LbAcPho

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥ This polity was coded through pers. comm. with Oren Litwin

♠ Original name ♣ Phoenician Empire ♥ Kena'an. Cultural continuity with the earlier Canaanites.

♠ Alternative names ♣ Fnkhw; Phoiniki; Tyre; Sidon; Phoenicia ♥ The first term is ancient Egyptian for "Syrian". From it derived the second term, which is Greek. Often, Tyre or Sidon was used as a metonym for Phoenicia in general.

♠ Peak Date ♣ 570 BCE ♥ This date is speculative, but comes right before the conquest of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. It is thought by some[1] that Carthage and other Mediterranean colonies were able to split away from Tyrian control at this point, though they still paid regular tribute per their treaty obligations. Though Phoenicia as a whole remained prosperous, especially during the Persian era, the power and influence of Levantine Phoenicia over their colonies seems to have declined.


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 1200-332 BCE ♥ The beginning date is approximate, during the time when the earlier Canaanite culture entered its final decline, the Egyptian and Hittite empires both suddenly lost much of their power, and the Phoenician culture differentiated itself. The end date reflects the conquest of Tyre by Alexander the Great. (Arguments could be made for earlier dates as well; in approximately 850 BCE, the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II conquered the Phoenician cities and turned them into vassals.[2] This was not the first time that the Assyrians had conquered Phoenicia—Tiglath-Pileser I campaigned against them c. 1100 BCE[3]—but in the earlier instance, Assyrian control was short-lived and ended around 1050 BCE, and the Phoenicians regained their independence. After the conquest by Ashurnasirpal II, the Phoenician cities in the Levantine coast spent most of their cultural existence as vassals of one empire or another. However, the Assyrians and later the Persians gave the Phoenician cities a wide degree of autonomy because of their seafaring skill; they were more useful as autonomous traders who could then be a rich source of tribute.[4])

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ quasi-polity ♥ "In 1983, Röllig criticized the “rather imprecise concept of the Phoenicians” employed by most scholars, but argued that “this need not surprise us unduly since the nation itself never developed an idea of ‘Phoenician’ as a national concept.” Most of our inscriptional evidence indicates that the populations others referred to as “Phoenicians” self-identified in terms of city-based affiliations or family ties during the Iron II-III periods; the tendency in presentations of Phoenician history from the past twenty-five years has been to emphasize these city-based allegiances, or to describe them politically in terms of a working confederacy."[5]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ none: 1200-1101 BCE; vassalage: 1100-1050 BCE; none: 1049-850 BCE; vassalage: 849-332 BCE♥ [6] Though the Israelite king Ahab is recorded to have married a Phoenician princess (sometime around 800-850 BCE), this does not appear to have led to a political union.

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Canaan ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥ "…it was at the end of the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BCE) that certain city states or regional polities appeared thereafter to be differentiated from the relatively homogenous Canaanite material culture of the Levant that preceded it. In other words, the early Iron I period did not witness a sudden “appearance” of something others would come to call Phoenicia or Phoenician city-states; instead the transition was one of a general disruption of other sites and regional cultures in the Levant."[7]
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Macedonian Empire ♥ Alexander the Great destroyed much of the city of Tyre in 332 BCE, and killed or enslaved the bulk of the population. This episode essentially broke the power of the Phoenician cities in the Levant, leaving Carthage and other colonies to the West as the remaining bearers of Phoenician culture. (Tyre and Sidon were able to briefly win independence from the Seleucid Empire some centuries later, before being conquered again and ultimately incorporated into the Roman Empire.)
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Phoenician ♥ Also called Punic/Phoenician, it encompassed independent colonies across the Mediterranean—the most famous of which was the city of Carthage.
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ [8,000-10,000]: 1200-801 BCE; [20,000-40,000]: 800-332 BCE ♥ km squared. Around 800 BCE with the Assyrian conquest, the Phoenicians began their extensive campaign of colonizing the Mediterranean.

