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|Map of Phoenicia and trade routes|
|Well-known kings of Phoenician cities|
|-||ca. 1000 BC||Ahiram|
|-||969 BC – 936 BC||Hiram I|
|-||820 BC – 774 BC||Pygmalion of Tyre|
|Historical era||Classical antiquity|
|-||Tyre, under the reign of Hiram I, becomes the dominant city-state||969 BC|
|-||Pygmalion founds Carthage (legendary)||814 BC|
|-||Cyrus the Great conquers Phoenicia||539 BC|
|-||1200 BC est.||200,000|
|Today part of|
Phoenicia (UK pron.: /fɨˈnɪʃə/, US /fəˈniːʃə/; from the Greek: Φοινίκη: Phoiníkē) was an ancient Semitic civilization situated on the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent and centered on the coastline of modern Lebanon. All major Phoenician cities were on the coastline of the Mediterranean, some colonies reaching the Western Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC. The Phoenicians used the galley, a man-powered sailing vessel, and are credited with the invention of the bireme. They were famed in Classical Greece and Rome as 'traders in purple', referring to their monopoly on the precious purple dye of the Murex snail, used, among other things, for royal clothing, and for their spread of the alphabet (or abjad), from which all major modern phonetic alphabets are derived.
Phoenicians are widely thought to have originated from the earlier Canaanite inhabitants of the region. In the Amarna tablets of the 14th century BC, people from the region called themselves Kenaani or Kinaani (probably same as Canaanites), although these letters predate the invasion of the Sea Peoples by over a century. Much later, in the 6th century BC, Hecataeus of Miletus writes that Phoenicia was formerly called χνα (Latinized: khna), a name Philo of Byblos later adopted into his mythology as his eponym for the Phoenicians: "Khna who was afterwards called Phoinix". Egyptian seafaring expeditions had already been made to Byblos to bring back "cedars of Lebanon" as early as the third millennium BC.
"Phoenicia" is really a Classical Greek term used to refer to the region of the major Canaanite port towns, and does not correspond exactly to a cultural identity that would have been recognised by the Phoenicians themselves. It is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single ethnicity and nationality. Their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to ancient Greece. However, in terms of archaeology, language, life style and religion, there is little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other Semitic cultures of Canaan. As Canaanites, they were unique in their remarkable seafaring achievements.
Each of their cities was a city-state which was politically an independent unit. They could come into conflict and one city might be dominated by another city-state, although they would collaborate in leagues or alliances. Though ancient boundaries of such city-centered cultures fluctuated, the city of Tyre seems to have been the southernmost. Sarepta (modern day Sarafand) between Sidon and Tyre is the most thoroughly excavated city of the Phoenician homeland.
The Phoenicians were the first state-level society to make extensive use of the alphabet. The Phoenician phonetic alphabet is generally believed to be the ancestor of almost all modern alphabets, although it did not contain any vowels (these were added later by the Greeks). From a traditional linguistic perspective, they spoke Phoenician, a Canaanite dialect. However, due to the very slight differences in language, and the insufficient records of the time, whether Phoenician formed a separate and united dialect, or was merely a superficially defined part of a broader language continuum, is unclear. Through their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to North Africa and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, who later passed it on to the Etruscans, who in turn transmitted it to the Romans. In addition to their many inscriptions, the Phoenicians were believed to have left numerous other types of written sources, but most have not survived.
Evangelical Preparation by Eusebius of Caesarea quotes extensively from Philo of Byblos and Sanchuniathon.
