The Phoenicians were essentially a seafaring nation.
Where much is still obscure, all that seems certain is that the antiquity of Phoenicia as a sea and trading power has been greatly exaggerated both in ancient and in modern times; the Minoan power of Cnossus preceded it by many centuries; the influence of Phoenicia in the Aegean cannot be carried back much earlier than the 12th century B.C., and, comparatively speaking, it was " foreign, late, sporadic."' A vivid description of the Phoenicians' trade at the time of Tyre's prosperity is given by Ezekiel (xxvii.
Though there were never any regular colonies of Phoenicians in Egypt, the Tyrians had a quarter of their own in Memphis (Herod.
The Phoenician words which made their way into Greek at an early period indicate the kind of goods in which the Phoenicians traded with the West, or made familiar through their commerce; the following are some of them - Xpua6c, Xcrcov, (u6aos, 606v?,, uivppa, va(3Aa, Ia 7rpos, ?uxos, µv a, 7raXAaxis, 1 3airi Aos.
Another valuable article of commerce which the Phoenicians brought into the market was amber.