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Research Starters
  • Author(s): Hornum, Michael B.
  • Source:
    Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020. 4p.
  • Subject Terms:
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      The term “Phoenicia” (fih-NEE-shee-uh) is derived from phoinix, the Greek word for “purple or crimson,” probably an allusion to the purple dye that the Phoenicians extracted from the murex (a mollusk). Phoenicia referred to a territory encompassing the coastal plain of modern Lebanon, southern Syria, and northern Israel. The Phoenicians appear to have continued to call this region by its Semitic name, Canaan. From that homeland, the Phoenicians established colonies in Cyprus, North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain. The most powerful of these colonies was Carthage.