Carthage (/ˈkɑːrθɪdʒ/; Punic: 𐤒𐤓𐤕•𐤇𐤃𐤔𐤕, Qart-ḥadašt, "New City"; Latin: Carthāgō; Arabic: قرطاج, Qarṭāj) was the center or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia.
The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire dominating the Mediterranean during the first millennium BC. The legendary Queen Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a local tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide. Cutting the skin into strips, she laid out her claim and founded an empire that would become, through the Punic Wars, the only existential threat to Rome until the coming of the Vandals several centuries later.
The ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC and then re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. The Roman city was again occupied by the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in 698. The site remained uninhabited, the regional power shifting to the Medina of Tunis in the medieval period, until the early 20th century, when it began to develop into a coastal suburb of Tunis, incorporated as Carthage municipality in 1919.
The archaeological site was first surveyed in 1830, by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe. Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre. The Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. Excavations performed by French archaeologists in the 1920s first attracted an extraordinary amount of attention because of the evidence they produced for child sacrifice. Although there has been considerable disagreement among scholars concerning whether or not child sacrifice was practiced by ancient Carthage, recent research indicates that child sacrifice was in practice. The open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984.
Baths of Antoninus, Carthage
Shown within Tunisia
|Criteria||ii, iii, vi|
|Designated||1979 (3rd session)|
The name Carthage /ˈkarθɪdʒ/ is the Early Modern anglicisation of French Carthage /kaʁ.taʒ/, from Latin Carthāgō and Karthāgō (cf. Greek Karkhēdōn (Καρχηδών) and Etruscan *Carθaza) from the Punic qrt-ḥdšt (𐤒𐤓𐤕 𐤇𐤃𐤔𐤕) "new city", implying it was a "new Tyre". The Latin adjective pūnicus, meaning "Phoenician", is reflected in English in some borrowings from Latin—notably the Punic Wars and the Punic language.
Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the north and the south. The city's location made it master of the Mediterranean's maritime trade. All ships crossing the sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where Carthage was built, affording it great power and influence. Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring the city's massive navy of 220 warships and the other for mercantile trade. A walled tower overlooked both harbors. The city had massive walls, 37 km (23 mi) in length, longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were located on the shore, thus could be less impressive, as Carthaginian control of the sea made attack from that direction difficult. The 4.0 to 4.8 km (2.5 to 3 mi) of wall on the isthmus to the west were truly massive and were never penetrated. The city had a huge necropolis or burial ground, religious area, market places, council house, towers, and a theater, and was divided into four equally sized residential areas with the same layout. Roughly in the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa.
Carthage was one of the largest cities of the Hellenistic period and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD 14, Rome had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, the cities of Alexandria and Antioch numbered only a few hundred thousand or less. According to the not always reliable history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire.
On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, a residential area from the last century of existence (early second century BCE.) of the Punic city was excavated by the French archaeologist Serge Lancel. The neighborhood, with its houses, shops, and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago.
The remains have been preserved under embankments, the substructures of the later Roman forum, whose foundation piles dot the district. The housing blocks are separated by a grid of straight streets about 6 m (20 ft) wide, with a roadway consisting of clay; in situ stairs compensate for the slope of the hill. Construction of this type presupposes organization and political will, and has inspired the name of the neighborhood, "Hannibal district", referring to the legendary Punic general or sufet (consul) at the beginning of the second century BCE.
The habitat is typical, even stereotypical. The street was often used as a storefront/shopfront; cisterns were installed in basements to collect water for domestic use, and a long corridor on the right side of each residence led to a courtyard containing a sump, around which various other elements may be found. In some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortar.
The merchant harbor at Carthage was developed, after settlement of the nearby Punic town of Utica. Eventually the surrounding countryside was brought into the orbit of the Punic urban centers, first commercially, then politically. Direct management over cultivation of neighbouring lands by Punic owners followed. A 28-volume work on agriculture written in Punic by Mago, a retired army general (c. 300), was translated into Latin and later into Greek. The original and both translations have been lost; however, some of Mago's text has survived in other Latin works. Olive trees (e.g., grafting), fruit trees (pomegranate, almond, fig, date palm), viniculture, bees, cattle, sheep, poultry, implements, and farm management were among the ancient topics which Mago discussed. As well, Mago addresses the wine-maker's art (here a type of sherry).
In Punic farming society, according to Mago, the small estate owners were the chief producers. They were, two modern historians write, not absent landlords. Rather, the likely reader of Mago was "the master of a relatively modest estate, from which, by great personal exertion, he extracted the maximum yield." Mago counselled the rural landowner, for the sake of their own 'utilitarian' interests, to treat carefully and well their managers and farm workers, or their overseers and slaves. Yet elsewhere these writers suggest that rural land ownership provided also a new power base among the city's nobility, for those resident in their country villas. By many, farming was viewed as an alternative endeavour to an urban business. Another modern historian opines that more often it was the urban merchant of Carthage who owned rural farming land to some profit, and also to retire there during the heat of summer. It may seem that Mago anticipated such an opinion, and instead issued this contrary advice (as quoted by the Roman writer Columella):
"The man who acquires an estate must sell his house, lest he prefer to live in the town rather than in the country. Anyone who prefers to live in a town has no need of an estate in the country." "One who has bought land should sell his town house, so that he will have no desire to worship the household gods of the city rather than those of the country; the man who takes greater delight in his city residence will have no need of a country estate."
The issues involved in rural land management also reveal underlying features of Punic society, its structure and stratification. The hired workers might be considered 'rural proletariat', drawn from the local Berbers. Whether or not there remained Berber landowners next to Punic-run farms is unclear. Some Berbers became sharecroppers. Slaves acquired for farm work were often prisoners of war. In lands outside Punic political control, independent Berbers cultivated grain and raised horses on their lands. Yet within the Punic domain that surrounded the city-state of Carthage, there were ethnic divisions in addition to the usual quasi feudal distinctions between lord and peasant, or master and serf. This inherent instability in the countryside drew the unwanted attention of potential invaders. Yet for long periods Carthage was able to manage these social difficulties.
The many amphorae with Punic markings subsequently found about ancient Mediterranean coastal settlements testify to Carthaginian trade in locally made olive oil and wine. Carthage's agricultural production was held in high regard by the ancients, and rivaled that of Rome—they were once competitors, e.g., over their olive harvests. Under Roman rule, however, grain production ([wheat] and barley) for export increased dramatically in 'Africa'; yet these later fell with the rise in Roman Egypt's grain exports. Thereafter olive groves and vineyards were re-established around Carthage. Visitors to the several growing regions that surrounded the city wrote admiringly of the lush green gardens, orchards, fields, irrigation channels, hedgerows (as boundaries), as well as the many prosperous farming towns located across the rural landscape.
Accordingly, the Greek author and compiler Diodorus Siculus (fl. 1st century BCE), who enjoyed access to ancient writings later lost, and on which he based most of his writings, described agricultural land near the city of Carthage circa 310 BC:
"It was divided into market gardens and orchards of all sorts of fruit trees, with many streams of water flowing in channels irrigating every part. There were country homes everywhere, lavishly built and covered with stucco. ... Part of the land was planted with vines, part with olives and other productive trees. Beyond these, cattle and sheep were pastured on the plains, and there were meadows with grazing horses."