♠ Capital ♣ Sidon; Tyre; Sidon; Tyre ♥ Sidon: 1200-1001 BCE; Tyre: 1000-501 BCE; Sidon: 500-342 BCE; Tyre: 341-332 BCE. "By the end of the 11th century B.C., two new factors assumed primary importance in early Phoenician history. Tyre became the leading maritime center, having eclipsed its mother city Sidon…"[8] The two cities were often joined in a personal union, and the king of Tyre would often be referred to by outside authors as "king of the Sidonians." However, "it is Sidon… which emerges clearly as the pre-eminent Phoenician state by the early fifth century, a role which it occupied until the closing years of the Persian era."[9] Sidon was brutally conquered by Artaxerxes III of Persia c. 342 BCE.

♠ Language ♣ Phoenician ♥

General Description

The term 'Phoenicia' refers to a group of allied cities - rather than a politically centralized state - located in the southern Levant, in present-day Lebanon and northern Israel. It is difficult to assign exact dates to this quasi-polity,[10] but here we focus on the period between c. 1200 BCE and 332 BCE, when the Phoenician city of Tyre fell to Alexander the Great.[11] The Phoenicians were skilled traders and seafarers.[12]

Population and political organization

The ruler of a Phoenician city was somewhere between human and divine. He was not a god, but was the highest priest with a privileged relationship to the city's patron deity.[13] However, his power was not unlimited: merchant families also wielded considerable influence in public affairs and, at least in Byblos, Sidon, and possibly Tyre, the king was assisted by a council of elders. In Tyre, between 605 and 561 BCE, the monarchy was replaced with a republic, in which the government was led by a series of judges known as suffetes, who ruled for only short terms.[14]
Reliable population figures for the Phoenician cities are lacking.

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥ This polity was coded through pers. comm. with Oren Litwin

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ [8,000-10,000] ♥ in squared kilometers.

♠ Polity Population ♣ [10,000-60,000] ♥ People, per Phoenician city-state. Unfortunately, due to the difficulties in excavating the Phoenician cities, there appear to be no good estimates for the populations for each polity. Markoe (2000:196) tentatively suggests that by the 4th Century BCE, Tyre's population "may have reached forty thousand, if one accepts Arrian's testimony concerning the number of soldiers slain and inhabitants sold into slavery at the time of Alexander's siege." Diodorus reported that over 40,000 people in Sidon were killed when Artaxerxes III captured the city in 351 BCE, with an unspecified number of survivors sold into slavery. Yet enough people remained for Sidon to recover as a thriving metropolis within only a few years.[15] One might suppose that at least ten thousand Sidonians remained after Artaxerxes' depredations. Tyre and Sidon were, of course, the leading cities of Phoenicia, giving us little to work with when estimating the size of the other cities. Arwad, in the second rank of Phoenician polities, was on an island of some 40 hectares; according to the "conventional" (and questionable) rule of thumb of 250 inhabitants per built-up hectare,[16] this would indicate some 10,000 inhabitants. However, classical sources indicate that the island was densely populated, with strong fortifications and an urban core with multi-story buildings.[17] We can likely double the initial estimate, in my view.

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [40,000-60,000] ♥ Inhabitants. A crude guess at the size of Tyre or Sidon, based on the above.

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ [5-7] ♥ levels. Mostly by analogy to Canaanite settlement patterns,[18] which exhibited the following pattern:

1) A provincial capital,
2) Smaller tell settlements,
3) Villages,
4) Hamlets,
5) shrine site—smaller than a village, with primarily cultic activity and little population
6) outpost—small fortified sites with no evidence of residential use.
7) nomadic/seasonal site.

It is unlikely that the Phoenicians would have had nomadic sites, and perhaps they did not have uninhabited shrines; but it is possible that their trading outposts were similar in form.

♠ Administrative levels ♣ unknown ♥ levels. One might infer at the very least 1) the ruler, 2) city bureaucratic officials, 3) subordinate officials, and 4) village elders, but we have no hard data.

