The Egyptians seem to have been the first who paid any attention to navigation. A short time after the establishment of their monarchy, they trafficked on the Arabian Gulf, and the western coast of India. But their religious institutions, and the fertility of their soil, concentrating their industry in their own country, caused them soon to abandon distant expeditions. The Phoenicians, on the contrary, whose country could only acquire importance by commerce, promptly extended their relations in every sea, and became more celebrated for their commercial enterprise, than any other nation. They even dared to cross the straits of Gibraltar, and visited the western coast of Spain. The prosperity of the Phoenicians roused the attention of their neighbours, the Jews; but the peculiar institutions which their inspired legislator established, retarded their advancement in commerce. They made few expeditions of any consequence.