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Carthage was the capital city of Ancient Carthage, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital , ...
. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the
classical world Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
. The city developed from a Canaanite
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient thalassocratic civilization originating in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily located in modern Lebanon. The territory of the Phoenician city-states extended and shrank throughout their histor ...
n colony into the capital of a Punic empire which dominated large parts of the Southwest Mediterranean during the first millennium BC. The legendary Queen Alyssa or
Dido Dido ( ; , ), also known as Elissa ( , ), was the legendary founder and first queen of the Phoenician city-state of Carthage (located in modern Tunisia), in 814 BC. In most accounts, she was the queen of the Phoenician city-state of Tyre (t ...
, originally from Tyre, 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. As Carthage prospered at home, the polity sent colonists abroad as well as magistrates to rule the colonies. The ancient city was destroyed in the nearly-three year siege of Carthage by the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the classical Roman civilization when it was run through public representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the overthrow of the Roman K ...
during the
Third Punic War The Third Punic War (149–146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between Carthage and Rome. The war was fought entirely within Carthaginian territory, in modern northern Tunisia. When the Second Punic War ended in 201  ...
in 146 BC and then re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings around the Medit ...
in the province of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
. The question of Carthaginian decline and demise, especially whether Carthage did or should fall at the hands of the Romans, has remained a subject of literary, political, artistic, and philosophical debates in both ancient and modern histories.
Late antique Late antiquity is the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages, generally spanning the 3rd–7th century in Europe and adjacent areas bordering the Mediterranean Basin. The popularization of this periodization in English has ...
and
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
Carthage continued to play an important cultural and economic role in the
Byzantine period The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire primarily in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinop ...
. The city was sacked and destroyed by
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
forces after the Battle of Carthage in 698 to prevent it from being reconquered by the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire primarily in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constanti ...
. It remained occupied during the Muslim period and was used as a fort by the Muslims until the Hafsid period when it was taken by the
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these Crusades are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were i ...
with its inhabitants massacred during the
Eighth Crusade The Eighth Crusade was the second Crusade launched by Louis IX of France, this one against the Hafsid dynasty in Tunisia in 1270. It is also known as the Crusade of Louis IX against Tunis or the Second Crusade of Louis. The Crusade did not see any ...
. The Hafsids decided to destroy its defenses so it could not be used as a base by a hostile power again. It also continued to function as an episcopal see. The regional power had shifted to
Kairouan Kairouan (, ), also spelled El Qayrawān or Kairwan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان, al-Qayrawān , aeb, script=Latn, Qeirwān ), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded by t ...
and the Medina of Tunis in the
medieval period In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire a ...
, 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 Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Animals * Cardinal (bird) or Cardinalidae, a family of North and South American birds **'' Cardinalis'', genus of cardinal in the family Cardinalidae **'' Cardinalis cardinalis'', or northern 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 Child sacrifice is the ritualistic killing of children in order to please or appease a deity, supernatural beings, or sacred social order, tribal, group or national loyalties in order to achieve a desired result. As such, it is a form of huma ...
. There has been considerable disagreement among scholars concerning whether child sacrifice was practiced by ancient Carthage. The open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture. It ...
from 1975 to 1984. The site of the ruins is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ...
.


Name

The name '' Carthage'' is the Early Modern
anglicisation Anglicisation is the process by which a place or person becomes influenced by English culture or British culture, or a process of cultural and/or linguistic change in which something non-English becomes English. It can also refer to the influen ...
of
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the 16th century. It is a period of transition during which: * the French language became clearly distinguished from t ...
''Carthage'' , from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through the power of ...
' and ' (cf.
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
''Karkhēdōn'' () and Etruscan ''*Carθaza'') from the Punic ' "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 The Punic language, also called Phoenicio-Punic or Carthaginian, is an extinct variety of the Phoenician language, a Canaanite language of the Northwest Semitic branch of the Semitic languages. An offshoot of the Phoenician language of coastal W ...
. The Modern Standard Arabic form (') is an adoption of French ''Carthage'', replacing an older local toponym reported as ''Cartagenna'' that directly continued the Latin name.


Topography, layout, and society


Overview

Carthage was built on a
promontory A promontory is a raised mass of land that projects into a lowland or a body of water (in which case it is a peninsula). Most promontories either are formed from a hard ridge of rock that has resisted the erosive forces that have removed the sof ...
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 (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...
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 prodigious navy of 220 warships and the other for mercantile trade. A walled tower overlooked both harbors. The city had massive walls, long, which was longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were on the shore and so could be less impressive, as Carthaginian control of the sea made attack from that direction difficult. The of wall on the
isthmus An isthmus (; ; ) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo A tombolo is a sandy or shingle isthmus. A tombolo, from the Italian ', meaning 'pillow' or ...
to the west were truly massive and were never penetrated. Carthage was one of the largest cities of the
Hellenistic period In Classical antiquity, the Hellenistic period covers the time in Mediterranean history after Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 3 ...
and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD 14,
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus ( legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption ...
had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, the cities of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, ٱلْإِسْكَنْدَرِيَّةُ ; grc-gre, Αλεξάνδρεια, Alexándria) is the second largest city in Egypt, and the largest city on the Mediterranean coast. Founded in by Alexander the Great, Alexandri ...
and
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc-gre, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou'', Learned ; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπ ...
numbered only a few hundred thousand or less. According to the history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire.