♠ Religious levels ♣ [5-6] ♥ “Il re occupa di fatto una posizione strategica di intermediario fra la sfera divina e quella umana. Partecipa a modo suo, pur non essendo divinizzato, a entrambe le condizioni: umano e divino, svolge nelle pratiche rituali un ruolo di spicco, come sacerdote della divinta’ poliade, as esempio di Astarte a Sidone o della Baalat Gubal a Biblo.” [19] TRANSLATION: “The ruler occupied a strategic intermediary position between the divine sphere and the human. Though he was not himself a god, he did in his own way partake of both spheres: human and god-like, the ruler played a prominent role in ritual, and was seen as the chief priest in charge of his city’s patron deity, such as Astarte in Sidonia and Baalat Gubal in Biblos.” "Gli uffici del culto regolare, invece, erano affidati a un apposito personale, che le iscrizioni ci mostrano strutturato gerarchicamente e articolato in vari livello di ministero. Nei vari culti il clero era guidato da un sommo sacerdote e comprendeva, oltre agli altri sacerdoti e alle sacerdotesse, una schiera numerosa di personale minore, dai macellatori ai profumieri, dagli scribi agli schiavi. [...] Due cariche sembrano di particolare importanza: quella del 'sacrificatore', probabilmente scelto con incarico pubblico e rinnovabile, dai compiti forse analoghi al ruolo del mageiros nella religione greca; e quella, meno chiara, del mqmlm, forse il sacredote 'risuscitatore della divinita', frequente nelle inscrizioni di Cartagine, Cipro, Rodi, Tripolitania. Conosciamo anche l'esistenza di collegi sacerdotali e associazioni a sfondo religioso." [20] TRANSLATION: "Regular cult duties fell under the purview of specialised personnel, which, according to inscriptions, was organised hierarchically. Religious personnel was led by a chief priest and, besides regular priests and priestesses, it also included a host of minor figures, such as butchers, perfumers, scribes, and slaves. [...] It seems that two roles were particularly important among the clergy: the 'sacrificer', possibly a publicly elected and renewable office, possibly one similar to that of a Greek mageiros; inscriptions found in Carthage, Cyprus, Rodes, and Tripolitania often mention the mqmlm, whose function is less clear than the sacrificer's, though he may have been tasked with 'reviving the deity'. We also know of the existence of priestly assemblies and religious associations."

(1) King;

(2) Chief priest;
(3) Sacrificer and mqmlm, perhaps;
(4) other priests and priestesses;
(5) minor temple personnel (e.g. butchers, perfumers, scribes);
(6) temple slaves.

♠ Military levels ♣ [4-8] ♥ levels. The Phoenician command structure is unknown, particularly given their reliance on mercenaries; however, it is known that neighboring Israel had up to 8 levels of hierarchy, ranging from the king serving as field commander all the way down to commanders of thousands, hundreds, and tens.[21]

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ inferred present ♥ Presumably, the mercenary troops that the Phoenicians relied on (see below) would be considered full-time.

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ inferred present ♥ "Gli uffici del culto regolare, invece, erano affidati a un apposito personale, che le iscrizioni ci mostrano strutturato gerarchicamente e articolato in vari livello di ministero. Nei vari culti il clero era guidato da un sommo sacerdote e comprendeva, oltre agli altri sacerdoti e alle sacerdotesse, una schiera numerosa di personale minore, dai macellatori ai profumieri, dagli scribi agli schiavi. [...] Due cariche sembrano di particolare importanza: quella del 'sacrificatore', probabilmente scelto con incarico pubblico e rinnovabile, dai compiti forse analoghi al ruolo del mageiros nella religione greca; e quella, meno chiara, del mqmlm, forse il sacredote 'risuscitatore della divinita', frequente nelle inscrizioni di Cartagine, Cipro, Rodi, Tripolitania. Conosciamo anche l'esistenza di collegi sacerdotali e associazioni a sfondo religioso." [22] TRANSLATION: "Regular cult duties fell under the purview of specialised personnel, which, according to inscriptions, was organised hierarchically. Religious personnel was led by a chief priest and, besides regular priests and priestesses, it also included a host of minor figures, such as butchers, perfumers, scribes, and slaves. [...] It seems that two roles were particularly important among the clergy: the 'sacrificer', possibly a publicly elected and renewable office, possibly one similar to that of a Greek mageiros; inscriptions found in Carthage, Cyprus, Rodes, and Tripolitania often mention the mqmlm, whose function is less clear than the sacrificer's, though he may have been tasked with 'reviving the deity'. We also know of the existence of priestly assemblies and religious associations."

