The city of Carthage (/ˈkɑrθɪdʒ/) is a city in Tunisia and
was the centre of the ancient Carthaginian civilization. The
city developed from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium
BC into the capital of an ancient empire. The area of
Carthage was before inhabited by Berber people who also
became the bulk of Carthage’s population and constituted a
significant part of its army, economy and administration.
Native Berbers and settling Phoenicians in Carthage mixed in
different ways including religion and language, creating the
Punic language and culture.
The name of Carthage, Latin: Carthago or Karthago, Ancient
Greek: Καρχηδών Karkhēdōn, Etruscan: *Carθaza, is derived
from the Phoenician Qart-ḥadašt meaning “New City” (Aramaic:
קרתא חדתא, Qarta Ḥdatha; Hebrew: קרת חדשה, Qeret Ḥadašah’),
implying it was a ‘new Tyre’.
The first civilization that developed within the city’s
sphere of influence is referred to as Punic (a form of the
word “Phoenician”) or Carthaginian. The city of Carthage is
located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the
centre of Tunis. According to Greek historians, Carthage was
founded by Canaanite-speaking Phoenician colonists from Tyre
(in modern Lebanon) under the leadership of Queen Elissa or
Dido. It became a large and rich city and thus a major power
in the Mediterranean. The resulting rivalry with Syracuse,
Numidia, and Rome was accompanied by several wars with
respective invasions of each other’s homeland.
Hannibal’s invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War
culminated in the Carthaginian victory at Cannae and led to a
serious threat to the continuation of Roman rule over Italy;
however, the Romans gained the upper hand by invading Africa
and defeating Carthage at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC.
Following the Third Punic War, the city was destroyed by the
Romans in 146 BC. However, the Romans refounded Carthage,
which became the empire’s fourth most important city and the
second most important city in the Latin West. It later became
the capital of the short-lived Vandal kingdom. It remained
one of the most important Roman cities until the Muslim
conquest, when it was destroyed a second time in…