Layout

The Punic Carthage was divided into four equally sized residential areas with the same layout, had religious areas, market places, council house, towers, a theater, and a huge necropolis; roughly in the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. 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 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. Outside the city walls of Carthage is the ''Chora'' or farm lands of Carthage. ''Chora'' 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 , 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 Dyeing is the application of dyes or pigments on textile materials such as fibers, yarns, and fabrics with the goal of achieving color with desired color fastness. Dyeing is normally done in a special solution containing dyes and particular ...
operations had been established, evident from crushed shells of
murex ''Murex'' is a genus of medium to large sized predatory tropical sea snails. These are carnivorous marine gastropod molluscs in the family Muricidae, commonly called "murexes" or "rock snails".Houart, R.; Gofas, S. (2010). Murex Linnaeus, 175 ...
(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 Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He composed three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: th ...
(70–19 BC) imagined early Carthage, when his legendary character
Aeneas In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (, ; from ) was a Trojan hero, the son of the Trojan prince Anchises and the Greek goddess Aphrodite (equivalent to the Roman Venus). His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy (both being grandsons of ...
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, named ''
cothon A cothon ( el, κώθων, lit=drinking vessel) is an artificial, protected inner harbour such as that in Carthage during the Punic Wars  200 BCE. Cothons were generally found in the Phoenician world. Other examples include Motya in Sicily ...
'' in Punic, 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 An amphora (; grc, ἀμφορεύς, ''amphoreús''; English plural: amphorae or amphoras) is a type of container with a pointed bottom and characteristic shape and size which fit tightly (and therefore safely) against each other in storag ...
), which could serve both inner harbours, and ships anchored to the south of the city. About the Byrsa, the
citadel A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle, fortress, or fortified center. The term is a diminutive of "city", meaning "little city", because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. In ...
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 Eshmun (or Eshmoun, less accurately Esmun or Esmoun; phn, 𐤀𐤔𐤌𐤍 '; akk, 𒅀𒋢𒈬𒉡 ''Yasumunu'') was a Phoenician god of healing and the tutelary god of Sidon. History This god was known at least from the Iron Age period at S ...
(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'' was the '' tophet'', a special and very old
cemetery A cemetery, burial ground, gravesite or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek , "sleeping place") implies that the land is specifically designated as a buri ...
, 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.Xella, Paolo, et al. "Cemetery or sacrifice? Infant burials at the Carthage Tophet: Phoenician bones of contention." Antiquity 87.338 (2013): 1199-1207.Smith, Patricia, et al. "Cemetery or sacrifice? Infant burials at the Carthage Tophet: Age estimations attest to infant sacrifice at the Carthage Tophet." Antiquity 87.338 (2013): 1191-1199. Between the sea-filled ''cothon'' for shipping and the Byrsa heights lay the '' agora'' reek: "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 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
courtyard A courtyard or court is a circumscribed area, often surrounded by a building or complex, that is open to the sky. Courtyards are common elements in both Western and Eastern building patterns and have been used by both ancient and contemporary ...
s 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 Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and constructing buildings o ...
floorplan In architecture and building engineering, a floor plan is a technical drawing to scale, showing a view from above, of the relationships between rooms, spaces, traffic patterns, and other physical features at one level of a structure. Dimensio ...
s 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 Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of a surface's water and sub-surface water from an area with excess of water. The internal drainage of most agricultural soils is good enough to prevent severe waterlogging (anaerobic condition ...
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 An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative art, s ...
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 Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard and durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porc ...
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 A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi or sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word ''sarcophagus'' comes from the Greek ...
became works of art. "Bronze
engraving Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an in ...
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. Due to the Roman's leveling of the city, the original Punic urban landscape of Carthage was largely lost. Since 1982, French archaeologist Serge Lancel excavated a residential area of the Punic Carthage on top of Byrsa hill near the Forum of the Roman Carthage. The neighborhood can be dated back to early second century BC, and with its houses, shops, and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life of the Punic Carthage. 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 wide, with a roadway consisting of clay; ''
in situ ''In situ'' (; often not italicized in English) is a Latin phrase that translates literally to "on site" or "in position." It can mean "locally", "on site", "on the premises", or "in place" to describe where an event takes place and is used in ...
'' 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 In several ancient Semitic-speaking cultures and associated historical regions, the shopheṭ or shofeṭ (plural shophṭim or shofeṭim; he, שׁוֹפֵט ''šōfēṭ'', phn, 𐤔𐤐𐤈 ''šōfēṭ'', xpu, 𐤔𐤐𐤈 ''šūfeṭ'', ...
(consul) at the beginning of the second century BC. 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 A sump is a low space that collects often undesirable liquids such as water or chemicals. A sump can also be an infiltration basin used to manage surface runoff water and recharge underground aquifers. Sump can also refer to an area in a cave ...
, 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.


