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Phoenicia

Name for an ancient stretch of land that stretched as a coastal strip along the Mediterranean Sea and included parts of today's two states of Lebanon and Syria. The Semitic people of the Phoenicians (also Phoenicians or Phoenicians) migrated here towards the end of the 3rd millennium. In the Bible, the area is described by the Israelites as the "land of red purple" (Greek Phoinike = purple) because of the purple snail secretion used there to dye textiles. In the Bible, the inhabitants are called Canaanites or after the name of their cities, especially Sidonites. The Phoenicians who settled in North Africa (Carthage) were called Punic by the Romans. Phoenicia was never a political entity, however, but consisted of several city-states. Important ones were Arados (Arwad), Berytos (Beirut), Byblos (Djebeil), Sidon (Sayda), Tripolis (Tarãbulus), Tyros (Sur) and Ugurit (Latakia). Until 1200 BC, the Phoenicians were under the cultural and political influence of Egypt, then the two cities of Sidon and Tyros gained a dominant position.

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