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   Chapter 5 THE COLONIES

History of Phoenicia By George Rawlinson Characters: 57540

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07


Circumstances which led the Phoenicians to colonise-Their

colonies best grouped geographically-1. Colonies of the

Eastern Mediterranean-in Cyprus, Citium, Amathus, Curium,

Paphos, Salamis, Ammochosta, Tamisus, and Soli;-in Cilicia,

Tarsus;-in Lycia, Phaselis;-in Rhodes, Lindus, Ialysus,

Camirus;-in Crete, and the Cyclades;-in the Northern

Egean; &c. 2. In the Central and Western Mediterranean-in

Africa, Utica, Hippo-Zaritis, Hippo Regius, Carthage,

Hadrumetum, Leptis Minor, Leptis Major, and Thapsus;-in

Sicily, Motya, Eryx, Panormus, Solocis;-between Sicily and

Africa, Cossura, Gaulos, and Melita;-in Sardinia, Caralis,

Nora, Sulcis, and Tharros;-in the Balearic Isles;-in

Spain, Malaca, Sex, Abdera. 3. Outside the Straits of

Gibraltar;-in Africa, Tingis, and Lixus; in Spain,

Tartessus, Gades, and Belon-Summary.

The narrowness of the territory which the Phoenicians occupied the military strength of their neighbours towards the north and towards the south, and their own preference of maritime over agricultural pursuits, combined to force them, as they began to increase and multiply, to find a vent for their superfluous population in colonies. The military strength of Philistia and Egypt barred them out from expansion upon the south; the wild savagery of the mountain races in Casius, northern Bargylus, and Amanus was an effectual barrier towards the north; but before them lay the open Mediterranean, placid during the greater portion of the year, and conducting to a hundred lands, thinly peopled, or even unoccupied, where there was ample room for any number of immigrants. The trade of the Phoenicians with the countries bordering the Eastern Mediterranean must be regarded as established long previously to the time when they began to feel cramped for space; and thus, when that time arrived, they had no difficulty in finding fresh localities to occupy, except such as might arise from a too abundant amplitude of choice. Right in front of them lay, at the distance of not more than seventy miles, visible from Casius in clear weather,51 the large and important island, once known as Chittim,52 and afterwards as Cyprus, which played so important a part in the history of the East from the time of Sargon and Sennacherib to that of Bragadino and Mustapha Pasha. To the right, well visible from Cyprus, was the fertile tract of Cilicia Campestris, which led on to the rich and picturesque regions of Pamphylia, Lycia, and Caria. From Caria stretched out, like a string of stepping-stones between Asia and Europe, the hundred islets of the ?gean, Cyclades, and Sporades, and others, inviting settlers, and conducting to the large islands of Crete and Euboea, and the shores of Attica and the Peloponnese. It is impossible to trace with any exactness the order in which the Phoenician colonies were founded. A thousand incidental circumstances-a thousand caprices-may have deranged what may be called the natural or geographical order, and have caused the historical order to diverge from it; but, on the whole, probably something like the geographical order was observed; and, at any rate, it will be most convenient, in default of sufficient data for an historical arrangement, to adopt in the present place a geographic one, and, beginning with those nearest to Phoenicia itself in the Eastern Mediterranean, to proceed westward to the Straits of Gibraltar, reserving for the last those outside the Straits on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

The nearest, and probably the first, region to attract Phoenician colonies was the island of Cyprus. Cyprus lies in the corner of the Eastern Mediterranean formed by the projection of Asia Minor from the Syrian shore. Its mountain chains run parallel with Taurus, and it is to Asia Minor that it presents its longer flank, while to Phoenicia it presents merely one of its extremities. Its length from east to west is 145 miles, its greatest width about sixty miles.53 Two strongly marked mountain ranges form its most salient features, the one running close along the north coast from Cape Kormaciti to Cape S. Andreas; the other nearly central, but nearer the south, beginning at Cape Renaouti in the west and terminating at Cape Greco. The mountain ranges are connected by a tract of high ground towards the centre, and separated by two broad plains,54 towards the east and west. The eastern plain is the more important of the two. It extends along the course of the Pedi?us from Leucosia, or Nicosia, the present capital, to Salamis, a distance of thirty-five miles, and is from five to twelve miles wide. The fertility of the soil was reckoned in ancient times to equal that of Egypt.55 The western plain, that of Morfou, is much smaller, and is watered by a less important river. The whole island, when it first became known to the Phoenicians, was well wooded.56 Lovely glens opened upon them, as they sailed along its southern coast, watered by clear streams from the southern mountain-range, and shaded by thick woods of pine and cedar, the latter of which are said to have in some cases attained a greater size even than those of the Lebanon.57 The range was also prolific of valuable metals.58 Gold and silver were found in places, but only in small quantities; iron was yielded in considerable abundance; but the chief supply was that of copper, which derived its name from that of the island.59 Other products of the island were wheat of excellent quality; the rich Cyprian wine which retains its strength and flavour for well nigh a century, the henna dye obtained from the plant called copher or cyprus, the Lawsonia alba of modern botany; valuable pigments of various kinds, red, yellow, green, and amber; hemp and flax; tar, boxwood,510 and all the materials requisite for shipbuilding from the heavy timbers needed for the keel to the lightest spar and the flimsiest sail.511