The Chora (farm lands of Carthage) encompassed a limited area: the north coastal tell, the lower Bagradas river valley (inland from Utica), Cape Bon, and the adjacent sahel on the east coast. Punic culture here achieved the introduction of agricultural sciences first developed for lands of the eastern Mediterranean, and their adaptation to local African conditions.
The urban landscape of Carthage is known in part from ancient authors, augmented by modern digs and surveys conducted by archeologists. The "first urban nucleus" dating to the seventh century, in area about 10 hectares (25 acres), was apparently located on low-lying lands along the coast (north of the later harbors). As confirmed by archaeological excavations, Carthage was a "creation ex nihilo", built on 'virgin' land, and situated at what was then the end of a peninsula. Here among "mud brick walls and beaten clay floors" (recently uncovered) were also found extensive cemeteries, which yielded evocative grave goods like clay masks. "Thanks to this burial archaeology we know more about archaic Carthage than about any other contemporary city in the western Mediterranean." Already in the eighth century, fabric dyeing operations had been established, evident from crushed shells of murex (from which the 'Phoenician purple' was derived). Nonetheless, only a "meager picture" of the cultural life of the earliest pioneers in the city can be conjectured, and not much about housing, monuments or defenses. The Roman poet Virgil (70–19 BC) imagined early Carthage, when his legendary character Aeneas had arrived there:
"Aeneas found, where lately huts had been,
marvelous buildings, gateways, cobbled ways,
and din of wagons. There the Tyrians
were hard at work: laying courses for walls,
rolling up stones to build the citadel,
while others picked out building sites and plowed
a boundary furrow. Laws were being enacted,
magistrates and a sacred senate chosen.
Here men were dredging harbors, there they laid
the deep foundations of a theatre,
and quarried massive pillars... ."
The two inner harbours [called in Punic cothon] were located in the southeast; one being commercial, and the other for war. Their definite functions are not entirely known, probably for the construction, outfitting, or repair of ships, perhaps also loading and unloading cargo. Larger anchorages existed to the north and south of the city. North and west of the cothon were located several industrial areas, e.g., metalworking and pottery (e.g., for amphora), which could serve both inner harbours, and ships anchored to the south of the city.
About the Byrsa, the citadel area to the north, considering its importance our knowledge of it is patchy. Its prominent heights were the scene of fierce combat during the fiery destruction of the city in 146 BC. The Byrsa was the reported site of the Temple of Eshmun (the healing god), at the top of a stairway of sixty steps. A temple of Tanit (the city's queen goddess) was likely situated on the slope of the 'lesser Byrsa' immediately to the east, which runs down toward the sea. Also situated on the Byrsa were luxury homes.
South of the citadel, near the cothon (the inner harbours) was the tophet, a special and very old cemetery, which when begun lay outside the city's boundaries. Here the Salammbô was located, the Sanctuary of Tanit, not a temple but an enclosure for placing stone stelae. These were mostly short and upright, carved for funeral purposes. The presence of infant skeletons from here may indicate the occurrence of child sacrifice, as claimed in the Bible, although there has been considerable doubt among archeologists as to this interpretation and many consider it simply a cemetery devoted to infants. Probably the tophet burial fields were "dedicated at an early date, perhaps by the first settlers." Recent studies, on the other hand, indicate that child sacrifice was practiced by the Carthaginians.
Between the sea-filled cothon for shipping and the Byrsa heights lay the agora [Greek: "market"], the city-state's central marketplace for business and commerce. The agora was also an area of public squares and plazas, where the people might formally assemble, or gather for festivals. It was the site of religious shrines, and the location of whatever were the major municipal buildings of Carthage. Here beat the heart of civic life. In this district of the Carthage, more probably, the ruling suffets presided, the council of elders convened, the tribunal of the 104 met, and justice was dispensed at trials in the open air.
Early residential districts wrapped around the Byrsa from the south to the north east. Houses usually were whitewashed and blank to the street, but within were courtyards open to the sky. In these neighborhoods multistory construction later became common, some up to six stories tall according to an ancient Greek author. Several architectural floorplans of homes have been revealed by recent excavations, as well as the general layout of several city blocks. Stone stairs were set in the streets, and drainage was planned, e.g., in the form of soakways leaching into the sandy soil. Along the Byrsa's southern slope were located not only fine old homes, but also many of the earliest grave-sites, juxtaposed in small areas, interspersed with daily life.
Artisan workshops were located in the city at sites north and west of the harbours. The location of three metal workshops (implied from iron slag and other vestiges of such activity) were found adjacent to the naval and commercial harbours, and another two were further up the hill toward the Byrsa citadel. Sites of pottery kilns have been identified, between the agora and the harbours, and further north. Earthenware often used Greek models. A fuller's shop for preparing woolen cloth (shrink and thicken) was evidently situated further to the west and south, then by the edge of the city. Carthage also produced objects of rare refinement. During the 4th and 3rd centuries, the sculptures of the sarcophagi became works of art. "Bronze engraving and stone-carving reached their zenith."
The elevation of the land at the promontory on the seashore to the north-east (now called Sidi Bou Saïd), was twice as high above sea level as that at the Byrsa (100 m and 50 m). In between runs a ridge, several times reaching 50 m; it continues northwestward along the seashore, and forms the edge of a plateau-like area between the Byrsa and the sea. Newer urban developments lay here in these northern districts.
Surrounding Carthage were walls "of great strength" said in places to rise above 13 m, being nearly 10 m thick, according to ancient authors. To the west, three parallel walls were built. The walls altogether ran for about 33 kilometres (21 miles) to encircle the city. The heights of the Byrsa were additionally fortified; this area being the last to succumb to the Romans in 146 BC. Originally the Romans had landed their army on the strip of land extending southward from the city.
Greek cities contested with Carthage for the Western Mediterranean culminating in the Sicilian Wars and the Pyrrhic War over Sicily, while the Romans fought three wars against Carthage, known as the Punic Wars, "Punic" meaning "Phoenician" in Latin.
The Carthaginian republic was one of the longest-lived and largest states in the ancient Mediterranean. Reports relay several wars with Syracuse and finally, Rome, which eventually resulted in the defeat and destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War. The Carthaginians were Phoenician settlers originating in the Mediterranean coast of the Near East. They spoke Canaanite, a Semitic language, and followed a local variety of the ancient Canaanite religion.
The fall of Carthage came at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC at the Battle of Carthage. Despite initial devastating Roman naval losses and Rome's recovery from the brink of defeat after the terror of a 15-year occupation of much of Italy by Hannibal, the end of the series of wars resulted in the end of Carthaginian power and the complete destruction of the city by Scipio Aemilianus. The Romans pulled the Phoenician warships out into the harbor and burned them before the city, and went from house to house, capturing and enslaving the people. About 50,000 Carthaginians were sold into slavery. The city was set ablaze and razed to the ground, leaving only ruins and rubble. After the fall of Carthage, Rome annexed the majority of the Carthaginian colonies, including other North African locations such as Volubilis, Lixus, Chellah, and Mogador.