The name Phoenicians, like Latin Poenī (adj. poenicus, later pūnicus), comes from Greek Φοίνικες (Phoínikes), attested since Homer and influenced by phoînix "Tyrian purple, crimson; murex" (itself from phoinós "blood red"). The word stems from Mycenaean po-ni-ki-jo, po-ni-ki, ultimately borrowed from Ancient Egyptian fnḥw (fenkhu) "Asiatics, Semites". The folk-etymological association of phoiniki with phoînix mirrors that in Akkadian which tied kinaḫni, kinaḫḫi "Canaan; Phoenicia" to kinaḫḫu "red-dyed wool". Note that there is no connection to the superficially similar phoenix, though this term is also ultimately from Ancient Egyptian, via Greek and Latin (hence the "ph" and "oe"). The land was natively known as knʿn (cf. Eblaite ca-na-na-um, ca-na-na), remembered in the 6th century BC by Hecataeus under the Greek form Chna (χνα), and its people as the knʿny (cf. Punic chanani, Hebrew kanaʿani).Origins: 2300–1200 BC
Herodotus's account (written c. 440 BC) refers to the Io and Europa myths. (History, I:1).According to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began the quarrel. These people, who had formerly dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean Sea (the eastern part of the Arabia peninsula), having migrated to the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they now inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long voyages, freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria... —Herodotus
Strabo, the Greek historian, geographer and philosopher mentioned that the Phoenicians came from the eastern part of the Arabia peninsula where they have similar gods, cemeteries and temples. This theory was accepted by the 19th century German classicist Arnold Heeren who said that: “In the Greek geographers, for instance, we read of two islands, named Tyrus or Tylos, and Aradus, which boasted that they were the mother country of the Phoenicians, and exhibited relics of Phoenician temples.” The people of Tyre in particular have long maintained Persian Gulf origins, and the similarity in the words “Tylos” and “Tyre” has been commented upon. However, there is little evidence of occupation at all in Bahrain during the time when such migration had supposedly taken place. Later classicist theories were proposed prior to modern archaeological excavations which revealed no disruption of Phoenician societies between 3200 B.C. and 1200 B.C.Genetic studies
History of Lebanon
|Ancient history of Lebanon|
|Timeline of Lebanese history|
Spencer Wells of the Genographic Project has conducted genetic studies that demonstrate that male populations of Lebanon, Syria, Malta, Sicily, Spain, and other areas settled by Phoenicians, as well as the main Jewish populations, including modern Israel, share a common m89 chromosome Y type. m89 first arose around 40,000 years back; a lineage marker of 90 to 95 percent of all non-Africans who migrated out of Africa and settled in the fertile lands of the Middle East and beyond.
Pierre Zalloua and Wells (2004), under the auspices of a grant from National Geographic Magazine examined the origins of the Phoenicians. The debate between Wells and Zalloua was whether haplogroup J2 (M172) should be identified as that of the Phoenicians or that of its "parent" haplogroup M89 on the YDNA phylogenetic tree. Initial consensus suggested that J2 be identified with the Canaanite-Phoenician (Northwest Semitic) population, with avenues open for future research. As Wells commented, "The Phoenicians were the Canaanites — and the ancestors of today's Lebanese" It was reported in the PBS description of the National Geographic TV Special on this study entitled "Quest for the Phoenicians" that ancient DNA was included in this study as extracted from the tooth of a 2500 year-old Phoenician mummy.
Based on the genetic dating methods utilized by Zalloua the J2 genetic marker dates back to around 12,000 years and stem from the Levant. The National Geographic Genographic Project linked haplogroup J2 to some ancient towns such as Jericho, Tel el-Sultan, ca. 8500 BC and indicated that in modern populations, haplogroup J2 is found in North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. J2 alone is found at a frequency of (20%) in Southern Italians, and at lesser frequencies in Southern Spain (10%). Both haplogroup J, to whose descendants originally appeared exclusively in the Mediterrenean area around 10,000 years ago, and its subgroup J2 constitute a combined frequency of about (30%) among Jews.
For identifying distinct Phoenicians male genetic traces in nowadays contemporary populations, Zalloua studied sites influenced by the Phoenicians on the basis of well-recorded historical documents, from which Y-chromosomal material was sampled, in conjunction with comparative data from the literature. Of the counterparts used were the coastal Lebanese heartland versus the rest of the Levant (Phoenician periphery), Phoenician Mediterrenean colonies versus Phoenician trading centers, and trading centers versus Phoenician non-influenced sites sharing distance proximtiy. The research drew a conclusion upon the given and was that haplogroup J2, for the most part, and the six Y-STR haplotypes, in particular, exhibited the Phoenician distinguishable signature. Haplotypes PCS1+, a Phoenician colonization signal, through PCS6+ therefore represent lineages that have likely been spread by the Phoenicians.