The earliest of the Phoenician settlements in Cyprus seem to have lain upon its southern coast. Here were Citium, Amathus, Curium, and Paphus, the Pal?-paphus of the geographers, which have all yielded abundant traces of a Phoenician occupation at a very distant period. Citium, now Larnaka, was on the western side of a deep bay, which indents the more eastern portion of the southern coast, between the promontories of Citi and Pyla. It is sheltered from all winds except the south-east, and continues to the present day the chief port of the island. The Phoenician settlers improved on the natural position by the formation of an artificial basin, enclosed within piers, the lines of which may be traced, though the basin itself is sanded up.512 A plain extends for some distance inland, on which the palm-tree flourishes, and which is capable of producing excellent crops of wheat.513 Access to the interior is easy; for the mountain range sinks as it proceeds eastward, and between Citium and Dali (Idalium), on a tributary of the Pedi?us, is of small elevation. There are indications that the Phoenicians did not confine themselves to the coast, but penetrated into the interior, and even settled there in large numbers. Idalium, sixteen miles north-west of Citium, and Golgi (Athiénau), ten miles nearly due north of the same, show traces of having supported for a considerable time a large Phoenician population,514 and must be regarded as outposts advanced from Citium into the mountains for trading, and perhaps for mining purposes. Idalium (Dali) has a most extensive Phoenician necropolis; the interments have a most archaic character; and their Phoenician origin is indicated both by their close resemblance to interments in Phoenicia proper and by the discovery, in connection with them, of Phoenician inscriptions.515 At Golgi the remains scarcely claim so remote an antiquity. They belong to the time when Phoenician art was dominated by a strong Egyptian influence, and when it also begins to have a partially Hellenic character. Some critics assign them to the sixth, or even to the fifth century, B.C.516

West of Citium, also upon the south coast, and in a favourable situation for trade with the interior, was Amathus. The name Amathus has been connected with "Hamath;"517 but there is no reason to suppose that the Hamathites were Phoenicians. Amathus, which Stephen of Byzantium calls "a most ancient Cyprian city,"518 was probably among the earliest of the Phoenician settlements in the island. It lay in the bay formed by the projection of Cape Gatto from the coast, and, like Citium, looked to the south-east. Westward and south-westward stretched an extensive plain, fertile and well-watered, shaded by carob and olive-trees,519 whilst towards the north were the rich copper mines from which the Amathusians derived much of their prosperity. The site has yielded a considerable amount of Phoenician remains-tombs, sarcophagi, vases, bowls, pater? and statuettes.520 Many of the tombs resemble those at Idalium; others are stone chambers deeply buried in the earth. The mimetic art shows Assyrian and Egyptian influence, but is essentially Phoenician, and of great interest. Further reference will be made to it in the Chapter on the ?sthetic Art of the Phoenicians.

Still further to the west, in the centre of the bay enclosed between the promontories of Zeugari and Boosoura, was the colony of Curium, on a branch of the river Kuras. Curium lay wholly open to the south-western-gales, but had a long stretch of sandy shore towards the south-east, on which vessels could be drawn up. The town was situated on a rocky elevation, 300 feet in height, and was further defended by a strong wall, a large portion of which may still be traced.521 The richest discovery of Phoenician ornaments and objects of art that has yet been made took place at Curium, where, in the year 1874, General Di Cesnola happened upon a set of "Treasure Chambers" containing several hundreds of rings, gems, necklaces, bracelets, armlets, ear-rings, bowls, basins, jugs, pater?, &c., in the precious metals, which have formed the principal material for all recent disquisitions on the true character and excellency of Phoenician art. Commencing with works of which the probable date is the fifteenth or sixteenth century B.C., and descending at least as far as the best Greek period522 (B.C. 500-400), embracing, moreover, works which are purely Assyrian, purely Egyptian, and purely Greek, this collection has yet so predominant a Phoenician character as to mark Curium, notwithstanding the contrary assertions of the Greeks themselves,523 for a thoroughly Phoenician town. And the history of the place confirms this view, since Curium sided with Amathus and the Persians in the war of Onesilus.524 No doubt, like most of the other Phoenician cities in Cyprus, it was Hellenised gradually; but there must have been many centuries during which it was an emporium of Phoenician trade and a centre of Phoenician influence.

Where the southern coast of Cyprus begins to trend to the north-west, and a river of some size, the Bocarus or Diorizus, reaches the sea, stood the Phoenician settlement of Paphos, founded (as was said525) by Cinyras, king of Byblus. Here was one of the most celebrated of all the temples of Astarté or Ashtoreth,526 the Phoenician Nature-Goddess; and here ruled for many centuries the sacerdotal class of the Cinyrid?. The remains of the temple have been identified, and will be described in a future chapter. They have the massive character of all early Phoenician architecture.

Among other Phoenician settlements in Cyprus were, it is probable, Salamis, Ammochosta (now Famagosta), Tamasus, and Soli. Salamis must be regarded as originally Phoenician on account of the name, which cannot be viewed as anything but another form of the Hebrew "Salem," the alternative name of Jerusalem.527 Salamis lay on the eastern coast of the island at the mouth of the main river, the Pedi?us. It occupied the centre of a large bay which looked towards Phoenicia, and would naturally be the place where the Phoenicians would first land. There is no natural harbour beyond that afforded by the mouth of the Pedi?us, but a harbour was easily made by throwing out piers into the bay; and of this, which is now sanded up, the outline may be traced.528 There are, however, no remains, either at Salamis or in the immediate neighbourhood, which can claim to be regarded as Phoenician; and the glories of the city belong to the history of Greece.

Ammochosta was situated within a few miles of Salamis, towards the south.529 Its first appearance in history belongs to the reign of Esarhaddon (B.C. 680), when we find it in a list of ten Cyprian cities, each having its own king, who acknowledged for their suzerain the great monarch of Assyria.530 Soon afterwards it again occurs among the cities tributary to Asshur-bani-pal.531 Otherwise we have no mention of it in Phoenician times. As Famagosta it was famous in the wars between the Venetians and the Turks.

Tamasus, or Tamassus, was an inland city, and the chief seat of the mining operations which the Phoenicians carried on in the island in search of copper.532 It lay a few miles to the west of Idalium (Dali), on the northern flank of the southern mountain chain. The river Pedi?us flowed at its feet. Like Ammochosta, it appears among the Cyprian towns which in the seventh century B.C. were tributary to the Assyrians.533 The site is still insufficiently explored.

