itself in the Eastern Mediterranean, to proceed westward
to the Straits of Gibraltar, reserving for the last those outside the
Straits on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

The nearest, and probably the first, region to attract Phnician
colonies was the island of Cyprus. Cyprus lies in the corner of the
Eastern Mediterranean formed by the projection of Asia Minor from the
Syrian shore. Its mountain chains run parallel with Taurus, and it is
to Asia Minor that it presents its longer flank, while to Phnicia it
presents merely one of its extremities. Its length from east to west
is 145 miles, its greatest width about sixty miles.[3] Two strongly
marked mountain ranges form its most salient features, the one running
close along the north coast from Cape Kormaciti to Cape S. Andreas;
the other nearly central, but nearer the south, beginning at Cape
Renaouti in the west and terminating at Cape Greco. The mountain
ranges are connected by a tract of high ground towards the centre, and
separated by two broad plains,[4] towards the east and west. The
eastern plain is the more important of the two. It extends along the
course of the Pedius from Leucosia, or Nicosia, the present capital,
to Salamis, a distance of thirty-five miles, and is from five to
twelve miles wide. The fertility of the soil was reckoned in ancient
times to equal that of Egypt.[5] The western plain, that of Morfou, is
much smaller, and is watered by a less important river. The whole
island, when it first became known to the Phnicians, was well
wooded.[6] Lovely glens opened upon them, as they sailed along its
southern coast, watered by clear streams from the southern
mountain-range, and shaded by thick woods of pine and cedar, the
latter of which are said to have in some cases attained a greater size
even than those of the Lebanon.[7] The range was also prolific of
valuable metals.[8] Gold and silver were found in places, but only in
small quantities; iron was yielded in considerable abundance; but the
chief supply was that of copper, which derived its name from that of
the island.[9] Other products of the island were wheat of excellent
quality; the rich Cyprian wine which retains its strength and flavour
for well nigh a century, the /henna/ dye obtained from the plant
called /copher/ or /cyprus/, the /Lawsonia alba/ of modern botany;
valuable pigments of various kinds, red, yellow, green, and amber;
hemp and flax; tar, boxwood,[10] and all the materials requisite for
shipbuilding from the heavy timbers needed for the keel to the
lightest spar and the flimsiest sail.[11]

The earliest of the Phnician settlements in Cyprus seem to have lain
upon its southern coast. Here were Citium, Amathus, Curium, and
Paphus, the Pal-paphus of the geographers, which have all yielded
abundant traces of a Phnician occupation at a very distant period.
Citium, now Larnaka, was on the western side of a deep bay, which
indents the more eastern portion of the southern coast, between the
promontories of Citi and Pyla. It is sheltered from all winds except
the south-east, and continues to the present day the chief port of the
island. The Phnician settlers improved on the natural position by the
formation of an artificial basin, enclosed within piers, the lines of
which may be traced, though the basin itself is sanded up.[12] A plain
extends for some distance inland, on which the palm-tree flourishes,
and which is capable of producing excellent crops of wheat.[13] Access
to the interior is easy; for the mountain range sinks as it proceeds
eastward, and between Citium and Dali (Idalium), on a tributary of the
Pedius, is of small elevation. There are indications that the
Phnicians did not confine themselves to the coast, but penetrated
into the interior, and even settled there in large numbers. Idalium,
sixteen miles north-west of Citium, and Golgi (Athinau), ten miles
nearly due north of the same, show traces of having supported for a
considerable time a large Phnician population,[14] and must be
regarded as outposts advanced from Citium into the mountains for
trading, and perhaps for mining purposes. Idalium (Dali) has a most
extensive Phnician necropolis; the interments have a most archaic
character; and their Phnician origin is indicated both by their close
resemblance to interments in Phnicia proper and by the discovery, in
connection with them, of Phnician inscriptions.[15] At Golgi the
remains scarcely claim so remote an antiquity. They belong to the time
when Phnician art was dominated by a strong Egyptian influence, and
when it also begins to have a partially Hellenic character. Some
critics assign them to the sixth, or even to the fifth century,

West of Citium, also upon the south coast, and in a favourable
situation for trade with the interior, was Amathus. The name Amathus
has been connected with "Hamath;"[17] but there is no reason to
suppose that the Hamathites were Phnicians. Amathus, which Stephen of
Byzantium calls "a most ancient Cyprian city,"[18] was probably among
the earliest of the Phnician settlements in the island. It lay in the
bay formed by the projection of Cape Gatto from the coast, and, like
Citium, looked to the south-east. Westward and south-westward
stretched an extensive plain, fertile and well-watered, shaded by
carob and olive-trees,[19] whilst towards the north were the rich
copper mines from which the Amathusians derived much of their
prosperity. The site has yielded a considerable amount of Phnician
remains--tombs, sarcophagi, vases, bowls, pater and statuettes.[20]
Many of the tombs resemble those at Idalium; others are stone chambers
deeply buried in the earth. The mimetic art shows Assyrian and
Egyptian influence, but is essentially Phnician, and of great
interest. Further reference will be made to it in the Chapter on the
sthetic Art of the Phnicians.

Still further to the west, in the centre of the bay enclosed between
the promontories of Zeugari and Boosoura, was the colony of Curium, on
a branch of the river Kuras. Curium lay wholly open to the south-
western-gales, but had a long stretch of sandy shore towards the
south-east, on which vessels could be drawn up. The town was situated
on a rocky elevation, 300 feet in height, and was further defended by
a strong wall, a large portion of which may still be traced.[21] The
richest discovery of Phnician ornaments and objects of art that has
yet been made took place at Curium, where, in the year 1874, General
Di Cesnola happened upon a set of "Treasure Chambers" containing
several hundreds of rings, gems, necklaces, bracelets, armlets, ear-
rings, bowls, basins, jugs, pater, &c., in the precious metals, which
have formed the principal material for all recent disquisitions on the
true character and excellency of Phnician art. Commencing with works
of which the probable date is the fifteenth or sixteenth century B.C.,
and descending at least as far as the best Greek period[22] (B.C. 500-
400), embracing, moreover, works which are purely Assyrian, purely
Egyptian, and purely Greek, this collection has yet so predominant a
Phnician character as to mark Curium, notwithstanding the contrary
assertions of the Greeks themselves,[23] for a thoroughly Phnician
town. And the history of the place confirms this view, since Curium
sided with Amathus and the Persians in the war of Onesilus.[24] No
doubt, like most of the other Phnician cities in Cyprus, it was
Hellenised gradually; but there must have been many centuries during
which it was an emporium of Phnician trade and a centre of Phnician

Where the southern coast of Cyprus begins to trend to the north-west,
and a river of some size, the Bocarus or Diorizus, reaches the sea,
stood the Phnician settlement of Paphos, founded (as was said[25]) by
Cinyras, king of Byblus. Here was one of the most celebrated of all
the temples of Astart or Ashtoreth,[26] the Phnician Nature-Goddess;
and here ruled for many centuries the sacerdotal class of the
Cinyrid. The remains of the temple have been identified, and will be
described in a future chapter. They have the massive character of all
early Phnician architecture.

Among other Phnician settlements in Cyprus were, it is probable,
Salamis, Ammochosta (now Famagosta), Tamasus, and Soli. Salamis must
be regarded as originally Phnician on account of the name, which
cannot be viewed as anything but another form of the Hebrew "Salem,"
the alternative name of Jerusalem.[27] Salamis lay on the eastern
coast of the island at the mouth of the main river, the Pedius. It
occupied the centre of a large bay which looked towards Phnicia, and
would naturally be the place where the Phnicians would first land.
There is no natural harbour beyond that afforded by the mouth of the
Pedius, but a harbour was easily made by throwing out piers into the
bay; and of this, which is now sanded up, the outline may be
traced.[28] There are, however, no remains, either at Salamis or in
the immediate neighbourhood, which can claim to be regarded as
Phnician; and the glories of the city belong to the history of

Ammochosta was situated within a few miles of Salamis, towards the
south.[29] Its first appearance in history belongs to the reign of
Esarhaddon (B.C. 680), when we find it in a list of ten Cyprian
cities, each having its own king, who acknowledged for their suzerain
the great monarch of Assyria.[30] Soon afterwards it again occurs
among the cities tributary to Asshur-bani-pal.[31] Otherwise we have
no mention of it in Phnician times. As Famagosta it was famous in the
wars between the Venetians and the Turks.

Tamasus, or Tamassus, was an inland city, and the chief seat of the
mining operations which the Phnicians carried on in the island in
search of copper.[32] It lay a few miles to the west of Idalium
(Dali), on the northern flank of the southern mountain chain. The
river Pedius flowed at its feet. Like Ammochosta, it appears among
the Cyprian towns which in the seventh century B.C. were tributary to
the Assyrians.[33] The site is still insufficiently explored.

Soli lay upon the coast, in the recess of the gulf of Morfou.[34] The
fiction of its foundation by Philocyprus at the suggestion of
Solon[35] is entirely disproved by the occurrence of the name in the
Assyrian lists of Cyprian towns a century before Solon's time. Its
sympathies were with the Phnician, and not with the Hellenic,
population of the island, as was markedly shown when it joined with
Amathus and Citium in calling to Artaxerxes for help against
Evagoras.[36] The city stood on the left bank of the river Clarius,
and covered the northern slope of a low hill detached from the main
range, extending also over the low ground at the foot of the hill to
within a short distance of the shore, where are to be seen the remains
of the ancient harbour. The soil in the neighbourhood is very rich,
and adapted for almost any kind of cultivation.[37] In the mountains
towards the south were prolific veins of copper.

The northern coast of the island between Capes Cormaciti and S.
Andreas does not seem to have attracted the Phnicians, though there
are some who regard Lapethus and Cerynia as Phnician settlements.[38]
It is a rock-bound shore of no very tempting aspect, behind which the
mountain range rises up steeply. Such Phnician emigrants as held
their way along the Salaminian plain and, rounding Cape S. Andreas,
passed into the channel that separates Cyprus from the mainland, found
the coast upon their right attract them far more than that upon their
left, and formed settlements in Cilicia which ultimately became of
considerable importance. The chief of these was Tars or Tarsus,
probably the Tarshish of Genesis,[39] though not that of the later
Books, a Phnician city, which has Phnician characters upon its
coins, and worshipped the supreme Phnician deity under the title of
"Baal Tars," "the Lord of Tarsus."[40] Tarsus commanded the rich
Cilician plain up to the very roots of Taurus, was watered by the
copious stream of the Cydnus, and had at its mouth a commodious
harbour. Excellent timber for shipbuilding grew on the slopes of the
hills bounding the plain, and the river afforded a ready means of
floating such timber down to the sea. Cleopatra's ships are said to
have been derived from the Cilician forests, which Antony made over to
her for the purpose.[41] Other Phnician settlements upon the Cilician
coast were, it is probable, Soli, Celenderis, and Nagidus.

