Phoenician Society’s peaceful Foundation and the Deviation Into War

Based on papers presented by Sanford Holst at the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations in Monterey, California on June 14, 2007 and at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 30, 2007

Punic Wars and peace with Carthage
Carthage: Punic Wars and Peace

Even though ancient historians wrote extensively about the Phoenicians,[i],[ii],[iii],[iv],[v],[vi] these seafaring people have been largely overlooked in the study of history.[vii] As a result, few current scholars have noted the fundamental peacefulness of Phoenician society in the Levant.[viii] That tranquil foundation stands in clear contrast to the latter-day militarism of Carthage, their famous colony on the coast of North Africa. Examining this deviation in a society from peaceful to warlike behavior is especially relevant today as we struggle with choices between war and peace.

And the question is asked, “If Carthage had sought peaceful negotiation with Rome instead of war, what history might have been written by a prosperous and independent Africa in the millennia which followed?”

The Foundation

To see the peaceful foundation of Phoenician society, let us begin by examining a well-documented event which took place in the land we now know as Lebanon, around 1000 BCE.[ix],[x] At that time Tyre, the leading city of the Phoenicians,[xi] was confronted by fighting in neighboring lands as King David’s army sacked Jerusalem and began to sweep across the territory which became known as Israel. Each of the leaders which opposed David’s zealous army was defeated. In clear contrast, the King of Tyre approached David with offers of peace and rich gifts—including a palace to be built with cedar from Lebanon. The Bible tells us David accepted those gifts and peaceful relations with the Phoenicians.[xii]

This gift-giving and peace was continued by the two men’s sons, Hiram of Tyre and Solomon of Jerusalem. The commitments of Tyre were also honored by the other Phoenician cities, including Sidon.[xiii] This peace allowed Hiram and Solomon to engage in extensive mutual trade, especially as it related to the building of Solomon’s Temple. For this difficult endeavor, the Phoenicians provided large amounts of cedar, gold and skilled artisans. In return, they received many measures of foodstuffs from Israel.[xiv] When the work was completed and Israel’s gifts were not sufficient to balance the trade, Solomon gave to Hiram twenty towns in Galilee.[xv] Note that by choosing this non-confrontational path with David and Solomon, the Phoenicians not only avoided the loss of lands through war, they in fact gained lands through peace.

With respect to war and peace in the Middle East today, this ability to avoid war and peacefully resolve conflicts—which once existed between Lebanon and Israel—is sorely in need of being revived.

Those accounts of Hiram’s relationship with David and Solomon provide clear examples of the Phoenicians’ peacefulness. And we see in those events a pattern the Phoenicians would employ many times in dealing with war-parties approaching their lands: they offered gifts and negotiated peacefully. These offers of negotiation met with varying degrees of success, but in each case the Phoenicians achieved a higher degree of freedom to conduct their affairs than did the neighbors around them who resorted to armed response.

In 1109 BCE this pattern was employed when the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser I accepted gifts, and took his army away. In 870 BCE another Assyrian king, Ashurnasirpal II received lavish gifts and also went away, though subsequent Assyrian kings intruded on the Phoenician cities.[xvi] In 604 BCE, the invading army of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon was approached this way, with lesser results being achieved. With Persia, the Phoenicians did not even wait for that foreign army to approach their cities, but came forward voluntarily to offer gifts and cooperation to King Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE and again to his son Cambyses.[xvii] This arrangement resulted in great benefits for both parties.

As a striking example of the amount of freedom the Phoenicians were able to buy through their negotiated peace, when the Persian king Cambyses declared his intention to attack Carthage, the Phoenicians refused to support him. Rather than lose the cooperation of his prized ally, Cambyses cancelled the attack, and the Phoenician colony at Carthage was spared.[xviii] These relationships between the Phoenicians and their larger, more militant neighbors brought difficulties, but also brought rewards.

To digress for a moment. . . .

If you would like to discover more about the Phoenicians than what is covered in this article, the book Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage is recommended. It is deeply researched but also a highly readable exploration.

Going beyond the few traditionally-cited facts, this authoritative work also draws from interviews with leading archaeologists and historians on-site in the lands and islands where the Phoenicians lived and left clues regarding their secretive society.

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

Addressing a closely related issue important to peace, the question is asked, “How many times did the Phoenicians in the Levant raise an army and march off to fight in a foreign land?” After thirty years of reading all available sources, I have found this somewhat surprising answer: they apparently never did it.