Soli lay upon the coast, in the recess of the gulf of Morfou.534 The fiction of its foundation by Philocyprus at the suggestion of Solon535 is entirely disproved by the occurrence of the name in the Assyrian lists of Cyprian towns a century before Solon's time. Its sympathies were with the Phoenician, and not with the Hellenic, population of the island, as was markedly shown when it joined with Amathus and Citium in calling to Artaxerxes for help against Evagoras.536 The city stood on the left bank of the river Clarius, and covered the northern slope of a low hill detached from the main range, extending also over the low ground at the foot of the hill to within a short distance of the shore, where are to be seen the remains of the ancient harbour. The soil in the neighbourhood is very rich, and adapted for almost any kind of cultivation.537 In the mountains towards the south were prolific veins of copper.

The northern coast of the island between Capes Cormaciti and S. Andreas does not seem to have attracted the Phoenicians, though there are some who regard Lapethus and Cerynia as Phoenician settlements.538 It is a rock-bound shore of no very tempting aspect, behind which the mountain range rises up steeply. Such Phoenician emigrants as held their way along the Salaminian plain and, rounding Cape S. Andreas, passed into the channel that separates Cyprus from the mainland, found the coast upon their right attract them far more than that upon their left, and formed settlements in Cilicia which ultimately became of considerable importance. The chief of these was Tars or Tarsus, probably the Tarshish of Genesis,539 though not that of the later Books, a Phoenician city, which has Phoenician characters upon its coins, and worshipped the supreme Phoenician deity under the title of "Baal Tars," "the Lord of Tarsus."540 Tarsus commanded the rich Cilician plain up to the very roots of Taurus, was watered by the copious stream of the Cydnus, and had at its mouth a commodious harbour. Excellent timber for shipbuilding grew on the slopes of the hills bounding the plain, and the river afforded a ready means of floating such timber down to the sea. Cleopatra's ships are said to have been derived from the Cilician forests, which Antony made over to her for the purpose.541 Other Phoenician settlements upon the Cilician coast were, it is probable, Soli, Celenderis, and Nagidus.

Pursuing their way westward, in search of new abodes, the emigrants would pass along the coast, first of Pamphylia and then of Lycia. In Pamphylia there is no settlement that can be with confidence assigned to them; but in Lycia it would seem that they colonised Phaselis, and perhaps other places. The mountain which rises immediately behind Phaselis was called "Solyma;"542 and a very little to the south was another mountain known as "Phoenicus."543 Somewhat further to the west lies the cape still called Cape Phineka,544 in which the root Phoenix ({phoinix}) is again to be detected. A large district inland was named Cabalis or Cabalia,545 or (compare Phoen. and Heb. gebal, mod. Arab. jebel) the "mountain" country. Phaselis was situated on a promontory projecting south-eastward into the Mediterranean,546 and was reckoned to have three harbours,547 which are marked in the accompanying chart. Of these the principal one was that on the western side of the isthmus, which was formed by a stone pier carried out for more than two hundred yards into the sea, and still to be traced under the water.548 The other two, which were of smaller size, lay towards the east. The Phoenicians were probably tempted to make a settlement at the place, partly by the three ports, partly by the abundance of excellent timber for shipbuilding which the neighbourhood furnishes. "Between Phaselis and Cape Avora, a little north of it," says a modern traveller, "a belt of large and handsome pines borders the shore for some miles."549

From Lycia the Asiatic coast westward and north-westward was known as Caria; and here Phoenician settlements appear to have been numerous. The entire country was at any rate called Phoenicé by some authors.550 But the circumstances do not admit of our pointing out any special Phoenician settlements in this quarter, which early fell under almost exclusive Greek influence. There are ample grounds, however, for believing that the Phoenicians colonised Rhodes at the south-western angle of Asia Minor, off the Carian coast. According to Conon,551 the earliest inhabitants of Rhodes were the Heliades, whom the Phoenicians expelled. The Phoenicians themselves were at a later date expelled by the Carians, and the Carians by the Greeks. Ergeias, however, the native historian, declared552 that the Phoenicians remained, at any rate in some parts of the island, until the Greeks drove them out. Ialysus was, he said, one of their cities. Dictys Cretensis placed Phoenicians, not only in Ialysus, but in Camirus also.553 It is the conclusion of Kenrick that "the Phoenician settlement in Rhodes was the first which introduced civilisation among the primeval inhabitants, and that they maintained their ascendancy till the rise of the naval power of the Carians. These new settlers reduced the Phoenicians to the occupancy of three principal towns"-i.e. Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus; but "from these too they were expelled by the Dorians, or only allowed to remain at Ialysus as the hereditary priesthood of their native god."554 Rhodes is an island about one-fourth the size of Cyprus, with its axis from the north-east to the south-west. It possesses excellent harbours, accessible from all quarters,555 and furnishing a secure shelter in all weathers. The fertility of the soil is great; and the remarkable history of the island shows the importance which attaches to it in the hands of an enterprising people. Turkish apathy has, however, succeeded in reducing it to insignificance.

The acquisition of Rhodes led the stream of Phoenician colonisation onwards in two directions, south-westward and north-westward. South-westward, it passed by way of Carpathus and Casus to Crete, and then to Cythera; north-westward, by way of Chalcia, Telos, and Astypal?a, to the Cyclades and Sporades. The presence of the Phoenicians in Crete is indicated by the haven "Phoenix," where St. Paul's conductors hoped to have wintered their ship;556 by the town of Itanus, which was named after a Phoenician founder,557 and was a staple of the purple-trade,558 and by the existence near port Phoenix of a town called "Araden." Leben, on the south coast, near Cape Leo, seems also to have derived its name from the Semitic word for "lion."559 Crete, however, does not appear to have been occupied by the Phoenicians at more than a few points, or for colonising so much as for trading purposes. They used its southern ports for refitting and repairing their ships, but did not penetrate into the interior, must less attempt to take possession of the whole extensive territory. It was otherwise with the smaller islands. Cythera is said to have derived its name from the Phoenician who colonised it, and the same is also reported of Melos.560 Ios was, we are told, originally called Phoenicé;561 Anaphé had borne the name of Membliarus, after one of the companions of Cadmus;562 Oliarus, or Antiparos, was colonised from Sidon.563 Thera's earliest inhabitants were of the Phoenician race;564 either Phoenicians or Carians had, according to Thucydides,565 colonised in remote times "the greater part of the islands of the ?nean." There was a time when probably all the ?gean islands were Phoenician possessions, or at any rate acknowledged Phoenician influence, and Siphnus gave its gold, its silver,566 and its lead,567 Cythera its shell-fish,568 Paros its marble, Melos its sulphur and its alum,569 Nisyrus its millstones,570 and the islands generally their honey,571 to increase the wealth and advance the commercial interests of their Phoenician masters.