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Examination system ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ unknown ♥ Many governmental functions were carried out by temples and the palace; whether there were distinct governmental buildings is unclear.

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ inferred present ♥ Though practically no direct evidence survives, contemporary writers were clear that the legal system of Carthage was substantially taken from that of Tyre. Additionally, legal codes were used by at least some of the preceding Canaanite cities,[23] as well as by the neighboring Israelites.

♠ Judges ♣ inferred present ♥ From the example of Carthage, as well as that of the Israelites.

♠ Courts ♣ inferred present ♥ From the example of Carthage, as well as that of the Israelites.

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ absent ♥

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ inferred present ♥ Agricultural irrigation systems were known to be used in Bronze Age Canaan,[24] and are unlikely to have been abandoned.
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ present ♥ "In most instances, fresh water was secured from local sources, such as rivers or springs. Where local supply was insufficient for population needs, as at Tyre, water was piped in or otherwise physically imported. When necessary, existing supply was augmented by excavated wells, or built, lime-plastered cisterns (cf. Tyre and Awad)."[25]
♠ markets ♣ inferred present ♥ While archaeological evidence of markets is hard to find,[26] it is all but certain that they existed in commercial Phoenicia.
♠ food storage sites ♣ inferred present ♥ Given how much food was imported from Israel and Egypt, these would have surely been necessary.

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ inferred present ♥ Phoenician cities conducted overland trade as well as by sea.
♠ Bridges ♣ inferred absent ♥ Bridges were absent in neighboring Iron-Age Israel.[27]
♠ Canals ♣ inferred absent ♥ While irrigation canals might have been used, there is no evidence for canals as water transport and they would have been unnecessary for island cities in any event.
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ Phoenician societies were famous for their seafaring. Across the entire Punic/Phoenician superculture in the Mediterranean, some 183 ports have been catalogued,[28] several of which were in Phoenicia proper.

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ While mineral resources were scant in Phoenicia proper, leading Phoenicians to set up mining or trading operations as far away as Spain and Britain, Phoenicians frequently quarried the stone for their city constructions on-site or nearby. For example, several quarries have been identified on the harbor island of Zire, off the coast of Sidon.[29]

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ "In the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum mentioned above, of the 6058 Phoenician inscriptions listed, only about one hundred of these had been found in the Phoenician Levantine homeland."[30] "The Phoenician alphabetic script was easy to write on papyrus or parchment sheets, and the use of these materials explains why virtually no Phoenician writings - no history, no trading records - have come down to us. In their cities by the sea, the air and soil were damp, and papyrus and leather moldered and rotted away. Thus disappeared the literature of the people who taught a large portion of the earth’s population to write."[31]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ "The first Phoenician writing appeared perhaps as early as the 12th century BCE, and the Punic dialect of Phoenician (written in the Phoenician alphabet) was in use until the 6th century CE."[32]
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ present ♥ "The first Phoenician writing appeared perhaps as early as the 12th century BCE, and the Punic dialect of Phoenician (written in the Phoenician alphabet) was in use until the 6th century CE."[33]

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ present ♥ "…as the classical sources reveal, a wide range of Phoenician works—on subjects ranging from history and law to religion and philosophy—did once exist. The references, by and large, are Roman in date and refer primarily to Carthage and its later literary tradition. The Phoenician cities in the east, however, also possessed extensive archives of an historical and economic nature that were housed and maintained by the palaces and temples. In the Report of Wenamun, King Zakarbaal of Byblos consults such ancestral records, written on papyrus scrolls…"[34] I have seen claims that the Greek term biblion for book was derived from the city name Byblos, because of the vast quantities of Egyptian papyrus imported there.
♠ Calendar ♣ inferred present ♥ Notably, the famous 10th Century BCE Gezer calendar is argued by some to have been Phoenician.
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Religious literature ♣ present ♥
♠ Practical literature ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ History ♣ present ♥ Several later authors, such as the 3rd-century BCE Philo of Byblos, wrote Greek translations of city histories that dated back a millennium earlier.[35]
♠ Philosophy ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Scientific literature ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Fiction ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Money