Consider for a moment trying to describe Greek or Roman history, if those people had never fought pitched battles in foreign lands—no Alexander the Great, no Julius Caesar, no great victories and military heroes. Yet that absence of foreign campaigns is the history of the Phoenicians in Lebanon.

To be fair and complete, we must note that the Phoenicians several times entered into treaties with other lands, such as Egypt, against oppressive opponents. However, when the time came to fight upon the battlefield, the Phoenicians gave up this bluff and capitulated.[xix]

On other occasions, when their cities in Lebanon were physically under attack, they would sometimes fight back, as they did at Tyre against Alexander the Great. Yet even in these cases, they hired mercenaries to do the deed if they could, as with the Greek troops they employed to blunt latter-day attacks by the Persians.[xx]

During the times when their cities stood in the shadow of warlike neighbors such as Persia, the Phoenicians were sometimes compelled to use their fleets of ships to provide sea transport for foreign soldiers, or to perform a naval action. Despite the Phoenicians’ tremendous expertise upon the seas, their failure rate in these campaigns was fairly high—which attested to their general lack of experience with warfare.[xxi]

There was one more way in which the Phoenicians of Lebanon avoided conflict: they located their settlements on islands and on promontories extending out from the shore, so that the sea served as a moat and provided protection. And when under attack, they looked to that sea for a watery route to escape.[xxii] Other than Byblos, which was established before the Phoenicians became a sea-faring people,[xxiii] the preferred placement of all their cities and colonies was on an island if possible, as they did at Tyre, Motya and Cadiz.[xxiv] If an island was not available, they would settle for placement on a peninsula protruding into the sea, as they did at Sidon. The placement of their cities was oriented primarily toward evacuation across the sea in times of stress, rather than being placed at the top of a hill where fortification and fighting battles would have been easier.

These peaceful characteristics of the Phoenicians were strikingly at odds with the warlike cultures around them. The Phoenicians won the benefits of peace, which were survival and considerable prosperity, while those around them perished—including the Hittites, Assyrians and Babylonians. But their neighbors enjoyed the temporary pleasure of large estates and spacious villas which were often acquired through conquest. The attractions of the land-acquiring and war-based way of life was no doubt deeply compelling, to judge from its widespread practice in many lands.

Let us recall for a moment that when the Phoenicians supported Solomon in the building of his great temple, he gave twenty towns to Hiram as payment. Thereafter, the various Phoenician cities in Lebanon continued to gain other concessions of land as time went on.[xxv] Suffice it to say, the temptation to cross over to the “fighting to gain and keep land” way of life was ever in front of them. Yet, as we have seen above, the Phoenicians in the Levant successfully resisted this temptation.

The Deviation

However, in 814 BCE a conflict arose in Tyre, which led directly to the founding of Carthage on the coast of North Africa. The verbal story of Carthage’s founding was eventually put into writing, and found its way to us almost eight hundred years later—in The Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil.[xxvi] For poetic purposes, the conflict in Tyre was said to be about gold. Yet throughout the known history of the Phoenicians, we find no factual reference to their ever having fought over gold. In fact, as we have seen, they frequently gave it away to preserve peace. So what was the real source of the heated conflict which caused a significant portion of Tyre’s population to leave en masse, taking shiploads of their rich possessions with them?

Carthage, Punic Wars and peace
Carthage’s queen Elissa welcomes Aeneas

Evidence of the seminal cause comes to us many times during Carthage’s history. The first of these was the founders’ placement of the city on Byrsa Hill. This location was not an island, as preferred by the Phoenicians in the Levant and in their other colonies. Nor was it on a promontory which stuck out into the sea. The location chosen for Carthage was a hilltop, as favored by military cultures. This fact was emphasized as Carthage grew and spread itself across the surrounding land in estates and villas, rather than in the Phoenicians’ traditional compact living spaces in coastal cities.[xxvii]

Other than those precursors of what was to come, however, the people of Carthage at first lived according to the practices and traditions of the Phoenicians in Lebanon. They were peaceful, they conducted trade, and they prospered. At this time, Tyre was still the leading city in what was becoming a Phoenician empire of colonies. But changes were coming. Small Phoenician settlements all around Sicily were disrupted when heavily-armed Greeks arrived and took possession of the eastern part of that large island, as described by Thucydides.[xxviii] In their typical peaceful manner, the Phoenician colonists on Sicily simply withdrew without fighting, and resettled on the western part of the island. As was also traditional, they established a new city to be their center of operations—on the small island of Motya just off the Sicilian coast.[xxix]

In response to those Greek intrusions on Sicily, Carthage began to support extensive colonization on Sardinia, Corsica, and the long coast of North Africa. These new settlements were not solely on the coast nor offshore islands, but began to occupy hilltops and inland areas, much like Carthage itself.[xxx]

By the end of the sixth century BCE, the Phoenician cities in Lebanon had become significantly weaker due to the flow of tribute they paid to the Assyrians, and then to the successors of those people: the Babylonians and the Persians. Meanwhile, Carthage became even more powerful in the middle and western Mediterranean, and grew less tolerant of the growing Greek intrusion. Finally it happened. For the first time in the history of the Phoenicians, one of their cities raised an army and went to war.