Pursuing their way westward, in search of new abodes, the emigrants
would pass along the coast, first of Pamphylia and then of Lycia. In
Pamphylia there is no settlement that can be with confidence assigned
to them; but in Lycia it would seem that they colonised Phaselis, and
perhaps other places. The mountain which rises immediately behind
Phaselis was called "Solyma;"[42] and a very little to the south was
another mountain known as "Phnicus."[43] Somewhat further to the west
lies the cape still called Cape Phineka,[44] in which the root Phnix
({phoinix}) is again to be detected. A large district inland was named
Cabalis or Cabalia,[45] or (compare Phn. and Heb. /gebal/, mod. Arab.
/jebel/) the "mountain" country. Phaselis was situated on a promontory
projecting south-eastward into the Mediterranean,[46] and was reckoned
to have three harbours,[47] which are marked in the accompanying
chart. Of these the principal one was that on the western side of the
isthmus, which was formed by a stone pier carried out for more than
two hundred yards into the sea, and still to be traced under the
water.[48] The other two, which were of smaller size, lay towards the
east. The Phnicians were probably tempted to make a settlement at the
place, partly by the three ports, partly by the abundance of excellent
timber for shipbuilding which the neighbourhood furnishes. "Between
Phaselis and Cape Avora, a little north of it," says a modern
traveller, "a belt of large and handsome pines borders the shore for
some miles."[49]

From Lycia the Asiatic coast westward and north-westward was known as
Caria; and here Phnician settlements appear to have been numerous.
The entire country was at any rate called Phnic by some authors.[50]
But the circumstances do not admit of our pointing out any special
Phnician settlements in this quarter, which early fell under almost
exclusive Greek influence. There are ample grounds, however, for
believing that the Phnicians colonised Rhodes at the south-western
angle of Asia Minor, off the Carian coast. According to Conon,[51] the
earliest inhabitants of Rhodes were the Heliades, whom the Phnicians
expelled. The Phnicians themselves were at a later date expelled by
the Carians, and the Carians by the Greeks. Ergeias, however, the
native historian, declared[52] that the Phnicians remained, at any
rate in some parts of the island, until the Greeks drove them out.
Ialysus was, he said, one of their cities. Dictys Cretensis placed
Phnicians, not only in Ialysus, but in Camirus also.[53] It is the
conclusion of Kenrick that "the Phnician settlement in Rhodes was the
first which introduced civilisation among the primeval inhabitants,
and that they maintained their ascendancy till the rise of the naval
power of the Carians. These new settlers reduced the Phnicians to the
occupancy of three principal towns"--i.e. Lindus, Ialysus, and
Camirus; but "from these too they were expelled by the Dorians, or
only allowed to remain at Ialysus as the hereditary priesthood of
their native god."[54] Rhodes is an island about one-fourth the size
of Cyprus, with its axis from the north-east to the south-west. It
possesses excellent harbours, accessible from all quarters,[55] and
furnishing a secure shelter in all weathers. The fertility of the soil
is great; and the remarkable history of the island shows the
importance which attaches to it in the hands of an enterprising
people. Turkish apathy has, however, succeeded in reducing it to

The acquisition of Rhodes led the stream of Phnician colonisation
onwards in two directions, south-westward and north-westward. South-
westward, it passed by way of Carpathus and Casus to Crete, and then
to Cythera; north-westward, by way of Chalcia, Telos, and Astypala,
to the Cyclades and Sporades. The presence of the Phnicians in Crete
is indicated by the haven "Phnix," where St. Paul's conductors hoped
to have wintered their ship;[56] by the town of Itanus, which was
named after a Phnician founder,[57] and was a staple of the purple-
trade,[58] and by the existence near port Phnix of a town called
"Araden." Leben, on the south coast, near Cape Leo, seems also to have
derived its name from the Semitic word for "lion."[59] Crete, however,
does not appear to have been occupied by the Phnicians at more than a
few points, or for colonising so much as for trading purposes. They
used its southern ports for refitting and repairing their ships, but
did not penetrate into the interior, must less attempt to take
possession of the whole extensive territory. It was otherwise with the
smaller islands. Cythera is said to have derived its name from the
Phnician who colonised it, and the same is also reported of
Melos.[60] Ios was, we are told, originally called Phnic;[61] Anaph
had borne the name of Membliarus, after one of the companions of
Cadmus;[62] Oliarus, or Antiparos, was colonised from Sidon.[63]
Thera's earliest inhabitants were of the Phnician race;[64] either
Phnicians or Carians had, according to Thucydides,[65] colonised in
remote times "the greater part of the islands of the nean." There was
a time when probably all the gean islands were Phnician possessions,
or at any rate acknowledged Phnician influence, and Siphnus gave its
gold, its silver,[66] and its lead,[67] Cythera its shell-fish,[68]
Paros its marble, Melos its sulphur and its alum,[69] Nisyrus its
millstones,[70] and the islands generally their honey,[71] to increase
the wealth and advance the commercial interests of their Phnician

From the Sporades and Cyclades the advance was easy to the islands of
the Northern gean, Lemnos, Imbrus, Thasos, and Samothrace. The
settlement of the Phnicians in Thasos is attested by Herodotus, who
says that the Tyrian Hercules (Melkarth) was worshipped there,[72] and
ascribes to the Phnicians extensive mining operations on the eastern
shores of the island between nyra and Cnyra.[73] A Phnician
occupation of Lemnos, Imbrus, and Samothrace is indicated by the
worship in those islands of the Cabeiri,[74] who were undoubtedly
Phnician deities. Whether the Phnicians passed from these islands to
the Thracian mainland, and worked the gold-mines of Mount Pangus in
the vicinity of Philippi, may perhaps be doubtful, but such seems to
have been the belief of Strabo and Pliny.[75] Strabo also believed
that there had been a Semitic element in the population of Euba which
had been introduced by Cadmus;[76] and a Phnician settlement in
Botia was the current tradition of the Greek writers upon primitive
times, whether historians or geographers.[77]

The further progress of the Phnician settlements northward into the
Propontis and the Euxine is a point whereon different opinions may be
entertained. Pronectus, on the Bithynian, and Amastris, on the
Paphlagonian coast, have been numbered among the colonies of the
Phnicians by some;[78] while others have gone so far as to ascribe to
them the colonisation of the entire countries of Bithynia,
Mariandynia, and Paphlagonia.[79] The story of the Argonauts may
fairly be held to show[80] that Phnician enterprise early penetrated
into the stormy and inhospitable sea which washes Asia Minor upon the
north, and even reached its deepest eastern recess; but it is one
thing to sail into seas, and, landing where the natives seem friendly,
to traffic with the dwellers on them--it is quite another thing to
attempt a permanent occupation of portions of their coasts. To do so
often provokes hostility, and puts a stop to trade instead of
encouraging it. The Phnicians may have been content to draw their
native products from the barbarous tribes of Northern Asia Minor and
Western Thrace--nay, even of Southern Scythia--without risking the
collisions that might have followed the establishment of settlements.

As with the Black Sea, so with the Adriatic, the commercial advantages
were not sufficient to tempt the Phnicians to colonise. From Crete
and Cythera they sent their gaze afar, and fixed it midway in the
Mediterranean, at the western extremity of the eastern basin, on the
shores of Sicily, and the vast projection from the coast of North
Africa which goes forth to meet them. They knew the harbourless
character of the African coast west of Egypt, and the dangers of the
Lesser and Greater Syrtes. They knew the fertility of the Tunisian
projection, the excellence of its harbours, and the prolificness of
the large island that lay directly opposite. Here were the tracts
where they might expand freely, and which would richly repay their
occupation of them. It was before the beginning of the eleventh
century B.C.--perhaps some centuries before--that the colonisation of
North Africa by the Phnicians was taken in hand:[81] and about the
same time, in all probability, the capes and isles about Sicily were
occupied,[82] and Phnician influence in a little time extended over
the entire island.

In North Africa the first colony planted is said to have been Utica.
Utica was situated a little to the west of Carthage, at the mouth of
the Mejerda or Bagradas river.[83] It stood on a rocky promontory
which ran out into the sea eastward, and partially protected its
harbour. At the opposite extremity, towards the north, ran out another
promontory, the modern Ras Sidi Ali-el-Mekki, while the mouth of the
harbour, which faced to the south-east, was protected by some islands.
At present the deposits of the Mejerda have blocked up almost the
whole of this ancient port, and the rocky eminence upon which the city
stood looks down on three sides upon a broad alluvial plain, through
which the Mejerda pursues a tortuous course to the sea.[84] The
remains of the ancient town, which occupy the promontory and a
peninsula projecting from it, include a necropolis, an amphitheatre, a
theatre, a castle, the ruins of a temple, and some remains of baths;
but they have nothing about them bearing any of the characteristics of
Phnician architecture, and belong wholly to the Roman or post-Roman
period. The neighbourhood is productive of olives, which yield an
excellent oil; and in the hills towards the south-west are veins of
lead, containing a percentage of silver, which are thought to bear
traces of having been worked at a very early date.[85]

Near Utica was founded, probably not many years later, the settlement
of Hippo-Zaritis, of which the name still seems to linger in the
modern Bizerta. Hippo-Zaritis stood on the west bank of a natural
channel, which united with the sea a considerable lagoon or salt lake,
lying south of the town. The channel was kept open by an irregular
flux and reflux, the water of the lake after the rainy season flowing
off into the sea, and that of the sea, correspondingly, in the dry
season passing into the lake.[86] At the present time the lake is
extraordinarily productive of fish,[87] and the sea outside yields
coral;[88] but otherwise the advantages of the situation are not

Two degrees further to the west, on a hill overlooking the sea, and
commanding a lovely prospect over the verdant plain at its base,
watered by numerous streams, was founded the colony of Hippo Regius,
memorable as having been for five-and-thirty years the residence of
St. Augustine. The Phnicians were probably attracted to the site by
the fertility of the soil, the unfailing supplies of water, and the
abundant timber and rich iron ore of the neighbouring mountains.[89]
Hippo Regius is now Bona, or rather has been replaced by that town,
which lies about a mile and a half north of the ancient Hippo, close
upon the coast, in the fertile tract formed by the soil brought down
by the river Seybouse. The old harbour of Hippo is filled up, and the
remains of the ancient city are scanty; but the lovely gardens and
orchards, which render Bona one of the most agreeable of Algerian
towns, sufficiently explain and justify the Phnician choice of the

In the same bay with Utica, further to the south, and near its inner
recess, was founded, nearly three centuries after Utica, the most
important of all the Phnician colonies, Carthage. The advantages of
the locality are indicated by the fact that the chief town of Northern
Africa, Tunis, has grown up within a short distance of the site. It
combined the excellences of a sheltered situation, a good soil,
defensible eminences, and harbours which a little art made all that
was to be desired in ancient times and with ancient navies. These
basins, partly natural, partly artificial, still exist;[91] but their
communication with the sea is blocked up, as also is the channel which
connected the military harbour with the harbours of commerce. The
remains of the ancient town are mostly beneath the surface of the
soil, but modern research has uncovered a portion of them, and brought
to light a certain number of ruins which belong probably to the very
earliest period. Among these are walls in the style called
"Cyclopian," built of a very hard material, and more than thirty-two
feet thick, which seem to have surrounded the ancient Byrsa or
citadel, and which are still in places sixteen feet high.[92] The
Roman walls found emplaced above these are of far inferior strength
and solidity. An extensive necropolis lies north of the ancient town,
on the coast near Cape Camart.

