Phoenician history

Phoenician history is filled with many unique and intriguing events. And since these people were great sea traders in antiquity they interacted with everyone. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians and others wrote excessively about them. So there are many fascinating things that we know about these people, and you will see a number of the most interesting ones here.

Everyone knows the Phoenicians built sturdy cedar boats and brought purple cloth among their shipboard treasures. But there is much more to that story, as you see here. For each of the following subjects we endeavor to cover what everyone knows, but then go beyond that to give you something a little less known but equally fascinating.


The land of the Phoenician people was Phoenicia–and we see it here in independent, Greek and Roman times.

Phoenician Images

These remarkable pictures of Phoenicians in antiquity show aspects of their fashions and their lives.

Cedars of Lebanon

The fame and fortune of Lebanon’s celebrated cedar trees are followed up to the present day — with pictures.

Byblos, Sidon, Tyre

The first Phoenician city was at Byblos, but it was eventually surpassed by its daughter cities at Tyre and Sidon.


Beirut began as a small Phoenician town but grew to become the beating heart of Lebanon in later years.

Phoenician Colonies

These descriptions of Phoenician colonies include Carthage, Cadiz, Ibiza, Lixis, Utica, Kition, Motya, Palermo, Cagliari and many others.

Carthage & Hannibal

Follow the story of Carthage from its founding by Elissa to the glories and defeats of the Punic Wars.

More Phoenician History

Ancient Mediterranean

Experience the Phoenician trade routes and outposts extending from Lebanon to Spain and all points in between.

BBC Ancient World

The BBC touched on many familiar as well as controversial subjects related to the Phoenicians in this well-made program.

Phoenician Religion

The Phoenicians’ surprising tolerance for the religions of others stands in marked contrast to the troubles of Lebanon today.

Solomon’s Temple

King Hiram of Tyre sent master builders and cedar to raise Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem in another display of tolerance.

Templars in Lebanon

The Knights Templar named themselves after Solomon’s Temple, but that was only the first of many ties they had to the Phoenicians.

Lebanese Americans

A surprising number of Lebanese-Americans have contributed greatly to our lives, while still enjoying their Lebanese heritage.

Phoenicians Definition

This revealing definition of the Phoenicians begins with them being the ancient sea-traders who spread from Lebanon to many Mediterranean colonies.

Phoenician Book Review

Here is a well-researched Phoenician book bringing together the long history of the Lebanese people and the ancient Mediterranean.

Phoenicians Expert

Phoenicians expert Sanford Holst is a noted historian and the author of Phoenician Secrets, along with many academic papers on the ancient Mediterranean.

Egypt & Pyramids

How were the Phoenicians involved with the pyramids? The cedar boats found there raise interesting questions.

In addition to the written records we gathered from many sources, we also present photographs of places in ancient Phoenicia — modern Lebanon — and other places the Phoenicians traveled around the Mediterranean. Museum collections are also represented, and there are some vividly rich pictures painted by famous artists about Phoenician people. Enjoy!

The content of this website is drawn from the research of historian Sanford Holst

Updated February 4, 2024

CLOUD: Phoenician history, Mediterranean history, sea traders, history of the Phoenicians

Further information

If you would like to experience more of the Phoenician world than you find in these short articles, see the book Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage. This extensive exploration is brightened with 104 illustrations.

Going beyond the few traditionally-cited facts, this authoritative work draws from discussions with leading archaeologists and historians to discover new clues and lines of inquiry into this secretive society.


You can take a look inside this book. See the first pages here.