From the Sporades and Cyclades the advance was easy to the islands of the Northern ?gean, Lemnos, Imbrus, Thasos, and Samothrace. The settlement of the Phoenicians in Thasos is attested by Herodotus, who says that the Tyrian Hercules (Melkarth) was worshipped there,572 and ascribes to the Phoenicians extensive mining operations on the eastern shores of the island between ?nyra and Coenyra.573 A Phoenician occupation of Lemnos, Imbrus, and Samothrace is indicated by the worship in those islands of the Cabeiri,574 who were undoubtedly Phoenician deities. Whether the Phoenicians passed from these islands to the Thracian mainland, and worked the gold-mines of Mount Pang?us in the vicinity of Philippi, may perhaps be doubtful, but such seems to have been the belief of Strabo and Pliny.575 Strabo also believed that there had been a Semitic element in the population of Euboea which had been introduced by Cadmus;576 and a Phoenician settlement in Boeotia was the current tradition of the Greek writers upon primitive times, whether historians or geographers.577

The further progress of the Phoenician settlements northward into the Propontis and the Euxine is a point whereon different opinions may be entertained. Pronectus, on the Bithynian, and Amastris, on the Paphlagonian coast, have been numbered among the colonies of the Phoenicians by some;578 while others have gone so far as to ascribe to them the colonisation of the entire countries of Bithynia, Mariandynia, and Paphlagonia.579 The story of the Argonauts may fairly be held to show580 that Phoenician enterprise early penetrated into the stormy and inhospitable sea which washes Asia Minor upon the north, and even reached its deepest eastern recess; but it is one thing to sail into seas, and, landing where the natives seem friendly, to traffic with the dwellers on them-it is quite another thing to attempt a permanent occupation of portions of their coasts. To do so often provokes hostility, and puts a stop to trade instead of encouraging it. The Phoenicians may have been content to draw their native products from the barbarous tribes of Northern Asia Minor and Western Thrace-nay, even of Southern Scythia-without risking the collisions that might have followed the establishment of settlements.

As with the Black Sea, so with the Adriatic, the commercial advantages were not sufficient to tempt the Phoenicians to colonise. From Crete and Cythera they sent their gaze afar, and fixed it midway in the Mediterranean, at the western extremity of the eastern basin, on the shores of Sicily, and the vast projection from the coast of North Africa which goes forth to meet them. They knew the harbourless character of the African coast west of Egypt, and the dangers of the Lesser and Greater Syrtes. They knew the fertility of the Tunisian projection, the excellence of its harbours, and the prolificness of the large island that lay directly opposite. Here were the tracts where they might expand freely, and which would richly repay their occupation of them. It was before the beginning of the eleventh century B.C.-perhaps some centuries before-that the colonisation of North Africa by the Phoenicians was taken in hand:581 and about the same time, in all probability, the capes and isles about Sicily were occupied,582 and Phoenician influence in a little time extended over the entire island.

In North Africa the first colony planted is said to have been Utica. Utica was situated a little to the west of Carthage, at the mouth of the Mejerda or Bagradas river.583 It stood on a rocky promontory which ran out into the sea eastward, and partially protected its harbour. At the opposite extremity, towards the north, ran out another promontory, the modern Ras Sidi Ali-el-Mekki, while the mouth of the harbour, which faced to the south-east, was protected by some islands. At present the deposits of the Mejerda have blocked up almost the whole of this ancient port, and the rocky eminence upon which the city stood looks down on three sides upon a broad alluvial plain, through which the Mejerda pursues a tortuous course to the sea.584 The remains of the ancient town, which occupy the promontory and a peninsula projecting from it, include a necropolis, an amphitheatre, a theatre, a castle, the ruins of a temple, and some remains of baths; but they have nothing about them bearing any of the characteristics of Phoenician architecture, and belong wholly to the Roman or post-Roman period. The neighbourhood is productive of olives, which yield an excellent oil; and in the hills towards the south-west are veins of lead, containing a percentage of silver, which are thought to bear traces of having been worked at a very early date.585

Near Utica was founded, probably not many years later, the settlement of Hippo-Zaritis, of which the name still seems to linger in the modern Bizerta. Hippo-Zaritis stood on the west bank of a natural channel, which united with the sea a considerable lagoon or salt lake, lying south of the town. The channel was kept open by an irregular flux and reflux, the water of the lake after the rainy season flowing off into the sea, and that of the sea, correspondingly, in the dry season passing into the lake.586 At the present time the lake is extraordinarily productive of fish,587 and the sea outside yields coral;588 but otherwise the advantages of the situation are not great.

Two degrees further to the west, on a hill overlooking the sea, and commanding a lovely prospect over the verdant plain at its base, watered by numerous streams, was founded the colony of Hippo Regius, memorable as having been for five-and-thirty years the residence of St. Augustine. The Phoenicians were probably attracted to the site by the fertility of the soil, the unfailing supplies of water, and the abundant timber and rich iron ore of the neighbouring mountains.589 Hippo Regius is now Bona, or rather has been replaced by that town, which lies about a mile and a half north of the ancient Hippo, close upon the coast, in the fertile tract formed by the soil brought down by the river Seybouse. The old harbour of Hippo is filled up, and the remains of the ancient city are scanty; but the lovely gardens and orchards, which render Bona one of the most agreeable of Algerian towns, sufficiently explain and justify the Phoenician choice of the site.590

In the same bay with Utica, further to the south, and near its inner recess, was founded, nearly three centuries after Utica, the most important of all the Phoenician colonies, Carthage. The advantages of the locality are indicated by the fact that the chief town of Northern Africa, Tunis, has grown up within a short distance of the site. It combined the excellences of a sheltered situation, a good soil, defensible eminences, and harbours which a little art made all that was to be desired in ancient times and with ancient navies. These basins, partly natural, partly artificial, still exist;591 but their communication with the sea is blocked up, as also is the channel which connected the military harbour with the harbours of commerce. The remains of the ancient town are mostly beneath the surface of the soil, but modern research has uncovered a portion of them, and brought to light a certain number of ruins which belong probably to the ver

y earliest period. Among these are walls in the style called "Cyclopian," built of a very hard material, and more than thirty-two feet thick, which seem to have surrounded the ancient Byrsa or citadel, and which are still in places sixteen feet high.592 The Roman walls found emplaced above these are of far inferior strength and solidity. An extensive necropolis lies north of the ancient town, on the coast near Cape Camart.