Another early and important Phnician settlement in these parts was
Hadrumetum or Adrymes,[93] which seems to be represented by the modern
Sosa. Hadrumetum lay on the eastern side of the great Tunisian
projection, near the southern extremity of a large bay which looks to
the east, and is now known as the Gulf of Hammamet. Its position was
upon the coast at the edge of the vast plain called at present the
"Sahel of Sosa," which is sandy, but immensely productive of olive
oil. "Millions of olive-trees," it is said, "cover the tract,"[94] and
the present annual exportation amounts to 40,000 hectolitres.[95]
Ancient remains are few, but the Cothon, or circular harbour, may
still be traced, and in the necropolis, which almost wholly encircles
the town, many sepulchral chambers have been found, excavated in the
chalk, closely resembling in their arrangements those of the Phnician

South of Hadrumetum, at no great distance, was Leptis Minor, now
Lemta. The gulf of Hammamet terminates southwards in the promontory of
Monastir, between which and Ras Dimas is a shallow bay looking to the
north-east. Here was the Lesser Leptis, so called to distinguish it
from the larger city of the same name between the Lesser and the
Greater Syrtis; it was, however, a considerable town, as appears from
its remains. These lie along the coast for two miles and a half in
Lat. 35 43, and include the ruins of an aqueduct, of a theatre, of
quays, and of jetties.[96] The neighbourhood is suited for the
cultivation of the olive.

The Greater Leptis (Leptis Major) lay at a considerable distance from
the Lesser one. Midway in the low African coast which intervenes
between the Tunisian projection and the Cyrenaic one, about Long. 14
22 E. of Greenwich, are ruins, near a village called Lebda, which, it
is generally agreed, mark the site of this ancient city. Leptis Major
was a colony from Sidon, and occupied originally a small promontory,
which projects from the coast in a north-easterly direction, and
attains a moderate elevation above the plain at its base. Towards the
mainland it was defended by a triple line of wall still to be traced,
and on the sea-side by blocks of enormous strength, which are said to
resemble those on the western side of the island of Aradus.[97] In
Roman times the town, under the name of Neapolis,[98] attained a vast
size, and was adorned with magnificent edifices, of which there are
still numerous remains. The neighbourhood is rich in palm-groves and
olive-groves,[99] and the Cinyps region, regarded by Herodotus as the
most fertile in North Africa,[100] lies at no great distance to the

Ten miles east, and a little south of Leptis Minor,[101] was Thapsus,
a small town, but one of great strength, famous as the scene of Julius
Csar's great victory over Cato.[102] It occupied a position close to
the promontory now known as Ras Dimas, in Lat. 35 39, Long. 11 3,
and was defended by a triple enclosure, whereof considerable remains
are still existing. The outermost of the three lines appears to have
consisted of little more than a ditch and a palisaded rampart, such as
the Romans were accustomed to throw up whenever they pitched a camp in
their wars; but the second and third were more substantial. The
second, which was about forty yards behind the first, was guarded by a
deeper ditch, from which rose a perpendicular stone wall, battlemented
at top. The third, forty yards further back, resembled the second, but
was on an enlarged scale, and the wall was twenty feet thick.[103]
Such triple enclosures are thought to be traceable in other Phnician
settlements also;[104] but in no case are the remains so perfect as at
Thapsus. The harbour, which lay south of the town, was protected from
the prevalent northern and north-eastern winds by a huge mole or
jetty, carried out originally to a distance of 450 yards from the
shore, and still measuring 325 yards. The foundation consists of piles
driven into the sand, and placed very close together; but the
superstructure is a stone wall thirty-five feet thick, and still
rising to a height of ten feet above the surface of the water.[105]

It is probable that there were many other early Phnician settlements
on the North African seaboard; but those already described were
certainly the most important. The fertile coast tract between Hippo
Regius and the straits is likely to have been occupied at various
points from an early period. But none of these small trading
settlements attained to any celebrity; and thus it is unnecessary to
go into particulars respecting them.

In Sicily the permanent Phnician settlements were chiefly towards the
west and the north-west. They included Motya, Eryx, Panormus
(Palermo), and Soloeis. That the Phnicians founded Motya, Panormus,
and Soloeis is distinctly stated by Thucydides;[106] while Eryx is
proved to have been Phnician by its remains. Motya, situated on a
littoral island less than half a mile from the western shore, in Lat.
38 nearly, has the remains of a wall built of large stones,
uncemented, in the Phnician manner,[107] and carried, like the
western wall of Aradus, so close to the coast as to be washed by the
waves. It is said by Diodorus to have been at one time a most
flourishing town.[108] The coins have Phnician legends.[109]

Eryx lay about seven miles to the north-east of Motya, in a very
strong position. Mount Eryx (now Mount Giuliano), on which it was
mainly built, rises to the height of two thousand feet above the
plain,[110] and, being encircled by a strong wall, was rendered almost
impregnable. The summit was levelled and turned into a platform, on
which was raised the temple of Astarte or Venus.[111] An excellent
harbour, formed by Cape Drepanum (now Trapani), lay at its base. There
were springs of water within the walls which yielded an unfailing
supply. The walls were of great strength, and a considerable portion
of them is still standing, and attests the skill of the Phnician
architects. The blocks in the lower courses are mostly of a large
size, some of them six feet long, or more, and bear in many cases the
well-known Phnician mason-marks.[112] They are laid without cement,
like those of Aradus and Sidon, and recall the style of the Aradian
builders, but are at once less massive and arranged with more skill.
The breadth of the wall is about seven feet. At intervals it is
flanked by square towers projecting from it, which are of even greater
strength than the curtain between them, and which were carried up to a
greater height. The doorways in the wall are numerous, and are of a
very archaic character, being either covered in by a single long stone
lintel or else terminating in a false arch.[113] The commercial
advantages of Eryx were twofold, consisting in the produce of the sea
as well as in that of the shore. The shore is well suited for the
cultivation of the vine,[114] while the neighbouring sea yields
tunny-fish, sponges, and coral.[115]

Panormus (now Palermo) occupies a site almost unequalled by any other
Mediterranean city, a site which has conferred upon it the title of
"the happy," and has rendered it for above a thousand years the most
important place in the island. "There is no town in Europe which
enjoys a more delicious climate, none so charming to look on from a
distance, none more delightfully situated in a nest of verdure and
flowers. Its superb mountains, with their bare flanks pierced along
their base with grottoes, enclose a marvellous garden, the famous
'Shell of Gold,' in the midst of which are seen the numerous towers
and domes, the fan-like foliage of the palms, the spreading branches
of the pines, and Mount Reale on the south towering over all with its
vast mass of convents and churches."[116] The harbour lies open to the
north; but the Phnician settlers, here as elsewhere, no doubt made
artificial ports by means of piers and moles, which have, however,
disappeared on this much-frequented site, where generation after
generation has been continually at work building and destroying.
Panormus has left us no antique remains beyond its coins, which are
abundant, and show that the native name of the settlement was
Mahanath.[117] Mahanath was situated about forty miles east of Eryx,
on the northern coast of the island.

Solus, or Soloeis, the Soluntum of the Romans (now Solanto), lay on
the eastern side of the promontory (Cape Zafferana) which shuts in the
bay of Palermo on the right. It stood on a slope at the foot of a
lofty hill, overlooking a small round port, and was fortified by a
wall of large squared blocks of stone,[118] which may be still
distinctly traced. The site has yielded sarcophagi of an unmistakably
Phnician character,[119] and other objects of a high antiquity which
recall the Phnician manner;[120] but the chief remains belong to the
Greco-Roman times.

The islands in the strait which separates the North African coast from
Sicily were also colonised by the Phnicians. These were three in
number, Cossura (now Pantellaria), Gaulos (now Gozzo), and Melita (now
Malta). Cossura, the most western of the three, lay about midway in
the channel, but nearer to the African coast, from which it is distant
not more than about thirty-five miles. It is a mass of igneous rock,
which was once a volcano, and which still abounds in hot springs and
in jets of steam.[121] There was no natural harbour of any size, but
the importance of the position was such that the Phnicians felt bound
to occupy the island, if only to prevent its occupation by others. The
soil was sterile; but the coins, which are very numerous,[122] give
reason to suppose that the rocks were in early times rich in copper.

Gaulos (now Gozzo) forms, together with Malta and some islets, an
insular group lying between the eastern part of Sicily and the Lesser
Syrtis. It is situated in Lat. 36 2, Long. 12 10 nearly, and is
distant from Sicily only about fifty miles. The colonisation of the
island by the Phnicians, asserted by Diodorus,[123] is entirely borne
out by the remains, which include a Phnician inscription of some
length,[124] coins with Phnician legends,[125] and buildings,
believed to be temples, which have Phnician characteristics.[126]
Some of the blocks of stone employed in their construction have a
length of nearly twenty feet,[127] with a width and height
proportionate; and all are put together without cement or mortar of
any kind. A conical stone of the kind known to have been used by the
Phnicians in their worship was found in one of the temples.[128]
Gaulos had a port which was reckoned sufficiently commodious, and
which lay probably towards the south-east end of the island.

Melita, or Malta, which lies at a short distance from Gozzo, to the
south-east, is an island of more than double the size, and of far
greater importance. It possesses in La Valetta one of the best
harbours, or rather two of the best harbours, in the world. All the
navies of Europe could anchor comfortably in the "great port" to the
east of the town. The western port is smaller, but is equally well
sheltered. Malta has no natural product of much importance, unless it
be the honey, after which some think that it was named.[129] The
island is almost treeless, and the light powdery soil gives small
promise of fertility. Still, the actual produce, both in cereals and
in green crops, is large; and the oranges, especially those known as
mandarines, are of superior quality. Malta also produced, in ancient
as in modern times, the remarkable breed of small dogs[130] which is
still held in such high esteem. But the Phnician colonisation must
have taken place rather on account of the situation and the harbour
than on account of the products.

From Sicily and North Africa the tide of emigration naturally and
easily flowed on into Sardinia, which is distant, from the former
about 150 and from the latter about 115 miles. The points chosen by
the Phnician settlers lay in the more open and level region of the
south and the south-west, and were all enclosed within a line which
might be drawn from the coast a little east of Cagliari to the
northern extremity of the Gulf of Oristano.[131] The tract includes
some mountain groups, but consists mainly of the long and now marshy
plain, called the "Campidano," which reaches across the island from
Cagliari on the southern to Oristano on the western coast. This plain,
if drained, would be by far the most fertile part of the island; and
was in ancient times exceedingly productive in cereals, as we learn
from Diodorus.[132] The mountains west of it, especially those about
Iglesias, contain rich veins of copper and of lead, together with a
certain quantity of silver.[133] Good harbours exist at Cagliari, at
Oristano, and between the island of S. Antioco and the western shore.
It was at these points especially that the Phnicians made their
settlements, the most important of which were Caralis (Cagliari),
Nora, Sulcis, and Tharros. Caralis, or Cagliari, the present capital,
lies at the bottom of a deep bay looking southwards, and has an
excellent harbour, sheltered in all weathers. There are no remains of
Phnician buildings; but the neighbourhood yields abundant specimens
of Phnician art in the shape of tombs, statuettes, vases, bottles,
and the like.[134] Caralis was probably the first of the settlements
made by the Phnicians in Sardinia; it would attract them by its
harbour, its mines, and the fertility of its neighbourhood. From
Caralis they probably passed to Nora, which lay on the same bay to the
south-west; and from Nora they rounded the south-western promontory of
Sardinia, and established themselves on the small island now known as
the Isola di San Antioco, where they built a town which they called
Sulchis or Sulcis.[135] Sulcis has yielded votive tablets of the
Phnician type, tombs, vases, &c.[136] The island was productive of
lead, and had an excellent harbour towards the north, and another more
open one towards the south. Finally, mid-way on the west coast, at the
northern extremity of the Gulf of Oristano, the Phnicians occupied a
small promontory which projects into the sea southwards and there
formed a settlement which became known as Tharras or Tharros.[137]
Very extensive remains, quite unmistakably Phnician, including tombs,
cippi, statuettes in metal and clay, weapons, and the like, have been
found on the site.[138]

