Phoenicianism and history

May 2017
1,176
Syria
#1
I was online looking more into the Phoenicians when I came across the mention of a certain "May Murr" in a bunch of online articles about the Phoenicians, citing her works as a primary source of some pretty wacky claims regarding Lebanon and ancient Phoenicia. Naturally I was curious and.. as it turns out she was a "professor, historian, writer, poet, and political activist" (she has an impressive CV to say the least) and she's.. a Phoenicianist. I decided to look more into her and some of the claims made by Phoenicianists and to my surprise, the main are as follows:

-Euclid "the father of Geometry" is a Phoenician from the city of Tyre.
-Thales, Pythogoras and Homer (!) also were Phoenicians from the cities of Tyre and Sidon.
-The garden of Eden is Ehden in Lebanon
-Lebanon is a "land of god" according to Ugaritic texts
-And the most unbelievable.. Jesus taught in the law school of Beirut and "also lived in Lebanon" according to her last work which is a thousand pages long...
And those are nothing compared to other stuff I found..

Those claims (which looking further into various Phoenicianist sites and people are believed by some to stand on solid ground!) are unbelievably bizarre. I tried finding the remotest bit of info about what seemed to be the most remotely considerable claims of Mrs. Murr or other fellow Phoenicianist writers out there but no use.

But what's the reason for all of this?
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#2
It's Lebanese ultra-nationalism (fascism) from the Cold War era, especially emanating from the Francophile Maronite Christians that have a tendency to look at European colonial rule positively and had very racist views about Arabs, which is why they invented the myth that the Lebanese nation is not "Arabic" but "Phoenician". It has survived well-into the 21st century, though Phoenicianism has definitely diminished since its heyday during the Lebanese Civil War.

I will say however that the fact that Greeks like Euclid and Archimedes were born in Asia Minor or the Middle East, or at least wrote his works there, and not in Greece proper is not emphasised enough. And it is undeniable that the Greeks derived much of their civilisation from the peoples of the Levant that they called "Phoenician", specifically viniculture, alphabetical writing and shipbuilding. However, none of them were exclusively Lebanese, and it includes the cluster of peoples speaking Canaanite languages like Ugaritic, Hebrew, Punic, etc.
 
May 2017
1,176
Syria
#3
It's Lebanese ultra-nationalism (fascism) from the Cold War era, especially emanating from the Francophile Maronite Christians that have a tendency to look at European colonial rule positively and had very racist views about Arabs, which is why they invented the myth that the Lebanese nation is not "Arabic" but "Phoenician". It has survived well-into the 21st century, though Phoenicianism has definitely diminished since its heyday during the Lebanese Civil War.

I will say however that the fact that Greeks like Euclid and Archimedes were born in Asia Minor or the Middle East, or at least wrote his works there, and not in Greece proper is not emphasised enough. And it is undeniable that the Greeks derived much of their civilisation from the peoples of the Levant that they called "Phoenician", specifically viniculture, alphabetical writing and shipbuilding. However, none of them were exclusively Lebanese, and it includes the cluster of peoples speaking Canaanite languages like Ugaritic, Hebrew, Punic, etc.
Thanks for the response.

If I remember correctly, a certain political party, the Guardains of the Cedars (far-right ultra-nationalists) took Phoenicianism so far that one of their members, the poet Said Akl, attempted to make Lebanese Arabic the official state language and change its script to a Latin one influenced by the Phoenician alphabet.
 
Mar 2017
801
Colorado
#4
Thanks, Maoistic. Yet another enthocentric "thing". It's hard to keep up. I had no idea.

The Phoenicians were a major world entity when the Persian and Egyptian empires had a decline, but then the Persians took over. It doesn't look like their culture was affected much until Alexander conquered it and started Macedonian rule ... leaving Carthage as the only major Phoenician cultural center. That was 332 BCE.

There was a DNA study that tried to find Phoenician genetic markers in targeted populations. It failed.

Euclid? Father of geometry? Euclid of Alexandria? What's more important? Where he was born or where he changed the world? I really don't think anyone cares either way. Phoenicia as a political entity was gone by the time he was born.

Maybe I'm too harsh. Reaching back into history for national identity isn't a new thing. Iranians still consider themselves Persians. In the US, anyone with the slightest trace of indigenous blood claims Native American ethnicity. Look at all the family genealogy companies that try to tie people to royalty. It's when inflated claims about entire cultures are made that historians start grimacing.
 
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Jul 2017
842
Crete
#5
The Garden of Eden(πεδίον) is in Lebanon (Eze 31:16) or more specific, Beqaa, namesake for Bacchus.

Old Testament = Phoenician Mythology.
 
May 2017
1,176
Syria
#6
Thanks, Maoistic. Yet another enthocentric "thing". It's hard to keep up. I had no idea.

The Phoenicians were a major world entity when the Persian and Egyptian empires had a decline, but then the Persians took over. It doesn't look like their culture was affected much until Alexander conquered it and started Macedonian rule ... leaving Carthage as the only major Phoenician cultural center. That was 332 BCE.

