Tell Akkaz in Kuwait.

Author:Elayi, J.
Position:'The Phoenician Diaspora: Epigraphic and Historical Studies' - Book review

The phoenician diaspora: epigraphic and historical studies.

The Phoenician Diaspora: Epigraphic and Historical Studies. By PHILIP C. SCHMITZ. Winona Lake, E1SENBRAUNS, 2012. Pp. xi + 146, illus. $39.50.

P. C. Schmitz, professor at Eastern Michigan University, is mainly known from his publications concerning Phoenician and Punic epigraphy and linguistics. In this book, he "emphasizes the dispersed character of ancient Phoenician-Punic civilization itself as well as [stresses] the accidental character of epigraphic remains in Phoenician and Punic" (p. vii). Although it is true that the historian of Phoenicia must adapt his methodology to this peculiar field of research, Phoenician history has to be written not only by using Phoenician written sources, but also utilizing approaches including indirect written accounts and all kinds of other sources (J. Elayi, "Etre historienne de la Phenicie, ici et maintenant," Transeuphratene 31 [2006]: 41-53, with bibliography). P. C. Schmitz here restudies four previously published inscriptions which feature problematic readings and on which there is no scholarly consensus. This book also includes two previously unpublished Phoenician inscriptions.

Chapter 1, "Phoenician Epigraphy's Third Century" (pp. 1-14), rapidly surveys the history of Phoenician-Punic epigraphy, with a table listing the contents of the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum (= CIS), a valuable epigraphic work of 6068 inscriptions, which was unfortunately abandoned before completion. Among epigraphic publications not mentioned, most important is A. Lemaire's epigraphic bulletin of North-West Semitic inscriptions dated to the Persian period in Transeuphratene 4 (1991): 113-18; 10 (1995): 145-50, 211-12; 17(1999): 111-16; 24 (2002): 137-41; 32(2006): 185-94; 33 (2007): 135-37.

Chapter 1 also offers a partial inventory of recent publications of epigraphic texts, classified by areas: Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Egypt, and Tunisia. Spain requires more attention (p. 12 n. 8); see for example J. Elayi, "Inscripciones fenicias y marcas varias," in La Fonteta: Excavaciones de 1996-2002 en la colonia fenicia de la actual desembocadura del do Segura (Guardamar del Segura. Alicante), ed. A. Gonzdlez Prats, vol. 1 (Alicante 2011), 259-90, with bibliography.

For Beirut, see additional inscriptions in J. Elayi and H. Sayegh, Un quartier du port phenicien de Beyrouth au Fer III1Perse: Les objets (Paris 1998)...

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