Can Phoenicia be restored?

I have found a fascinating website that details the history, and contributions, of the Phoenician people.  It is not unusual for Lebanese to take pride in their Phoenician heritage.  But is it accurate to call  some modern Lebanese “Phoenician”?
Lebanon has seen many invasions over the last two thousand years.  To the casual observer, it would appear that the Phoenicians have gone the way of the renowned Cedar forests of Lebanon.  After all, practically every component of ancient Phoenician culture has disappeared.  Their religion is gone.  Their language is gone.  Their dress, dance, music and mores are all gone.  Therefore, it would follow that the Phoenicians themselves are gone.
Of course all of the above applies, to one extent or another, to Jews as well.  Even the Jewish religion is, arguably, not the same religion it was in ancient times; it has “evolved” almost beyond recognition.  Yet nothing stops us Jews from calling ourselves “Jews”.  Probably because there has been a continuous ethnic identity with us.  I do not believe the same can be said about the Phoenicians.  But who says continuity is a prerequisite for ethnic identity?
I say let modern Lebanese call themselves “Phoenician” if they wish.
I do wonder if any efforts are being made to restore some of the ancient traits of Phoenicians.  Is ancient Hebrew (AKA Phoenician) being revived in Lebanon?  Are the old gods being restored?  Is traditional Phoenician garb making a comeback?  Making themselves distinctive, in some way, from the surrounding non-Phoenician populations, would go a long way toward restoring their identity.  If this is, indeed, their endeavor, then they certainly have my blessing – as long as they refrain from practices such as human sacrifice.
Note: The site listed above, includes audio recordings of Aramaic being read for Christian ceremonies.  To me, it sounds like they are being read in a Persian accent.  Therefore, the gutturals have been compromised.  Some of the vowels also sound Persian – but there is no way to know how they would have been pronounced, exactly, in antiquity.

This entry was posted in Jewish stuff and Israel, pan-nationalism and multi-culturalism. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Can Phoenicia be restored?

  1. Gay State Girl says:

    I heard that Lebanese Christians are quite resentful about the Arabization of their culture and consider themselves in a different class than the gulf state arabs.

  2. fred says:

    This is an interesting question and reminds me of the dispute between Greece and Macedonia. My view is that one is his father’s son regardless of language or culture. Not that those things aren’t important, too.

  3. Wade in MO says:

    “I heard that Lebanese Christians are quite resentful about the Arabization of their culture and consider themselves in a different class than the gulf state arabs.”
    Why wouldn’t they consider themselves different from Gulf Arabs? One group was civilized and planting succesful merchant colonies thousands of years ago. The other group was fucking camels until they discovered oil under their land. Personally I hope to see a revival of Phoenicia and the death of Arabism, especially the most foul and disgusting aspect of arabism: islam.

  4. Pingback: Filipinos rallying behind Israel « Jewamongyou's Blog

  5. Karl says:

    the term “Phoenician” comes from a greek word. The actual “phoenicians” spoke Canaanite = Ancient Hebrew. There is a reason why Hiram sent workers and materials to build Solomon’s Temple: They were close political allies. Hiram’s people were Hebrews who never went down to Egypt, thus never got pulled into Moshe’s YHWH cult. Lots of Judean boys sailed the high seas on Hiram’s fleet. Modern Israel has close, if secret, relations with Lebanese Christians. The Christians are not stupid!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *