The appropriation of the Phoenicians in British imperial ideology
Nations and Nationalism, 7, (4), . (doi:10.1111/1469-8219.00027).
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The Phoenicians played ambivalent roles in Western historical imagination. One such role was as a valued predecessor and prototype for the industrial and maritime enterprise of nineteenth-century imperial Britain. Explicit parallels were drawn in historical representations and more popular culture. It was widely believed that the Phoenicians had been present in Britain, especially in Cornwall, despite a lack of convincing historical evidence, and much importance was placed on supposed archaeological evidence. Ideological tensions arose from the need to reconcile ancient and modern Britain, and from the Semitic origin of the Phoenicians. This example shows the power of archaeological objects to provide material support for national and imperial constructions of the past.
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