45 Carthage Facts That Will Take you Back To The Ancient World | Kidadl


45 Carthage Facts That Will Take you Back To The Ancient World

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

A state primarily having maritime realms is known as a thalassocracy state. 

Phoenicia was one such ancient thalassocratic. This civilization originated from the Levant region, situated in the eastern side of the Mediterranean, which is modern-day Lebanon. 

This realm was located around the coast of Lebanon and certain sections of modern-day Galilee, Syria, stretching as far north as Arwad and as far south as Acre! It might even have included some parts of Gaza! During the height of its period (1100- 200 BC), this civilization spanned between Cyprus and the Iberian Peninsula in the Mediterranean. In the collapse of the Late Bronze Age during 1200 and 1150 BC, the civilization was destroyed and very weakened, especially Hittites Egyptians. However, the Phoenicians were found to have survived this crisis well in relation to others. Hence in 1230, this civilization was more prominent and organized. This period is sometimes called the Phoenician Renaissance. This state and civilization became the lead of maritime power and mercantile in the region, and this high-status position would remain as it was for the next several centuries!

Interesting Facts About Carthage

Located in northern Africa, Carthage is an ancient city. It was located where today's modern-day Tunisia is located. Let's explore more interesting facts:

  • This city was built around Byrsa, which was a citadel. This city was founded by Tyre colonists around the sixth century BC.
  • The people from this colony undertook conquests in Sicily, Sardinia, and West Africa, which happened around the sixth century. The descendants of Hamilcar dominated the Western Mediterranean Sea. A lot of history has transpired since then.
  • In the third century BC, they fought three Punic wars with Romans as opponents. They destroyed the Rome army, led by Scipio Africanus the younger.
  • Later this site became a colony founded by Julius Caesar during 44 BC. In 29 BC, this area was made the center of the province in Africa Augustus.
  • Tertullian and St. Cyprian work some of the Christian bishops who served there. The Byzantine Empire later took it during the sixth century.
  • In 1979, we understood the importance of such diverse history behind the place, and UNESCO declared this site a World Heritage Site.
  • According to the legend, Carthage was founded by Dido, who was the Phoenician Queen, also known as Elissa, in 914 BCE. Even though the founding dates do match what the archeologists and historians have found to be, the history of Dido has long been challenged. It is said that Dido was fleeing her tyrant brother, who was the Pygmalion of Lebanon, and eventually landed on the northern African coast. She then established the city of Byrsa. It is also said that the rulers of the land, Berber's chief, had told her to take as much land as an ox hide can cover. She then cut a single ox hide into thin strips and laid them end by end around a hill, and captured a huge portion of land for her people. This is where the Carthaginian empire came from.
  • The Carthaginian colonies had established relations with the North African Berber (Imazighen) in the Kingdom of Numidia with the Masaesyli tribe and the Massylii tribe. These tribes would fill the positions in the military as formidable cavalry troops with good ranks. Over the period, the civilization kept growing, making trade and establishing a productive colony, making it their specialty. Eventually, the city of Carthage became one of the most powerful cities and rich cities in the Mediterranean sea.


Historical Facts About Carthage

The Phoenician colony became influential and rose to prominence during the middle of the 12th century BC, and this happened after the collapse of the late bronze age, which had many influential cultures. Let's read more about some other interesting historical facts in this powerful city in northern Africa.