The legend that the city was sown with salt remains widely accepted despite a lack of evidence among ancient historical accounts; According to R.T. Ridley, the earliest such claim is attributable to B.L. Hallward's chapter in Cambridge Ancient History, published in 1930. Ridley contended that Hallward's claim may have gained traction due to historical evidence of other salted-earth instances such as Abimelech's salting of Shechem in Judges 9:45. B.H. Warmington admitted he had repeated Hallward's error, but posited that the legend precedes 1930 and inspired repetitions of the practice. He also suggested that it is useful to understand how subsequent historical narratives have been framed and that the symbolic value of the legend is so great and enduring that it mitigates a deficiency of concrete evidence.
Starting in the 19th century, various texts claim that after defeating the city of Carthage in the Third Punic War (146 BC), the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus ordered the city be sacked, forced its surviving inhabitants into slavery, plowed it over and sowed it with salt. However, no ancient sources exist documenting the salting itself. The element of salting is therefore probably a later invention modeled on the Biblical story of Shechem. The ritual of symbolically drawing a plow over the site of a city is mentioned in ancient sources, but not in reference to Carthage specifically. When Pope Boniface VIII destroyed Palestrina in 1299, he issued a papal bull that it be plowed "following the old example of Carthage in Africa" and also salted. "I have run the plough over it, like the ancient Carthage of Africa, and I have had salt sown upon it...."
When Carthage fell, its nearby rival Utica, a Roman ally, was made capital of the region and replaced Carthage as the leading center of Punic trade and leadership. It had the advantageous position of being situated on the outlet of the Medjerda River, Tunisia's only river that flowed all year long. However, grain cultivation in the Tunisian mountains caused large amounts of silt to erode into the river. This silt accumulated in the harbor until it became useless, and Rome was forced to rebuild Carthage.
By 122 BC, Gaius Gracchus founded a short-lived colony, called Colonia Iunonia, after the Latin name for the Punic goddess Tanit, Iuno Caelestis. The purpose was to obtain arable lands for impoverished farmers. The Senate abolished the colony some time later, to undermine Gracchus' power.
After this ill-fated attempt, a new city of Carthage was built on the same land by Julius Caesar in the period from 49 to 44 BC, and by the first century, it had grown to be the second-largest city in the western half of the Roman Empire, with a peak population of 500,000. It was the center of the province of Africa, which was a major breadbasket of the Empire. Among its major monuments was an amphitheater.
Carthage also became a center of early Christianity (see Carthage (episcopal see)). In the first of a string of rather poorly reported councils at Carthage a few years later, no fewer than 70 bishops attended. Tertullian later broke with the mainstream that was increasingly represented in the West by the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, but a more serious rift among Christians was the Donatist controversy, which Augustine of Hippo spent much time and parchment arguing against. At the Council of Carthage (397), the biblical canon for the western Church was confirmed.
The political fallout from the deep disaffection of African Christians is supposedly a crucial factor in the ease with which Carthage and the other centers were captured in the fifth century by Gaiseric, king of the Vandals, who defeated the Roman general Bonifacius and made the city the capital of the Vandal Kingdom. Gaiseric was considered a heretic, too, an Arian, and though Arians commonly despised Catholic Christians, a mere promise of toleration might have caused the city's population to accept him.
After a failed attempt to recapture the city in the fifth century, the Eastern Roman Empire finally subdued the Vandals in the Vandalic War in 533–534. Thereafter, the city became the seat of the praetorian prefecture of Africa, which was made into an exarchate during the emperor Maurice's reign, as was Ravenna on the Italian Peninsula. These two exarchates were the western bulwarks of the Byzantine Empire, all that remained of its power in the West. In the early seventh century Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Carthage, overthrew the Byzantine emperor Phocas, whereupon his son Heraclius succeeded to the imperial throne.
The Roman Exarchate of Africa was not able to withstand the seventh-century Muslim conquest of the Maghreb. The Umayyad Caliphate under Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan in 686 sent a force led by Zuhayr ibn Qais, who won a battle over the Romans and Berbers led by King Kusaila of the Kingdom of Altava on the plain of Kairouan, but he could not follow that up. In 695, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man captured Carthage and advanced into the Atlas Mountains. An imperial fleet arrived and retook Carthage, but in 698, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man returned and defeated Emperor Tiberios III at the 698 Battle of Carthage. Roman imperial forces withdrew from all of Africa except Ceuta. Roman Carthage was destroyed—its walls torn down, its water supply cut off, and its harbors made unusable. The destruction of the Exarchate of Africa marked a permanent end to the Byzantine Empire's influence in the region.
The Medina of Tunis, originally a Berber settlement, was established as the new regional center under the Umayyad Caliphate in the early 8th century. Under the Aghlabids, the people of Tunis revolted numerous times, but the city profited from economic improvements and quickly became the second most important in the kingdom. It was briefly the national capital, from the end of the reign of Ibrahim II in 902, until 909, when the Shi'ite Berbers took over Ifriqiya and founded the Fatimid Caliphate.
Carthage remained a residential see until the high medieval period, mentioned in two letters of Pope Leo IX dated 1053, written in reply to consultations regarding a conflict between the bishops of Carthage and Gummi. In each of the two letters, Pope Leo declares that, after the Bishop of Rome, the first archbishop and chief metropolitan of the whole of Africa is the bishop of Carthage. Later, an archbishop of Carthage named Cyriacus was imprisoned by the Arab rulers because of an accusation by some Christians. Pope Gregory VII wrote him a letter of consolation, repeating the hopeful assurances of the primacy of the Church of Carthage, "whether the Church of Carthage should still lie desolate or rise again in glory". By 1076, Cyriacus was set free, but there was only one other bishop in the province. These are the last of whom there is mention in that period of the history of the see.
Carthage is some 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) east-northeast of Tunis; the settlements nearest to Carthage were the town of Sidi Bou Said to the north and the village of Le Kram to the south. Sidi Bou Saint was a village which had grown around the tomb of the eponymous sufi saint (d. 1231), which had been developed into a town under Ottoman rule in the 18th century. Le Kram was developed in the late 19th century under French administration as a settlement close to the port of La Goulette.
In 1881, Tunisia became a French protectorate, and in the same year Charles Lavigerie, who was archbishop of Algiers, became apostolic administrator of the vicariate of Tunis. In the following year, Lavigerie became a cardinal. He "saw himself as the reviver of the ancient Christian Church of Africa, the Church of Cyprian of Carthage", and, on 10 November 1884, was successful in his great ambition of having the metropolitan see of Carthage restored, with himself as its first archbishop. In line with the declaration of Pope Leo IX in 1053, Pope Leo XIII acknowledged the revived Archdiocese of Carthage as the primatial see of Africa and Lavigerie as primate.
The Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe conducted a first survey of the topography of the archaeological site (published in 1833). Antiquarian interest was intensified following the publication of Flaubert's Salammbô in 1858. Charles Ernest Beulé performed some preliminary excavations of Roman remains on Byrsa hill in 1860. A more systematic survey of both Punic and Roman-era remains is due to Alfred Louis Delattre, who was sent to Tunis by cardinal Charles Lavigerie in 1875 on both an apostolic and an archaeological mission. Audollent (1901, p. 203) cites Delattre and Lavigerie to the effect that in the 1880s, locals still knew the area of the ancient city under the name of Cartagenna (i.e. reflecting the Latin n-stem Carthāgine).