Another early and important Phoenician settlement in these parts was Hadrumetum or Adrymes,593 which seems to be represented by the modern So?sa. Hadrumetum lay on the eastern side of the great Tunisian projection, near the southern extremity of a large bay which looks to the east, and is now known as the Gulf of Hammamet. Its position was upon the coast at the edge of the vast plain called at present the "Sahel of So?sa," which is sandy, but immensely productive of olive oil. "Millions of olive-trees," it is said, "cover the tract,"594 and the present annual exportation amounts to 40,000 hectolitres.595 Ancient remains are few, but the Cothon, or circular harbour, may still be traced, and in the necropolis, which almost wholly encircles the town, many sepulchral chambers have been found, excavated in the chalk, closely resembling in their arrangements those of the Phoenician mainland.

South of Hadrumetum, at no great distance, was Leptis Minor, now Lemta. The gulf of Hammamet terminates southwards in the promontory of Monastir, between which and Ras Dimas is a shallow bay looking to the north-east. Here was the Lesser Leptis, so called to distinguish it from the larger city of the same name between the Lesser and the Greater Syrtis; it was, however, a considerable town, as appears from its remains. These lie along the coast for two miles and a half in Lat. 35o 43′, and include the ruins of an aqueduct, of a theatre, of quays, and of jetties.596 The neighbourhood is suited for the cultivation of the olive.

The Greater Leptis (Leptis Major) lay at a considerable distance from the Lesser one. Midway in the low African coast which intervenes between the Tunisian projection and the Cyrenaic one, about Long. 14o 22′ E. of Greenwich, are ruins, near a village called Lebda, which, it is generally agreed, mark the site of this ancient city. Leptis Major was a colony from Sidon, and occupied originally a small promontory, which projects from the coast in a north-easterly direction, and attains a moderate elevation above the plain at its base. Towards the mainland it was defended by a triple line of wall still to be traced, and on the sea-side by blocks of enormous strength, which are said to resemble those on the western side of the island of Aradus.597 In Roman times the town, under the name of Neapolis,598 attained a vast size, and was adorned with magnificent edifices, of which there are still numerous remains. The neighbourhood is rich in palm-groves and olive-groves,599 and the Cinyps region, regarded by Herodotus as the most fertile in North Africa,5100 lies at no great distance to the east.

Ten miles east, and a little south of Leptis Minor,5101 was Thapsus, a small town, but one of great strength, famous as the scene of Julius C?sar's great victory over Cato.5102 It occupied a position close to the promontory now known as Ras Dimas, in Lat. 35o 39′, Long. 11o 3′, and was defended by a triple enclosure, whereof considerable remains are still existing. The outermost of the three lines appears to have consisted of little more than a ditch and a palisaded rampart, such as the Romans were accustomed to throw up whenever they pitched a camp in their wars; but the second and third were more substantial. The second, which was about forty yards behind the first, was guarded by a deeper ditch, from which rose a perpendicular stone wall, battlemented at top. The third, forty yards further back, resembled the second, but was on an enlarged scale, and the wall was twenty feet thick.5103 Such triple enclosures are thought to be traceable in other Phoenician settlements also;5104 but in no case are the remains so perfect as at Thapsus. The harbour, which lay south of the town, was protected from the prevalent northern and north-eastern winds by a huge mole or jetty, carried out originally to a distance of 450 yards from the shore, and still measuring 325 yards. The foundation consists of piles driven into the sand, and placed very close together; but the superstructure is a stone wall thirty-five feet thick, and still rising to a height of ten feet above the surface of the water.5105

It is probable that there were many other early Phoenician settlements on the North African seaboard; but those already described were certainly the most important. The fertile coast tract between Hippo Regius and the straits is likely to have been occupied at various points from an early period. But none of these small trading settlements attained to any celebrity; and thus it is unnecessary to go into particulars respecting them.

In Sicily the permanent Phoenician settlements were chiefly towards the west and the north-west. They included Motya, Eryx, Panormus (Palermo), and Soloeis. That the Phoenicians founded Motya, Panormus, and Soloeis is distinctly stated by Thucydides;5106 while Eryx is proved to have been Phoenician by its remains. Motya, situated on a littoral island less than half a mile from the western shore, in Lat. 38o nearly, has the remains of a wall built of large stones, uncemented, in the Phoenician manner,5107 and carried, like the western wall of Aradus, so close to the coast as to be washed by the waves. It is said by Diodorus to have been at one time a most flourishing town.5108 The coins have Phoenician legends.5109

Eryx lay about seven miles to the north-east of Motya, in a very strong position. Mount Eryx (now Mount Giuliano), on which it was mainly built, rises to the height of two thousand feet above the plain,5110 and, being encircled by a strong wall, was rendered almost impregnable. The summit was levelled and turned into a platform, on which was raised the temple of Astarte or Venus.5111 An excellent harbour, formed by Cape Drepanum (now Trapani), lay at its base. There were springs of water within the walls which yielded an unfailing supply. The walls were of great strength, and a considerable portion of them is still standing, and attests the skill of the Phoenician architects. The blocks in the lower courses are mostly of a large size, some of them six feet long, or more, and bear in many cases the well-known Phoenician mason-marks.5112 They are laid without cement, like those of Aradus and Sidon, and recall the style of the Aradian builders, but are at once less massive and arranged with more skill. The breadth of the wall is about seven feet. At intervals it is flanked by square towers projecting from it, which are of even greater strength than the curtain between them, and which were carried up to a greater height. The doorways in the wall are numerous, and are of a very archaic character, being either covered in by a single long stone lintel or else terminating in a false arch.5113 The commercial advantages of Eryx were twofold, consisting in the produce of the sea as well as in that of the shore. The shore is well suited for the cultivation of the vine,5114 while the neighbouring sea yields tunny-fish, sponges, and coral.5115