In spite the fact that each STR+ comprises colonies established at distinct geographical sites across the Mediterrenean, each remains rooted with high frequencies in the Phoenician heartland. This argues for a joint source of related lineages deep-rooted in Lebanon.High point: 1200–800 BC
Fernand Braudel remarked in The Perspective of the World that Phoenicia was an early example of a "world-economy" surrounded by empires. The high point of Phoenician culture and seapower is usually placed ca. 1200–800 BC.Assyrian warship (probably built by Phoenicians) with two rows of oars, relief from Nineveh, ca. 700 BC
Many of the most important Phoenician settlements had been established long before this: Byblos, Tyre, Sidon, Simyra, Arwad, and Berytus, all appear in the Amarna tablets. Archeology has identified cultural elements of the Phoenician zenith as early as the third millennium BC.
The league of independent city-state ports, with others on the islands and along other coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, was ideally suited for trade between the Levant area, rich in natural resources, and the rest of the ancient world. During the early Iron Age, in around 1200 BC an unknown event occurred, historically associated with the appearance of the Sea Peoples from the north. They weakened and destroyed the Egyptians and the Hittites respectively. In the resulting power vacuum, a number of Phoenician cities rose as significant maritime powers.
The societies rested on three power-bases: the king; the temple and its priests; and councils of elders. Byblos first became the predominant center from where the Phoenicians dominated the Mediterranean and Erythraean (Red) Sea routes. It was here that the first inscription in the Phoenician alphabet was found, on the sarcophagus of Ahiram (ca. 1200 BC). Later, Tyre gained in power. One of its kings, the priest Ithobaal (887–856 BC) ruled Phoenicia as far north as Beirut, and part of Cyprus. Carthage was founded in 814 BC under Pygmalion of Tyre (820–774 BC). The collection of city-states constituting Phoenicia came to be characterized by outsiders and the Phoenicians as Sidonia or Tyria. Phoenicians and Canaanites alike were called Zidonians or Tyrians, as one Phoenician city came to prominence after another.Decline: 539–65 BC Persian rule Main article: Achaemenid PhoeniciaA naval action during the siege of Tyre (350 BC). Drawing by André Castaigne, 1888–1889.
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Cyrus the Great conquered Phoenicia in 539 BC. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre, Arwad, and Byblos. They prospered, furnishing fleets for the Persian kings. Phoenician influence declined after this. It is likely that much of the Phoenician population migrated to Carthage and other colonies following the Persian conquest. In 350 or 345 BC a rebellion in Sidon led by Tennes was crushed by Artaxerxes III. Its destruction was described by Diodorus Siculus.Hellenistic rule
Alexander the Great took Tyre in 332 BC after the Siege of Tyre. Alexander was exceptionally harsh to Tyre, executing 2,000 of the leading citizens, but he maintained the king in power. He gained control of the other cities peacefully: the ruler of Aradus submitted; the king of Sidon was overthrown. The rise of Hellenistic Greece gradually ousted the remnants of Phoenicia's former dominance over the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes. Phoenician culture disappeared entirely in the motherland. Carthage continued to flourish in North Africa. It oversaw the mining of iron and precious metals from Iberia, and used its considerable naval power and mercenary armies to protect commercial interests. Rome finally destroyed it in 146 BC, at the end of the Punic Wars.
Following Alexander, the Phoenician homeland was controlled by a succession of Hellenistic rulers: Laomedon (323 BC), Ptolemy I (320), Antigonus II (315), Demetrius (301), and Seleucus (296). Between 286 and 197 BC, Phoenicia (except for Aradus) fell to the Ptolemies of Egypt, who installed the high priests of Astarte as vassal rulers in Sidon (Eshmunazar I, Tabnit, Eshmunazar II).
