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Editorial

Phoenician people and their scriptology

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | March 12, 2022 06:50 AM

By Dr Jasbir Singh Sarna
The Primal Being was born in the lap of nature. Nature was all around him. In this endless pastime of nature , mountains, rivers, forests, scary sounds and screams etc. make him tremble to the core. At that time human and animal habits seemed to be tied in the same thread.

Jasbir Singh Sarna

Like animals he made many sounds and different sounds came out of his mouth. He used to show signs and meanings with his body parts. He hid in caves, caverns etc., thinking of ways to avoid lightning, clouds and thunderstorms. This cave-dwelling endurance, constant danger of natural calamities, quarrelsome nature, etc., gradually gave him the closeness of the masses. He became polygamous giving birth to a new ritual. He became involved with human beings in this double battle of love.

He climbed trees and started looking for flowers / leaves to eat and became prey to wild animals. Gradually, he began to sleep, building a pavilion of sticks and leaves. Staying naked became his nature. The first stage of his language was the melody which he used as a weapon by arranging it through the Chromatic Scale. Today's scientists associate this human being with 'Haiwan-e-Natak' (speaking animal). Nature endowed him with an immense store of thinking beyond animals and he crossed the line of civilizations for thousands of years. Consistently when the sun of language rises after struggles and events.

Phoenicians are the first to be mentioned in the history of the world. It was an ancient Semitic civilization that flourished on the west coast and settled on what is now Lebanon. Their major cities / settlements were inhabited around the midline. Some of the southern shores were inhabited near present-day Makran and Laristan. The region was a center of trade from 1550 BC to 300 BC. The religion of these people was called Kenaan or Kinaani. They were famous for their trade between the Romans and the Greeks. They also worked as painters. They dyed the royal robes red with snails and wrote their letters in the same color. Due to which their monopoly remained.

Their religion is confirmed by the Amarna Tablet from the 14th century BC. To the people of the world, their main contribution is the Phoenician alphabet, which is the origin of all modern alphabets. The language they spoke was called Phoenician. The Phoenicians spread their characters to North America, Europe, and ancient Etruscan. Sometimes they even called their language Punic. Their Phoenician language was called the Phoenician alphabet, and there were a total of 22 alphabets of phonology and orthography. These alphabets are called Abjad. Writing systems spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world where it was assimilated by many other cultures and evolved.

"The Phoenician alphabet, called by convention the Proto- Canaanite alphabet for inscriptions older than 1200 BCE was a non-pictographic consonantal alphabet or abjad. It was used for the writing of Phoenician, a Northern Semitic Language, used by the civilization of Phoenicia. It is Classified as an abjad because it records only consonantal sounds. Phoenician became one of the most widely used writing systems, spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world where it was assimilated by many other cultures and evolved. "(Fisher, 2004, P.90).

The same script was used for the Phoenician language because its consonant tones were prevalent. The Phoenicians were considered to be a large writing system, which was expanded far and wide by the Phoenician merchants. These people were very good sailors and their business spread to Greece, Egypt, India, Rome, Spain and Britain. They were very smart and skilled people. They worshiped the sun, the moon, and the stars as their idols. Their faces and statues were similar to those of African or Hemispheric people. Their diet (raising dogs, killing them and eating them), their dress and high heels, and their dialect (despite adopting Hebrew) set them apart from the Semitic nations.

Sardar GB Singh writes, The great god Molock was Baal who was the sun god. Taanit was the goddess of the moon. Astarte or Ashtoreth was a world-mother whose temple contained hundreds of deities or Ramjanis. Prostitution was their job. "Sacred prostitutions was a common practice in the name of religion" (G B Singh, 2011, P.169). In addition to their trade, they sold women from Judah, Greece, and other nations to distant lands. In the palaces of the kings of India, the groups of maids were seen coming through this market . These people used to sacrifice sheep, goats, cattle and human offspring to the idol of Suraj Dev (Molock).

The three largest cities of the Phoenicians were Biblus, Syden and Tire, which were essentially ports. Most of the scholars think that most of the names of the stars, planets, twelve constellations and Satvara are given by these people. Like the Indians, the Greeks borrowed writing and script from these Phoenicians. The Greeks called their script 'Phoenician alphabet'. When the Romans conquered the Greeks, they borrowed their Roman script from the Greeks. All the scripts of Europe (Roman Script) big and small, English, German, Russian etc. are all made from this Roman script.

Similarly, like the Greeks, the Indians also learned the art of writing from the Phoenicians. Twenty-seven hundred (2700) years ago, two darwari and other merchants brought about sixteen letters to India, they were only 'Phoenician letters'. These letters were used in business. These same letters were embellished by Sanskrit and grammar to form the Brahmi script which is the mother of all native scripts. Scholar Burnell is of the opinion that the Indians learned to write from the Phoenicians and that the southern Ashoka script (Brahmi) of the Phoenician alphabet originated in India about 500 BC, did not enter before and probably not before 400 AD.

Finally, after the above analysis, we can conclude that despite the character of the Phoenician civilization being a merchant, shipping and lustful, the whole of humanity will remain grateful to them. This script is the origin of all worldly scripts.

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