Panormus (now Palermo) occupies a site almost unequalled by any other Mediterranean city, a site which has conferred upon it the title of "the happy," and has rendered it for above a thousand years the most important place in the island. "There is no town in Europe which enjoys a more delicious climate, none so charming to look on from a distance, none more delightfully situated in a nest of verdure and flowers. Its superb mountains, with their bare flanks pierced along their base with grottoes, enclose a marvellous garden, the famous 'Shell of Gold,' in the midst of which are seen the numerous towers and domes, the fan-like foliage of the palms, the spreading branches of the pines, and Mount Reale on the south towering over all with its vast mass of convents and churches."5116 The harbour lies open to the north; but the Phoenician settlers, here as elsewhere, no doubt made artificial ports by means of piers and moles, which have, however, disappeared on this much-frequented site, where generation after generation has been continually at work building and destroying. Panormus has left us no antique remains beyond its coins, which are abundant, and show that the native name of the settlement was Mahanath.5117 Mahanath was situated about forty miles east of Eryx, on the northern coast of the island.

Solus, or Soloeis, the Soluntum of the Romans (now Solanto), lay on the eastern side of the promontory (Cape Zafferana) which shuts in the bay of Palermo on the right. It stood on a slope at the foot of a lofty hill, overlooking a small round port, and was fortified by a wall of large squared blocks of stone,5118 which may be still distinctly traced. The site has yielded sarcophagi of an unmistakably Phoenician character,5119 and other objects of a high antiquity which recall the Phoenician manner;5120 but the chief remains belong to the Greco-Roman times.

The islands in the strait which separates the North African coast from Sicily were also colonised by the Phoenicians. These were three in number, Cossura (now Pantellaria), Gaulos (now Gozzo), and Melita (now Malta). Cossura, the most western of the three, lay about midway in the channel, but nearer to the African coast, from which it is distant not more than about thirty-five miles. It is a mass of igneous rock, which was once a volcano, and which still abounds in hot springs and in jets of steam.5121 There was no natural harbour of any size, but the importance of the position was such that the Phoenicians felt bound to occupy the island, if only to prevent its occupation by others. The soil was sterile; but the coins, which are very numerous,5122 give reason to suppose that the rocks were in early times rich in copper.

Gaulos (now Gozzo) forms, together with Malta and some islets, an insular group lying between the eastern part of Sicily and the Lesser Syrtis. It is situated in Lat. 36o 2′, Long. 12o 10′ nearly, and is distant from Sicily only about fifty miles. The colonisation of the island by the Phoenicians, asserted by Diodorus,5123 is entirely borne out by the remains, which include a Phoenician inscription of some length,5124 coins with Phoenician legends,5125 and buildings, believed to be temples, which have Phoenician characteristics.5126 Some of the blocks of stone employed in their construction have a length of nearly twenty feet,5127 with a width and height proportionate; and all are put together without cement or mortar of any kind. A conical stone of the kind known to have been used by the Phoenicians in their worship was found in one of the temples.5128 Gaulos had a port which was reckoned sufficiently commodious, and which lay probably towards the south-east end of the island.

Melita, or Malta, which lies at a short distance from Gozzo, to the south-east, is an island of more than double the size, and of far greater importance. It possesses in La Valetta one of the best harbours, or rather two of the best harbours, in the world. All the navies of Europe could anchor comfortably in the "great port" to the east of the town. The western port is smaller, but is equally well sheltered. Malta has no natural product of much importance, unless it be the honey, after which some think that it was named.5129 The island is almost treeless, and the light powdery soil gives small promise of fertility. Still, the actual produce, both in cereals and in green crops, is large; and the oranges, especially those known as mandarines, are of superior quality. Malta also produced, in ancient as in modern times, the remarkable breed of small dogs5130 which is still held in such high esteem. But the Phoenician colonisation must have taken place rather on account of the situation and the harbour than on account of the products.

From Sicily and North Africa the tide of emigration naturally and easily flowed on into Sardinia, which is distant, from the former about 150 and from the latter about 115 miles. The points chosen by the Phoenician settlers lay in the more open and level region of the south and the south-west, and were all enclosed within a line which might be drawn from the coast a little east of Cagliari to the northern extremity of the Gulf of Oristano.5131 The tract includes some mountain groups, but consists mainly of the long and now marshy plain, called the "Campidano," which reaches across the island from Cagliari on the southern to Oristano on the western coast. This plain, if drained, would be by far the most fertile part of the island; and was in ancient times exceedingly productive in cereals, as we learn from Diodorus.5132 The mountains west of it, especially those about Iglesias, contain rich veins of copper and of lead, together with a certain quantity of silver.5133 Good harbours exist at Cagliari, at Oristano, and between the island of S. Antioco and the western shore. It was at these points especially that the Phoenicians made their settlements, the most important of which were Caralis (Cagliari), Nora, Sulcis, and Tharros. Caralis, or Cagliari, the present capital, lies at the bottom of a deep bay looking southwards, and has an excellent harbour, sheltered in all weathers. There are no remains of Phoenician buildings; but the neighbourhood yields abundant specimens of Phoenician art in the shape of tombs, statuettes, vases, bottles, and the like.5134 Caralis was probably the first of the settlements made by the Phoenicians in Sardinia; it would attract them by its harbour, its mines, and the fertility of its neighbourhood. From Caralis they probably passed to Nora, which lay on the same bay to the south-west; and from Nora they rounded the south-western promontory of Sardinia, and established themselves on the small island now known as the Isola di San Antioco, where they built a town which they called Sulchis or Sulcis.5135 Sulcis has yielded votive tablets of the Phoenician type, tombs, vases, &c.5136 The island was productive of lead, and had an excellent harbour towards the north, and another more open one towards the south. Finally, mid-way on the west coast, at the northern extremity of the Gulf of Oristano, the Phoenicians occupied a small promontory which projects into the sea southwards and there formed a settlement which became known as Tharras or Tharros.5137 Very extensive remains, quite unmistakably Phoenician, including tombs, cippi, statuettes in metal and clay, weapons, and the like, have been found on the site.5138