In 197 BC, Phoenicia along with Syria reverted to the Seleucids. The region became increasingly Hellenized, although Tyre became autonomous in 126 BC, followed by Sidon in 111. Syria, including Phoenicia, were seized by king Tigranes the Great of Armenia from 82 until 69 BC, when he was defeated by Lucullus. In 65 BC Pompey finally incorporated the territory as part of the Roman province of Syria.Trade See also: Phoenicians and wineMap of Phoenicia and trade routes
The Phoenicians were among the greatest traders of their time and owed much of their prosperity to trade. At first, they traded mainly with the Greeks, trading wood, slaves, glass and powdered Tyrian purple. Tyrian purple was a violet-purple dye used by the Greek elite to color garments. In fact, the word Phoenician derives from the ancient Greek word phoínios meaning "purple". As trading and colonizing spread over the Mediterranean, Phoenicians and Greeks seemed to have unconsciously split that sea in two: the Phoenicians sailed along and eventually dominating the southern shore, while the Greeks were active along the northern shores. The two cultures clashed rarely, mainly in Sicily, which eventually settled into two spheres of influence, the Phoenician southwest and the Greek northeast.Phoenician plate with red slip, 7th century BC, excavated in Mogador island, Essaouira, Morocco
In the centuries after 1200 BC, the Phoenicians were the major naval and trading power of the region. Phoenician trade was founded on the Tyrian purple dye, a violet-purple dye derived from the shell of the Murex sea-snail, once profusely available in coastal waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea but exploited to local extinction. James B. Pritchard's excavations at Sarepta in present-day Lebanon revealed crushed Murex shells and pottery containers stained with the dye that was being produced at the site. The Phoenicians established a second production center for the dye in Mogador, in present day Morocco. Brilliant textiles were a part of Phoenician wealth, and Phoenician glass was another export ware. They traded unrefined, prick-eared hunting dogs of Asian or African origin which locally they had developed into many breeds such as the Basenji, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Cirneco dell'Etna, Cretan Hound, Canary Islands Hound, and Portuguese Podengo. To Egypt, where grapevines would not grow, the 8th-century Phoenicians sold wine: the wine trade with Egypt is vividly documented by the shipwrecks located in 1997 in the open sea 30 miles west of Ascalon; pottery kilns at Tyre and Sarepta produced the big terracotta jars used for transporting wine. From Egypt, they bought Nubian gold.
From elsewhere, they obtained other materials, perhaps the most important being silver from Iberian Peninsula and tin from Great Britain, the latter of which when smelted with copper from Cyprus created the durable metal alloy bronze. Strabo states that there was a highly lucrative Phoenician trade with Britain for tin. It was once thought that this was direct trade but it is now believed to have been indirect. Professor Timothy Champion, a specialist in this period found it likely that the trade of the Phoenicians with Britain was indirect and under the control of the Veneti of Brittany.
The Phoenicians established commercial outposts throughout the Mediterranean, the most strategically important being Carthage in North Africa, directly across the narrow straits. Ancient Gaelic mythologies attribute a Phoenician/Scythian influx to Ireland by a leader called Fenius Farsa. Others also sailed south along the coast of Africa. A Carthaginian expedition led by Hanno the Navigator explored and colonized the Atlantic coast of Africa as far as the Gulf of Guinea; and according to Herodotus, a Phoenician expedition sent down the Red Sea by pharaoh Necho II of Egypt (c. 600 BC) even circumnavigated Africa and returned through the Pillars of Hercules after three years. Using gold obtained by expansion of the African coastal trade following the Hanno expedition, Carthage minted gold staters in 350 BC bearing a pattern, in the reverse exergue of the coins, which some have interpreted as a map of the Mediterranean with America shown to the west.
From the 10th century BC, their expansive culture established cities and colonies throughout the Mediterranean. Canaanite deities like Baal and Astarte were being worshipped from Cyprus to Sardinia, Malta, Sicily, Spain, Portugal, and most notably at Carthage in modern Tunisia.
In the Phoenician homeland:Detailed map of Phoenicia
Phoenician colonies, including some of lesser importance (this list might be incomplete):
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The Phoenician alphabet was one of the first alphabets with a strict and consistent form. It is assumed that it adopted its simplified linear characters from an as-yet unattested early pictorial Semitic alphabet developed some centuries earlier in the southern Levant. The precursor to the Phoenician alphabet was likely of Egyptian origin as Middle Bronze Age alphabets from the southern Levant resemble Egyptian hieroglyphs, or more specifically an early alphabetic writing system found at Wadi-el-Hol in central Egypt. In addition to being preceded by proto-Canaanite, the Phoenician alphabet was also preceded by an alphabetic script of Mesopotamian origin called Ugaritic. The development of the Phoenician alphabet from the Proto-Canaanite coincided with the rise of the Iron Age in the 11th century BC.