♠ Articles ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Tokens ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Precious metals ♣ present ♥ Gold, silver and copper were commonly traded by Phoenician merchant ships back as far as the Bronze Age.[36]
♠ Foreign coins ♣ absent: 1200-599 BCE; present: 598-332 BCE ♥ Dating is approximate; the exact time the Lydians began minting coins is unknown, but the Phoenicians were in close contact with them and the Greeks from the beginning. It is speculated that the first Phoenician coins (see below) were minted from melted-down Greek silver coins.[37]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ absent: 1200-461 BCE; present: 460-332 BCE ♥ "Phoenicians developed minting of coinage relatively late, at least later than the Lydians and the Greeks. Sometime in the middle of the fifth century BCE, four cities abandoned the use of weights as monetary units and started minting coinage: Byblos (ca. 460 BCE), Tyre (ca. 450 BCE), Sidon (ca. 440 BCE), and Arwad (ca. 430 BCE)."[38]
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ unknown ♥ Some existing seals refer to a courier, but whether these were full-time professionals is unclear.
♠ Postal stations ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥ This polity was coded through pers. comm. with Oren Litwin

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ present ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ inferred present ♥ In the early days of the Iron Age, bronze was still in use alongside iron, in both weapons and armor.[39] It is unclear how long the use of bronze persisted; it is often metallurgically superior to iron, but is more costly and requires access to tin. Phoenicia, however, with its far-flung trade networks, would have had such access for a long time.
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥
♠ Steel ♣ absent ♥

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ inferred present ♥ A common weapon of the region.
♠ Atlatl ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Slings ♣ inferred present ♥ Slingers were an important part of Bronze-Age Canaanite and Iron-Age Israelite armies; they were also attested to in Carthage, much later.
♠ Self bow ♣ inferred present ♥ "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [40] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps." Bow type not specified. While composite bows were standard, it is possible that some self bows were in use as well. Interestingly, 61 bronze arrowheads have been discovered from the 10th-12th centuries BCE that were inscribed in Phoenician with the names of their owners, possibly so that arrows could be recovered after a battle.[41]
♠ Composite bow ♣ present ♥ "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [42] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps." Composite bows had been in use in the region since the Bronze Age: "According to R. Gabriel, composite bows first appeared in the victory stele of Naram Sin (2254 BCE-2218 BCE), the grandson of Sargon the Great. The composite bow outranged the single and compound bows and produced greater power from a shorter draw. The composite bows spread into Palestine around 1800 BCE and were introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos in 1700 BCE. The Egyptians put archers equipped with composite bows on their chariots. The effective range of the simple bow varied from 50 to 100 yards. And the arrow shot by a simple bow was unable to penetrate leather or bronze armour. The effective range of the composite bows varied between 250 and 300 yards. The composite bow was a recurve bow made of wood, horn and tendons from oxen, carefully laminated together. These bows were probably invented by the nomads of the Eurasian steppe and brought into Sumer by the mercenary nomads."[43]
♠ Crossbow ♣ absent ♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ present ♥ "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [44] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps."
