The Phoenicians

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Phoenicians. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote about a people from the Levant who were accomplished sailors and traders, and who taught the Greeks their alphabet. He called them the Phoenicians, the Greek word for purple, although it is not known what they called themselves. By about 700 BC they were trading all over the Mediterranean, taking Egyptian and Syrian goods as far as Spain and North Africa. Although they were hugely influential in the ancient world, they left few records of their own; some contemporary scholars believe that the Phoenicians were never a unified civilisation but a loose association of neighbouring city-states.


Mark Woolmer
Assistant Principal at Collingwood College, Durham University

Josephine Quinn
Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Oxford

Cyprian Broodbank
Professor of Mediterranean Archaeology at University College London

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 6 Feb 2014 21:30

Related topics


Mark Woolmer at Durham University


Josephine Quinn at the University of Oxford


Cyprian Broodbank at University College London


Phoenicia - Wikipedia





Maria Eugenia Aubet (trans. Mary Turton), The Phoenicians and the West: Politics, Colonies and Trade (Cambridge University Press, 2001)


Cyprian Broodbank, The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World (Thames and Hudson, 2013)


Edward Lipiński, Itineraria Phoenicia (Peeters Publishers, 2004)


Glenn Markoe, The Phoenicians (British Museum Press, 2000)


Sabatino Moscati, The Phoenicians (I.B. Taurus, 2001)


Mark Woolmer, Ancient Phoenicia: An Introduction (Duckworth, 2011)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestMark Woolmer
Interviewed GuestJosephine Quinn
Interviewed GuestCyprian Broodbank
ProducerThomas Morris

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