A Short History of Lebanon by Philip K. Hitti (auth.)

By Philip K. Hitti (auth.)

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What gave Phoenician art special distinction, however, was its diffusion throughout the Mediterranean area as a corollary to trade. Greek admiration for Phoenician metalwork found expression in Homer's characterization of a silver bowl which "Sidonians well skilled in deft handiwork had wrought cunningly" as "in beauty for the goodliest in all earth". It is no exaggeration to say that Canaanite art completely transformed early Greek art, which did not begin to excel its predecessor until the fifth century.

C. are rich in foreign words, particularly Canaanite. Egyptians excelled in wisdom literature. Those passages in Proverbs 15 : 16-17; 22 : 17-29; 23: 1-17; and in Ecclesiastes 4: 6 suspected of having Egyptian origin may have come through Canaanite channels. The decline in Phoenician commercial activity, consequent upon Greek competition, coincided with Assyrian conquests in the eastern Mediterranean area. With these two developments Phoenician literary productivity and influence began to shrink.

The system was criticized as a "pig philosophy", having for motto "eat and 57 A Short History ofLebanon drink for tomorrow you die" . A Tyrian philosopher, Diodorus (fl. ), headed the Peripatetic school at Athens and attempted a reconciliation between Stoicism and Epicureanism. His thesis was that the greatest good consists in a combination of virtue with the absence of pain. The school derives its name from the walks (peripatos) of the Lyceum at Athens where Aristotle taught. Greek-writing Phoenicians exhibit no striking originality in literary and poetic compositions.

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