Society and local economy

Punic culture and agricultural sciences, after arriving at Carthage from the eastern Mediterranean, gradually adapted to the local conditions. The merchant harbor at Carthage was developed after settlement of the nearby Punic town of Utica, and eventually the surrounding African 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 (), 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 Grafting or graftage is a horticultural technique whereby tissues of plants are joined so as to continue their growth together. The upper part of the combined plant is called the scion () while the lower part is called the rootstock. The suc ...
), 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 Sherry ( es, jerez ) is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles made primarily from the Palomino grape, ranging from light ver ...
). 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 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 Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, cultural and political customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structur ...
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
amphora An amphora (; grc, ἀμφορεύς, ''amphoreús''; English plural: amphorae or amphoras) is a type of container with a pointed bottom and characteristic shape and size which fit tightly (and therefore safely) against each other in storag ...
e 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 , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_map = Roman ...
'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 Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, Διόδωρος ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history ''Bibliotheca historica'', in forty books, fifteen of which su ...
(fl. 1st century BC), 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.


Ancient history

Greek cities contested with Carthage for the Western Mediterranean culminating in the
Sicilian Wars The Sicilian Wars, or Greco-Punic Wars, were a series of conflicts fought between ancient Carthage and the Greek city-states led by Syracuse, Sicily over control of Sicily and the western Mediterranean between 580 and 265 BC. Carthage's econo ...
and the Pyrrhic War over
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...
, while the Romans fought three wars against Carthage, known as the Punic Wars, from the Latin "Punic" meaning "Phoenician", as Carthage was a Phoenician colony grown into an empire.


Punic Republic

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
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient thalassocratic civilization originating in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily located in modern Lebanon. The territory of the Phoenician city-states extended and shrank throughout their histor ...
n 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 Canaanite religion was the group of ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries AD. Canaanite religion was polytheistic and, in some cas ...
, the Punic religion. The Carthaginians travelled widely across the seas and set up numerous colonies. Unlike Greek, Phoenician, and Tyrian colonizers who "only required colonies to pay due respect for their home-cities", Carthage is said to have "sent its own magistrates to govern overseas settlements". 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 Hannibal's 15-year occupation of much of Roman Italy, who was on the brink of defeat but managed to recover, the end of the series of wars resulted in the end of Carthaginian power and the complete destruction of the city by
Scipio Aemilianus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Aemilianus (185–129 BC), known as Scipio Aemilianus or Scipio Africanus the Younger, was a Roman general and statesman noted for his military exploits in the Third Punic War against Carthage and during the ...
. 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 Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
. 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 Volubilis (; ar, وليلي, walīlī; ber, ⵡⵍⵉⵍⵉ, wlili) is a partly excavated Berber-Roman city in Morocco situated near the city of Meknes, and may have been the capital of the kingdom of Mauretania, at least from the time of K ...
, Lixus,
Chellah The Chellah or Shalla ( ber, script=Latn, Sla or ; ar, شالة), is a medieval fortified Muslim necropolis and ancient archeological site in Rabat, Morocco, located on the south (left) side of the Bou Regreg estuary. The earliest evidence of the ...
. Today a "Carthaginian peace" can refer to any brutal peace treaty demanding total subjugation of the defeated side.


Salting legend

Since at least 1863, it has been claimed that Carthage was sown with salt after being razed, but there is no evidence for this.


Roman Carthage

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 Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay and composed mostly of broken grains of quartz. Silt may occur as a soil (often mixed with sand or clay) or as sediment mixed in suspension with water. Silt usually has a floury feel wh ...
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 Gaius Sempronius Gracchus ( – 121 BC) was a reformist Roman politician in the 2nd century BC. He is most famous for his tribunate for the years 123 and 122 BC, in which he proposed a wide set of laws, including laws to establish ...
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 A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature. The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate (Latin: ''Senatus''), so-called as an assembly of the senior (Latin: ''senex'' meaning "the e ...
abolished the colony some time later, to undermine Gracchus' power. After this ill-fated effort, a new city of Carthage was built on the same land by
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; ; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), was a Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey in a civil war, and ...
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 The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings around the Medit ...
, 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 An amphitheatre (British English) or amphitheater (American English; both ) is an open-air venue used for entertainment, performances, and sports. The term derives from the ancient Greek ('), from ('), meaning "on both sides" or "around" and ...
. 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 Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of La ...
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, against which Augustine of Hippo spent much time and parchment arguing. At the Council of Carthage (397), the biblical canon for the western Church was confirmed. The Christians at Carthage conducted persecutions against the pagans, during which the pagan temples, notably the famous Temple of Juno Caelesti, were destroyed. The Vandals under
Gaiseric Gaiseric ( – 25 January 477), also known as Geiseric or Genseric ( la, Gaisericus, Geisericus; reconstructed Vandalic: ) was King of the Vandals and Alans (428–477), ruling a kingdom he established, and was one of the key players in the ...
invaded
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
in 429. They relinquished the facade of their allied status to Rome and defeated the Roman general
Bonifacius Bonifatius (or Bonifacius; also known as Count Boniface; died 432) was a Roman general and governor of the diocese of Africa. He campaigned against the Visigoths in Gaul and the Vandals in North Africa. An ally of Galla Placidia, mother and ad ...
to seize Carthage, the once most treasured province of Rome. The 5th-century Roman bishop
Victor Vitensis Victor Vitensis (or Victor of Vita; born circa 430) was an African bishop of the Province of Byzacena (called Vitensis from his See of Vita). His importance rests on his ''Historia persecutionis Africanae Provinciae, temporibus Genserici et Hunir ...
mentions in his ''Historia Persecutionis Africanae Provincia'' that the Vandals destroyed parts of Carthage, including various buildings and churches. Once in power, the ecclesiastical authorities were persecuted, the locals were aggresively taxed, and naval raids were routinely launched on Romans in the Mediterranean. After a failed attempt to recapture the city in the fifth century, the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire primarily in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinop ...
finally subdued the Vandals in the
Vandalic War The Vandalic War was a conflict fought in North Africa between the forces of the Byzantine Empire and the Vandalic Kingdom of Carthage in 533–534. It was the first of Justinian I's wars of reconquest of the Western Roman Empire. The Vandal ...
in 533–534. Thereafter, the city became the seat of the praetorian prefecture of Africa, which was made into an
exarchate An exarchate is any territorial jurisdiction, either secular or ecclesiastical, whose ruler is called an exarch. The term originates from the Greek word ''arkhos'', meaning a leader, ruler, or chief. Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also ...
during the emperor Maurice's reign, as was
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 408 until its collapse in 476. It then served as the ca ...
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 Phocas ( la, Focas; grc-gre, Φωκάς, Phōkás; 5475 October 610) was Eastern Roman emperor from 602 to 610. Initially, a middle-ranking officer in the Eastern Roman army, Phocas rose to prominence as a spokesman for dissatisfied soldiers ...
, whereupon his son
Heraclius Heraclius ( grc-gre, Ἡράκλειος, Hērákleios; c. 575 – 11 February 641), was Eastern Roman emperor from 610 to 641. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, led a revolt ...
succeeded to the imperial throne.