♠ Battle axes ♣ present ♥ "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [45] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps."
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [46] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps."
♠ Swords ♣ inferred present ♥ Swords were in use in Egypt, Israel, and Bronze-Age Canaan. Richard Francis Burton, writing in 1884, reports that a scholar of his day believed that certain swords buried with Briton chiefs were of Phoenician manufacture; and in any event he surmises that the early Phoenicians used Egyptian-style sickle swords before adopting the European straight style.[47] Iron swords have been found at archaeological sites believed to be Phoenician, such as Horbat Rosh Zayit, though their exact provenance is unclear.[48]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [49] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps."
♠ Polearms ♣ absent ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Though dogs seem to have been used for hunting.
♠ Donkeys ♣ unknown ♥ Donkeys were frequently used in domestic contexts, but whether they were used in war is unclear. Ed: were they used as pack animals in war?
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ Scythed chariots. "Dunque, dalle scarne fonti, relative soprattutto agli annali dei re assiri, sappiamo comunque che erano in uso, oltre ai contingenti di fanteria, anche i carri falcati, muniti di lame, che avevano l'incarico di scompaginare le schiere avversarie." [50] TRANSLATION: "However scant, our sources (which mostly derive from the annals of the Assyrian kings) tell us that, besides infantry corps, Phoenician armies also included scythed chariots, which would wreak havoc on enemy formations."
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ inferred present ♥ Leather armor was in use since the Bronze Age, if not before. Herodotus (7.89.1) writes that Phoenicians fighting in the Greco-Persian Wars wore linen armor.
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ Rare, but present. "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [51] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps."
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ Rare, but present. "Le antiche figurazioni e i reperti archaeologici suggeriscono inoltre la presenza di soldati di fanteria dotati di lance, pugnali, asce e mazze, ma scarsamente protetti da armi difensive, quali elmi, corazze e scudi, che compaiono raramente nei repertori figurati; risulta, infine, la presenza di corpi di arcieri." [52] TRANSLATION: "Ancient iconography and archaeological findings suggest that the infantry was armed with spears, daggers, axes, and clubs, but was only rarely clad in defensive gear such as helmets, armour and shields; finally, armies also included archers' corps."
♠ Breastplates ♣ unknown ♥ Neighboring Israel employed breastplates, as did the Carthaginians - though the latter only adopted the breastplate as a result of their wars with the Greeks.
♠ Limb protection ♣ unknown ♥ Greaves were used by the Philistines since at least the 12th century BCE,[53] but whether the Phoenicians adopted them is unknown.
♠ Chainmail ♣ absent ♥ First adopted in the region by the Romans, much later.
♠ Scaled armor ♣ inferred present ♥ Scaled armor was used by the Bronze-Age Canaanites,[54] and the Phoenicians were likely to have continued doing so.
♠ Laminar armor ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ absent ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ unknown ♥ Given the Phoenicians' use of large galleys in warfare, it is unlikely.
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ present ♥ The line between "merchant ship" and "warship" was blurry in any event, given the dangers of piracy in the Mediterranean.[55]
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ present ♥ The Assyrian king Sennacherib reports that Phoenicians built him warships, which were then crewed by Cypriot sailors.[56] Almost certainly, the Phoenician cities had navies of their own as well at that early date. In later centuries they certainly did; Phoenician fleets made up the bulk of Persia's navy.