  • Carthage people were well renowned in contemporaries such as mariners, traders and eventually became the most powerful city for classical antiquity. One thing that the Phoenicians developed was the intense network of maritime trade, and this amazing organization continued in the same way for millennia to come.
  • This Phoenician trade was a key to exchanging ideas, knowledge, and cultures between some of the most prominent civilizations like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece. After a while, in the ninth century BC, the eastern Mediterranean sea civilization of the Phoenicians started to decline during foreign conquest and their influence.
  • Phoenicians coming from Tyre founded Carthage. They were mostly from North Africa. It's thought that initially, they thought of this place as a site for metal trade with the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
  • A new city is the meaning of the name Punic (which resulted in the Punic Wars), located in North Africa. Before the fall of Troy, there is some tradition for the ancient sources, for example, the Philistos of Syracuse, which was around 1215 BC. However, the date is generally accepted by modern historians for the foundation of the city of Carthage in 814 BC. This date was given by the Greek historian Timaeus from Sicily around 300 BC.
  • The city of Carthage is said to have grown over North Africa, including the North African coast, Malta, Sicily, and southern Iberia. However, before it could be built as a Roman city, the city of Carthage was destroyed during the second Punic war or the Carthage wars. This happened before the third Punic war.
  • Carthaginian wars, also known as the Punic wars, occurred between 264-146 BCE. Carthage is known for these Punic wars. There were three wars held between Carthaginians, i.e., the Punic empire and the Roman Republic. This led to huge destructions of the city of Carthage, northern Africa, and many people were enslaved and became poor.
  • There was a Roman hegemony over the Mediterranean of the western side. Rome won the first of the Punic Wars. This war that Rome won enabled them to take control over Sicily. The second Punic war happened in 218 BC.
  • The Battle of Zama, which happened in 202 BCE, is another battle where the victory of the Romans was led by Scorpio Elder against the Carthaginians who were commanded by Hannibal.
  • The second Punic war was a decisive battle, and in the end, it led to the end of the commandership of Hannibal for the Carthaginian forces and the chance for the city of Carthage to oppose the Roman Empire. The place where this battle took place is found and identified by one of the Romans historians named Livy as Naraggara, which is in present-day Tunisia, northern Africa.
  • After 150 years of the battle, another Roman historian had given the name Zama to the place. The second Punic war lasted from 218-202 BC. The third Punic war lasted from 149-146 BC. This third Punic war resulted in the destruction of Carthage.
  • The battle of Cannae, which happened in the August of 216 BCE, was fought near the ancient village of Cannae, which was in the southern part of the Apulia, which is the modern-day Puglia, in south-eastern Italy. This battle was fought between the city of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the second Punic Wars. The Romans were heavily destroyed by the gallic, African and Celtiberian troops under the commandership of Hannibal, with the Roman losses ranging from 55,000, according to Levy, who is a Roman historian, to 70,000.
  • Military historians regard it as an example of victorious double envelopment, as it was one of the most significant battles in our history. During the war, Hannibal, with his army, was the first to arrive at the battle site. He had a force of 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalries with him. His army at the time was under the command of the Aufidus River, which was the main source of water in that area at the time.
  • This was a loss for Romans as their soldiers would remain thirsty for long without a water source to quench their thirst in the August heat. He also manipulated the Romans to face the south direction as the wind blew sand with it, which was irritating to the eyes and turned out to be a disadvantage for the Romans. He had also confined many Roman legions in a valley that was hemmed by the river.
  • Thus Hannibal had taken away any opportunity for the Roman cavalry to move. This also forced the Romans to form an army that was deep rather than wide, which made an acute impact on the outcome of the battle. This was a special part of Carthage's history.
  • This war in the ancient world would remain the worst defeats in Roman history. The Romans considered Carthage as a threat as the Carthaginians were far more powerful than them and hence disliked and hated them.


Archeological Facts About Carthage

The Phoenicians were often considered to be a lost, ancient civilization. There was no concrete written proof of that time period and how they functioned as a society. However, historians and archeologists recently discovered this influential and complex society in the 20th century. Let's explore more.

  • Their best-known language legacy is the oldest verified alphabets in the world. They were transmitted through the Mediterranean and were also used to develop other language scripts such as Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew, which in a way also developed Cyrillic alphabets and Latin.
  • They are also credited with the amazing innovations of navigation, ship building, government, and politics. It was also a cultural hub with the foundation of classical western civilization.
  • The people were organized in the city-states, and these city-states were similar to that of Rome; some of the most notable and well-established city-states were Byblos, Tyre, and Sidon. These city-states were independent politically, and there is no evidence to suggest that the citizens considered themselves as a unit in a nation.
  • These people had also established colonies in the Mediterranean along with trading posts. This is the time ancient Carthage became a major civilization in North Africa. The general daily life of these people revolved around seafaring and commerce. Merchant families and kings were the main people of the city-states.
  • Ancient Carthage was first found in the ninth century BC located in the Gulf of Tunis. It eventually developed into a great trading empire that covered the ancient city of north Africa and a lot of the Mediterranean. It was one of the most brilliant civilizations.
  • The foundation of this place is linked to the Roman foundation on the order of Julius Cesar.
  • Ancient Carthage was the capital of the Byzantine in Africa and also the Vandal kingdom. The posts of these civilizations have witnessed millions of trade and history of cultural and commercial exchange. Sacred places dedicated to Baal called the Tophet have many stelae where cultural exchange can be seen. They have shown considerable influence on the importance of architecture, art, and planning of the town. Today, the ancient ruins of Punic found in Byrsa is an archaeological site.
  • During the period 500 BC, the government of the city had given permission for a very large marketplace and was for Republics. It is noted by Hoyos that the Carthaginian empire had two elected suites, i.e., the kings who were serving along with the five-person committee, assemblies.
Carthage is an ancient city

