ACABS 591 - Topics in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies
Section: 002 History of the Phoenicians
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Undergrad and Grad
Meet Together Classes:
Primary Instructor:

The Phoenicians were a people who interacted with numerous groups and nations of the Ancient Near East, but whose interactions with peoples of the Mediterranean world are perhaps best known. For students of the Bible, the Phoenicians are commonly associated with the worship of Baal and with Canaanite culture. For students of the classical world, the Phoenicians are commonly associated with sailing, trade, and their alphabet, which they passed to the Greeks and others in the Mediterranean. In later times, the Phoenicians’ colonies in north Africa fought with Rome for supremacy in the western Mediterranean. Throughout the first millennium B.C.E., Phoenicians and Phoenician culture was often portrayed as alien, savage, and barbaric.

This course will explore the political and cultural history of the Phoenicians. Especially important will be the early culture of the Phoenician city-states and their interactions with neighboring regions, including ancient Israel; the cultural exchanges between eastern and western Mediterranean regions; and the political conflicts between Carthage and Rome. In addition, the course will attempt to outline how Phoenicians were portrayed by their neighbors: the writers of the Bible, the writers of Greek and Roman history and literature. How these portrayals reflect the Phoenician themselves, as well as the interests and preconceptions of the writers will be investigated.

The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. NO prior language experience in Phoenician, Greek, Latin, or Hebrew is necessary to take the course. All are welcome.

The textbooks used have yet to be determined.

Student evaluation will be based on attendance, participation in class discussions, and performance on a midterm, final exam and short paper. Feel free to ask questions. Email me at

ACABS 591 - Topics in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Note: MEETS W/ACABS 491.002
002 (SEM)
M 4:00PM - 7:00PM
Note: MEETS W/ACABS 491.003
003 (REC)
Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
Note: MEETS W/JUDAIC 517.001 and HJCS 591.001
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