Islamic period

The Roman
Exarchate of Africa The Exarchate of Africa was a division of the Byzantine Empire around Carthage that encompassed its possessions on the Western Mediterranean. Ruled by an exarch (viceroy), it was established by the Emperor Maurice in the late 580s and survive ...
was not able to withstand the seventh-century
Muslim conquest of the Maghreb The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb ( ar, الْفَتْحُ الإسلَامِيُّ لِلْمَغرِب) continued the century of rapid Muslim conquests following the death of Muhammad in 632 and into the Byzantine-controlled territories of ...
. The
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
under
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam ( ar, عبد الملك ابن مروان ابن الحكم, ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam; July/August 644 or June/July 647 – 9 October 705) was the fifth Umayyad caliph, ruling from April 685 ...
in 686 sent a force led by
Zuhayr ibn Qays Zuhayr ibn Qays al-Balawī () (died 688) was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and an Arab commander who fought in the service of the Rashidun, Umayyad and Zubayrid caliphs. He played a key role in the early Muslim conquests of Egypt, ...
, who won a battle over the Romans and Berbers led by King Kusaila of the Kingdom of Altava on the plain of
Kairouan Kairouan (, ), also spelled El Qayrawān or Kairwan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان, al-Qayrawān , aeb, script=Latn, Qeirwān ), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded by t ...
, but he could not follow that up. In 695,
Hassan ibn al-Nu'man Hassan ibn al-Nu'man al-Ghassani ( ar, حسان بن النعمان الغساني, Hassān ibn al-Nuʿmān al-Ghassānī) was an Arab general of the Umayyad Caliphate who led the final Muslim conquest of Ifriqiya, firmly establishing Islamic rule ...
captured Carthage and advanced into the
Atlas Mountains The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in the Maghreb in North Africa. It separates the Sahara Desert from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; the name "Atlantic" is derived from the mountain range. It stretches around through Moro ...
. An imperial fleet arrived and retook Carthage, but in 698,
Hasan ibn al-Nu'man Hassan ibn al-Nu'man al-Ghassani ( ar, حسان بن النعمان الغساني, Hassān ibn al-Nuʿmān al-Ghassānī) was an Arab general of the Umayyad Caliphate who led the final Muslim conquest of Ifriqiya, firmly establishing Islamic rule ...
returned and defeated Emperor Tiberios III at the 698 Battle of Carthage. Roman imperial forces withdrew from all of Africa except
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa. Bordered by Morocco, it lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of several Spanish territories ...
. Fearing that the Byzantine Empire might reconquer it, they decided to destroy Roman Carthage in a scorched earth policy and establish their headquarters somewhere else. Its walls were torn down, the water supply from its aqueducts cut off, the agricultural land was ravaged 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. It is clear from archaeological evidence that the town of Carthage continued to be occupied, as did the neighborhood of Bjordi Djedid. The Baths of Antoninus continued to function in the Arab period and the eleventh-century historian
Al-Bakri Abū ʿUbayd ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Muḥammad ibn Ayyūb ibn ʿAmr al-Bakrī ( ar, أبو عبيد عبد الله بن عبد العزيز بن محمد بن أيوب بن عمرو البكري), or simply al-Bakrī (c. 1040–1 ...
stated that they were still in good condition at that time. They also had production centers nearby. It is difficult to determine whether the continued habitation of some other buildings belonged to Late Byzantine or Early Arab period. The Bir Ftouha church may have continued to remain in use although it is not clear when it became uninhabited. Constantine the African was born in Carthage. The Medina of Tunis, originally a Berber settlement, was established as the new regional center under the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
in the early 8th century. Under the
Aghlabid The Aghlabids ( ar, الأغالبة) were an Arab dynasty of emirs from the Najdi tribe of Banu Tamim, who ruled Ifriqiya and parts of Southern Italy, Sicily, and possibly Sardinia, nominally on behalf of the Abbasid Caliph, for about a cen ...
s, 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 Ifriqiya ( '), also known as al-Maghrib al-Adna ( ar, المغرب الأدنى), was a medieval historical region comprising today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria, and Tripolitania (today's western Libya). It included all of what had previous ...
and founded the Fatimid Caliphate. Carthage remained a residential see until the high medieval period, and is 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 Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
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 Pope Gregory VII ( la, Gregorius VII; 1015 – 25 May 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana ( it, Ildebrando di Soana), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 22 April 1073 to his death in 1085. He is venerated as a saint ...
wrote Cyriacus 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. The fortress of Carthage was used by the Muslims until Hafsid era and was captured by the Crusaders during the
Eighth Crusade The Eighth Crusade was the second Crusade launched by Louis IX of France, this one against the Hafsid dynasty in Tunisia in 1270. It is also known as the Crusade of Louis IX against Tunis or the Second Crusade of Louis. The Crusade did not see any ...
. The inhabitants of Carthage were slaughtered by the Crusaders after they took it, and it was used as a base of operations against the Hafsids. After repelling them, Muhammad I al-Mustansir decided to raze Cathage's defenses in order to prevent a repeat.


Modern history

Carthage is some 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 Said was a village which had grown around the tomb of the eponymous
sufi Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spirituality, r ...
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 An Apostolic administration in the Catholic Church is administrated by a prelate appointed by the pope to serve as the ordinary for a specific area. Either the area is not yet a diocese (a stable 'pre-diocesan', usually missionary apostolic adm ...
of the vicariate of Tunis. In the following year, Lavigerie became a
cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Animals * Cardinal (bird) or Cardinalidae, a family of North and South American birds **'' Cardinalis'', genus of cardinal in the family Cardinalidae **'' Cardinalis cardinalis'', or northern cardinal, ...
. He "saw himself as the reviver of the ancient Christian Church of Africa, the Church of
Cyprian Cyprian (; la, Thaschus Caecilius Cyprianus; 210 – 14 September 258 AD''The Liturgy of the Hours according to the Roman Rite: Vol. IV.'' New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1975. p. 1406.) was a bishop of Carthage and an early Chri ...
of Carthage", and, on 10 November 1884, was successful in his great ambition of having the
metropolitan see Metropolitan may refer to: * Metropolitan area, a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories * Metropolitan borough, a form of local government district in England * Metropolitan county, a t ...
of Carthage restored, with himself as its first archbishop. In line with the declaration of Pope Leo IX in 1053,
Pope Leo XIII Pope Leo XIII ( it, Leone XIII; born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci; 2 March 1810 – 20 July 1903) was the head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death in July 1903. Living until the age of 93, he was the second-old ...
acknowledged the revived Archdiocese of Carthage as the primatial see of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
and Lavigerie as primate. The Acropolium of Carthage (Saint Louis Cathedral of Carthage) was erected on Byrsa hill in 1884.


