The Phoenicians (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Lavishly illustrated and handsomely produced, The Phoenicians would be at home on the coffee table of a wealthy collector of art of the ancient world, or in a museum in the ancient civilizations section. That is not to say, however, that this book is not also of general interest, for while not everyone will find all aspects equally intriguing, it is hard to imagine anyone who could not find something to appreciate about such an expansive tome. The more than one thousand pictures alone take the breath away; well-designed maps give sections of the book an atlaslike quality, complementing the points being made in the text about Phoenician settlement patterns; and articles on everything from sarcophagi to whether the Phoenicians ever sailed to America yield a definitive volume with something for everyone.
The diverse articles gathered here are the work of contributing scholars scattered across many disciplines. In general their tone is academic—the more so because the volume has been published in the koine of the modern world (English), regardless of the native language of the contributors. In spite of this, the book manages at most points to be interesting, at some points entertaining as well, and laid out wonderfully with text, full-color pictures, maps, and diagrams all woven together with an artistic sensibility appropriate to the study of ancient craftsmen.
The book has four major sections, each one of which could have been a...
(The entire section is 1815 words.)
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