The Carthaginian general Hamilcar gathered a land army which Herodotus described as 300,000 men drawn from their colonies in North Africa, Morocco, Spain, Gaul, Sardinia and Sicily.[xxxi] In 480 BCE they landed at the Phoenician city which is now known as Palermo, and set out to face a smaller force assembled by the Greek cities of Syracuse and Acragas (modern Agrigento). The armies fought at Himera in northern Sicily and, despite Carthage’s advantage in numbers, its inexperience at war showed through and the war was lost.[xxxii] As a result, the pro-military government in Carthage was removed from office and a peace was negotiated.

But the lesson was not learned. In 409 BCE, when the Greeks attacked the Sicilian city of Segesta, Carthage immediately came to the aid of its ally. With a taste of victory, the war faction regained leadership in Carthage and the battles on Sicily raged anew. Thirty-five years of war rewarded Carthage with an increase in its share of Sicily,[xxxiii] and that was a most unfortunate occurrence. It seemed to leave the impression that fighting wars was a reasonable way to conduct foreign affairs.

Then, from 333 to 332 BCE, Alexander the Great swept down the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and conquered all of the Phoenician cities he found there.[xxxiv] Suddenly, Carthage was left without even a nominal master, and was in complete control of its own destiny. For a while it chose the path of peace and grew into a great metropolis, supported by extensive trade and vast acreage of tilled fields. Then the lure of war beckoned again.

In 265 BCE, the Greeks attacked the Sicilian city of Messina.[xxxv] Once more Carthage came to the aid of local people, and drove the invaders back from that city. Expecting to profit again from war, Carthage made demands of Messina. But rather than repay Carthage for its service, the leaders of Messina appealed to a new power in Italy, the Romans. With Rome’s recent victories over the Etruscans in northern Italy and the Greek settlements in southern Italy, the people of that city had expanded to rule the whole Italian peninsula, and were ready for their next opportunity. Messina gave them that chance. Rome sent its troops across the small stretch of water to Sicily, and quickly pushed the Phoenicians from Messina. The Romans then pursued the nearby Greek army all the way to Syracuse on the eastern part of the island. The Greeks sued for peace, and signed a treaty which left them with only the lands surrounding that one city. This freed the Romans to turn their full attention to Carthage.

The First Punic War quickly followed. For twenty-three years Carthage and Rome fought back and forth across Sicily.[xxxvi] But the most significant development turned out not to be on land. Rome had come into the war as a completely land-based force, which put it at a severe disadvantage when fighting on a large island. So according to Polybius, the Romans salvaged a Phoenician ship and took it apart to find out how it was built.[xxxvii] They then began to construct similar ships as fast as they could. Slowly and inexorably, the Romans captured city after city across Sicily. In 241 BCE a peace treaty was signed in which Carthage yielded Sicily to Rome, and the First Punic War was over.[xxxviii]

A few years later, while Carthage still struggled to recover from the huge cost of that war,[xxxix] Rome broke the peace treaty by seizing two more of Carthage’s prized possessions: Sardinia and Corsica.[xl],[xli] Too weak to do anything about it at that moment, the leaders of Carthage angrily bided their time.

Twenty years later, when young Hannibal became Carthage’s new general, he took over leadership of a large force in their colony of Spain. This set the stage for vengeance to be inflicted on Rome. In 218 BCE, Hannibal dealt with Rome’s attempt to win away the Spanish city of Saguntum—by sacking the Spanish city. A state of war between Carthage and Rome was declared shortly thereafter.[xlii]

