When one thinks about what the Phoenicians did in the ancient world, one has to be impressed. A large trading network built by a small group of people, the contribution of the alphabet - these are not small tasks done by a civilization which I believe had no real military might. I was amazed to hear that they had established colonies as far away as North Africa and Marseilles in France, sailed up to Britannia and...perhaps around the African cape? This suggests a high level of skill at navigating the sea and engineering ships. So although they were small, their achievements were quite grand.