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Ancient Seafarers of the Mediterranean: The Phoenicians



Class starts every Tuesday and ALL lessons are available on that day. You have until the final due date, August 20, to complete all work for the course. This means you have the entire summer semester to complete the course on YOUR schedule!


We have all heard of the core civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea: the Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans. But many smaller civilizations that lined the coasts of the ancient Mediterranean also made contributions to the history of the ancient world. Perhaps none of these is more crucial or more overlooked than the Phoenicians. Though they never had a large, land-based empire like the Romans, the Phoenicians spread through the sea. Settling in strategic locations allowed them to control trade in the ancient Mediterranean Sea. When one of Phoenicia’s colonies split off to be independent, it went on to challenge one of the greatest powers of the ancient world and to birth one of the greatest generals of all time. The Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage shaped the face of the ancient world, and Hannibal Barca is still one of the most celebrated and studied generals of antiquity. Though Carthage was much maligned by historians for centuries after Rome destroyed the city, we are realizing that there is more to the city than the propaganda of ancient Roman historians.

This class will highlight the important contributions of both Phoenicia and Carthage to the ancient world, and it will shed some light on an often overlooked civilization.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1: An Introduction to the Phoenicians
The Phoenicians are an ancient civilization that often gets overlooked in our studies of the Mediterranean. The first week will familiarize students with who the Phoenicians were. We will be focusing primarily on the geography of Phoenicia and the history of the people that lived there. After the introduction, we will examine the factors that allowed a small, seafaring group from the Levant spread all the way to the Atlantic and even venture down the western coast of Africa!

Week 2: Phoenician Culture and Society
The second week of the course is a deeper look into Phoenician culture. Most people know about their contribution to language in the form of the phonetic alphabet, but did you know they also invented the bireme, the ship that would later be developed into the legendary Greek trireme. Their art, religion, industry, and methods of warfare will be the major topics of discussion this week, along with the better known contributions as well.

Week 3: Phoenician Colonies and the Creation of Carthage
The Phoenicians never created a massive land empire, like the Romans or the Mongols. Instead, they used their abilities at sea to take control of trade in the Mediterranean Sea. This economic control of the region resulted in Phoenician colonies popping up from Crete to the Iberian Peninsula. Of all of these colonies, Carthage grew to be even more powerful than the cities in the Phoenician homeland. Over time, Carthage took control of trade throughout the Mediterranean Sea. No one was able to challenge their control until they clashed with a fledgling Roman republic.

Week 4: The Punic Wars and the Collapse of the Ancient Phoenicians
The final week of the course is a look at the infamous Punic Wars. This series of three wars between Carthage and Rome shaped Rome into the ancient super power that it eventually became. The wars started as a fight over important trade routes through Sicily, but they ended with one of the greatest generals of the ancient world, Hannibal Barca, terrorizing Rome for over a decade on their own turf. When the Romans gained the upper hand over the Carthaginians, Carthage’s chapter as an ancient power came to a close. Around the same time, Phoenicia collapsed under the weight of another one of the greatest ancient generals, Alexander the Great. We will end by looking at the legacy that was left by both the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule June 4 - Aug 20
  • Activities History
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 10-16 One Level