Auguste Audollent divides the area of Roman Carthage into four quarters, Cartagenna, Dermèche, Byrsa and La Malga. Cartagenna and Dermèche correspond with the lower city, including the site of Punic Carthage; Byrsa is associated with the upper city, which in Punic times was a walled citadel above the harbour; and La Malga is linked with the more remote parts of the upper city in Roman times.
French-led excavations at Carthage began in 1921, and from 1923 reported finds of a large quantity of urns containing a mixture of animal and children's bones. René Dussaud identified a 4th-century BC stela found in Carthage as depicting a child sacrifice.
A temple at Amman (1400–1250 BC) excavated and reported upon by J.B. Hennessy in 1966, shows the possibility of bestial and human sacrifice by fire. While evidence of child sacrifice in Canaan was the object of academic disagreement, with some scholars arguing that merely children's cemeteries had been unearthed in Carthage, the mixture of children's with animal bones as well as associated epigraphic evidence involving mention of mlk led to a consensus that, at least in Carthage, child sacrifice was indeed common practice.
In 2016, an ancient Carthaginian individual, who was excavated from a Punic tomb in Byrsa Hill, was found to belong to the rare U5b2c1 maternal haplogroup. The Young Man of Byrsa specimen dates from the late 6th century BCE, and his lineage is believed to represent early gene flow from Iberia to the Maghreb.
In 1920, the first seaplane base was built on the Lake of Tunis for the seaplanes of Compagnie Aéronavale. The Tunis Airfield opened in 1938, serving around 5,800 passengers annually on the Paris-Tunis route. During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force as a headquarters and command control base for the Italian Campaign of 1943. Construction on the Tunis-Carthage Airport, which was fully funded by France, began in 1944, and in 1948 the airport become the main hub for Tunisair.
In the 1950s the Lycée Français de Carthage was established to serve French families in Carthage. In 1961 it was given to the Tunisian government as part of the Independence of Tunisia, so the nearby Collège Maurice Cailloux in La Marsa, previously an annex of the Lycée Français de Carthage, was renamed to the Lycée Français de La Marsa and began serving the lycée level. It is currently the Lycée Gustave Flaubert.
After Tunisian independence in 1956, the Tunis conurbation gradually extended around the airport, and Carthage (قرطاج Qarṭāj) is now a suburb of Tunis, covering the area between Sidi Bou Said and Le Kram. Its population as of January 2013 was estimated at 21,276, mostly attracting the more wealthy residents. If Carthage is not the capital, it tends to be the political pole, a « place of emblematic power » according to Sophie Bessis, leaving to Tunis the economic and administrative roles. The Carthage Palace (the Tunisian presidential palace) is located in the coast.
The suburb has six train stations of the TGM line between Le Kram and Sidi Bou Said: Carthage Salammbo (named for Salambo, the fictional daughter of Hamilcar), Carthage Byrsa (named for Byrsa hill), Carthage Dermech (Dermèche), Carthage Hannibal (named for Hannibal), Carthage Présidence (named for the Presidential Palace) and Carthage Amilcar (named for Hamilcar).
The merchants of Carthage were in part heirs of the Mediterranean trade developed by Phoenicia, and so also heirs of the rivalry with Greek merchants. Business activity was accordingly both stimulated and challenged. Cyprus had been an early site of such commercial contests. The Phoenicians then had ventured into the western Mediterranean, founding trading posts, including Utica and Carthage. The Greeks followed, entering the western seas where the commercial rivalry continued. Eventually it would lead, especially in Sicily, to several centuries of intermittent war. Although Greek-made merchandise was generally considered superior in design, Carthage also produced trade goods in abundance. That Carthage came to function as a manufacturing colossus was shown during the Third Punic War with Rome. Carthage, which had previously disarmed, then was made to face the fatal Roman siege. The city "suddenly organised the manufacture of arms" with great skill and effectiveness. According to Strabo (63 BC – AD 21) in his Geographica:
"[Carthage] each day produced one hundred and forty finished shields, three hundred swords, five hundred spears, and one thousand missiles for the catapults... . Furthermore, [Carthage although surrounded by the Romans] built one hundred and twenty decked ships in two months... for old timber had been stored away in readiness, and a large number of skilled workmen, maintained at public expense."
The textiles industry in Carthage probably started in private homes, but the existence of professional weavers indicates that a sort of factory system later developed. Products included embroidery, carpets, and use of the purple murex dye (for which the Carthaginian isle of Djerba was famous). Metalworkers developed specialized skills, i.e., making various weapons for the armed forces, as well as domestic articles, such as knives, forks, scissors, mirrors, and razors (all articles found in tombs). Artwork in metals included vases and lamps in bronze, also bowls, and plates. Other products came from such crafts as the potters, the glassmakers, and the goldsmiths. Inscriptions on votive stele indicate that many were not slaves but 'free citizens'.
Phoenician and Punic merchant ventures were often run as a family enterprise, putting to work its members and its subordinate clients. Such family-run businesses might perform a variety of tasks: own and maintain the ships, providing the captain and crew; do the negotiations overseas, either by barter or buying and selling, of their own manufactured commodities and trade goods, and native products (metals, foodstuffs, etc.) to carry and trade elsewhere; and send their agents to stay at distant outposts in order to make lasting local contacts, and later to establish a warehouse of shipped goods for exchange, and eventually perhaps a settlement. Over generations, such activity might result in the creation of a wide-ranging network of trading operations. Ancillary would be the growth of reciprocity between different family firms, foreign and domestic.
State protection was extended to its sea traders by the Phoenician city of Tyre and later likewise by the daughter city-state of Carthage. Stéphane Gsell, the well-regarded French historian of ancient North Africa, summarized the major principles guiding the civic rulers of Carthage with regard to its policies for trade and commerce:
Both the Phoenicians and the Cathaginians were well known in antiquity for their secrecy in general, and especially pertaining to commercial contacts and trade routes. Both cultures excelled in commercial dealings. Strabo (63BC-AD21) the Greek geographer wrote that before its fall (in 146 BC) Carthage enjoyed a population of 700,000, and directed an alliance of 300 cities. The Greek historian Polybius (c.203–120) referred to Carthage as "the wealthiest city in the world".
A "suffet" (possibly two) was elected by the citizens, and held office with no military power for a one-year term. Carthaginian generals marshalled mercenary armies and were separately elected. From about 550 to 450 the Magonid family monopolized the top military position; later the Barcid family acted similarly. Eventually it came to be that, after a war, the commanding general had to testify justifying his actions before a court of 104 judges.
Aristotle (384–322) discusses Carthage in his work, Politica; he begins: "The Carthaginians are also considered to have an excellent form of government." He briefly describes the city as a "mixed constitution", a political arrangement with cohabiting elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, i.e., a king (Gk: basileus), a council of elders (Gk: gerusia), and the people (Gk: demos). Later Polybius of Megalopolis (c.204–122, Greek) in his Histories would describe the Roman Republic in more detail as a mixed constitution in which the Consuls were the monarchy, the Senate the aristocracy, and the Assemblies the democracy.