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ inferred present ♥ Timber was often used as a building material, being plentiful.
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ Massive Canaanite-style fortifications persisted from the Bronze Age, and in many cases were improved upon. For example, "[The Late Bronze Age fortification at Beirut] was replaced before the Early Iron Age by a massive new stone fortification wall with a large glacis of steeper angle (33 degrees) compared to the curved perimeter of the settlement mound."[57]
♠ Ditch ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Moat ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ present ♥ Massive Canaanite-style fortifications persisted from the Bronze Age, and in many cases were improved upon. For example, "[The Late Bronze Age fortification at Beirut] was replaced before the Early Iron Age by a massive new stone fortification wall with a large glacis of steeper angle (33 degrees) compared to the curved perimeter of the settlement mound."[58]
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Long walls ♣ 0 ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Dan Mullins ♥ This polity was coded through pers. comm. with Oren Litwin

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ unknown ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ unknown ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ inferred present ♥ Certainly the kings were hereditary.

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni; Dan Mullins ♥ This polity was coded through pers. comm. with Oren Litwin

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ present ♥ According to Bidmead, there was no secular/religious divide. The king was appointed by the gods and legitimated by the gods, so individuals should respect the rulers authority. The names of rulers sometimes contain references to their legitimation by gods. This may have happened annually, but definitely happened during the coronation of a new ruler[59] “Religious ideas were part of the royal ideology. A king may be described as legitimate ‘before the holy gods’ (KAI 4). The gods make the kings rulers (10). Some kings were also priests (13), and some queens were also priestesses (14). Kings were responsible for building or rebuilding temples (14).” [60] Referring to the city of Byblos: “The kings emphasize their righteous conduct in the hope of long life from the goddess (sdq, ysr, KAI 4.6-7; sdq, KAI 10.9). Divine-name components of the royal names are formed with bl or mlk, e.g. Ittobaal (‘With-him-is-Baal’) Yehimilk (‘the king lives!’). It is impossible to determine the deities the tems refer to since both are titles applicable to several gods.” [61]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ absent ♥ According to Bidmead, after death rulers could be revered as vaulted ancestors but not on the same level as gods.[62] “Il re occupa di fatto una posizione strategica di intermediario fra la sfera divina e quella umana. Partecipa a modo suo, pur non essendo divinizzato, a entrambe le condizioni: umano e divino, svolge nelle pratiche rituali un ruolo di spicco, come sacerdote della divinta’ poliade, as esempio di Astarte a Sidone o della Baalat Gubal a Biblo.” [63] TRANSLATION: “The ruler occupied a strategic intermediary position between the divine sphere and the human. Though he was not himself a god, he did in his own way partake of both spheres: human and god-like, the ruler played a prominent role in ritual, and was seen as the chief priest in charge of his city’s patron deity, such as Astarte in Sidonia and Baalat Gubal in Biblos.”

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ inferred absent ♥ “Come tutte le societa’ antiche, quella fenicia si articola in categorie basate su una logica binaria: liberi/schiavi; cittadini/stranieri; uomo/donna; a queste grandi divisioni si aggiungono altri criteri di differenziazione sociale, come la partecipazione o meno alla vita di corte, l’implicazione o meno nei commerci e nelle tecnologie. Tuttavia, mentre il pensiero filosofico greco e latino, con Platone, Aristotele o Seneca, ha teorizzato questo stato di fatto (presentando, ad esempio, lo schiavo come uno ‘strumento’ animato al servizio dell’uomo), nulla di simile ci e’ conosciuto per il mondo fenicio. [...] La qualita’ di ‘cittadino’ (b’l in fenicio) era probabilmente riservata ai maschi nati da cittadini, anche se nessuna fonte ci informa in proposito, cosi’ come ignoriamo tutto della condizione della donna nella citta’ fenicia. Il sostantivo ‘cittadina’ (b’lt) e’ attestato una sola volta volta in un’inscizione, in riferimento ad un’abitante della citta’ greca di Bizanzio. [...] Vorremmo inoltre sapere se i diritti e doveri erano diversamente assunti dall’aristocrazia e dal ‘popolo’, se esisteva, cioe’, un regime censitario, come in epoca arcaica as Atene e successivamente a Roma. La cosa e’ probabile, ma non certa. [...] Accanto ai cittadini, esisteva un folto gruppo di schiavi, dalle mansioni produttive assolutamente essenziali, nei nuclei urbani come nelle campagne. [...] Sin dall’epoca di Omero, i Fenici erano famosi per la loro implicazione nel commercio internazionale degli schiavi. Poco c’e’ mancato che Ulisse in persona finisse in questa trappola (‘Odissea’ XIV, 285-314)!” [64] TRANSLATION: “Phoenician society, like all ancient societies, structured itself on the basis of opposed categories: freemen/slaves; citizens/foreigners; men/women; whether or not one participated in courtly life; whether or not one worked in commerce, or technology. However, where Classical philosophers like Plato, Aristoteles and Seneca provided theoritical legitimacy to this social order (for example, by arguing that slaves were mere animated ‘tools’ to be used by their betters), we know nothing of the ideological underpinnings of the Phoenician status quo. [...] It seems likely that only freeborn males were considered ‘citizens’ (Phoenician b’l), even though none of the sources confirms this, or even provides any information on women’s life in Phoenician cities. There is only one known example of a feminised version of the word ‘citizen’ (b’lt), in an inscription referring to a female inhabitant of the Greek city of Byzantium. [...] We also ignore whether or not elites and commoners had different rights and duties—in other words, whether census made a difference, as it did in archaic Athens and, later, in Rome. It seems likely, but far from certain. [...] Besides citizens, Phoenician society also included an abundant slave population, tasked with essential production duties, both in cities and in rural areas. [...] Phoenicians were known for their role in the international slave trade as far back as Homer: Ulysses himself narrowly escaped being enslaved by them (Odyssey XIV, 285-314)!”