There was a DNA study that tried to find Phoenician genetic markers in targeted populations. It failed.

Euclid? Father of geometry? Euclid of Alexandria? What's more important? Where he was born or where he changed the world? I really don't think anyone cares either way. Phoenicia as a political entity was gone by the time he was born.

Maybe I'm too harsh. Reaching back into history for national identity isn't a new thing. Iranians still consider themselves Persians. In the US, anyone with the slightest trace of indigenous blood claims Native American ethnicity. Look at all the family genealogy companies that try to tie people to royalty. It's when inflated claims about entire cultures are made that historians start grimacing.
Well written, Dios.
 
Jul 2017
842
Crete
#7
They were many Phoenician cultural centres throughout the Ancient words, Carthage, Elephantine, Tyre, Cadiz, Jerusalem, Tripoli, Ortygia, Thasos, Nora, Karalis, Malta, Kossyra, Larnaka and many more.

Theologians are Anti-Phoenician and even deny the very existence of Phoenicians.

Josephine Quinn: The Phoenicians never existed
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=p...e.1.69i57j0.3976j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

1. Evidence for Ancient Phoenician
2. No Evidence for Ancient Israelites

This is why theologians ENVY Phoenicians, no wonder they are trying too write them out of history.
 
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Mar 2017
801
Colorado
#8
They were many Phoenician cultural centres throughout the Ancient words, Carthage, Elephantine, Tyre, Cadiz, Jerusalem, Tripoli, Ortygia, Thasos, Nora, Karalis, Malta, Kossyra, Larnaka and many more.

Theologians are Anti-Phoenician and even deny the very existence of Phoenicians.

Josephine Quinn: The Phoenicians never existed
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=p...e.1.69i57j0.3976j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

1. Evidence for Ancient Phoenician
2. No Evidence for Ancient Israelites

This is why theologians ENVY Phoenicians, no wonder they are trying too write them out of history.
I agree that "The Phoenicians never existed" is just plain silly. Their culture & contributions are well documented.

Elephantine? Where does that come from?
 
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Jul 2017
842
Crete
#9
I agree that "The Phoenicians never existed" is just plain silly. Their culture & contributions are well documented.

Elephantine? Where does that come from?
Herodotus. 2.158
Necos, who became king of Egypt. It was he who began building the canal into the Red Sea which was finished by Darius the Persian

Herodotus 4.42
When he (Necos) had finished digging the canal which leads from the Nile to the Arabian Gulf, he sent Phoenicians in ships, instructing them to sail on their return voyage past the Pillars of Heracles until they came into the northern sea and so to Egypt.

Herodotus 1.1
The Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians were the cause of the dispute. These, they say came to our seas from the sea which is called Red and having settled in the country which they still occupy

Herodotus 7:89
These Phoenicians formerly dwelt as they themselves say, by the Red Sea; they crossed from there and now inhabit the seacoast of Syria.
 
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Mar 2017
801
Colorado
#10
Herodotus. 2.158
Necos, who became king of Egypt. It was he who began building the canal into the Red Sea which was finished by Darius the Persian

Herodotus 4.42
When he (Necos) had finished digging the canal which leads from the Nile to the Arabian Gulf, he sent Phoenicians in ships, instructing them to sail on their return voyage past the Pillars of Heracles until they came into the northern sea and so to Egypt.

Herodotus 1.1
The Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians were the cause of the dispute. These, they say came to our seas from the sea which is called Red and having settled in the country which they still occupy

Herodotus 7:89
These Phoenicians formerly dwelt as they themselves say, by the Red Sea; they crossed from there and now inhabit the seacoast of Syria.
Herodotus has big problems. He describes the Nile a little past Elephantine/Philae ... and it's all a mess. It is widely acknowledged that he never left Alexandria, despite descriptions of the Lower Kingdom. Have you read his description of a hippopotamus? He never saw one:
'This animal has four legs, cloven hoofs like an ox, a snub nose, a horse's mane and tail, conspicuous tusks, a voice like a horse's neigh, and is about the size of a very large ox. Its hide is so thick and though that when dried it can be made into spear-shafts'

Let's ignore that for the time being.

There was indeed a canal that ran from the delta to the Gulf of Suez. It was abandoned and restored multiple times.

4:42. The Gulf of Suez is South of Israel and Syria. "On their return voyage" Where were they going? The Phoenicians were in the Nile going to the Suez ... then all around Africa back through the pillars?

1.1 The "Red" Sea is either the Gulf of Suez or the modern Red Sea on the other side of the Sinai. Then the Phoenicians abandoned their ships, walked over to the Mediterranean, and started conquering? That's what 7:89 implies, too.

I'm just trying to follow along. Maybe I'm missing something in the context.

HERE'S MY POINT:
Elephantine is at the 1st cataract. That's 600 miles up the Nile from the Mediterranean. That's the only route to get there: straight up the Nile. I don't see anything in your references that describe Phoenicians there.

I found a reference that Phoenicia and Nubia formed a temporary alliance to fight the Assyrians in the 25th Egyptian dynasty, but they never WENT there. They stayed in the north, the Nubians in the south.
 

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