Evidently Carthage also had an institution of elders who advised the Suffets, similar to a Greek gerusia or the Roman Senate. We do not have a Punic name for this body. At times its members would travel with an army general on campaign. Members also formed permanent committees. The institution had several hundred members drawn from the wealthiest class who held office for life. Vacancies were probably filled by recruitment from among the elite, i.e., by co-option. From among its members were selected the 104 Judges mentioned above. Later the 104 would come to evaluate not only army generals but other office holders as well. Aristotle regarded the 104 as most important; he compared it to the ephorate of Sparta with regard to control over security. In Hannibal's time, such a Judge held office for life. At some stage there also came to be independent self-perpetuating boards of five who filled vacancies and supervised (non-military) government administration.
Popular assemblies also existed at Carthage. When deadlocked the Suffets and the quasi-senatorial institution of elders might request the assembly to vote; also, assembly votes were requested in very crucial matters in order to achieve political consensus and popular coherence. The assembly members had no legal wealth or birth qualification. How its members were selected is unknown, e.g., whether by festival group or urban ward or another method.
The Greeks were favourably impressed by the constitution of Carthage; Aristotle had a separate study of it made which unfortunately is lost. In his Politica he states: "The government of Carthage is oligarchical, but they successfully escape the evils of oligarchy by enriching one portion of the people after another by sending them to their colonies." "[T]heir policy is to send some [poorer citizens] to their dependent towns, where they grow rich." Yet Aristotle continues, "[I]f any misfortune occurred, and the bulk of the subjects revolted, there would be no way of restoring peace by legal means." Aristotle remarked also:
"Many of the Carthaginian institutions are excellent. The superiority of their constitution is proved by the fact that the common people remain loyal to the constitution; the Carthaginians have never had any rebellion worth speaking of, and have never been under the rule of a tyrant."
Here one may remember that the city-state of Carthage, who citizens were mainly Libyphoenicians (of Phoenician ancestry born in Africa), dominated and exploited an agricultural countryside composed mainly of native Berber sharecroppers and farmworkers, whose affiliations to Carthage were open to divergent possibilities. Beyond these more settled Berbers and the Punic farming towns and rural manors, lived the independent Berber tribes, who were mostly pastoralists.
In the brief, uneven review of government at Carthage found in his Politica Aristotle mentions several faults. Thus, "that the same person should hold many offices, which is a favorite practice among the Carthaginians." Aristotle disapproves, mentioning the flute-player and the shoemaker. Also, that "magistrates should be chosen not only for their merit but for their wealth." Aristotle's opinion is that focus on pursuit of wealth will lead to oligarchy and its evils.
"[S]urely it is a bad thing that the greatest offices... should be bought. The law which allows this abuse makes wealth of more account than virtue, and the whole state becomes avaricious. For, whenever the chiefs of the state deem anything honorable, the other citizens are sure to follow their example; and, where virtue has not the first place, their aristocracy cannot be firmly established."
In Carthage the people seemed politically satisfied and submissive, according to the historian Warmington. They in their assemblies only rarely exercised the few opportunities given them to assent to state decisions. Popular influence over government appears not to have been an issue at Carthage. Being a commercial republic fielding a mercenary army, the people were not conscripted for military service, an experience which can foster the feel for popular political action. But perhaps this misunderstands the society; perhaps the people, whose values were based on small-group loyalty, felt themselves sufficiently connected to their city's leadership by the very integrity of the person-to-person linkage within their social fabric. Carthage was very stable; there were few openings for tyrants. Only after defeat by Rome devastated Punic imperial ambitions did the people of Carthage seem to question their governance and to show interest in political reform.
In 196, following the Second Punic War (218–201), Hannibal Barca, still greatly admired as a Barcid military leader, was elected suffet. When his reforms were blocked by a financial official about to become a judge for life, Hannibal rallied the populace against the 104 judges. He proposed a one-year term for the 104, as part of a major civic overhaul. Additionally, the reform included a restructuring of the city's revenues, and the fostering of trade and agriculture. The changes rather quickly resulted in a noticeable increase in prosperity. Yet his incorrigible political opponents cravenly went to Rome, to charge Hannibal with conspiracy, namely, plotting war against Rome in league with Antiochus the Hellenic ruler of Syria. Although the Roman Scipio Africanus resisted such manoeuvre, eventually intervention by Rome forced Hannibal to leave Carthage. Thus, corrupt city officials efficiently blocked Hannibal Barca in his efforts to reform the government of Carthage.
Mago (6th century) was King of Carthage; the head of state, war leader, and religious figurehead. His family was considered to possess a sacred quality. Mago's office was somewhat similar to that of a pharaoh, but although kept in a family it was not hereditary, it was limited by legal consent. Picard, accordingly, believes that the council of elders and the popular assembly are late institutions. Carthage was founded by the king of Tyre who had a royal monopoly on this trading venture. Thus it was the royal authority stemming from this traditional source of power that the King of Carthage possessed. Later, as other Phoenician ship companies entered the trading region, and so associated with the city-state, the King of Carthage had to keep order among a rich variety of powerful merchants in their negotiations among themselves and over risky commerce across the Mediterranean. Under these circumstance, the office of king began to be transformed. Yet it was not until the aristocrats of Carthage became wealthy owners of agricultural lands in Africa that a council of elders was institutionalized at Carthage.
Most ancient literature concerning Carthage comes from Greek and Roman sources as Carthage's own documents were destroyed by the Romans. Apart from inscriptions, hardly any Punic literature has survived, and none in its own language and script. A brief catalogue would include:
"[F]rom the Greek author Plutarch [(c. 46 – c. 120)] we learn of the 'sacred books' in Punic safeguarded by the city's temples. Few Punic texts survive, however." Once "the City Archives, the Annals, and the scribal lists of suffets" existed, but evidently these were destroyed in the horrific fires during the Roman capture of the city in 146 BC.
Yet some Punic books (Latin: libri punici) from the libraries of Carthage reportedly did survive the fires. These works were apparently given by Roman authorities to the newly augmented Berber rulers. Over a century after the fall of Carthage, the Roman politician-turned-author Gaius Sallustius Crispus or Sallust (86–34) reported his having seen volumes written in Punic, which books were said to be once possessed by the Berber king, Hiempsal II (r. 88–81). By way of Berber informants and Punic translators, Sallust had used these surviving books to write his brief sketch of Berber affairs.
Probably some of Hiempsal II's libri punici, that had escaped the fires that consumed Carthage in 146 BC, wound up later in the large royal library of his grandson Juba II (r.25 BC-AD 24). Juba II not only was a Berber king, and husband of Cleopatra's daughter, but also a scholar and author in Greek of no less than nine works. He wrote for the Mediterranean-wide audience then enjoying classical literature. The libri punici inherited from his grandfather surely became useful to him when composing his Libyka, a work on North Africa written in Greek. Unfortunately, only fragments of Libyka survive, mostly from quotations made by other ancient authors. It may have been Juba II who 'discovered' the five-centuries-old 'log book' of Hanno the Navigator, called the Periplus, among library documents saved from fallen Carthage.
