What did the Phoenicians invent?
What the Phoenicians, a civilization of navigators and traders, invented between 3,600 BC and 400 BC, has been of great value to mankind. Settled in areas such as Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Palestine, they made great contributions when it comes to writing, the development of trade, and also in the world of insurance.
Among the most outstanding contributions of the Phoenicians, it is worth mentioning the following.
What Did the Phoenicians Invented ?: Writing and Literature
There is an important controversy about the origin of the writing. However, we must take into account the role of the Phoenicians in its development, as they devised an alphabet made up of 24 signs. For a people of merchants like the Phoenicians, having an alphabet and a writing system was a very useful tool for managing their businesses.
Furthermore, the system created by the Phoenicians, easy to use, transcended beyond the Phoenician lands, being used by other peoples. In fact, civilizations as momentous as Ancient Greece, adopted the Phoenician alphabet and improved it.
Nor should we forget that the Phoenicians would end up collecting a very diverse literary material where dictionaries, science texts, navigation charts and laws can be found.
What did the Phoenicians invent ?: Contributions to the economy
The Phoenicians were the great commercial power of their time, dealing with all kinds of raw materials and jewelry. Likewise, they gave a notable boost to the development of textile, metal, ceramic and glass production.
By having abundant amounts of wood, they excelled in areas such as carpentry, standing out especially in the manufacture of ships that would be taken as models when developing ships.
Thanks to the introduction of the currency, and also to the important volume of commercial exchanges that they carried out, the Phoenicians were able to expand not only in the Mediterranean, but beyond it. Precisely, the introduction of currency allowed it to be accepted as a means of payment and for the rest of civilizations to accept it, thus abandoning barter as a system of exchange.
What did the Phoenicians invent ?: Navigation
The Phoenician civilization would be framed in what is known as thalassocracy or power based on maritime trade.
In view of this, the Phoenicians became not only excellent shipbuilders, but also magnificent navigators, bringing improvements to navigation techniques. Unlike other civilizations, such as a people of navigators, they did not seek the occupation of large tracts of land.
What did the Phoenicians invent ?: Insurance
Although the Chinese already resorted to insurance as a protection mechanism against possible floods and floods, the Phoenicians would also stand out in this area. As a people of sailors and merchants, they were exposed to great losses on their maritime trade routes. Therefore, they had to protect themselves against the risks posed by sea travel.
Thus, the Phoenicians would end up introducing what is currently called the insurance premium. To do this, it was enough to make an advance payment in order to protect a ship and its contents. They even carried out appraisals to determine the value of the goods transported before starting the trip and proceeding to pay the premium.
What did the Phoenicians invent ?: Political system
Although the power of the Phoenicians was based on maritime superiority, they also resorted to political organization and decision-making through assemblies and councils.
To do this, when faced with issues of great importance, debate was used as a means of exchanging ideas. This, until, finally, they reached an agreement and a determination was made.
There is no doubt that one of the first roots of democracy is found in this assembly system.