The Relationship and Importance of the Phoenicians, Philistines, and Hebrews

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All Phoenician cities were independent of each other, and lived under hereditary royal governments. A new type of government emerged in the overseas colonies, however, and only a handful of elite families became the ruling power in the overseas colonies.

Gubla, a Phoenician city, had been a huge trading center when under Egyptian rule, especially for papyrus, which was the Egyptian writing material. All Phoenician trade centers dealt in coveted luxury goods and building materials. The other things that were sought after among trade were the Phoenicians' resources of tall timber, especially cedar, and their famous glass. They developed expert industries in metal working, ivory carving, and shipbuilding, through their import and export activities.

The Phoenicians were also the major inventors of the alphabet. While a "cuneiform alphabet" had already been developed, the Phoenicians further refined it, making an even simpler and more effective way to write. With this, they had also helped facilitate trade and the accounting of it.

While the Phoenicians were the main inventors of the alphabet and writing, something so important, they have left behind very little history of their own.

The Philistines were located South along the Levantine coast. Very few cultures had a reputation as bad as theirs. They were regarded as villains by the Hebrews, and also uncouth, aggressive, and faithless. This reputation comes from when they settled, urbanized, and quickly gained the upper hand over their neighbors, one of them being the Hebrews, the Philistines enemy.

We don't know much about the Philistine language. There are very few written materials about them. They gradually adopted the Phoenician dialect. The Philistines also introduced the vine and the olive tree to the Levant. They were able to create powerful armies that dominated the region as well. The Philistines even established a monopoly...