Archaeological site

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 Auguste Audollent (14 July 1864 – 7 April 1943) was a French historian, archaeologist and Latin epigrapher, specialist of ancient Rome, in particular the magical inscriptions ('' tabellæ defixionum''). His main thesis was devoted to ''Roman Ca ...
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 Amman (; ar, عَمَّان, ' ; Ammonite language, Ammonite: 𐤓𐤁𐤕 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''Rabat ʻAmān'') is the capital and largest city of Jordan, and the country's economic, political, and cultural center. With a population of 4,061,150 a ...
(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 some to believe that, at least in Carthage,
child sacrifice Child sacrifice is the ritualistic killing of children in order to please or appease a deity, supernatural beings, or sacred social order, tribal, group or national loyalties in order to achieve a desired result. As such, it is a form of huma ...
was indeed common practice. However, though the animals were surely sacrificed, this does not entirely indicate that the infants were, and in fact the bones indicate the opposite. Rather, the animal sacrifice was likely done to, in some way, honour the deceased. A study conducted in 1970 by M. Chabeuf, the then Doctor of Science from the University of Paris, showed little difference between 17 modern Tunisians, and 68 Punic remains. An analysis the following year on 42 North-West African skulls dating back to Roman times concluded that they were overall similar to modern Berbers and other Mediterranean populations, especially eastern Iberians. They also noted the presence of one outlier in Tunisia who appears to have inherited mechtoid traits, which led them to hypothesize the persistence of such affinities well into the Punic and Roman era. M. C. Chamla and D Ferembach (1988) in their entry dealing with the craniometric conclusions of Protohistorical Algerians and Punics in the region of Tunisia, found strong sexual dimorphism with male skulls being robust. Mediterranean elements were dominant, but Mechtoid features, as well as 'Negroid' traits were present in some of the samples. Overall, Punic burials showed affinities with Algerians, Roman Era skulls from Tarragona (Spain), Guanches, and to a lesser extent Abydos (XVIIIth dynasty), Etruscans, Bronze Age Syrians (Euphrates) and skulls from Lozere (France). The anthropological position of the Algerian and Punic people when it comes to populations of the Mediterranean Basin agreed quite well with the geographical situation. Jehan Desanges stated that "In the Punic burial grounds, negroid remains were not rare and there were black auxiliaries in the Carthaginian army who were certainly not Nilotics". In 1990, Shomarka Keita, a biological anthropologist, had conducted a craniometric study which featured a set of remains from Northern Africa. He examined a sample of 49 Maghreban crania which included skulls from pre-Roman Carthage and concluded that, although they were heterogeneous, many of them showed physical similarities to crania from equatorial Africa, ancient Egypt, and Kush. S.O.Y. Keita's report in 2018, found the pre-Roman Carthaginian series to be intermediate between the Phoenician and Maghrebian. He noted the findings are consistent with an interpretation that it reflects both local and Levantine ancestry due to specific interactions in the ancient period. 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 The Maghreb (; ar, الْمَغْرِب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as the Arab Maghreb ( ar, المغرب العربي) and Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeri ...
.


Commune

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 ''Tounsi'' french: Tunisois , population_note = , population_urban = , population_metro = 2658816 , population_density_km2 = , timezone1 = CET , utc_offset1 ...
route. During World War II, the airport was used by the
United States Army Air Force The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) was the major land-based aerial warfare service component of the United States Army and ''de facto'' aerial warfare service branch of the United States during and immediately after World War II ...
Twelfth Air Force The Twelfth Air Force (12 AF; Air Forces Southern, (AFSOUTH)) is a Numbered Air Force A Numbered Air Force (NAF) is a type of organization in the United States Air Force that is subordinate to a major command (MAJCOM) and has assigned to it ...
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.Qui sommes nous ?

Archive
. Lycée Gustave Flaubert (La Marsa). Retrieved on February 24, 2016.
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,Sophie Bessis,"Défendre Carthage, encore et toujours", ''Le Courrier de l'Unesco'', September 1999
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 TGM may refer to: People * Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, first President of Czechoslovakia * Gáspár Miklós Tamás (Hungarian: Tamás Gáspár Miklós), Hungarian philosopher Organizations * Târgu Mureș International Airport, IATA airport code in ...
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 __NOTOC__ Hamilcar ( xpu, 𐤇𐤌𐤋𐤊 , ,. or , , "Melqart is Gracious"; grc-gre, Ἁμίλκας, ''Hamílkas'';) was a common Carthaginian masculine given name. The name was particularly common among the ruling families of ancient Carthage. ...
).