This alphabet has been termed an abjad, a script that contains no vowels. The first four letters aleph, beth, jamal, and daleth gave the name to the alphabet.Sarcophagus of Ahiram in the National Museum of Beirut
The oldest known representation of the Phoenician alphabet is inscribed on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram of Byblos, dating to the 11th century BC at the latest. Phoenician inscriptions are found in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Cyprus and other locations, as late as the early centuries of the Christian Era. The Phoenicians are credited with spreading the Phoenician alphabet throughout the Mediterranean world. Phoenician traders disseminated this writing system along Aegean trade routes, to Creta and Greece. The Greeks adopted the majority of these letters but changed some of them to vowels which were significable in their language, giving rise to the first true alphabet.
The Phoenician language is classified in the Canaanite subgroup of Northwest Semitic. Its later descendant in North Africa is termed Punic. In Phoenician colonies around the western Mediterranean, beginning in the 9th century BC, Phoenician evolved into Punic. Punic Phoenician was still spoken in the 5th century AD: St. Augustine, for example, grew up in North Africa and was familiar with the language.Art
Phoenician art lacks unique characteristics that might distinguish it from its contemporaries. This is due to its being highly influenced by foreign artistic cultures: primarily Egypt, Greece and Assyria. Phoenicians who were taught on the banks of the Nile and the Euphrates gained a wide artistic experience and finally came to create their own art, which was an amalgam of foreign models and perspectives. In an article from The New York Times published on January 5, 1879, Phoenician art was described by the following:
He entered into other men's labors and made most of his heritage. The Sphinx of Egypt became Asiatic, and its new form was transplanted to Nineveh on the one side and to Greece on the other. The rosettes and other patterns of the Babylonian cylinders were introduced into the handiwork of Phoenicia, and so passed on to the West, while the hero of the ancient Chaldean epic became first the Tyrian Melkarth, and then the Herakles of Hellas.Religion Further information: Canaanite religion
|Gods Attested 2nd Millennium|| Attested 1st Millennium |
Phoenician culture had a huge effect upon the cultures of the Mediterranean basin in the early Iron Age, and had also been affected in reverse. For example, in Phoenicia, the tripartite division between Baal, Mot and Yam seems to have been influenced by the Greek division between Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. Phoenician temples in various Mediterranean ports sacred to Phoenician Melkart, during the classical period, were recognized as sacred to Hercules. Stories like the Rape of Europa, and the coming of Cadmus also draw upon Phoenician influence.
The recovery of the Mediterranean economy after the late Bronze Age collapse, seems to have been largely due to the work of Phoenician traders and merchant princes, who re-established long distance trade between Egypt and Mesopotamia in the 10th century BC. The Ionian revolution was, at least in legend, led by philosophers such as Thales of Miletus or Pythagoras, both of whom had Phoenician fathers. Phoenician motifs are also present in the Orientalising period of Greek art, and Phoenicians also played a formative role in Etruscan civilisation in Tuscany.
There are many countries and cities around the world that derive their names from the Phoenician Language. Below is a list with the respective meanings:
Hiram (also spelled Huran) associated with the building of the temple.
|“||2 Chronicles 2:14—The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, silver, brass, iron, stone, timber, royal purple(from the Murex), blue, and in crimson, and fine linens; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him...||”|
This is the architect of the Temple, Hiram Abiff of Masonic lore. They are vastly famous for their purple dye.
Later, reforming prophets railed against the practice of drawing royal wives from among foreigners: Elijah execrated Jezebel, the princess from Tyre who became a consort of King Ahab and introduced the worship of her gods Baal.
Long after Phoenician culture had flourished, or Phoenicia had existed as any political entity, Hellenized natives of the region where Canaanites still lived were referred to as "Syro-Phoenicians", as in the Gospel of Mark 7:26: "The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by nation".
In Acts 15 Paul and Barnabas travel through Phoenicia in route to Jerusalem. Acts 15:3 (NIV) "The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad."
