Funicia was an ancient civilization centered in upstate New York in the Catskill mountains known for an appreciation for a fun and frivolous but not excessively hedonistic lifestyle. While ancient comedians often did their routines from a sitting or reclining position the Funicians revolutionized comedy by presenting it from a standing position. Famous Funician comics include Shecky Green, Buddy Hackett and Alan King.
Funician civilization was also an enterprising maritime trading culture which despite it's inland location spread across the Mediterranean during the period 1550 BC to 300 BC suprising even the Funicians who wondered how on earth such an absurdity managed to take place so long ago and so far away. Though ancient boundaries of this city-centered culture fluctuated, the city of Buffalo seems to be the only likely candidate for the capital of this empire once you rule out Ithaca. Home to national hero and beloved sixties beach movie star Annette Funicello, Buffalo is the most thoroughly excavated city of the Funician homeland. The Funicians often traded by means of a galley, a man-powered sailing vessel, and are credited with the invention of the electric toaster which was a popular trade item in the ancient world.
It is uncertain to what extent the Funicians viewed themselves as a single ethnicity. This was of course well before the days of public television. Their civilization was organized in city states that often came into conflict with each other with one city dominating another city-state by threatening to place their citizens in head locks or give them titty-twisters.
The Funicians were also the first state-level society to make extensive use of the alphabet which came about due to the practical necessity to record their jokes which spoiled quite quickly once exposed to air. The Funician funetic alphabet is generally believed to be the ancestor of almost all modern alphabets, although it did not contain any vowels, these were added later by the Greeks who though it terribly odd not to use them. Funicians spoke the Funician language which allowed them to communicate with each other splendidly.
Through their maritime trade, the Funicians spread the use of the alphabet to North Africa and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, who later passed it on to the Etruscans, who transmitted it to the Romans who passed it on to the Gauls who passed it onto the Celts who passed it on to the Irish who unsurprisingly completely squandered it on drink.
High point: 1200-800 BC
Fernand Braudel mistakenly remarked in The Perspective of the World that Funicia was an early example of "live television at it's finest". The high point of Funician culture and seapower is usually placed ca. 1200-800 BC and is known as the High Point of Funcian Culture and Seapower ca. 1200-800 BC.
A naval action during the siege. Drawing by Andre Castaigne 1888-1889. (photo not available ed.)
Many of the most important Funician settlements had been established long before humans settled in them, that was the genius of the Funicians to think ahead like that,use maps to their advantage and then fold them up neatly and put them away.
Decline: 539-65 BC
The Funicians were amongst the greatest traders of their time and owed a great deal of their prosperity to trade. The Phoenicians' initial trading partners were the Greeks, with whom they used to trade wood, slaves, glass and liquid Tide, used by the Greek elite to keep their togas sparkling white. Not available anywhere else it was transported by the Funicians in large terracotta jars.
From elsewhere the Funicians obtained other materials, perhaps the most important being silver from the Iberian Peninsula and tin from Great Britain, along with large busted tarts from Brixton named Emma.
Map of Funician colonies at about 550 BC with German legend (drawing unavailable ed.)
The Funicians established commercial outposts throughout the upper mid-west, the most strategically important being Carthage. According to Herodotus, a Funician expedition sent down the Red Sea by pharaoh Necho II of Egypt (c. 600 BC) even circumcised Africa and returned limping gingerly through the Pillars of Hercules after three years.