The passage would have been easy from Sardinia to Corsica, which is
not more than seven miles distant from it; but Corsica seems to have
possessed no attraction for the Phnicians proper, who were perhaps
deterred from colonising it by its unhealthiness, or by the savagery
of its inhabitants. Or they may have feared to provoke the jealousy of
the Tyrrhenians, off whose coast the island lay, and who, without
having any colonising spirit themselves, disliked the too near
approach of rivals.[139] At any rate, whatever the cause, it seems to
have been left to the Carthaginians, to bring Corsica within the range
of Phnician influence; and even the Carthaginians did little more
than hold a few points on its shores as stations for their ships.[140]

If from Sardinia the Phnicians ventured on an exploring voyage
westward into the open Mediterranean, a day's sail would bring them
within sight of the eastern Balearic Islands, Minorca and Majorca. The
sierra of Majorca rises to the height of between 3,000 and 4,000
feet,[141] and can be seen from a great distance. The occupation of
the islands by "the Phnicians" is asserted by Strabo,[142] but we
cannot be sure that he does not mean Phnicians of Africa, i.e.
Carthaginians. Still, on the whole, modern criticism inclines to the
belief that, even before the foundation of Carthage, Phnician
colonisation had made its way into the Balearic Islands, directly,
from the Syrian coast.[143] Some resting-places between the middle
Mediterranean and Southern Spain must have been a necessity; and as
the North African coast west of Hippo offered no good harbours, it was
necessary to seek them elsewhere. Now Minorca has in Port Mahon a
harbour of almost unsurpassed excellence,[144] while in Majorca there
are fairly good ports both at Palma and at Aleudia.[145] Ivica is less
well provided, but there is one of some size, known as Pormany (i.e.
"Porta magna"), on the western side of the island, and another, much
frequented by fishing-boats,[146] on the south coast near Ibiza. The
productions of the Balearides were not, perhaps, in the early times of
much importance, since the islands are not, like Sardinia, rich in
metals, nor were the inhabitants sufficiently civilised to furnish
food supplies or native manufactures in any quantity. If, then, the
Phnicians held them, it must have been altogether for the sake of
their harbours.

The colonies of the Mediterranean have now been, all of them, noticed,
excepting those which lay upon the south coast of Spain. Of these the
most important were Malaca (now Malaga), Sex or Sexti, and Abdera (now
Adra). Malaca is said by Strabo to have been "Phnician in its
plan,"[147] Abdera is expressly declared by him to have been "a
Phnician settlement,"[148] while Sexti has coins which connect it
with early Phnician legends.[149] The mountain range above Malaca was
anciently rich in gold-mines;[150] Sexti was famous for its salt-
pans;[151] Abdera lay in the neighbourhood of productive silver-
mines.[152] These were afterwards worked from Carthagena, which was a
late Carthaginian colony, founded by Asdrubal, the uncle of Hannibal.
Malaga and Carthagena (i.e. New-Town) had well-sheltered harbours; but
the ports of Sexti and Abdera were indifferent.

Outside the Straits of Gibraltar, on the shores of the Atlantic, were
two further sets of Phnician colonies, situated respectively in
Africa and in Spain. The most important of those in Africa were Tingis
(now Tangiers) and Lixus (now Chemmish), but besides these there were
a vast number of staples ({emporia}) without names,[153] spread along
the coast as far as Cape Non, opposite the Canary Islands. Tingis, a
second Gibraltar, lay nearly opposite that wonderful rock, but a
little west of the narrowest part of the strait. It had a temple of
the Tyrian Hercules, said to have been older than that at Gades;[154]
and its coins have Phnician legends.[155] The town was situated on a
promontory running out to the north-east at the extremity of a
semicircular bay about four miles in width, and thus possessed a
harbour not to be despised, especially on such a coast. The country
around was at once beautiful and fertile, dotted over with palms, and
well calculated for the growth of fruit and vegetables. The Atlas
mountains rose in the background, with their picturesque summits,
while in front were seen the blue Mediterranean, with its crisp waves
merging into the wilder Atlantic, and further off the shores of Spain,
lying like a blue film on the northern horizon.[156]

While Tingis lay at the junction of the two seas, on the northern
African coast, about five miles east of Cape Spartel, Lixus was
situated on the open Atlantic, forty miles to the south of that cape,
on the West African coast, looking westward towards the ocean. The
streams from Atlas here collect into a considerable river, known now
as the Wady-el-Khous, and anciently as the Lixus.[157] The estuary of
this river, before reaching the sea, meanders through the plain of
Sidi Oueddar, from time to time returning upon itself, and forming
peninsulas, which are literally almost islands.[158] From this plain,
between two of the great bends made by the stream, rose in one place a
rocky hill; and here the Phnicians built their town, protecting it
along the brow of the hill with a strong wall, portions of which still
remain in place.[159] The blocks are squared, carefully dressed, and
arranged in horizontal courses, without any cement. Some of them are
as much as eleven feet long by six feet or somewhat more in height.
The wall was flanked at the corners by square towers, and formed a
sort of irregular hexagon, above a mile in circumference.[160] A large
building within the walls seems to have been a temple;[161] and in it
was found one of those remarkable conical stones which are known to
have been employed in the Phnician worship. The estuary of the river
formed a tolerably safe harbour for the Phnician ships, and the
valley down which the river flows gave a ready access into the

In Spain, outside the Pillars of Hercules, the chief Phnician
settlements were Tartessus, Agadir or Gades, and Belon. Tartessus has
been regarded by some as properly the name of a country rather than a
town;[162] but the statements of the Greek and Roman geographers to
the contrary are too positive to be disregarded. Tartessus was a town
in the opinions of Scymnus Chius, Strabo, Mela, Pliny, Festus Avienus,
and Pausanias,[163] who could not be, all of them, mistaken on such a
point. It was a town named from, or at any rate bearing the same name
with, an important river of southern Spain,[164] probably the
Guadalquivir. It was not Gades, for Scymnus Chius mentions both cities
as existing in his day;[165] it was not Carteia, for it lay west of
Gades, while Carteia lay east. Probably it occupied, as Strabo
thought, a small island between two arms of the Guadalquivir, and
gradually decayed as Gades rose to importance. It certainly did not
exist in Strabo's time, but five or six centuries earlier it was a
most flourishing place.[166] If it is the Tarshish of Scripture, its
prosperity and importance must have been even anterior to the time of
Solomon, whose "navy of Tarshish" brought him once in every three
years "gold, and silver, and ivory, and apes, and peacocks."[167] The
south of Spain was rich in metallic treasures, and yielded gold,
silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin;[168] trade along the west coast
of Africa would bring in the ivory and apes abundant in that region;
while the birds called in our translation of the Bible "peacocks" may
have been guinea-fowl. The country on either side of the Guadalquivir
to a considerable distance took its name from the city, being called
Tartessis.[169] It was immensely productive. "The wide plains through
which the Guadalquiver flows produced the finest wheat, yielding an
increase of a hundredfold; the oil and the wine, the growth of the
hills, were equally distinguished for their excellence. The wood was
not less remarkable for its fineness than in modern times, and had a
native colour beautiful without dye."[170] Nor were the neighbouring
sea and stream less bountiful. The tunny was caught in large
quantities off the coast, shell-fish were abundant and of unusual
size,[171] while huge eels were sometimes taken by the fishermen,
which, when salted, formed an article of commerce, and were reckoned a
delicacy at Athenian tables.[172]

Gades is said to have been founded by colonists from Tyre a few years
anterior to the foundation of Utica by the same people.[173] Utica, as
we have seen, dated from the twelfth century before Christ. The site
of Gades combined all the advantages that the Phnicians desired for
their colonies. Near the mouth of the Guadalete there detaches itself
from the coast of Spain an island eleven miles in length, known now as
the "Isla de Leon," which is separated from the mainland for half its
length by a narrow but navigable channel, while to this there succeeds
on the north an ample bay, divided into two portions, a northern and a
southern.[174] The southern, or interior recess, is completely
sheltered from all winds; the northern lies open to the west, but is
so full of creeks, coves, and estuaries as to offer a succession of
fairly good ports, one or other of which would always be accessible.
The southern half of the island is from one to four miles broad; but
the northern consists of a long spit of land running out to the north-
west, in places not more than a furlong in width, but expanding at its
northern extremity to a breadth of nearly two miles. The long isthmus,
and the peninsula in which it ends, have been compared to the stalk
and blossom of a flower.[175] The flower was the ancient Gades, the
modern Cadiz. The Phnician occupation of the site is witnessed to by
Strabo, Diodorus, Scymnus Chius, Mela, Pliny, Velleius Paterculus,
lian and Arrian,[176] and is further evidenced by the numerous coins
which bear the legend of "Agadir" in Phnician characters.[177] But
the place itself retains no traces of the Phnician occupation. The
famous temple of Melkarth, with its two bronze pillars in front
bearing inscriptions, has wholly perished, as have all other vestiges
of the ancient buildings. This is the result of the continuous
occupation of the site, which has been built on successively by
Phnicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Moors, and Spaniards. The
space is somewhat confined, and the houses in ancient times were, we
are told, closely crowded together,[178] as they were at Aradus and
Tyre. But the advantages of the harbour and the productiveness of the
vicinity more than made up for this inconvenience. Gades may have
been, as Cadiz is now said to be, "a mere silver plate set down upon
the edge of the sea,"[179] but it was the natural centre of an
enormous traffic. It had easy access by the valley of a large stream
to the interior with its rich mineral and vegetable products; it had
the command of two seas, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; it
trained its sailors to affront greater perils than any which the
Mediterranean offers; and it enjoyed naturally by its position an
almost exclusive commerce with the Northern Atlantic, with the western
coasts of Spain and Gaul, with Britain, North Germany, and the Baltic.

Compared with Gades and Tartessus, Belon was an insignificant
settlement. Its name[180] and coins[181] mark it as Phnician, but it
was not possessed of any special advantages of situation. The modern
Bolonia, a little south of Cadiz, is thought to mark the site.[182]

We have reached now the limits of Phnician colonisation towards the
West. While their trade was carried, especially from Gades, into
Luisitania and Gallcia on the one hand, and into North-western Africa
on the other, reaching onward past these districts to Gaul and
Britain, to the Senegal and Gambia, possibly to the Baltic and the
Fortunate Islands, the range of their settlements was more
circumscribed. As, towards the north-east, though their trade embraced
the regions of Colchis and Thrace, of the Tauric Chersonese, and
Southern Scythia, their settlements were limited to the gean and
perhaps the Propontis, so westward they seem to have contented
themselves with occupying a few points of vantage on the Spanish and
West African coasts, at no great distance from the Straits, and from
these stations to have sent out their commercial navies to sweep the
seas and gather in the products of the lands which lay at a greater
distance. The actual extent of their trade will be considered in a
later chapter. We have been here concerned only with their permanent
settlements or colonies. These, it has been seen, extended from the
Syrian coast to Cyprus, Cilicia, Rhodes, Crete, the islands and shores
of the gean and Propontis, the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia, and North
Africa, the Balearic Islands, Southern Spain, and North-western Africa
as far south as Cape Non. The colonisation was not so continuous as
the Greek, nor was it so extensive in one direction,[183] but on the
whole it was wider, and it was far bolder and more adventurous. The
Greeks, as a general rule, made their advances by slow degrees,
stealing on from point to point, and having always friendly cities
near at hand, like an army that rests on its supports. The Phnicians
left long intervals of space between one settlement and another,
boldly planted them on barbarous shores, where they had nothing to
rely on but themselves, and carried them into regions where the
natives were in a state of almost savagery. The commercial motive was
predominant with them, and gave them the courage to plunge into wild
seas and venture themselves among even wilder men. With the Greeks the
motive was generally political, and a safe home was sought, where
social and civil life might have free scope for quiet development.