In the end, however, most Punic writings that survived the destruction of Carthage "did not escape the immense wreckage in which so many of Antiquity's literary works perished." Accordingly, the long and continuous interactions between Punic citizens of Carthage and the Berber communities that surrounded the city have no local historian. Their political arrangements and periodic crises, their economic and work life, the cultural ties and social relations established and nourished (infrequently as kin), are not known to us directly from ancient Punic authors in written accounts. Neither side has left us their stories about life in Punic-era Carthage.
Regarding Phoenician writings, few remain and these seldom refer to Carthage. The more ancient and most informative are cuneiform tablets, ca. 1600–1185, from ancient Ugarit, located to the north of Phoenicia on the Syrian coast; it was a Canaanite city politically affiliated with the Hittites. The clay tablets tell of myths, epics, rituals, medical and administrative matters, and also correspondence. The highly valued works of Sanchuniathon, an ancient priest of Beirut, who reportedly wrote on Phoenician religion and the origins of civilization, are themselves completely lost, but some little content endures twice removed. Sanchuniathon was said to have lived in the 11th century, which is considered doubtful. Much later a Phoenician History by Philo of Byblos (64–141) reportedly existed, written in Greek, but only fragments of this work survive. An explanation proffered for why so few Phoenician works endured: early on (11th century) archives and records began to be kept on papyrus, which does not long survive in a moist coastal climate. Also, both Phoenicians and Carthaginians were well known for their secrecy.
Thus, of their ancient writings we have little of major interest left to us by Carthage, or by Phoenicia the country of origin of the city founders. "Of the various Phoenician and Punic compositions alluded to by the ancient classical authors, not a single work or even fragment has survived in its original idiom." "Indeed, not a single Phoenician manuscript has survived in the original [language] or in translation." We cannot therefore access directly the line of thought or the contour of their worldview as expressed in their own words, in their own voice. Ironically, it was the Phoenicians who "invented or at least perfected and transmitted a form of writing [the alphabet] that has influenced dozens of cultures including our own."
As noted, the celebrated ancient books on agriculture written by Mago of Carthage survives only via quotations in Latin from several later Roman works.
Carthage (; Punic: 𐤒𐤓𐤕•𐤇𐤃𐤔𐤕, translit. Qart-ḥadašt, lit. 'New City'; Latin: Carthāgō) was a Phoenician state that included, during the 7th–3rd centuries BC, its wider sphere of influence known as the Carthaginian Empire. The empire extended over much of the coast of Northwest Africa as well as encompassing substantial parts of coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea.Phoenicians founded Carthage in 814 BC. Initially a dependency of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Carthage gained independence around 650 BC and established its political hegemony over other Phoenician settlements throughout the western Mediterranean, this lasting until the end of the 3rd century BC. At the height of the city's prominence, it served as a major hub of trade, with trading stations extending throughout the region.
For much of its history, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and with the Roman Republic; tensions led to a series of armed conflicts known as the Sicilian Wars (c. 600–265 BC) and the Punic Wars (264–146 BC) respectively. The city also had to deal with potentially hostile Berbers, the indigenous inhabitants of the area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Roman forces destroyed Carthage then redesigned and occupied the site of the city. Nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies subsequently fell into Roman hands.Battle of Carthage (c. 149 BC)
The Battle of Carthage was the main engagement of the Third Punic War between the Punic city of Carthage in Africa and the Roman Republic. It was a siege operation, starting sometime in 149 or 148 BC, and ending in spring 146 BC with the sack and complete destruction of the city of Carthage.Carthage, Missouri
Carthage is a city in Jasper County, Missouri, United States. The population was 14,378 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Jasper County and is nicknamed "America's Maple Leaf City."Carthage, Texas
Carthage is a city in Panola County, Texas, United States. This city is 150 miles southeast of Dallas. The population was 6,779 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Panola County, and is situated in East Texas near the Louisiana state line.Carthage (municipality)
Carthage (Arabic: قرطاج, translit. Qarṭāj) is a commune in Tunis Governorate, Tunisia.
It is named for, and includes in its area, the archaeological site of Carthage.
Established in 1919, Carthage municipality is some 15 km to the east-northeast of Tunis, situated between the towns of Sidi Bou Said to the north and Le Kram to the south. It is reached from Tunis by the R23 road via La Goulette, or by the N9 road via Tunis-Carthage Airport.
The population as of January 2013 was estimated at 21,276,
mostly attracting the more wealthy residents.
The Carthage Palace (the Tunisian presidential palace) is located on the coast.Carthage has six train stations of the TGM line between Le Kram and Sidi Bou Said:
Carthage Salammbo (named for Salambo, the fictional daughter of Hamilcar), Carthage Byrsa (named for Byrsa hill), Carthage Dermech (Dermèche), Carthage Hannibal (named for Hannibal), Carthage Présidence (named for the Presidential Palace) and Carthage Amilcar (named for Hamilcar).Carthage College
Carthage College is a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Situated in Kenosha, Wisconsin, midway between Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the campus is an 80-acre arboretum on the shore of Lake Michigan and is home to 3,000 full-time and 200 part-time students.
Carthage awards bachelor's degrees with majors in more than 40 subject areas and master's degrees in two areas. Carthage has 150 faculty. John R. Swallow is the president of Carthage, the 23rd in its history.
Carthage is the coordinator for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.Councils of Carthage
The Councils of Carthage, or Synods of Carthage, were church synods held during the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries in the city of Carthage in Africa. The most important of these are described below.Cyprian
Saint Cyprian (Latin: Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus; c. 200 – September 14, 258 AD) was bishop of Carthage and a notable Early Christian writer of Berber descent, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. Soon after converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249. A controversial figure during his lifetime, his strong pastoral skills, firm conduct during the Novatianist heresy and outbreak of the plague, and eventual martyrdom at Carthage vindicated his reputation and proved his sanctity in the eyes of the Church. His skillful Latin rhetoric led to his being considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine. The Plague of Cyprian is named after him, owing to his description of it.Dido
Dido ( DY-doh; Ancient Greek: Δῑδώ, Latin pronunciation: [ˈdiːdoː]) was, according to ancient Greek and Roman sources, the founder and first queen of Carthage. She is primarily known from the account given by the Roman poet Virgil in his epic, Aeneid. In some sources she is also known as Elissa ( ee-LISS-ə, Ἔλισσα).First Punic War
The First Punic War (264 to 241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic, the two great powers of the Western Mediterranean. For 23 years, in the longest continuous conflict and greatest naval war of antiquity, the two powers struggled for supremacy, primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters, and also in North Africa.
The war began in 264 BC with the Roman conquest of the Carthaginian-controlled city of Messina in Sicily, granting Rome a military foothold on the island. The Romans built up a navy to challenge Carthage, the greatest naval power in the Mediterranean, for control over the waters around Sicily. In naval battles and storms, 700 Roman and 500 Carthaginian quinqueremes were lost, along with hundreds of thousands of lives. Command of the sea was won and lost by both sides repeatedly. A Roman invasion of Carthaginian Africa was destroyed in battle at the Bagradas and the Roman consul Marcus Atilius Regulus was captured by the Carthaginians in 255. In 23 years, the Romans slowly conquered Sicily and drove the Carthaginians to the west end of the island.
