Sunday, December 13, 2009

Phoenician Alphabet

The Phoenicians were once thought to have invented letters, but it is now known that the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, several of the cuneiform alphabets and the scripts of the Hittites are all older. The Phoenicians were however a business people. They wished to be able to write rapidly, and so made simple one of the alphabets then known. This they did so well that it has outlived all other systems and is the one in use today among all civilized nations, who have each adopted it but with slight changes. The Phoenicians have no real literature as long as they remained a nation. However, books were written by those of them who settled in Africa. The Periplus of Hanno is an interesting book of travels, and valuable works on history and geography are said to have been written by Mago, Hamilcar and others.

Phoenician Phonetics