Origin of the architecture in rock dwellings--Second style, a
combination of the native rock with the ordinary wall--Later on,
the use of the native rock, discarded--Employment of huge blocks
of stone in the early walls--Absence of cement--Bevelling--
Occurrence of Cyclopian walls--Several architectural members
comprised in one block--Phnician shrines--The Maabed and other
shrines at Amrith--Phnician temples--Temple of Paphos--Adjuncts
to temples--Museum of Golgi--Treasure chambers of Curium--Walls of
Phnician towns--Phnician tombs--Excavated chambers--Chambers
built of masonry--Groups of chambers--Colonnaded tomb--Sepulchral
monuments--The Burdj-el-Bezzk--The Kabr Hiram--The two Mghzil--
Tomb with protected entrance--Phnician ornamentation--Pillars and
their capitals--Cornices and mouldings--Pavements in mosaic and
alabaster--False arches--Summary.

The architecture of the Phnicians began with the fashioning of the
native rock--so abundant in all parts of the country where they had
settled themselves--into dwellings, temples, and tombs. The calcareous
limestone, which is the chief geological formation along the Syrian
coast, is worked with great ease; and it contains numerous fissures
and caverns,[1] which a very moderate amount of labour and skill is
capable of converting into fairly comfortable dwelling-places. It is
probable that the first settlers found a refuge for a time in these
natural grottos, which after a while they proceeded to improve and
enlarge, thus obtaining a practical power of dealing with the
material, and an experimental knowledge of its advantages and defects.
But it was not long before these simple dwellings ceased to content
them, and they were seized with an ambition to construct more
elaborate edifices--edifices such as they must have seen in the lands
through which they had passed on their way from the shores of the
Persian Gulf to the seaboard of the Mediterranean. They could not at
once, however, divest themselves of their acquired habits, and
consequently, their earliest buildings continued to have, in part, the
character of rock dwellings, while in part they were constructions of
the more ordinary and regular type. The remains of a dwelling-house at
Amrith,[2] the ancient Marathus, offer a remarkable example of this
intermixture of styles. The rock has been cut away so as to leave
standing two parallel walls 33 yards long, 19 feet high, and 2 1/2
feet thick, which are united by transverse party-walls formed in the
same way.[3] Windows and doorways are cut in the walls, some square at
top, some arched. At the two ends the main walls were united partly by
the native rock, partly by masonry. The northern wall was built of
masonry from the very foundation, the southern consisted for a portion
of its height of the native rock, while above that were several
courses of stones carrying it up further. At Aradus and at Sidon,
similarly, the town walls are formed in many places of native rock,
squared and smoothed, up to a certain height, after which courses of
stone succeed each other in the ordinary fashion. It is as if the
Phnician builders could not break themselves of an inveterate habit,
and rather than disuse it entirely submitted to an intermixture which
was not without a certain amount of awkwardness.

Another striking example of the mixed system is found at a little
distance from Amrith, in the case of a building which appears to have
been a shrine, tabernacle, or sanctuary. The site is a rocky platform,
about a mile from the shore. Here the rock has been cut away to a
depth varying from three to six yards, and a rectangular court has
been formed, 180 feet long by 156 feet wide, in the centre of which
has been left a single block of the stone, still of one piece with the
court, which rises to a height of ten feet, and forms the basis or
pedestal of the shrine itself.[4] The shrine is built of a certain
number of large blocks, which have been quarried and brought to the
spot; it has a stone roof with an entablature, and attains an
elevation above the court of not less than twenty-seven feet. The
dimensions of the shrine are small, not much exceeding seventeen feet
each way.[5]

From constructions of this mixed character the transition was easy to
buildings composed entirely of detached stones put together in the
ordinary manner. Here, what is chiefly remarkable in the Phnician
architecture is the tendency to employ, especially for the foundations
and lower courses of buildings, enormous blocks. When the immovable
native rock is no longer available, the resource is to make use of
vast masses of stone, as nearly immovable as possible. The most noted
example is that of the substructions which supported the platform
whereon stood the Temple of Jerusalem, which was the work of the
Phnician builders whom Hiram lent to Solomon.[6] These substructions,
laid bare at their base by the excavations of the Palestine
Exploration Fund, are found to consist of blocks measuring from
fifteen to twenty-five feet in length, and from ten to twelve feet in
height. The width of the blocks at the angles of the wall, where alone
it can be measured, is from twelve to eighteen feet. At the south-west
angle no fewer than thirty-one courses of this massive character have
been counted by the recent explorers, who estimate the weight of the
largest block at something above a hundred tons![7]

A similar method of construction is found to have prevailed at Tyre,
at Sidon, at Aradus, at Byblus, at Leptis Major, at Eryx, at Motya, at
Gaulos, and at Lixus on the West African coast. The blocks employed do
not reach the size of the largest discovered at Jerusalem, but still
are of dimensions greatly exceeding those of most builders, varying,
as they do, from six feet to twenty feet in length, and being often as
much as seven or eight feet in breadth and height. As the building
rises, the stones diminish in size, and the upper courses are often in
no way remarkable. Stones of various sizes are used, and often the
courses are not regular, but one runs into another. A tower in the
wall of Eryx is a good specimen of this kind of construction.[8]

Where the stones are small, mortar has been employed by the builders,
but where they are of a large size, they are merely laid side by side
in rows or courses, without mortar or cement of any kind, and remain
in place through their own mass and weight. In the earliest style of
building the blocks are simply squared,[9] and the wall composed of
them presents a flat and level surface, or one only broken by small
and casual irregularities; but, when their ideas became more advanced,
the Phnicians preferred that style of masonry which is commonly
regarded as peculiarly, if not exclusively, theirs[10]--the employment
of large blocks with deeply bevelled edges. The bevel is a depression
round the entire side of the stone, which faces outwards, and may be
effected either by a sloping cut which removes the right-angle from
the edge, or by two cuts, one perpendicular and the other horizontal,
which take out from the edge a rectangular bar or plinth. The
Phnician bevelling is of this latter kind, and is generally
accompanied by an artificial roughening of the surface inside the
bevel, which offers a strong contrast to the smooth and even surface
of the bevel itself.[11] The style is highly ornamental and effective,
particularly where a large space of wall has to be presented to the
eye, unbroken by door or window.[12]

Occasionally, but very rarely, and only (so far as appears) in their
remoter dependencies, the Phnicians constructed their buildings in
the rude and irregular way, which has been called Cyclopian, employing
unhewn polygonal blocks of various sizes, and fitting them roughly
together. The temples discovered in Malta and Gozzo have masonry of
this description.[13]

A peculiarity in Phnician architecture, connected with the preference
for enormous blocks over stones of a moderate size, is the frequent
combination in a single mass of distinct architectural members; for
instance, of the shaft and capital of pillars, of entire pediments
with a portion of the wall below them, and of the walls of monuments
with the cornice and architrave. M. Renan has made some strong remarks
on this idiosyncrasy. "In the Grecian style," he says, "the beauty of
the wall is a main object with the architect, and the wall derives its
beauty from the divisions between the stones, which observe
symmetrical laws, and are in agreement with the general lines of the
edifice. In a style of this kind the stones of a wall have, all of
them, the same dimension, and this dimension is determined by the
general plan of the building; or else, as in the kind of work which is
called 'pseud-isodomic,' the very irregularity of the courses is
governed by a law of symmetry. The stones of the architrave, the
metopes, the triglyphs, are, all of them, separate blocks, even when
it would have been perfectly easy to have included in a single block
all these various members. Such facts, as one observes frequently in
Syria, where three or four architectural members are brought out from
a single block, would have appeared to the Greeks monstrous, since
they are the negation of all logic."[14]

In cannot be denied that the habit of preferring large to small
blocks, even in monuments of a very moderate size, involved the
Phnician architects in awkwardnesses and anomalies, which offend a
cultivated taste; but it should be remembered, on the other hand, that
massiveness in the material conduces greatly to stability, and that,
in lands where earthquakes are frequent, as they are along all the
Mediterranean shores, not many monuments would have survived the lapse
of three thousand years had the material employed been of a less
substantial and solid character.

Among the Phnician constructions, of which it is possible to give
some account at the present day, without drawing greatly on the
imagination, are their shrines, their temples, the walls of their
towns, and, above all, their tombs. Recent researches in Phnicia
Proper, in Cyprus, Sicily, Africa, and the smaller Mediterranean
islands, have brought to light numerous remains previously unknown;
the few previously known remains have been carefully examined,
measured, and in some cases photographed; and the results have been
made accessible to the student in numerous well-illustrated
publications. When Movers and Kenrick published their valuable works
on the history of Phnicia, and the general characteristics of the
Phnician people, it was quite impossible to do more than form
conjectures concerning their architecture from a few coins, and a few
descriptions in ancient writers. It is now a matter of comparatively
little difficulty to set before the public descriptions and
representations which, if they still leave something to be desired in
the way of completeness, are accurate, so far as they go, and will
give a tolerably fair idea of the architectural genius of the people.

One very complete and two ruined shrines have been found in Phnicia
Proper, in positions and of a character which, in the judgment of the
best antiquaries, mark them as the work of the ancient people. All
these are situated on the mainland, near the site of Marathus, which
lay nearly opposite the island of Ruad, the ancient Aradus. The shrine
which is complete, or almost complete, bears the name of "the Maabed"
or "Temple." Its central position, in the middle of an excavated
court, and its mixed construction, partly of native rock and partly of
quarried stone, have been already described. It remains to give an
account of the shrine or tabernacle itself.[15] This is emplaced upon
the mass of rock left to receive it midway in the court, and is a sort
of cell, closed in on three sides by walls, and open on one side,
towards the north. The cell is formed of four quarried blocks, which
are laid one over the other. These are nearly of the same size, and
similarly shaped, each of them enclosing the cell on three sides,
towards the east, the south, and the west. The fourth, which is larger
than any of the others, constitutes the roof. It is a massive stone,
carefully cut, which projects considerably in front of the rest of the
building, and is ornamented towards the top with a cornice and string-
course, extending along the four sides.[16] Internally the roof is
scooped into a sort of shallow vault. The height of the shrine proper
is about seventeen feet, and the elevation of the entire structure
above the court in which it stands appears to be about twenty-seven
feet. M. Renan conjectures that the projecting portion of the roof had
originally the support of two pillars, which may have been either of
wood, of stone, or of metal, and notes that there are two holes in the
basement stone, into which the bottoms of the pillars were probably
inserted.[17] He imagines that the court was once enclosed completely
by the construction of a wall at its northern end, and that the water
from a spring, which still rises within the enclosure, was allowed to
overflow the entire space, so that the shrine looked down upon a basin
or shallow lake and glassed itself in the waters.[18] An image of a
deity may have stood in the cell under the roof, dimly visible to the
worshipper between the two porch pillars.