This Second Punic War began with Hannibal’s famous march across the Alps into Italy, accompanied by elephants and his large army. For many years he campaigned across Italy, defeating Roman legions at every encounter. He was successful in every way except one—he never captured the city of Rome. The government of Carthage, being unaccustomed to the need for finality and even viciousness to conclude a war, began to give less support and reinforcements as the costly war dragged on.[xliii] Rome gained time to regroup, and struck at Spain, winning great victories there. Then they sent their legions to North Africa to threaten Carthage itself. The anxious leaders of that city sued for peace, and recalled Hannibal to North Africa to secure their defense and negotiate the peace. When those talks failed, a final battle was fought at Zama in which Rome prevailed. The Second Punic War was over, and Carthage was stripped of all its remaining colonies. It lost Spain, Morocco, and all of North Africa except for the land immediately around the city itself.[xliv]

Yet the confrontation with Rome was still not over. The near extinction of that great city at the hands of Hannibal left a wound which would not heal. Roman leaders such as Cato continued to argue in speech after speech that Carthage must be destroyed. Finally, in 149 BCE Rome issued a series of onerous demands, including that Carthage move its entire metropolis ten miles away from the sea.[xlv] Of course, no one expected Carthage to agree, and they did not. So the pretext was in place to begin the Third Punic War. It was brief, and ended three years later with the predictable complete destruction of Carthage.[xlvi] Its population of over half a million people was slaughtered or sold into slavery, and it is said that not one stone was left upon another in the city. The path of war had exacted a shocking price, and the Phoenicians were gone.

The Choice [xlvii]

Did Carthage have another choice, other than war? Prior to the First Punic War—when the Romans entered Sicily to help Messina, and subsequently drove the Greeks all the way back to Syracuse—Carthage had a decision to make.

As we have seen, a) the leaders of Tyre in Lebanon would characteristically have argued for negotiation and peace. But their city had already fallen to Alexander the Great, and they were no longer in a leadership position. b) The Greeks in Sicily had shown military ability roughly equal to that of Carthage, and now Rome had easily disposed of those Greek forces. That was another argument for peace. c) The Romans also had a clearly visible need for Carthage at that point, since Rome lacked a navy. That was an opportunity.

When the Phoenicians in the Levant had faced a similar situation—with Cambyses of Persia, whose emerging land power needed a navy—a bargain had been struck. The Phoenicians had offered peace and the necessary naval support to Persia, and in return they received a large measure of independence in their actions. The lesson of this earlier arrangement was clearly brought home to the people of Carthage: that relationship had resulted in their city being saved from attack by the Persians.

It is certainly credible that the Romans—like the Persians before them—would have seen their own self-interest being served by this arrangement, and accepted it. The army of the Romans traveling on ships of Carthage could then have sailed against the Greek mainland, just as the Persian forces and Phoenician ships had done before.

Given Rome’s famous devotion to foreign conquest in later years, some have questioned whether Rome could have peacefully signed a treaty with Carthage. This was answered by Polybius, who revealed that these two cities had already signed three treaties in the previous 250 years.[xlviii] The purpose of those documents was to preserve peace by establishing the territorial and trading rights Rome and Carthage held with respect to each other. Each time the balance of power shifted between them, another treaty was negotiated to preserve the peace

A new treaty was needed after the Roman incursion into Sicily. However that action was not taken. Perhaps Rome’s lack of a navy was seen as a decisive weakness, an “Achilles heel,” which caused the leaders of Carthage to let the matter be decided on the battlefield.

In any event, by the time Hannibal humbled the Roman legions in the Second Punic War and threatened the existence of Rome, any hope for peace was lost. The Third Punic War brought the eagerly sought destruction of Rome’s adversary in North Africa. The path of war had run its course.

The Alternative

If, instead, the usual Phoenician practice of peaceful negotiation had come into play—prior to the First Punic War—what might have resulted? That is impossible to say with any certainty. But parallels are seen in history—particularly the history of Persia and the Phoenicians.

A successful peace negotiation would traditionally have resulted in Carthage making some concession to Rome, possibly including a monetary concession, in return for Carthage keeping most of its colonial possessions and its trading rights across the Mediterranean. Sicily might have been lost, since Rome already possessed the formerly Greek half of the island, and was making overtures of war toward the Phoenicians to win the other half. Rights and privileges with respect to Sardinia, Corsica and Spain would have had to be negotiated—and might have shifted over time—given the subsequently-revealed Roman desire for those lands. However all of North Africa as far as Morocco was clearly of far less interest to Rome. There would have been no reason to disturb Carthage’s enjoyment of those colonies—and of the merchant ships which sailed from them.

Several hundred years later, Visigoths and other “barbarian” tribes ripped Rome apart.[xlix] At that time Carthage and North Africa would either have emerged completely free of any obligations, or possibly had to pay some amount of tribute to “barbarian” tribes from time to time.

