The first comprehensive history of the cultural impact of the Phoenicians, who knit together the ancient Mediterranean world long before the rise of the Greeks.
Imagine you are a traveler sailing to the major cities around the Mediterranean in 750 BC. You would notice a remarkable similarity in the dress, alphabet, consumer goods, and gods from Gibraltar to Tyre. This was not the Greek world—it was the Phoenician. Based in Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and other cities along the coast of present-day Lebanon, the Phoenicians spread out across the Mediterranean building posts, towns, and ports. Propelled by technological advancements of a kind unseen since the Neolithic revolution, Phoenicians knit together diverse Mediterranean societies, fostering a literate and sophisticated urban elite sharing common cultural, economic, and aesthetic modes.
The Phoenician imprint on the Mediterranean lasted nearly a thousand years, beginning in the Early Iron Age. Following the trail of the Phoenicians from the Levant to the Atlantic coast of Iberia, Carolina López-Ruiz offers the first comprehensive study of the cultural exchange that transformed the Mediterranean in the eighth and seventh centuries BC. Greeks, Etruscans, Sardinians, Iberians, and others adopted a Levantine-inflected way of life, as they aspired to emulate Near Eastern civilizations. López-Ruiz explores these many inheritances, from sphinxes and hieratic statues to ivories, metalwork, volute capitals, inscriptions, and Ashtart iconography.
Meticulously documented and boldly argued, Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean revises the Hellenocentric model of the ancient world and restores from obscurity the true role of Near Eastern societies in the history of early civilizations.
A masterclass in historiographic and cultural research aiming to upend common stereotypes regarding Phoenicians and their role ‘in the making of the Mediterranean.’ It demonstrates solid, up-to-date research and a thoughtful approach to a variety of topics.
A real plea in favor of Phoenician studies, this volume offers an original and welcome contribution to research on the archaic Mediterranean.
[A] substantial and important contribution…to the ancient history of the Mediterranean. López-Ruiz’s work does justice to the Phoenicians’ role in shaping Mediterranean culture by providing rational and factual argumentation and by setting the record straight.
This is an important and substantial contribution to our understanding of the development of the Mediterranean in a crucial period.
An important new book…Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean offers a powerful call for historians of the ancient Mediterranean to consider their implicit biases in writing ancient history and it provides an example of how more inclusive histories may be written.
Ground-breaking…Succeeds in its goal of showcasing the Phoenician imprint on the Mediterranean world and challenging the Hellenocentric model that has dominated scholarship of this region. The author is to be congratulated on her landmark study.
For generations, the Phoenicians have been an invisible culture, overwritten by Greek historians. Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean restores their rightful position as the principal engine of the early Iron Age, connecting the eastern Mediterranean to North Africa and Spain. With a light touch and a masterful command of the literature, López-Ruiz replaces old ideas with a subtle and more accurate account of the extensive cross-cultural exchange patterns and economy driven by the Phoenician trade networks that ‘re-wired’ the Mediterranean world. A must read.
A call to recognize the role of the Phoenicians and acknowledge our own preconceptions and prejudices about ancient history, López-Ruiz’s magnum opus will not only revolutionize our understanding of the Early Iron Age Mediterranean but also how we write the history of this region in the future.
López-Ruiz weaves together evidence from diverse scholarly fields to spotlight the central role played by Phoenicians in shaping the ancient Mediterranean world. The result is a study as rich as the Phoenicians’ own famed luxury arts.
- 2022, Winner of the Phi Alpha Theta Best Book Awards
- 2022, Winner of the Frank Moore Cross Award
- 2023, Winner of the The Mediterranean Seminar Book Prize
- 440 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.