Trade and business

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 Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is g ...
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 The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, and, to a lesser extent, othe ...
followed, entering the western seas where the commercial rivalry continued. Eventually it would lead, especially in
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...
, 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 The Third Punic War (149–146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between Carthage and Rome. The war was fought entirely within Carthaginian territory, in modern northern Tunisia. When the Second Punic War ended in 201  ...
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 Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called " Pompeius Strabo". A native of Sicily so clear-sighted that he could se ...
(63 BC – AD 21) in his ''
Geographica The ''Geographica'' (Ancient Greek: Γεωγραφικά ''Geōgraphiká''), or ''Geography'', is an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge, consisting of 17 'books', written in Ancient Greek, Greek and attributed to Strabo, an educated citizen ...
'':
arthageeach day produced one hundred and forty finished shields, three hundred swords, five hundred spears, and one thousand missiles for the catapults... . Furthermore, arthage although surrounded by the Romansbuilt 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 Djerba (; ar, جربة, Jirba, ; it, Meninge, Girba), also transliterated as Jerba or Jarbah, is a Tunisian island and the largest island of North Africa at , in the Gulf of Gabès, off the coast of Tunisia. It had a population of 139,544 ...
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 A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying cargo or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally distinguished ...
, providing the captain and crew; do the negotiations overseas, either by
barter In trade, barter (derived from ''baretor'') is a system of exchange in which participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. Economists disti ...
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: * to open and maintain markets for its merchants, whether by entering into direct contact with foreign peoples using either treaty negotiations or naval power, or by providing security for isolated trading stations * the reservation of markets exclusively for the merchants of Carthage, or where competition could not be eliminated, to regulate trade by state-sponsored agreements with its commercial rivals * suppression of piracy, and promotion of Carthage's ability to freely navigate the seas Both the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians were well known in antiquity for their
secrecy Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups who do not have the "need to know", perhaps while sharing it with other individuals. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret. Secrecy is often controvers ...
in general, and especially pertaining to commercial contacts and trade routes. Both cultures excelled in commercial dealings.
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called " Pompeius Strabo". A native of Sicily so clear-sighted that he could se ...
(63BC-AD21) the Greek
geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist or humanist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society, including how society and nature interacts. The Greek prefix "geo" means "earth" a ...
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 Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period. He is noted for his work , which covered the period of 264–146 BC and the Punic Wars in detail. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed ...
(–120) referred to Carthage as "the wealthiest city in the world".


Constitution of state

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 Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatetic school of p ...
(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 Democracy (From grc, δημοκρατία, dēmokratía, ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation (" direct democracy"), or to choose gov ...
, i.e., a king ( Gk: basileus), a council of elders (Gk: gerusia), and the people (Gk: demos). Later Polybius of Megalopolis (–122, Greek) in his '' Histories'' would describe the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the classical Roman civilization when it was run through public representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the overthrow of the Roman K ...
in more detail as a mixed constitution in which the
Consuls A consul is an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, as well as to facilitate trade and friendship between the people ...
were the monarchy, the
Senate A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature. The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate (Latin: ''Senatus''), so-called as an assembly of the senior (Latin: ''senex'' meaning "the e ...
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 A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to a deliberative assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more ...
. 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 Co-option (also co-optation, sometimes spelt coöption or coöptation) has two common meanings. It may refer to the process of adding members to an elite group at the discretion of members of the body, usually to manage opposition and so mainta ...
. 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
ephor The ephors were a board of five magistrates in ancient Sparta. They had an extensive range of judicial, religious, legislative, and military powers, and could shape Sparta's home and foreign affairs. The word "''ephors''" (Ancient Greek ''ép ...
ate of
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the name Sparta referred ...
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 Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatetic school of p ...
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." " eir policy is to send some oorer citizensto their dependent towns, where they grow rich." Yet Aristotle continues, " 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
office An office is a space where an organization's employees perform administrative work in order to support and realize objects and goals of the organization. The word "office" may also denote a position within an organization with specific du ...
s, 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 Oligarchy (; ) is a conceptual form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may or may not be distinguished by one or several characteristics, such as nobility, fame, wealth, education, or corporate, ...
and its evils.
rely 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 A mercenary, sometimes also known as a soldier of fortune or hired gun, is a private individual, particularly a soldier, that joins a military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict, and is not a member of any ...
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, 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 Antiochus is a Greek male first name, which was a dynastic name for rulers of the Seleucid Empire and the Kingdom of Commagene. In Jewish historical memory, connected with the Maccabean Revolt and the holiday of Hanukkah, "Antiochus" refers s ...
the Hellenic ruler of
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
. Although the Roman
Scipio Africanus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (, , ; 236/235–183 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, most notable as one of the main architects of Rome's victory against Carthage in the Second Punic War. Often regarded as one of the best military com ...
resisted such manoeuvre, eventually intervention by Rome forced Hannibal to leave Carthage. Thus, corrupt city officials efficiently blocked Hannibal in his efforts to reform the government of Carthage. Mago (6th century) was King of Carthage; the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a stateFoakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international persona." in its unity and l ...
, 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.