The word Bible itself derives from Greek biblion, which means "book" and either derives from, or is the (perhaps ultimately Egyptian) origin of Byblos, the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal.Phoenician ships
The Greeks had two names for Phoenician ships: hippoi and galloi. Galloi means tubs and hippoi means horses. These names are readily explained by depictions of Phoenician ships in the palaces of Assyrian kings from the 7th and 8th centuries, as the ships in these images are tub shaped (galloi) and have horse heads on the ends of them (hippoi). It is possible that these hippoi come from Phoenician connections with the Greek god Poseidon.Depictions
The Tel Balawat gates (850 BC) are found in the palace of Shalmaneser III, an Assyrian king, near Nimrud. They are made of bronze, and they portray ships coming to honor Shalmaneser. The Khorsabad bas-relief (7th Century BC) shows the transportation of timber (most likely cedar) from Lebanon. It is found in the palace built specifically for Sargon II, another Assyrian king, at Khorsabad, now northern Iraq.Relationship with the Greeks Trade
Towards the end of the Bronze Age (around 1200 BC) there was trade between the Canaanites (early Phoenicians), Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece. In a shipwreck found off of the coast of Turkey, the Ulu Bulurun wreck, Canaanite storage pottery along with pottery from Cyprus and Greece was found. The Phoenicians were famous metalworkers, and by the end of the 8th Century BC, Greek city-states were sending out envoys to the Levant (the eastern Mediterranean) for metal goods.
The height of Phoenician trade was around the 7th and 8th centuries. There is a dispersal of imports (ceramic, stone, and faience) from the Levant that traces a Phoenician commercial channel to the Greek mainland via the central Aegean. Athens shows little evidence of this trade with few eastern imports, but other Greek coastal cities are rich with eastern imports that evidence this trade.
Al Mina is a specific example of the trade that took place between the Greeks and the Phoenicians. It has been theorized that by the 8th century BC, Euboean traders established a commercial enterprise with the Levantine coast and were using Al Mina (in Syria) as a base for this enterprise. There is still some question about the veracity of these claims concerning Al Mina. The Phoenicians even got their name from the Greeks due to their trade. Their most famous trading product was purple dye, the Greek word for which is phoenos.Alphabet
The Phoenician phonetic alphabet was adopted and modified by the Greeks probably at the 8th century BC (around the time of the hippoi depictions). This most likely did not come from a single instance but from a culmination of commercial exchange. This means that before the 8th century, there was a relationship between the Greeks and the Phoenicians. Though there is no evidence to support the suggestion, it is probable that during this period there was also an adoptation, a passing of religious ideas. Herodotus cited the city of Thebes (a city in central Greece) as the place of the importation of the alphabet. The legendary Phoenician hero Cadmus is credited with bringing the alphabet to Greece, but it is more plausible that it was brought by Phoenician emigrants to Crete, whence it gradually diffused northwards.Connections with Greek mythology Kadmos
In both Phoenician and Greek mythologies, Kadmos is a Phoenician prince, the son of Agenor, the king of Tyre. Herodotus credits Kadmos for bringing the Phoenician alphabet to Greece approximately sixteen hundred years before Herodotus' time, or around 2000 BC as he attested.
"So these Phoenicians, including the Gephyraians, came with Kadmos and settled this land, and they transmitted much lore to the Hellenes, and in particular, taught them the alphabet which, I believe the Hellenes did not have previously, but which was originally used by all Phoenicians" – The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories, Book 5.58, translated by Andrea L. PurvisPhoenician gods of the sea
Due to the number of deities similar to the “Lord of the Sea” in classical mythology, there have been many difficulties attributing one specific name to the sea deity or the “Poseidon–Neptune” figure of Phoenician religion. This figure of “Poseidon-Neptune” is mentioned by authors and in various inscriptions as being very important to merchants and sailors, but a singular name has yet to be found. There are, however, names for sea gods from individual city-states. Ugarit is an ancient city state of Phoenicia. Yamm is the Ugaritic god of the sea. Yamm and Baal, the storm god of Ugaritic myth and often associated with Zeus, have an epic battle for power over the universe. While Yamm is the god of the sea, he truly represents vast chaos. Baal, on the other hand, is a representative for order. In Ugaritic myth, Baal overcomes Yamm's power. In some versions of this myth, Baal kills Yamm with a mace fashioned for him, and in others, the goddess Athtart saves Yamm and says that since defeated, he should stay in his own province. Yamm is the brother of the god of death, Mot.
Some scholars have identified Yamm with Poseidon, although he has also been identified with Pontus.