“I received the tribute of the kings of the seacoast – namely, the lands of the peoples of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Mahallatu, Maizu, Kaizu, Amurru and the city of Arvad, which is in the midst of the seas – silver, gold, tin, bronze, a bronze vessel, multicolored linen garments, a large female monkey, a small female monkey, ebony, boxwood, and ivory of sea creatures. They submitted to me.” – Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria
Under constant pressure from Assyria, Phoenician merchant fleets aggressively expanded their influence into Sardinia, North Africa and the Tartessian coast of southern Spain. In the central Mediterranean, they bore witness to the cultural resurgence of Archaic Greece, and the growing power of the Etruscan kingdoms of Italy.
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