Contemporary sources

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: * three short treaties with Rome (Latin translations); * several pages of
Hanno the Navigator Hanno the Navigator (sometimes "Hannon"; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤀 , ; ) was a Carthaginian explorer of the fifth century BC, best known for his naval exploration of the western coast of Africa. The only source of his voyage is a '' periplus'' trans ...
's log-book concerning his fifth century maritime exploration of the Atlantic coast of west Africa (Greek translation); * fragments quoted from Mago's fourth/third century 28-volume treatise on agriculture (Latin translations); * the Roman playwright Plautus ( – 184) in his '' Poenulus'' incorporates a few fictional speeches delivered in Punic, whose written lines are transcribed into Latin letters phonetically; * the thousands of inscriptions made in ''Punic script'', thousands, but many extremely short, e.g., a dedication to a deity with the personal name(s) of the devotee(s). " om the Greek author
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist philosopher, historian, biographer, essayist, and priest at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. He is known primarily for his ...
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 Gaius Sallustius Crispus, usually anglicised as Sallust (; 86 – ), was a Roman historian and politician from an Italian plebeian family. Probably born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines, Sallust became during the 50s BC a partisan of ...
(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 Cleopatra VII Philopator ( grc-gre, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ}, "Cleopatra the father-beloved"; 69 BC10 August 30 BC) was Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC, and its last active ruler.She was also a ...
's daughter, but also a scholar and author in
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
of no less than nine works. He wrote for the Mediterranean-wide audience then enjoying
classical literature Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity. In the Western world, classics traditionally refers to the study of Classical Greek and Roman literature and their related original languages, Ancient Greek and Latin. Classi ...
. 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 Hanno the Navigator (sometimes "Hannon"; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤀 , ; ) was a Carthaginian explorer of the fifth century BC, best known for his naval exploration of the western coast of Africa. The only source of his voyage is a '' periplus'' trans ...
, 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 ) , image =Ugarit Corbel.jpg , image_size=300 , alt = , caption = Entrance to the Royal Palace of Ugarit , map_type = Near East#Syria , map_alt = , map_size = 300 , relief=yes , location = Latakia Governorate, Syria , region = ...
, located to the north of
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient thalassocratic civilization originating in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily located in modern Lebanon. The territory of the Phoenician city-states extended and shrank throughout their histor ...
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 Sanchuniathon (; Ancient Greek: ; probably from Phoenician: , "Sakon has given"), also known as Sanchoniatho the Berytian, was a Phoenician author. His three works, originally written in the Phoenician language, survive only in partial paraphras ...
, 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 Philo of Byblos ( grc, Φίλων Βύβλιος, ''Phílōn Býblios''; la, Philo Byblius;  – 141), also known as Herennius Philon, was an antiquarian writer of grammatical, lexical and historical works in Greek. He is chiefly known fo ...
(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 Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, ''Cyperus papyrus'', a wetland sedge. ''Papyrus'' (plural: ''papyri'') can also refer to a ...
, which does not long survive in a moist coastal climate. Also, both Phoenicians and Carthaginians were well known for their
secrecy Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups who do not have the "need to know", perhaps while sharing it with other individuals. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret. Secrecy is often controvers ...
. Thus, of their ancient writings we have little of major interest left to us by Carthage, or by
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient thalassocratic civilization originating in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily located in modern Lebanon. The territory of the Phoenician city-states extended and shrank throughout their histor ...
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 A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten – as opposed to mechanically printed or reproduced i ...
has survived in the original anguageor 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 he_alphabet.html"_;"title="alphabet.html"_;"title="he_alphabet">he_alphabet">alphabet.html"_;"title="he_alphabet">he_alphabetthat_has_influenced_dozens_of_cultures_including_our_own." As_noted,_the_celebrated_ancient_books_on_agriculture_written_by_Mago_(agricultural_writer).html" ;"title="alphabet">he_alphabet.html" ;"title="alphabet.html" ;"title="he alphabet">he alphabet">alphabet.html" ;"title="he alphabet">he alphabetthat has influenced dozens of cultures including our own." As noted, the celebrated ancient books on agriculture written by Mago (agricultural writer)">Mago of Carthage survives only via quotations in Latin from several later Roman works.


In Art and Literature

The scant remains of what was once a great city are reflected upon in Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poetical illustration, ''Carthage'', to an engraving of a painting by J. Salmon, published in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1837 with quotes from Sir Grenville Temple's Journal.


References


Sources

* . * . * Ernest Babelon,
Carthage
', Paris (1896). * Auguste Audollent,

', Paris (1901). * . * . * . * . * . * * . * Winterer, Caroline (2010)
"Model Empire, Lost City: Ancient Carthage and the Science of Politics in Revolutionary America"
''The William and Mary Quarterly'' 67(1): 3-30. * . * . * Li, Hansong (2022)
"Locating Mobile Sovereignty: Carthage in Natural Jurisprudence"
''History of Political Thought'' 43(2): 246–272.


External links

* * * * {{Authority control Phoenician cities Destroyed cities Former populated places in Tunisia Populated places established in the 9th century BC Populated places disestablished in the 7th century Phoenician colonies in Tunisia Tourist attractions in Tunisia Child sacrifice