As Europe plunged into this Dark Age after the fall of Rome, what would have happened in North Africa? Again, it is impossible to say with any certainty. But the earlier Greek Dark Age, which lasted from roughly 1100 BCE to 800 BCE,[l] had been a time of enormous growth for the Phoenicians. Those skilled explorers and traders had spread colonies to uncharted lands all across the Mediterranean, from Tyre in Lebanon to Cadiz in Spain, Lixis in Morocco, Carthage in North Africa, and other locations. Many centuries later during the European Dark Age, the uncharted lands ripe for Carthage’s new colonies—outside the turmoil of Europe—would reasonably have been on the long coast around the continent of Africa.

Centuries later, what would have happened in Africa if the Byzantine Conquest and Arab Conquest[li] had not encountered the shattered remains of Roman occupation, but instead were met by a flourishing, continent-wide society in Africa? Might they have stopped at Egypt or Libya? We do not know. But whatever happened on the north coast of Africa, most of the continent—including all of Black Africa below the Sahara—would almost certainly have remained alive with whatever cities and trade networks had developed there.

It should be noted that the Phoenician approach to dealing with new lands was different than the Greek or Roman approach. The Phoenicians sought to secure advantageous trade by blending in—as opposed to advancing by military conquest.[lii] As a result, wealth increased and local cultures developed. We saw this during the early, peaceful days of their relationships with the Sicel people on Sicily,[liii] with the Iberians in Spain,[liv] and with the Numidians in North Africa.[lv]

A flourishing Africa, generating wealth and developing its own cities, would have been a force to be reckoned with when Europe finally emerged from its Dark Age. The charges of Eurocentrism might never have come about if the emerging, modern Europe had grown up with a strong trading partner in Africa. The continent of Africa might well have stood on equal footing with Europe and other world civilizations from that early day onward—with its people and cultures highly influential in world affairs and commanding great respect.

The Conclusion

It all goes back to Carthage’s choice. The peaceful tradition of the Phoenicians was imbued in its culture. Yet the seduction of fighting for land by using military armies was highly tempting. Having fought a war with the Greeks and won, Carthage became complacent about the next war. But the next one resulted in Carthage’s complete and utter destruction.

The study of history and civilizations often seems to revolve around the study of war, as if it was—and should be—the main determinant in the course of history. Where would the study of Greek history be without the Persian War, the Trojan War, the Peloponnesian War, and Alexander’s campaigns? One might well believe, after reading so many such sources, that there was no other way to live.

It is suggested here that some value may be found by examining further the peaceful path of the Phoenicians. This could yield essential details on how these people were able to repeatedly resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner. Such a study comes too late to help Carthage. But it may not be too late to help us.


[i]  Herodotus  The Histories  Robin Waterfield trans. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 1:1 et al.

[ii]   Thucydides  History of the Peloponnesian War  Rex Warner trans. (New York: Penguin, 1972), 1:8 et al.

[iii]   Aristotle  The Politics  B. Jowett trans. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885), 2.11.1-16.

[iv]  Polybius  Polybius on Roman Imperialism: The Histories of Polybius  Evelyn S. Shuckburgh trans., Alvin H. Bernstein ed.  (South Bend, Indiana: Regnery/Gateway, 1980) 1:20 et al.

[v]  Diodorus  Diodorus Siculus: Books 11-12.37.1: Greek History 480-431 B.C.  Peter Green trans.  (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006)  11:1 et al.

[vi]  Livy  The War with Hannibal: Books XXI-XXX of The History of Rome from its Foundation  Aubrey de Sélincourt trans.  (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1965).  21:1 et al.

[vii]   Moscati, Sabatino  The Phoenicians  (New York: Rizzoli International, 1999), p. 17-19.

[viii]   “Levant” refers to the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and includes the lands known today as Lebanon, Syria and Israel. The original cities of the Phoenicians—Byblos, Sidon and Tyre—are all in Lebanon.

[ix]  The Holy Bible, King James Version  (1987).  (2 Samuel 5:3) “…they anointed David king over Israel.”

[x] Lagassé, Paul ed.  The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition  (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000) p. 753.  King David reigned circa 1010-970 BCE.

[xi] Markoe, Glenn  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), p. 32-33.

[xii] (2 Samuel 5:11) “And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house.”  (1 Kings 5:1) “…for Hiram was ever a lover [admirer] of David.”

[xiii] (1 Kings 5:2-6) “And Solomon sent to Hiram saying…unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint; for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.”

