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Description[edit | edit source]
Phoenicia was an ancient civilisation, based in what is now the coastal regions of Lebanon and Syria. They spoke a Canaanite language related to Hebrew and were famed mariners. Their alphabet served as the source of the Greek alphabet, and from there evolved into the Etruscan and Latin alphabets as well. The Greeks and Romans knew them for their manufacture of purple dye from the murex shell, which gave them their Greek and Latin names. They referred to themselves as Kan'ani and their Punic (Carthaginian) descendants in St. Augustine's day called themselves Chanani.