There are few people who have been more influential to Western Europe culture than the Phoenicians, though this is so little recognised. Famous for their seafaring and for their manufacturing of goods, Phoenicians were fundamentally important to the development to Greek culture, something which Herodotus readily admits to. Yet they suffered the fate of all those defeated in war; their literature and their historical narrative has been lost and replaced by those who defeated them, namely Greeks and Romans.
The little we know about Phoenicians comes from Greek and Roman writers, as well as from the Bible. Even the name we use for them, Phoenician, is not the name they gave themselves; they called themselves chna, something transliterated as Canaanites. Yet, by the 11th century BC, Phoenicians produced an abjad alphabet, with 22 consonants, which formed the basis of the Greek alphabet and through that the Latin one we use today. Likewise, Phoenicians not only indirectly taught Greeks the art of ship-making, but were hugely influential to archaic Greek art, whose orientalising style can be seen in all Greek art and architecture from the 6th and early 5th centuries. Despite their importance to Greece, their role in developing European culture is little acknowledged because of the absence of their literary works. Thankfully we have a plethora of stunning Phoenician sites and material remains found throughout the Mediterranean which have allowed archaeologists and historians to piece together much of their story.