After both sides had been brought to a state of near exhaustion, the Romans mobilized their citizenry's private wealth and created a new fleet under consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus. The Carthaginian fleet was destroyed at the Aegates Islands in 241, forcing the cut-off Carthaginian troops on Sicily to give up. A peace treaty was signed in which Carthage was made to pay a heavy indemnity and Rome ejected Carthage from Sicily, annexing the island as a Roman province.
The war was followed by a failed revolt against the Carthaginian Empire. The Romans exploited Carthage's weakness to seize the Carthaginian possessions of Sardinia and Corsica in violation of the peace treaty. The unresolved strategic competition between Rome and Carthage would lead to the eruption of the Second Punic War in 218 BC.Hannibal
Hannibal Barca (; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a general and statesman of the Phoenician-Canaanite state of Ancient Carthage who is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was a leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War (264–241 BC). His younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair, all also commanded Carthaginian armies.
Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. Although Rome had won the First Punic War, revanchism prevailed in Carthage, symbolised by the alleged pledge that Hannibal made to his father to never be a friend of Rome. The Second Punic War broke out in 218 after Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, an ally of Rome in Hispania. He then made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his African elephants. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, and to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer several Italian cities allied to Rome. Hannibal occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years, but could not win a decisive victory, as the Romans led by Fabius Maximus avoided confrontation with him, instead waging a war of attrition. An counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. Scipio had studied Hannibal's tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, and he finally defeated Rome's nemesis at the Battle of Zama, having previously driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula.
After the war, Hannibal successfully ran for the office of sufet. He enacted political and financial reforms to enable the payment of the war indemnity imposed by Rome; however, those reforms were unpopular with members of the Carthaginian aristocracy and in Rome, and he fled into voluntary exile. During this time, he lived at the Seleucid court, where he acted as military advisor to Antiochus III the Great in his war against Rome. Antiochus met defeat at the Battle of Magnesia and was forced to accept Rome's terms, and Hannibal fled again, making a stop in the Kingdom of Armenia. His flight ended in the court of Bithynia, where he achieved an outstanding naval victory against a fleet from Pergamon. He was afterwards betrayed to the Romans and committed suicide by poisoning himself.
Hannibal is often regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in history and one of the greatest generals of Mediterranean antiquity, together with Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Scipio Africanus. Plutarch states that Scipio supposedly asked Hannibal "who the greatest general was", to which Hannibal replied "either Alexander or Pyrrhus, then himself" Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge called Hannibal the "father of strategy", because Roman armies adopted elements of his military tactics into its own strategic arsenal. Hannibal has been cited by various subsequent military leaders, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, as an inspiration and the greatest strategist of all time.History of Carthage
Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC on the coast of Northwest Africa, in what is now Tunisia. It developed into a significant trading empire throughout the Mediterranean, and was seen as home to a wealthy and brilliant civilization. After a long conflict with the emerging civilization of Ancient Rome, known as the Punic Wars, during which advantage shifted from one side to the other and Hannibal conducted a campaign in Italy after first crossing the Alps, Rome finally destroyed Carthage in 146 B.C. A Roman Carthage was established on the ruins of the first.
The city started as one of a number of Phoenician settlements in the western Mediterranean that were created to facilitate trade from the city of Tyre on the coast of what is now Lebanon. Most Phoenician cities had fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, but Carthage and a few others developed into large, self-sustaining, independent towns. Ancient sources concur that Carthage had become perhaps the wealthiest city in the world via its trade and commerce. The founding of Carthage is variously given in ancient sources as somewhere between 1215 BC and 1234 BC. Modern sources feel the city was founded sometime between 846 and 813 BC. According to tradition, the city was founded by Queen Dido. The initial city covered the area around a hill called Byrsa, paid an annual tribute to the nearby Libyan tribes, and may have been ruled by a governor from Tyre, whom the Greeks identified as "king". Utica, then the leading Phoenician city in Northwest Africa, aided the early settlement in her dealings. The date from which Carthage can be counted as an independent power cannot exactly be determined, and probably nothing distinguished Carthage from the other Phoenician colonies in Northwest Africa and the Mediterranean during 800–700 BC. When the Phoenician trade monopoly was challenged by Etruscans and Greeks in the west and their political and economic independence by successive empires such as that of the Assyrians and later Persians in the east, Phoenician influence from the mainland decreased in the west and Punic Carthage ultimately emerged at the head of a commercial empire.
The mainland Greeks began their colonization efforts in the western Mediterranean with the founding of Naxos in Sicily, and Cumae in Italy, and by 650 BC Phoenicians in Sicily had retreated to the western part of that island. Around this time the first recorded independent action by Carthage takes place, which is the colonization of Ibiza in the Balearic islands. By the end of the 7th century BC, Carthage was becoming one of the leading commercial centres of the West Mediterranean region, a position it retained until overthrown by the Roman Republic. Carthage would establish new colonies, repopulate old Phoenician ones, come to the defence of other Punic cities under threat from natives/Greeks, as well as expand her territories by conquest. Mago I, a general of the army, had assumed power in Carthage by 550 BC. Mago and his sons, Hasdrubal I and Hamilcar I, established the warlike tradition of Carthage by their successes in Africa, Sicily and Sardinia. In 509 BC, a treaty was signed between Carthage and Rome indicating a division of influence and commercial activities. This is the first known source indicating that Carthage had gained control over Sicily and Sardinia, as well as Emporia and the area south of Cape Bon in Africa. Carthage may have signed the treaty with Rome, then an insignificant backwater, because Romans had treaties with the Phocaeans and Cumae, who were aiding the Roman struggle against the Etruscans at that time. Carthage had similar treaties with Etruscan, Punic and Greek cities in Sicily. By the end of the 6th century BC, Carthage had conquered most of the old Phoenician colonies e.g. Hadrumetum, Utica and Kerkouane, subjugated some of the Libyan tribes, and had taken control of parts of the Northwest African coast from modern Morocco to the borders of Cyrenaica. It was also fighting wars in defence of Punic colonies and commerce. Greek cities contested with Carthage for the Western Mediterranean culminating in the Sicilian Wars and the Pyrrhic War over Sicily, while the Romans fought three wars against Carthage, known as the Punic Wars.
The fall of Carthage came at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC at the Battle of Carthage. This resulted in the end of Carthaginian power and the complete destruction of the city by Scipio Aemilianus. The Romans pulled the Phoenician warships out into the harbor and burned them before the city, and went from house to house, capturing and enslaving the people. About 50,000 Carthaginians were sold into slavery. The city was set ablaze and then, according to tradition, it was ploughed over and salted. A new city of Carthage was built on the same land by Julius Caesar in the period from 49 to 44 BC, and by the 1st century, it had grown to be the second-largest city in the western half of the Roman Empire. It was the centre of the province of Africa. Among its major monuments was an amphitheatre. Carthage was captured in the 5th century by Genseric, king of the Vandals, a Germanic people who defeated the Roman general Bonifacius and made the city his capital. After a failed attempt to recapture the city in the fifth century, the Eastern Roman Empire finally subdued the Vandals in the Vandalic War in 533–534. Thereafter, the city became the seat of the praetorian prefecture of Africa, which was made into an exarchate during the emperor Maurice's reign. In 695, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man captured Carthage and advanced into the Atlas Mountains. An imperial fleet arrived and retook Carthage, but in 698, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man returned and defeated Emperor Tiberios III at the Battle of Carthage. Roman imperial forces withdrew from all of Africa except Ceuta. Roman Carthage was destroyed—its walls torn down, its water supply cut off, and its harbours made unusable. It was replaced by Tunis as the major regional centre, which has spread to include the ancient site of Carthage in a modern suburb.Phoenicia
Phoenicia (; from the Ancient Greek: Φοινίκη, Phoiníkē) was a thalassocratic, ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization that originated in the Levant, specifically Lebanon, in the west of the Fertile Crescent. Scholars generally agree that it was centered on the coastal areas of Lebanon and included northern Israel, and southern Syria reaching as far north as Arwad, but there is some dispute as to how far south it went, the furthest suggested area being Ashkelon. Its colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Cádiz in Spain and most notably Carthage in North Africa, and even the Atlantic Ocean. The civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC.