Facts About People From Carthage

There was a Mediterranean coast trade that the people in Phoenicia developed. The business activity was thriving due to Greeks and different traders. Let's explore these facts about this interesting ancient world in detail.

  • Many economic contests were carried out earlier in Cyprus. After that, the western Mediterranean was ventured by Phoenicians to find trading posts such as Utica and Carthage.
  • The Greeks had followed them to the western side, too, continuing their rivalry and competition in trade. There were a lot of intermittent wars which lasted for centuries that took place due to this rivalry, especially in Sicily.
  • Many states developed great merchandise, the Greek cities, and their merchandise was considered to be superior to that of Carthage. The third Punic War was a manufacturing colossus. It was seen from the side of Carthage. This was was against Rome. They were afterward under a fatal Roman siege.
  • There were many popular assemblies that were held in Carthage. The quasi-senatorial and the Suffets institutions, when deadlocked, requested voting from the assembly. To achieve popular coherence and political consensus, the assembly votes were considered a very crucial matter. The members of the citizen assembly did not have any legal birth or wealth qualifications.
  • It's not known exactly how these members of the assembly were selected. It might be by urban ward, festival group, or another unknown method. Apparently, similar to the Gerusia of Greek and Senate in Rome, Carthage also had an institution that took the advice of elders for the Suffets.
  • This Punic body does not have any specific name. Such members were known to travel in campaigns with the army generals. Permanent committees were also formed by these members. Some of the people of these committees were very wealthy and held the office for their entire life.
  • The vacant positions in the members were filled by the people from the elite class. 104 members were selected as judges, and later, they were also responsible for the evaluation of the army and other officers. These 104 judges were highly regarded by Aristotle. He also compared them with respect to their control over security to the ephorate of Sparta. During Hannibal's time, these judges held the office for a lifetime.
  • When the Roman Carthage fell, the Roman ally Utica became the capital of the city-state, and it also replaced Carthage as the elite in leadership and Punic trade. Due to its position near the waterbody, the city was advantageous. The city was located on the outlet port of the Medjerda River. It was the only river in Tunisia that flowed all year long.
  • There were also a lot of mountains and grain cultivation on them. Olive groves and fruit trees were also established. But this cultivation many times led to the mountain getting eroded and large amounts of slits eroded into water. These slits would accumulate in the harbor and eventually become useless.
  • At this time, the Roman Republic would have to build the ancient Carthage again. Julius Caesar rebuilt one such Carthage on the same grounds from 49-44 BC. It eventually expanded and became the second-largest ancient city on the western side of the Rome Empire. The peak population at that time was 500,000.
  • This city of the ancient world was a breadwinner for the citizens and was the center of the province of Africa. The amphitheater was one of the main monuments in that city. The Roman poet known as Virgil had imagined the early look of Carthage.
  • In the subsequent years, ancient Carthage had also become an early Christian center. Around 70 bishops had attended the first string of reported councils. The region was being affected heavily by the bishop of the Roman Republic, so Tertullian has broken that mainstream representation of the West. The Donatist controversy was very famous within the Christian community, and it also caused rifts. These controversies were argued against by Augustus of Hippo.
  • The biblical canon was confirmed for the west church during the council of ancient Carthage. The community member of this church organized persecutions to oppose pagans. During this time, the infamous Temple of Juno Caelesti was demolished.
  • The people in the Carthaginian empire were submissive to the governing bodies, and where virtue does not have the first place, the aristocracy is not able to be firmly established.
Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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