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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A coherent history of Phoenicia between 1000 and 550 bce is difficult to write. The internal development of individual city-states is almost completely unknown. We can only get a glimpse of their foreign relations. Owing to geographical constraints, Phoenician cities were split into a northern group, from Arwad to Byblos, and a southern one, essentially Tyre and Sidon. These two cities may have been associated in one political unit from the ninth to the late eighth–early seventh centuries bce. A Phoenician presence is noticeable in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean, with political control of Tyre on part of Cyprus. Tyrians and Sidonians also had interests in North Syria and in the Euphrates River valley. All Phoenician city-states adopted an accommodating policy toward foreign powers, especially Assyria, and, despite violent clashes from the mid-eighth century bce onward, they could manage to preserve their role as middlemen in the trade relations of the ancient world.

Keywords: Phoenician history, Iron Age, Sidon, Tyre, Assyrian empire

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