Phoenicia is an ancient Greek term used to refer to the major export of the region, cloth dyed Tyrian purple from the Murex mollusc, and referred to the major Canaanite port towns; not corresponding precisely to Phoenician culture as a whole as it would have been understood natively. Their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of ancient Greece,, centered in modern Lebanon, of which the most notable cities were Tyre, Sidon, Arwad, Berytus, Byblos, and Carthage. Each city-state was a politically independent unit, and it is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality. In terms of archaeology, language, lifestyle, and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other residents of the Levant, such as their close relatives and neighbors, the Israelites.Around 1050 BC, a Phoenician alphabet was used for the writing of Phoenician. It became one of the most widely used writing systems, spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world, where it evolved and was assimilated by many other cultures, including the Roman alphabet used by Western civilization today.Punic Wars
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were some of the largest wars that had ever taken place. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus (or Poenicus), meaning "Carthaginian", with reference to the Carthaginians' Phoenician ancestry.The main cause of the Punic Wars was the conflicts of interest between the existing Carthaginian Empire and the expanding Roman Republic. The Romans were initially interested in expansion via Sicily (which at that time was a cultural melting pot), part of which lay under Carthaginian control. At the start of the First Punic War (264-241 BC), Carthage was the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean, with an extensive maritime empire. Rome was a rapidly ascending power in Italy, but it lacked the naval power of Carthage. The Second Punic War (218-201 BC) witnessed Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 BC, followed by a prolonged but ultimately failed campaign of Carthage's Hannibal in mainland Italy. By the end of the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), after more than a hundred years and the loss of many hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides, Rome had conquered Carthage's empire, completely destroyed the city, and became the most powerful state of the Western Mediterranean.
With the end of the Macedonian Wars – which ran concurrently with the Punic Wars – and the defeat of the Seleucid King Antiochus III the Great in the Roman–Seleucid War (Treaty of Apamea, 188 BC) in the eastern sea, Rome emerged as the dominant Mediterranean power and one of the most powerful cities in classical antiquity. The Roman victories over Carthage in these wars gave Rome a preeminent status it would retain until the 5th century AD.Punics
The Punics (from Latin punicus, pl. punici), also known as Carthaginians, were a people from Ancient Carthage (modern Tunisia and Northeastern part of Algeria) who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. Punic is the English adjective, derived from the Latin adjective punicus to describe anything Carthaginian. Their language, Punic, was a dialect of Phoenician.SS American Victory
SS American Victory is a Victory ship which saw brief service in the Pacific Theater of Operations during the waning months of World War II, Korean War from 1951-1954, and Vietnam War from 1967-1969. Built in June 1945, she carried ammunition and other cargo from U.S. West Coast ports to Southeast Asia, then ferried cargo, equipment and troops back to the U.S. after the war ended. She survived two typhoons, and one hurricane. She sailed around the world twice.American Victory spent half of the period between 1946 and 1966 chartered to commercial carriers and the other half in two stints in U.S. reserve fleets. From 1966 to 1969 she delivered cargo to Southeast Asia in the Vietnam War, then three decades again in reserve. In April 1999, she was turned over to a preservation organization to serve as a museum ship. Today she is the main feature of the American Victory Ship & Museum, also known as the American Victory Mariners Memorial & Museum Ship in Tampa, Florida's Channel District.Second Punic War
The Second Punic War (Spring 218 to 201 BC), also referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, waged with unparalleled resources, skill, and hatred. It saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, and massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides.
The war began with the Carthaginian general Hannibal's conquest of the pro-Roman Iberian city of Saguntum in 219 BC, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in the spring of 218. Hannibal surprised the Romans by marching his army overland from Iberia to cross the Alps and invade Roman Italy, followed by his reinforcement by Gallic allies and crushing victories over Roman armies at Trebia in 218 and on the shores of Lake Trasimene in 217. Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal at Cannae annihilated the largest army the Romans had ever assembled. After the death or imprisonment of 130,000 Roman troops in two years, 40% of Rome's Italian allies defected to Carthage, giving her control over most of southern Italy. Macedon and Syracuse joined the Carthaginian side after Cannae and the conflict spread to Greece and Sicily. From 215–210 the Carthaginian army and navy launched repeated amphibious assaults to capture Roman Sicily and Sardinia but were ultimately repulsed.
Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans adopted the Fabian strategy – the avoidance of battle against Hannibal and defeating his allies and the other Carthaginian generals instead. Roman armies recaptured all of the great cities that had joined Carthage and defeated a Carthaginian attempt to reinforce Hannibal at Metaurus in 207. Southern Italy was devastated by the combatants, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or enslaved. In Iberia, which served as a major source of silver and manpower for the Carthaginian army, a Roman expeditionary force under Publius Cornelius Scipio captured Carthago Nova, Carthage's capital city in Iberia, in 209. Scipio's destruction of a Carthaginian army at Ilipa in 206 permanently ended Carthaginian rule in Iberia. He invaded Carthaginian Africa in 204, inflicting two severe defeats on Carthage and her allies at Utica and the Great Plains that compelled the Carthaginian senate to recall Hannibal's army from Italy. The final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal's defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage (Carthaginian peace), which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. The Second Punic War overthrew the established balance of power of the ancient world and Rome rose to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin for the next 600 years.Third Punic War
The Third Punic War (Latin: Tertium Bellum Punicum) (149–146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between the former Phoenician colony of Carthage and the Roman Republic. The Punic Wars were named because of the Roman name for Carthaginians: Punici, or Poenici.This war was a much smaller engagement than the two previous Punic Wars and focused on Tunisia, mainly on the Siege of Carthage, which resulted in the complete destruction of the city, the annexation of all remaining Carthaginian territory by Rome, and the death or enslavement of the entire Carthaginian population. The Third Punic War ended Carthage's independent existence.Tunis–Carthage International Airport
Tunis–Carthage Airport (French: Aéroport de Tunis-Carthage, Arabic: مطار تونس قرطاج الدولي, IATA: TUN, ICAO: DTTA) is the international airport of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. It serves as the home base for Tunisair, Tunisair Express, Nouvelair Tunisia, and Tunisavia. The airport is named for the historic city of Carthage, located just east of the airport.