The passage would have been easy from Sardinia to Corsica, which is not more than seven miles distant from it; but Corsica seems to have possessed no attraction for the Phoenicians proper, who were perhaps deterred from colonising it by its unhealthiness, or by the savagery of its inhabitants. Or they may have feared to provoke the jealousy of the Tyrrhenians, off whose coast the island lay, and who, without having any colonising spirit themselves, disliked the too near approach of rivals.5139 At any rate, whatever the cause, it seems to have been left to the Carthaginians, to bring Corsica within the range of Phoenician influence; and even the Carthaginians did little more than hold a few points on its shores as stations for their ships.5140

If from Sardinia the Phoenicians ventured on an exploring voyage westward into the open Mediterranean, a day's sail would bring them within sight of the eastern Balearic Islands, Minorca and Majorca. The sierra of Majorca rises to the height of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet,5141 and can be seen from a great distance. The occupation of the islands by "the Phoenicians" is asserted by Strabo,5142 but we cannot be sure that he does not mean Phoenicians of Africa, i.e. Carthaginians. Still, on the whole, modern criticism inclines to the belief that, even before the foundation of Carthage, Phoenician colonisation had made its way into the Balearic Islands, directly, from the Syrian coast.5143 Some resting-places between the middle Mediterranean and Southern Spain must have been a necessity; and as the North African coast west of Hippo offered no good harbours, it was necessary to seek them elsewhere. Now Minorca has in Port Mahon a harbour of almost unsurpassed excellence,5144 while in Majorca there are fairly good ports both at Palma and at Aleudia.5145 Ivica is less well provided, but there is one of some size, known as Pormany (i.e. "Porta magna"), on the western side of the island, and another, much frequented by fishing-boats,5146 on the south coast near Ibiza. The productions of the Balearides were not, perhaps, in the early times of much importance, since the islands are not, like Sardinia, rich in metals, nor were the inhabitants sufficiently civilised to furnish food supplies or native manufactures in any quantity. If, then, the Phoenicians held them, it must have been altogether for the sake of their harbours.

The colonies of the Mediterranean have now been, all of them, noticed, excepting those which lay upon the south coast of Spain. Of these the most important were Malaca (now Malaga), Sex or Sexti, and Abdera (now Adra). Malaca is said by Strabo to have been "Phoenician in its plan,"5147 Abdera is expressly declared by him to have been "a Phoenician settlement,"5148 while Sexti has coins which connect it with early Phoenician legends.5149 The mountain range above Malaca was anciently rich in gold-mines;5150 Sexti was famous for its salt-pans;5151 Abdera lay in the neighbourhood of productive silver-mines.5152 These were afterwards worked from Carthagena, which was a late Carthaginian colony, founded by Asdrubal, the uncle of Hannibal. Malaga and Carthagena (i.e. New-Town) had well-sheltered harbours; but the ports of Sexti and Abdera were indifferent.

Outside the Straits of Gibraltar, on the shores of the Atlantic, were two further sets of Phoenician colonies, situated respectively in Africa and in Spain. The most important of those in Africa were Tingis (now Tangiers) and Lixus (now Chemmish), but besides these there were a vast number of staples ({emporia}) without names,5153 spread along the coast as far as Cape Non, opposite the Canary Islands. Tingis, a second Gibraltar, lay nearly opposite that wonderful rock, but a little west of the narrowest part of the strait. It had a temple of the Tyrian Hercules, said to have been older than that at Gades;5154 and its coins have Phoenician legends.5155 The town was situated on a promontory running out to the north-east at the extremity of a semicircular bay about four miles in width, and thus possessed a harbour not to be despised, especially on such a coast. The country around was at once beautiful and fertile, dotted over with palms, and well calculated for the growth of fruit and vegetables. The Atlas mountains rose in the background, with their picturesque summits, while in front were seen the blue Mediterranean, with its crisp waves merging into the wilder Atlantic, and further off the shores of Spain, lying like a blue film on the northern horizon.5156

While Tingis lay at the junction of the two seas, on the northern African coast, about five miles east of Cape Spartel, Lixus was situated on the open Atlantic, forty miles to the south of that cape, on the West African coast, looking westward towards the ocean. The streams from Atlas here collect into a considerable river, known now as the Wady-el-Khous, and anciently as the Lixus.5157 The estuary of this river, before reaching the sea, meanders through the plain of Sidi Oueddar, from time to time returning upon itself, and forming peninsulas, which are literally almost islands.5158 From this plain, between two of the great bends made by the stream, rose in one place a rocky hill; and here the Phoenicians built their town, protecting it along the brow of the hill with a strong wall, portions of which still remain in place.5159 The blocks are squared, carefully dressed, and arranged in horizontal courses, without any cement. Some of them are as much as eleven feet long by six feet or somewhat more in height. The wall was flanked at the corners by square towers, and formed a sort of irregular hexagon, above a mile in circumference.5160 A large building within the walls seems to have been a temple;5161 and in it was found one of those remarkable conical stones which are known to have been employed in the Phoenician worship. The estuary of the river formed a tolerably safe harbour for the Phoenician ships, and the valley down which the river flows gave a ready access into the interior.