The two ruined tabernacles lie at no great distance from the complete
one, which has just been described. One of them is so injured that its
plan is irrecoverable; but M. Renan carefully collected and measured
the fragments of the other, and thus obtained sufficient data for its
restoration.[19] It was, he believes, a monolithic chamber, with a
roof slightly vaulted, like that of the /Maabed/, having a length of
eight feet, a breadth of five, and a height of about ten feet, and
ornamented externally with a very peculiar cornice. This consisted of
a series of carvings, representing the fore part of an urus or
basilisk serpent, uprearing itself against the wall of the shrine,
which were continued along the entire front of the chamber. There was
also an internal ornamentation of the roof, consisting of a winged
circle of an Egyptian character--a favourite subject with the
Phnician artists[20]--the circle having an urus erect on either side
of it, and also of another winged figure which appeared to represent
an eagle.[21] The monolithic chamber was emplaced upon a block of
stone, ten feet in length and breadth, and six feet in height, which
itself stood upon a much smaller stone, and overhung it on all sides.
A flight of six steps, cut in the upper block at either side, gave
access to the chamber, which, however, as it stood in a pool of water,
must have been approached by a boat. The entire height of the shrine
above the water must have been about eighteen feet.

Some other ruined shrines have been found in the more distant of the
Phnician settlements, and representations of them are common upon the
/stel/, set up in temples as votive offerings. On these last the
urus cornice is frequently repeated, and the figure of a goddess
sometimes appears, standing between the pillars which support the
front of the shrine.[22] There is a decided resemblance between the
Phnician shrines and the small Egyptian temples, which have been
called /mammeisi/, the chief difference being that the latter are for
the most part peristylar.[23] M. Renan says of the /Maabed/, or main
shrine at Amrith:--"L'aspect gnral de l'difice est Egyptian, mais
avec une certaine part d'originalit. Le bandeau et la corniche sur
les quatre cts de la stalle supriere en sont le seul ornement.
Cette simplicit, cette svrit de style, jointes l'ide de force
et de puissance qu'veillent les dimensions normes des matriaux
employs, sont des caractres que nous avons dj signals dans les
monumens funraires d'Amrith."[24]

From the shrines of the Phnicians we may now pass to their temples,
of which, however, the remains are, unfortunately, exceedingly scanty.
Of real temples, as distinct from shrines, Phnicia Proper does not
present to us so much as a single specimen. To obtain any idea of
them, we must quit the mother country, and betake ourselves to the
colonies, especially to those island colonies which have been less
subjected than the mainland to the destructive ravages of barbarous
conquerors, and the iconoclasm of fanatical populations. It is
especially in Cyprus that we meet with extensive remains, which, if
not so instructive as might have been wished, yet give us some
important and interesting information.

The temple of Paphos, according to the measurements of General Di
Cesnola,[25] was a rectangular building, 221 feet long by 167 feet
wide, built along its lower corners of large blocks of stone, but
probably continued above in an inferior material, either wood or
unbaked brick.[26] The four corner-stones are still standing in their
proper places, and give the dimensions without a possibility of
mistake. Nothing is known of the internal arrangements, unless we
attach credit to the views of the savant Gerhard, who, in the early
years of the present century, constructed a plan from the reports of
travellers, in which he divided the building into a nave and two
aisles, with an ante-chapel in front, and a sacrarium at the further
extremity.[27] M. Gerhard also added, beyond the sacrarium, an apse,
of which General Di Cesnola found no traces, but which may possibly
have disappeared in the course of the sixty years which separated the
observations of M. Gerhard's informants from the researches of the
later traveller. The arrangement into a nave and two aisles is, to a
certain extent, confirmed by some of the later Cyprian coins, which
certainly represent Cyprian temples, and probably the temple of
Paphos.[28] The floor of the temple was, in part at any rate, covered
with mosaic.[29]

This large building, which extended over an area of 36,800 square
feet, was emplaced within a sacred court, surrounded by a /peribolus/,
or wall of enclosure, built of even larger blocks than the temple
itself, and entered by at least one huge doorway. The width of this
entrance, situated near a corner of the western wall, was nearly
eighteen feet.[30] On one side of it were found still fixed in the
wall the sockets for the bolts on which the door swung, in length six
inches, and of proportionate width and depth. The peribolus was
rectangular, like the temple, and was built in lines parallel to it.
The longer sides measured 690 and the shorter 530 feet. One block,
which was of blue granite and must have come either from Asia Minor or
from Egypt, measured fifteen feet ten inches in length, with a width
of seven feet eleven inches, and a depth of two feet five inches.[31]
It is thought that the court was probably surrounded by a colonnade or
cloister,[32] though no traces have been at present observed either of
the pillars which must have supported such a cloister or of the
rafters which must have formed its roof. Ponds,[33] fountains,
shrubberies, gardens, groves of trees, probably covered the open space
between the cloister and the temple, while well-shaded walks led
across it from the gates of the enclosure to those of the sanctuary.

If we allow ourselves to indulge our fancy for a brief space, and to
complete the temple according to the idea which the coins above
represented naturally suggest, we may suppose that it did, in fact,
consist of a nave, two aisles, and a cell, or "holy of holies," the
nave being of superior height to the aisles, and rising in front into
a handsome faade, like the western end of a cathedral flanked by
towers. Through the open doorway between the towers might be seen
dimly the sacred cone or pillar which was emblematic of deity; on
either side the eye caught the ends of the aisles, not more than half
the height of the towers, and each crowned with a strongly projecting
cornice, perhaps ornamented with a row of uri. In front of the two
aisles, standing by themselves, were twin columns, like Jachin and
Boaz before the Temple of Solomon. The aisles were certainly roofed:
whether the nave also was covered in, or whether, like the Greek
hypthral temples, it lay open to the blue vault of heaven, is perhaps
doubtful. The walls of the buildings, after a few courses of hewn
stone, were probably of wood, perhaps of cedar, enriched with the
precious metals, and the pavement was adorned with a mosaic of many
colours, "white, yellow, red, brown, and rose."[34] Outside the temple
was a mass of verdure. "In the sacred precinct, and in its
dependencies, all breathed of voluptuousness, all spoke to the senses.
The air of the place was full of perfumes, full of soft and caressing
sounds. There was the murmur of rills which flowed over a carpet of
flowers; there was, in the foliage above, the song of the nightingale,
and the prolonged and tender cooing of the dove; there were, in the
groves around, the tones of the flute, the instrument which sounds the
call to pleasure, and summons to the banquet chamber the festive
procession and the bridal train. Beneath the shelter of tents, or of
light booths with walls formed by the skilful interlacing of a green
mass of boughs, through which the myrtle and the laurel spread their
odours, dwelt the fair slaves of the goddess, those whom Pindar
called, in the drinking-song which he composed for Theoxenus of
Corinth, 'the handmaids of persuasion.'"[35] Here and there in the
precincts, sacred processions took their prescribed way; ablutions
were performed; victims led up to the temple; votive offerings hung on
the trees; festal dances, it may be, performed; while in the cloister
which skirted the peribolus, dealers in shrines and images chaffered
with their customers, erotic poets sang their lays, lovers whispered,
fortune-tellers plied their trade, and a throng of pilgrims walked
lazily along, or sat on the ground, breathing in the soft, moist air,
feasting their eyes upon the beauty of upspringing fountain and
flowering shrub, and lofty tree, while their ears drank in the
cadences of the falling waters, the song of the birds, and the gay
music which floated lightly on the summer breeze.

Phnician temples had sometimes adjuncts, as cathedrals have their
chapter-houses and muniment rooms, which were at once interesting and
important. There has been discovered at Athinau in Cyprus--the
supposed site of Golgi--a ruined edifice, which some have taken for a
temple,[36] but which appears to have been rather a repository for
votive offerings, a sort of ecclesiastical museum. A picture of the
edifice, as he conceives it to have stood in its original condition,
has been drawn by one of its earliest visitants. "The building," he
says,[37] "was constructed of sun-dried bricks, forming four walls,
the base of which rested upon a substruction of solid stone-work. The
walls were covered, as are the houses of the Cypriot peasants of
to-day, with a stucco which was either white or coloured, and which
was impenetrable by rain. Wooden pillars with stone capitals supported
internally a pointed roof, which sloped at a low angle. It formed thus
a sort of terrace, like the roofs that we see in Cyprus at the present
day. This roof was composed of a number of wooden rafters placed very
near each other, above which was spread a layer of rushes and coarse
mats, covered with a thick bed of earth well pressed together, equally
effective against the entrance of moisture and against the sun's rays.
Externally the building must have presented a very simple appearance.
In the interior, which received no light except from the wide doorways
in the walls, an immovable and silent crowd of figures in stone, with
features and garments made more striking by the employment of paint,
surrounded, as with a perpetual worship, the mystic cone. Stone lamps,
shaped like diminutive temples, illumined in the corners the grinning
/ex-votos/ which hung upon the walls, and the curious pictures with
which they were accompanied. Grotesque bas-reliefs adorned the circuit
of the edifice, where the slanting light was reflected from the white
and polished pavement-stones."[38] In length and breadth the chamber
measured sixty feet by thirty; the thickness of the basement wall was
three feet.[39] Midway between the side walls stood three rows of
large square pedestals--regularly spaced, and dividing the interior
into four vistas or avenues, which some critics regard as bases for
statues, and some as supports for the pillars which sustained the
roof.[40] Two stone capitals of pillars were found within the area of
the chamber; and it is conjectured that the entire disappearance of
the shafts may be accounted for by their having been of wood,[41] the
employment of wooden shafts with stone bases and capitals being common
in Cyprus at the present time.[42] Against each of the four walls was
a row of pedestals touching each other, which had certainly been bases
for statues, since the statues were found lying, mostly broken, in
front of them. The figures varied greatly in size, some being
colossal, others mere statuettes. Most probably all were votive
offerings, presented by those who imagined that they had been helped
by the god of the temple to which the chamber belonged, as an
indication of their gratitude. The number of pedestals found along one
of the walls was seventy-two,[43] and the original number must have
been at least three times as great.