[xiv] (1 Kings 5:10-11) “So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil; thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.”

[xv] (1 Kings 9:11) “Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire—that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.”

[xvi] Holst, Sanford  Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage (Los Angeles: Cambridge & Boston Press, 2005), p. 260-261.

[xvii] Markoe  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  p. 49.

[xviii] Herodotus  The Histories  3:19.

[xix] Markoe  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  p. 46.

[xx] Markoe  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  p. 59.

[xxi] Herodotus  The Histories  5:112.

[xxii] Rufus, Quintus Curtius  Quintus Curtius [History of Alexander]  John C. Rolfe trans.  (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1971)  4.4.  As Tyre was being captured by Alexander: “…they [Sidonians] remained aware that they were related to the Tyrians…and took them to their boats, on which they were hidden and transported to Sidon.” 

[xxiii] Holst  Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage  p. 12-15.

[xxiv] Tyre stood on an island about half a mile from the Lebanese coast. Motya island at Sicily was offshore near the subsequent city of Lilybaeum (modern Marsala). Cadiz—in Spain—is the modern name for Phoenician Gadir which stood on an island in the bay (though the current city has connections to the mainland).

[xxv] Markoe  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  p. 43.

[xxvi] Virgil  The Aeneid  Harlan Hoge Ballard trans. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1930), 1.335-1.368.

[xxvii] Lancel, Serge  Carthage: A History  Antonia Nevill trans.  (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995) p. 269-270.

[xxviii] Thucydides  History of the Peloponnesian War  6:2.

[xxix] Moscati  The Phoenicians  p. 55.

[xxx] Markoe  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  p. 178-179.

[xxxi] Herodotus  The Histories  7:165-166.

[xxxii] Diodorus  Diodorus Siculus: Books 11-12.37.1: Greek History 480-431 B.C.  11:1, 11:20-22.

[xxxiii] Markoe  Peoples of the Past: Phoenicians  p. 64-65.

[xxxiv] Hornblower, Simon  The Greek World: 470-323 BC  (London: Routledge, 2002) p. 293-295.

[xxxv] Lazenby, J.F.  The First Punic War  (London: University College London Press, 1996)  p. 36.

[xxxvi] Lazenby  The First Punic War  p. 43-159.

[xxxvii] Polybius  Polybius on Roman Imperialism: The Histories of Polybius  1:20.

[xxxviii] Lazenby  The First Punic War  p. 158-159.

[xxxix] Bagnall, Nigel  The Punic Wars  (London: Hutchinson, 1990) p. 111-114.

[xl] Polybius  Polybius on Roman Imperialism: The Histories of Polybius  3:28. 

[xli] Livy  The War with Hannibal: Books XXI-XXX of The History of Rome from its Foundation  21:1.

[xlii] Hoyos, B.D.  Unplanned Wars: The Origins of the First and Second Punic Wars  (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1997) p. 254-259.

[xliii] Caven, Brian  The Punic Wars  (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980) p. 228.

[xliv] Polybius  Polybius on Roman Imperialism: The Histories of Polybius  15:18-19.

[xlv] Polybius  Polybius on Roman Imperialism: The Histories of Polybius  36:2-7.

[xlvi] Grant, Michael  History of Rome  (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1978) p. 144-145.

[xlvii] The citations and foundation for the discussions in this section were presented earlier in this paper.

[xlviii] Polybius  Polybius on Roman Imperialism: The Histories of Polybius  3:22-26.

[xlix] Grant  History of Rome  p. 427-430.

[l] Bengtson, Hermann  History of Greece  Edmund F. Bloedow trans.  (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1988) p. 24-25. 

[li] The Byzantine Empire overran and claimed North Africa in the sixth century AD; the Arab Conquest did the same in the seventh century AD.

[lii] Holst  Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage  p. 203-210.

[liii] Thucydides  History of the Peloponnesian War  6:2.

[liv] Castro, María Cruz Fernández  Iberia in Prehistory  (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995) p. 171-193.

[lv] Fage, J.D.  A History of Africa  (London: Routledge, 1995) p. 42-46.

CLOUD: Punic Wars and peace with Carthage, Rome, Phoenicians

Further information

If you would like to experience more of the Phoenician world than you found in this article, the book Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage is recommended. It is deeply researched but also a highly readable exploration, with 104 illustrations.

Going beyond the few traditionally-cited facts, this authoritative work also draws from interviews with leading archaeologists and historians on-site in the lands and islands where the Phoenicians lived and left clues regarding their secretive society.


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