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ absent ♥ Bidmead argues that this was absolutely not present. There were stark differences between rulers and commoners[65] “Il re occupa di fatto una posizione strategica di intermediario fra la sfera divina e quella umana. Partecipa a modo suo, pur non essendo divinizzato, a entrambe le condizioni: umano e divino, svolge nelle pratiche rituali un ruolo di spicco, come sacerdote della divinta’ poliade, as esempio di Astarte a Sidone o della Baalat Gubal a Biblo.” [66] TRANSLATION: “The ruler occupied a strategic intermediary position between the divine sphere and the human. Though he was not himself a god, he did in his own way partake of both spheres: human and god-like, the ruler played a prominent role in ritual, and was seen as the chief priest in charge of his city’s patron deity, such as Astarte in Sidonia and Baalat Gubal in Biblos.”
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ inferred absent ♥ “Come tutte le societa’ antiche, quella fenicia si articola in categorie basate su una logica binaria: liberi/schiavi; cittadini/stranieri; uomo/donna; a queste grandi divisioni si aggiungono altri criteri di differenziazione sociale, come la partecipazione o meno alla vita di corte, l’implicazione o meno nei commerci e nelle tecnologie. Tuttavia, mentre il pensiero filosofico greco e latino, con Platone, Aristotele o Seneca, ha teorizzato questo stato di fatto (presentando, ad esempio, lo schiavo come uno ‘strumento’ animato al servizio dell’uomo), nulla di simile ci e’ conosciuto per il mondo fenicio. [...] Vorremmo inoltre sapere se i diritti e doveri erano diversamente assunti dall’aristocrazia e dal ‘popolo’, se esisteva, cioe’, un regime censitario, come in epoca arcaica as Atene e successivamente a Roma. La cosa e’ probabile, ma non certa.” [67] TRANSLATION: “Phoenician society, like all ancient societies, structured itself on the basis of opposed categories: freemen/slaves; citizens/foreigners; men/women; whether or not one participated in courtly life; whether or not one worked in commerce, or technology. However, where Classical philosophers like Plato, Aristoteles and Seneca provided theoritical legitimacy to this social order (for example, by arguing that slaves were mere animated ‘tools’ to be used by their betters), we know nothing of the ideological underpinnings of the Phoenician status quo. [...] We also ignore whether or not elites and commoners had different rights and duties—in other words, whether census made a difference, as it did in archaic Athens and, later, in Rome. It seems likely, but far from certain.”

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ inferred present ♥ “Further evidence of concern with the dead are the symposia or funerary feasts (mrzh, Hebrew marzeah). There are three relevant inscriptions: a bronze cup presumably of the region of Sidon from the early fourth century BC dedicated ‘to the symposium of the sun’; a contemporary inscription from Marseille, which in its ritual prescriptions exempts the poor but requires donations for the priests from every clan, family or symposium, as well as from the individual offering sacrifice; and a first century BC inscription from Athens that mentions the leader of the symposium. The last is dated to the fourth day of the festival. The three texts show that the symposia were held for a god in a particular temple, and that the ceremonies were marked by drinking (cf. the bronze cup), memorial offerings, and sacrifice; they involved appropriation of funds and were celebrated annually of local associations of merchants. The Bible adds tantalizing details. Amos 6:1-7; Hos 9:1-7; Jer 16:5-9, among other texts, mention regularly-celebrated symposia as examples of irreligious behavior. The eighth century B.C. prophet Amos is especially harsh because the feasts were funded by money taken from the poor (Peckham 1987: 82-83).” [68]

♠ production of public goods ♣ ♥

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  6. pers. comm., Oren Litwin 2018
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  10. (Röllig 1983) Röllig, Wolfgang. 1983. “The Phoenician Language: Remarks on the Present State of Research.” In Atti Del I. Congresso Internazionale Di Studi Fenici E Punici: Roma, 5-10 Novembre 1979, 375-85. Rome: Istituto per la Civiltà Fenicia e Punica. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/KKX2FPFB.
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