In Spain, outside the Pillars of Hercules, the chief Phoenician settlements were Tartessus, Agadir or Gades, and Belon. Tartessus has been regarded by some as properly the name of a country rather than a town;5162 but the statements of the Greek and Roman geographers to the contrary are too positive to be disregarded. Tartessus was a town in the opinions of Scymnus Chius, Strabo, Mela, Pliny, Festus Avienus, and Pausanias,5163 who could not be, all of them, mistaken on such a point. It was a town named from, or at any rate bearing the same name with, an important river of southern Spain,5164 probably the Guadalquivir. It was not Gades, for Scymnus Chius mentions both cities as existing in his day;5165 it was not Carteia, for it lay west of Gades, while Carteia lay east. Probably it occupied, as Strabo thought, a small island between two arms of the Guadalquivir, and gradually decayed as Gades rose to importance. It certainly did not exist in Strabo's time, but five or six centuries earlier it was a most flourishing place.5166 If it is the Tarshish of Scripture, its prosperity and importance must have been even anterior to the time of Solomon, whose "navy of Tarshish" brought him once in every three years "gold, and silver, and ivory, and apes, and peacocks."5167 The south of Spain was rich in metallic treasures, and yielded gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin;5168 trade along the west coast of Africa would bring in the ivory and apes abundant in that region; while the birds called in our translation of the Bible "peacocks" may have been guinea-fowl. The country on either side of the Guadalquivir to a considerable distance took its name from the city, being called Tartessis.5169 It was immensely productive. "The wide plains through which the Guadalquiver flows produced the finest wheat, yielding an increase of a hundredfold; the oil and the wine, the growth of the hills, were equally distinguished for their excellence. The wood was not less remarkable for its fineness than in modern times, and had a native colour beautiful without dye."5170 Nor were the neighbouring sea and stream less bountiful. The tunny was caught in large quantities off the coast, shell-fish were abundant and of unusual size,5171 while huge eels were sometimes taken by the fishermen, which, when salted, formed an article of commerce, and were reckoned a delicacy at Athenian tables.5172

Gades is said to have been founded by colonists from Tyre a few years anterior to the foundation of Utica by the same people.5173 Utica, as we have seen, dated from the twelfth century before Christ. The site of Gades combined all the advantages that the Phoenicians desired for their colonies. Near the mouth of the Guadalete there detaches itself from the coast of Spain an island eleven miles in length, known now as the "Isla de Leon," which is separated from the mainland for half its length by a narrow but navigable channel, while to this there succeeds on the north an ample bay, divided into two portions, a northern and a southern.5174 The southern, or interior recess, is completely sheltered from all winds; the northern lies open to the west, but is so full of creeks, coves, and estuaries as to offer a succession of fairly good ports, one or other of which would always be accessible. The southern half of the island is from one to four miles broad; but the northern consists of a long spit of land running out to the north-west, in places not more than a furlong in width, but expanding at its northern extremity to a breadth of nearly two miles. The long isthmus, and the peninsula in which it ends, have been compared to the stalk and blossom of a flower.5175 The flower was the ancient Gades, the modern Cadiz. The Phoenician occupation of the site is witnessed to by Strabo, Diodorus, Scymnus Chius, Mela, Pliny, Velleius Paterculus, ?lian and Arrian,5176 and is further evidenced by the numerous coins which bear the legend of "Agadir" in Phoenician characters.5177 But the place itself retains no traces of the Phoenician occupation. The famous temple of Melkarth, with its two bronze pillars in front bearing inscriptions, has wholly perished, as have all other vestiges of the ancient buildings. This is the result of the continuous occupation of the site, which has been built on successively by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Moors, and Spaniards. The space is somewhat confined, and the houses in ancient times were, we are told, closely crowded together,5178 as they were at Aradus and Tyre. But the advantages of the harbour and the productiveness of the vicinity more than made up for this inconvenience. Gades may have been, as Cadiz is now said to be, "a mere silver plate set down upon the edge of the sea,"5179 but it was the natural centre of an enormous traffic. It had easy access by the valley of a large stream to the interior with its rich mineral and vegetable products; it had the command of two seas, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; it trained its sailors to affront greater perils than any which the Mediterranean offers; and it enjoyed naturally by its position an almost exclusive commerce with the Northern Atlantic, with the western coasts of Spain and Gaul, with Britain, North Germany, and the Baltic.

Compared with Gades and Tartessus, Belon was an insignificant settlement. Its name5180 and coins5181 mark it as Phoenician, but it was not possessed of any special advantages of situation. The modern Bolonia, a little south of Cadiz, is thought to mark the site.5182

We have reached now the limits of Phoenician colonisation towards the West. While their trade was carried, especially from Gades, into Luisitania and Gall?cia on the one hand, and into North-western Africa on the other, reaching onward past these districts to Gaul and Britain, to the Senegal and Gambia, possibly to the Baltic and the Fortunate Islands, the range of their settlements was more circumscribed. As, towards the north-east, though their trade embraced the regions of Colchis and Thrace, of the Tauric Chersonese, and Southern Scythia, their settlements were limited to the ?gean and perhaps the Propontis, so westward they seem to have contented themselves with occupying a few points of vantage on the Spanish and West African coasts, at no great distance from the Straits, and from these stations to have sent out their commercial navies to sweep the seas and gather in the products of the lands which lay at a greater distance. The actual extent of their trade will be considered in a later chapter. We have been here concerned only with their permanent settlements or colonies. These, it has been seen, extended from the Syrian coast to Cyprus, Cilicia, Rhodes, Crete, the islands and shores of the ?gean and Propontis, the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia, and North Africa, the Balearic Islands, Southern Spain, and North-western Africa as far south as Cape Non. The colonisation was not so continuous as the Greek, nor was it so extensive in one direction,5183 but on the whole it was wider, and it was far bolder and more adventurous. The Greeks, as a general rule, made their advances by slow degrees, stealing on from point to point, and having always friendly cities near at hand, like an army that rests on its supports. The Phoenicians left long intervals of space between one settlement and another, boldly planted them on barbarous shores, where they had nothing to rely on but themselves, and carried them into regions where the natives were in a state of almost savagery. The commercial motive was predominant with them, and gave them the courage to plunge into wild seas and venture themselves among even wilder men. With the Greeks the motive was generally political, and a safe home was sought, where social and civil life might have free scope for quiet development.

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