Another Cyprian temple, situated at Curium, not far from Paphos,
contained a very remarkable crypt, which appears to have been used as
a treasure-house.[44] It was entered by means of a flight of steps
which conducted to a low and narrow passage cut in the rock, and
giving access to a set of three similar semi-circular chambers,
excavated side by side, and separated one from another by doors.
Beyond the third of these, and at right angles to it, was a fourth
somewhat smaller chamber, which gave upon a second passage that it was
found impossible to explore.[45] The three principal chambers were
fourteen feet six inches in height, twenty-three feet long, and
twenty-one feet broad. The fourth was a little smaller,[46] and shaped
somewhat irregularly. All contained plate and jewels of extraordinary
richness, and often of rare workmanship. "The treasure found," says M.
Perrot, "surpassed all expectation, and even all hope. Never had such
a discovery been made of such a collection of precious articles, where
the material was of the richest, and the specimens of different styles
most curious. There were many bracelets of massive gold, and among
them two which weighed a pound apiece, and several others of a weight
not much short of this. Gold was met with in profusion under all
manner of forms--finger-rings, ear-rings, amulets, flasks, small
bottles, hair-pins, heavy necklaces. Silver was found in even greater
abundance, both in ornaments and in vessels; besides which there were
articles in electrum, which is an amalgam of silver with gold. Among
the stones met with were rock-crystals, carnelians, onyxes, agates,
and other hard stones of every variety; and further there were paste
jewels, cylinders in soft stone, statuettes in burnt clay, earthen
vases, and also many objects in bronze, as lamps, tripods, candelabra,
chairs, vases, arms, &c. &c. A certain amount of order reigned in the
repository. The precious objects in gold were collected together
principally in the first chamber. The second contained the silver
vessels, which were arranged along a sort of shelf cut in the rock, at
the height of about eight inches above the floor. Unfortunately the
oxydation of these vessels had proceeded to such lengths, that only a
very small number could be extracted from the mass, which for the most
part crumbled into dust at the touch of a finger. The third chamber
held lamps and fibul in bronze, vases in alabaster, and, above all,
the groups and vessels modelled in clay; while the fourth was the
repository of the utensils in bronze, and of a certain number which
were either in copper or in iron. In the further passage, which was
not completely explored, there were nevertheless found seven kettles
in bronze."[47]

In the construction of the walls of their towns, especially of those
which were the most ancient, the feature which is most striking at
first sight is that on which some remarks have already been made, the
attachment of the lower portion of the wall to the soil from which the
wall springs. At Sidon, at Aradus, and at Semar-Gebeil, the /enceinte/
which protected the town consisted, up to the height of ten or twelve
feet, of native rock, cut to a perpendicular face, upon which were
emplaced several courses of hewn stone. The principle adopted was to
utilise the rock as far as possible, and then to supplement what was
wanting by a superstructure of masonry. Large blocks of stone, shaped
to fit the upper surface of the rock, were laid upon it, generally
endways, that is, with their smallest surface outwards, their length
forming the thickness of the wall, which was sometimes as much as
fifteen or twenty feet.[48] The massive blocks, once placed, were
almost immovable, and it was considered enough to lay them side by
side, without clamps or mortar, since their own weight kept them in
place. It was not thought of much consequence whether the joints of
the courses coincided or not; though care was taken that, if a
coincidence occurred in two courses, it should not be repeated in the
third.[49] The elevation of walls does not seem to have often exceeded
from thirty to forty feet, though Diodorus makes the walls of Carthage
sixty feet high,[50] and Arrian gives to the wall of Tyre which faced
the continent the extraordinary height of a hundred and fifty

If we may generalise from the most perfect specimens of Phnician
town-walls that are still fairly traceable, as those of Eryx and
Lixus,[52] we may lay it down, that such walls were usually flanked,
at irregular intervals, by square or rectangular towers, which
projected considerably beyond the line of the curtain. The towers were
of a more massive construction than the wall itself, especially in the
lower portion, where vast blocks were common. The wall was also broken
at intervals by gates, some of which were posterns, either arched or
covered in by flat stones,[53] while others were of larger dimensions,
and were protected, on one side or on both, by bastions. The sites of
towns were commonly eminences, and the line of the walls followed the
irregularities of the ground, crowning the slopes where they were
steepest. Sometimes, as at Carthage and Thapsus, where the wall had to
be carried across a flat space, the wall of defence was doubled, or
even tripled. The restorations of Daux[54] contain, no doubt, a good
deal that is fanciful; but they give, probably, a fair idea of the
general character of the so-called "triple wall" of certain Phnician
cities. The outer line, or {proteikhisma}, was little more than an
earthwork, consisting of a ditch, with the earth from it thrown up
inwards, crowned perhaps at top with a breastwork of masonry. The
second line was far more elaborate. There was first a ditch deeper
than the outer one, while behind this rose a perpendicular
battlemented wall to the height, from the bottom of the ditch, of
nearly forty feet. In the thickness of the wall, which was not much
less than the height, were chambers for magazines and cisterns, while
along the top, behind the parapet, ran a platform, from which the
defenders discharged their arrows and other missiles against the
enemy. Further back, at the distance of about thirty yards, came the
main line of defence, which in general character resembled the second,
but was loftier and stronger. There was, first, a third ditch (or
moat, if water could be introduced), and behind it a wall thirty-five
feet thick and sixty feet high, pierced by two rows of embrasures from
which arrows could be discharged, and having a triple platform for the
defenders. This wall was kept entirely clear of the houses of the
town, and the different storeys could be reached by sloping ascents or
internal staircases. It was flanked at intervals by square towers,
somewhat higher than the walls, which projected sufficiently for the
defenders to enfilade the assailants when they approached the base of
the curtain.

The tombs of the Phnicians were, most usually, underground
constructions, either simple excavations in the rock, or subterranean
chambers, built of hewn stone, at the bottom of sloping passages, or
perpendicular shafts, which gave access to them. The simpler kinds
bear a close resemblance to the sepulchres of the Jews. A chamber is
opened in the rock, in the sides of which are hollowed out,
horizontally, a number of caverns or /loculi/, each one intended to
receive a corpse.[55] If more space is needed, a passage is made from
one of the sides of the chamber to a certain distance, and then a
second chamber is excavated, and more /loculi/ are formed; and the
process is repeated as often as necessary. But chambers thus excavated
were apt to collapse, especially if the rock was of the soft and
friable nature so common in Phnicia Proper and in Cyprus; on which
account, in such soils, the second kind of tomb was preferred,
sepulchural chambers being solidly built,[56] either singly or in
groups, each made to hold a certain number of sarcophagi. The most
remarkable tombs of this class are those found at Amathus, on the
south coast of Cyprus, by General Di Cesnola. They lie at the depth of
from forty to fifty-five feet below the surface of the soil,[57] and
are square chambers, built of huge stones, carefully squared, some of
them twenty feet in length, nine in breadth, and three in thickness,
and even averaging a length of fourteen feet.[58] Two shapes occur.
Some of the tombs are almost perfect cubes, the upright walls rising
to a height of twelve or fifteen feet, and being then covered in by
three or four long slabs of stone. Others resemble huts, having a
gable at either end, and a sloping roof formed of slabs which meet and
support each other. A squared doorway, from five to six feet in
height, gives entrance to the tombs at one end, and has for ornament a
fourfold fillet, which surrounds it on three sides. Otherwise,
ornamentation is absent, the stonework of both walls and roofs being
absolutely plain and bare. Internally the chambers present the same
naked appearance, walls and roofs being equally plain, and the floor
paved with oblong slabs of stone, about a foot and a half in length.

The grouped chambers are of several kinds. Sometimes there are two
chambers only, one opening directly into the other, and not always
similarly roofed. Occasionally, groups of three are found, and there
are examples of groups of four. In these instances, the exact symmetry
is remarkable. A single doorway of the usual character gives entrance
to a nearly square chamber, the exact dimensions of which are thirteen
feet four inches by twelve feet two inches. Midway in the side and
opposite walls are three other doorways, each of them three foot six
inches in width, which lead into exactly similar square chambers,
having a length of twelve feet two inches, and a width of ten feet

Chambers of the character here described contain in almost every
instance stone sarcophagi. These are ranged along the walls, at a
little distance from them. The chambers commonly contain two or three;
but sometimes one sarcophagus is superimposed upon another, and in
this way the number occasionally reaches to six.[60] Mostly, the
sarcophagi are plain, or nearly so, but are covered over with a
sloping lid. Sometimes, however, they are elaborately carved, and
constitute works of art, which are of the highest value. An account
will be given of the most remarkable of these objects in the chapter
on Phnician sthetic Art.

Another distinct type of Phnician tomb is that which is peculiar to
Nea-Paphos, and which is thought by some to have been employed
exclusively by the High Priests of the great temple there.[61] The
peculiarity of these burial-places is, that the sepulchral chambers
are adjuncts of a quadrangular court open to the sky, and surrounded
by a colonnade supported on pillars.[62] The court, the colonnade, the
pillars, the entablature, and the chambers, with their niches for the
dead, are all equally cut out of the rock, as well as the passage by
which the court is entered, at one corner of the quadrangle. The
columns are either square or rounded, the rounded ones having capitals
resembling those of the Doric order; and the entablature is also a
rough imitation of the Doric triglyphs, and gutt. The entrances to
the sepulchral chambers are under the colonnade, behind the
pillars;[63] and the chambers contain, beside niches, a certain number
of bases for sarcophagi, but no sarcophagi have been found in them.
The quadrangle is of a small size, not more than about eighteen feet
each way.

Thus far we have described that portion of the sepulchral architecture
of the Phnicians which is most hidden from sight, lying, as it does,
beneath the surface of the soil. With tombs of this quiet character
the Phnicians were ordinarily contented. They were not, however,
wholly devoid of those feelings with respect to their dead which have
caused the erection, in most parts of the world, of sepulchral
monuments intended to attract the eye, and to hand on to later ages
the memory of the departed. Well acquainted with Egypt, they could not
but have been aware from the earliest times of those massive piles
which the vanity of Egyptian monarchs had raised up for their own
glorification on the western side of the valley of the Nile; nor in
later days could such monuments have escaped their notice as the
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus[64] or the Tomb of the Maccabees.[65]
Accordingly, we find them, at a very remote period, not merely anxious
to inter their dead decently and carefully in rock tombs or
subterranean chambers of massive stone, but also wishful upon
occasions to attract attention to the last resting-places of their
great men, by constructions which showed themselves above the ground,
and had some architectural pretensions. One of these, situated near
Amrith, the ancient Marathus, is a very curious and peculiar
structure. It is known at the present day as the Burdj-el-Bezzk,[66]
and was evidently constructed to be, like the pyramids, at once a
monument and a tomb. It is an edifice, built of large blocks of stone,
and rising to a height of thirty-two feet above the plain at its base,
so contrived as to contain two sepulchral chambers, the one over the
other. Externally, the monument is plain almost to rudeness, being
little more than a cubic mass, broken only by two doorways, and having
for its sole ornament a projecting cornice in front. Internally, there
is more art and contrivance. The chambers are very carefully
constructed, and contain a number of niches intended to receive
sarcophagi, the lower having accommodation for three and the upper for
twelve bodies.[67] It is thought that originally the cubic mass, which
is all that now remains, was surmounted by a pyramidical roof, many
stones from which were found by M. Renan among the dbris that were
scattered around. The height of the monument was thus increased by
perhaps one-half, and did not fall much short of sixty-five feet.[68]
The cornice, which is now seen on one side only, and which is there
imperfect, originally, no doubt, encircled the entire edifice.

The other constructions erected by the Phnicians to mark the resting-
places of their dead are simple monuments erected near, and generally
over, the tombs in which the bodies are interred. The best known is
probably that in the vicinity of Tyre, which the natives call the
Kabr-Hiram, or "Tomb of Hiram."[69] No great importance can be
attached to this name, which appears to be a purely modern one;[70]
but the monument is undoubtedly ancient, perhaps as ancient as any
other in Phnicia.[71] It is composed of eight courses of huge stones
superimposed one upon another,[72] the blocks having in some cases a
length of eleven or twelve feet, with a breadth of seven or eight, and
a depth of three feet. The courses retreat slightly, with the
exception of the fifth, which projects considerably beyond the line of
the fourth and still more beyond that of the sixth. The whole effect
is less that of a pyramid than of a stel or pillar, the width at top
being not very much smaller than that at the base. The monument is a
solid mass, and is not a square but a rectangular oblong, the broader
sides measuring fourteen feet and the narrower about eight feet six
inches. Two out of the eight courses are of the nature of
substructions, being supplemental to the rock, which supplies their
place in part; and it is only recently that they have been brought to
light by means of excavation. Hence the earlier travellers speak of
the monument as having no more than six courses. The present height
above the soil is a little short of twenty-five feet. A flight of
steps cut in the rock leads down from the monument to a sepulchral
chamber, which, however, contains neither sepulchral niche nor

But the most striking of the Phnician sepulchral monuments are to be
found in the north of Phnicia, and not in the south, in the
neighbourhood, not of Tyre and Sidon, but of Marathus and Aradus. Two
of them, known as the Mghzil,[73] form a group which is very
remarkable, and which, if we may trust the restoration of M.
Thobois,[74] must have had considerable architectural merit. Situated
very near each other, on the culminating point of a great plateau of
rock, they dominate the country far and wide, and attract the eye from
a long distance. One seems to have been in much simpler and better
taste than the other. M. Renan calls it "a real masterpiece, in
respect of proportion, of elegance, and of majesty."[75] It is built
altogether in three stages. First, there is a circular basement story
flanked by four figures of lions, attached to the wall behind them,
and only showing in front of it their heads, their shoulders, and
their fore paws. This basement, which has a height of between seven
and eight feet, is surmounted by a cylindrical tower in two stages,
the lower stage measuring fourteen and the upper, which is domed, ten
feet. The basement is composed of four great stones, the entire tower
above it is one huge monolith. An unusual and very effective
ornamentation crowns both stages of the tower, consisting of a series
of gradines at top with square machicolations below.

