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Phoenicia, Phenicia

PHOENICIA, PHENICIA (fē-nĭsh'ĭ-a, Gr. Phoinikē). A strip of coastal territory between the Lebanon range, the uplands of Galilee, and the Mediterranean Sea, containing the trading ports of the great maritime people that bore its name. Exact definition of boundaries is not possible, for the Phoenicians were associated with their cities rather than with their hinterland, after the fashion of the Greek colonies. It can be said, however, that to the north Phoenicia never extended beyond Arvad or Arados on the modern island of Ruad, eighty miles (one hundred thirty-three km.) north of Sidon. The southern limits were Acco, modern Acre, just north of Carmel, and, according to the Egyptian papyrus that tells the story of Wen-Amon, Dor, just south of Carmel. The Semitic name for the land was Canaan, the “Kinachchi” or “Kinachna” of the Tell-el-Amarna Letters, and the “Chua” of Phoenician coins. The name is of doubtful significance, but may mean “lowland,” as distinct from the uplands parallel w