Phoenicia (Gr. Phœ;nike) was a comparatively narrow strip of country lying to the north of Palestine, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bounded by that sea westwards, and eastwards extending to the mountain-crests of Bar-gylus and Lebanon. The coast-line was about 230 miles in length, and the area of Phoenicia proper about 3000 sq. m. The tract included within these limits is one of a remarkably diversified character; lofty mountain, steep wooded hill, chalky slope, rich alluvial plain, and sandy shore succeeding each other. This was the home of a famous and enterprising Semitic people, the Phoenicians, who in 1600-1300 b.c. seem to have been dependent on Egypt. After this date the country rose to a high pitch of prosperity and influence, and its people became famous for their trading and nautical enterprise, for their great colonies, their glass manufactures, purple dye, and metal utensils. Perhaps their greatest gift to civilisation was the alphabet, from which practically all civilised systems of writing and printing are derived; possibly they developed it out of one of the Egyptian hieroglyphic systems. Sidon and Aradus were amongst the most ancient cities; Tyre the greatest and most populous. Carthage was the greatest foreign colony, surpassing the mother-country in power; but there were Phoenician settlements in states in Asia Minor, the Greek islands, Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, the Balearic islands, and southern Spain (Carthagena, Tartes-sus, &c). Phoenicians traded for tin and copper with Cornwall and the Scilly islands, and with the Baltic for amber; and seem to have been a means of exchanging the produce of Greece and the extreme west with those of Babylon, Persia, India, and East Africa. Hiram of Tyre cherished friendly relations with David and Solomon. Like Palestine, Phoenicia had to bow the neck to the Assyrian yoke (880-630 B.C.). Egypt and Babylon then quarrelled over Phoenicia, which next fell a prey to Persia (527-333), and, after the famous seven months' siege of Tyre to 332, to Alexander the Great and his successors. See works by Canon G. Rawlinson (1889).