The other monument of the pair, distant about twenty feet from the one
already described, is architecturally far less happy. It is composed
of four members, viz. a low plinth for base, above this a rectangular
pedestal, surmounted by a strong band or cornice; next, a monolithic
cylinder, without ornaments, which contracts slightly as it ascends;
and, lastly, a pentagonal pyramid at the top. The pedestal is
exceedingly rough and unfinished; generally, the workmanship is rude,
and the different members do not assort well one with another. Still
it would seem that the two monuments belong to the same age and are
parts of the same plan.[76] Their lines are parallel, as are those of
the subterranean apartments which they cover, and they stand within a
single enclosure. Whether the same architect designed them both it is
impossible to determine, but if so he must have been one of the class
of artists who have sometimes happy and sometimes unhappy

Both the Mghzil are superimposed upon subterranean chambers,
containing niches for bodies, and reached by a flight of steps cut in
the rock, the entrance to which is at some little distance from the
monuments.[77] But there is nothing at all striking or peculiar in the
chambers, which are without ornament of any kind.

Another tomb, in the vicinity of the Mghzil, is remarkable chiefly
for the care taken to shelter and protect the entrance to the set of
chambers which it covers.[78] The monument is a simple one. A square
monolith, crowned by a strong cornice, stands upon a base consisting
of two steps. Above the cornice is another monolith, the lower part
squared and the upper shaped into a pyramid. The upper part of the
pyramid has crumbled away, but enough remains to show the angle of the
slope, and to indicate for the original erection a height of about
twenty feet. At the distance of about ten yards from the base of the
monument is a second erection, consisting of two tiers of large
stones, which roof in the entrance to a flight of eighteen steps.
These steps lead downwards to a sloping passage, in which are
sepulchral niches, and thence into two chambers, the inner one of
which is almost directly under the main monument. Probably, a block of
stone, movable but removed with difficulty, originally closed the
entrance at the point where the steps begin. This stone ordinarily
prevented ingress, but when a fresh corpse was to be admitted, or
funeral ceremonies were to be performed in one of the chambers, it
could be "rolled"[79] or dragged away.

Phnician architects were, as a general rule, exceedingly sparing in
the use of ornament. Neither the pillar, nor the arch, much less the
vault, was a feature in their principal buildings, which affected
straight lines, right-angles, and a massive construction, based upon
the Egyptian. The pillar came ultimately to be adopted, to a certain
extent, from the Greeks; but only the simplest forms, the Doric and
Ionic, were in use, if we except certain barbarous types which the
people invented for themselves. The true arch was scarcely known in
Phnicia, at any rate till Roman times, though false arches were not
infrequent in the gateways of towns and the doors of houses.[80] The
external ornamentation of buildings was chiefly by cornices of various
kinds, by basement mouldings, by carvings about doorways,[81] by
hemispherical or pyramidical roofs, and by the use of bevelled stones
in the walls. The employment of animal forms in external decoration
was exceedingly rare; and the half lions of the circular Mghzil of
Amrith are almost unique.

In internal ornamentation there was greater variety. Pavements were
sometimes of mosaic, and glowed with various colours;[82] sometimes
they were of alabaster slabs elaborately patterned. Alabaster slabs
also, it is probable, adorned the walls of temples and houses,
excepting where woodwork was employed, as in the Temple of Solomon.
There is much richness and beauty in many of the slabs now in the
Phnician collection of the Louvre,[83] especially in those which
exhibit the forms of sphinxes or griffins. Many of the patterns most
affected are markedly Assyrian in character, as the rosette, the palm-
head, the intertwined ribbons, and the rows of gradines which occur so
frequently. Even the Sphinxes are rather Assyrian than Egyptian in
character; and exhibit the recurved wings, which are never found in
the valley of the Nile. In almost all the forms employed there is a
modification of the original type, sufficient to show that the
Phnician artist did not care merely to reproduce.

On the whole the architecture must be pronounced wanting in
originality and in a refined taste. What M. Renan says of Phnician
art in general[84] is especially true of Phnician architecture.
"Phnician art, which issued, as it would seem, originally from mere
troglodytism, was, from the time when it arrived at the need of
ornament, essentially an art of imitation. That art was, above all,
industrial; that art never raised itself for its great public
monuments to a style that was at once elegant and durable. The origin
of Phnician architecture was the excavated rock, not the column, as
was the case with the Greeks. The wall replaced the excavated rock
after a time, but without wholly losing its character. There is
nothing that leads us to believe that the Phnicians knew how to
construct a keyed vault. The monolithic principle which dominated the
Phnician and Syrian art, even after it had taken Greek art for its
model, is the exact contrary of the Hellenic style. Greek architecture
starts from the principle of employing small stones, and proclaims the
principal loudly. At no time did the Greeks extract from Pentelicus
blocks at all comparable for size with those of Baalbek or of Egypt;
they saw no use in doing so; on the contrary, with masses of such
enormity, which it is desired to use in their entirety, the architect
is himself dominated; the material, instead of being subordinate to
the design of the edifice, runs counter to the design and contradicts
it. The monuments on the Acropolis of Athens would be impossible with
blocks of the size usual in Syria."[85] Thus there is always something
heavy, rude, and coarse in the Phnician buildings, which betray their
troglodyte origin by an over-massive and unfinished appearance.

There is also a want of originality, more especially in the
ornamentation. Egypt, Assyria, and Greece have furnished the "motives"
which lie at the root of almost all the decorative art that is to be
met with, either in the mother country or in the colonies. Winged
disks, uri, scarabs, sphinxes, have been adopted from Egypt; Assyria
has furnished gradines, lotus blossoms, rosettes, the palm-tree
ornament, the ribbon ornament, and the form of the lion; Greece has
supplied pillars, pediments, festoons, and chimras. Native talent has
contributed little or nothing to the ornamentation of buildings, if we
except the modification of the types which have been derived from
foreign sources.

Finally, there is a want of combination and general plan in the
Phnician constructions where they fall into groups. "This is sensibly
felt," according to M. Renan, "at Amrith, at Kabr-Hiram, and at Um-el-
Awamid. In the remains still visible in these localities there are
many fine ideas, many beautiful details; but they do not fall under
any general dominant plan, as do the buildings on the Acropolis of
Athens. One seems to see a set of people who are fond of working in
stone for its own sake, but who do not care to arrive at a mutual
understanding in order to produce in common a single work, since they
do not know that it is the conception of a grand whole which
constitutes greatness in art. Hence the incompleteness of the
monuments; there is not a tomb to which the relations of the deceased
have deemed it fitting to give the finishing touches; there is
everywhere a certain egotism, like that which in later times prevented
the Mussulman monuments from enduring. A passing pleasure in art does
not induce men to finish, since finishing requires a certain stiffness
of will. In general, the ancient Phnicians appear to have had the
spirit of sculptors rather than of architects. They did not construct
in great masses, but every one laboured on his own account. Hence
there was no exact measurement, and no symmetry. Even the capitals of
the columns at Um-el-Awamid are not alike; in the portions which most
evidently correspond the details are different."[86]



Recent discoveries of Phnician artistic remains--Phnician
sculpture--Statues and busts--Animal forms--Bas-reliefs--Hercules
and Geryon--Scenes on sarcophagi--Phnicians metal castings--
Jachin and Boaz--Solomon's "Molten Sea"--Solomon's lavers--
Statuettes in bronze--Embossed work upon cups and pater--Cup of
Prneste--Intaglios on cylinders and gems--Phnician painting--
Tinted statues--Paintings on terra-cotta and clay.

Phnician sthetic art embraced sculpture, metal-casting, intaglio,
and painting to a small extent. Situated as the Phnicians were, in
the immediate neighbourhood of nations which had practised from a
remote antiquity the imitation of natural forms, and brought into
contact by their commercial transactions with others, with whom art of
every kind was in the highest esteem--adroit moreover with their
hands, clever, active, and above all else practical--it was scarcely
possible that they should not, at an early period in their existence
as a nation, interest themselves in what they found so widely
appreciated, and become themselves ambitious of producing such works
as they saw everywhere produced, admired, and valued. The mere
commercial instinct would lead them to supply a class of goods which
commanded a high price in the world's markets; while it is not to be
supposed that they were, any more than other nations, devoid of those
sthetic propensities which find a vent in what are commonly called
the "fine arts," or less susceptible of that natural pleasure which
successful imitation evokes from all who find themselves capable of
it. Thus, we might have always safely concluded, even without any
material evidence of it, that the Phnicians had an art of their own,
either original or borrowed; but we are now able to do more than this.
Recent researches in Phnicia Proper, in Cyprus, in Sardina, and
elsewhere, have recovered such a mass of Phnician artistic remains,
that it is possible to form a tolerably complete idea of the character
of their sthetic art, of its methods, its aims, and its value.

Phnician sculpture, even at its best, is somewhat rude. The country
possesses no marble, and has not even any stone of a fine grain. The
cretaceous limestone, which is the principal geological formation, is
for the most part so pierced with small holes and so thickly sown with
fossil shells as to be quite unsuited for the chisel; and even the
better blocks, which the native sculptors were careful to choose, are
not free from these defects, and in no case offer a grain that is
satisfactory. To meet these difficulties, the Phnician sculptor
occasionally imported his blocks either from Egypt or from the
volcanic regions of Taurus and Amanus;[1] but it was not until he had
transported himself to Cyprus, and found there an abundance of a soft,
but fairly smooth, compact, and homogeneous limestone, that he worked
freely, and produced either statues or bas-reliefs in any considerable
number.[2] The Cyprian limestone is very easy to work. "It is a
whitish stone when it comes out of the quarry, but by continued
exposure to the air the tone becomes a greyish yellow, which, though a
little dull, is not disagreeable to the eye. The nail can make an
impression on it, and it is worked by the chisel much more easily and
more rapidly than marble. But it is in the plastic arts as in
literature and poetry--what costs but little trouble has small chance
of enduring. The Cyprian limestone is too soft to furnish the effects
and the contrasts which marble offers, so to speak, spontaneously; it
is incapable of receiving the charming polish which makes so strong an
opposition to the dark shadows of the parts where the chisel has
scooped deep. The chisel, whatever efforts it may make and however
laboriously it may be applied, cannot impress on such material the
strong and bold touches which indicate the osseous structure, and make
the muscles and the veins show themselves under the epidermis in Greek
statuary. The sculptor's work is apt to be at once finikin and lax; it
wants breadth, and it wants decision. Moreover, the material, having
little power of resistance, retains but ill what the chisel once

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest