Carthago Del est

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The first place settled at Carthage

Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam

Marcus Porcius Cato

 

I get away from the central part of Tunis today and get to a small suburb in a neighborhood which is actually quite historic - it is the home to Carthage.

 

Carthage was the main city in the Mediterranean back when the Phoenicians were the main power in the area. Legend has it that the city was founded back in 814 BC which are several hundred years before the legendary foundation of Rome. In reality the foundation of the city was not divine but was made by people leaving from the Tripoli area in present day Lebanon who went out to found a new colony in the Mediterranean. When the Phoenician homeland in Lebanon came under pressure from their Assyrian neighbor their main city moved to Carthage. Carthage then grew in importance and was at one stage the most important city in the Mediterranean. This would naturally bring the city in opposition to the new rising power of the Mediterranean - Rome.

 

The tension between Rome and Carthage would eventually lead to war. And eventually in 264 BC war broke out between the two powers which lasted to 241 BC. But peace would not last long - in 218 the second Punic War broke out - it was here Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants and brought terror to mainland Italy. In the end Rome prevailed and won the war - but Carthage still survived as an independent city. But some people in Rome still thought there could only be lasting peace in the area if Carthage would be destroyed once and for all. The most pronounced supporter of the destruction of Rome was Cato who ended his speeches in the Senat with the statement - Furthermore I believe Carthage must be destroyed. In the end he prevailed and the third Punic War broke out.

 

The war ended with a decisive Roman victory and the destruction of Carthage. After the Roman victory the entire population of Carthage were either killed or sold off as slaves. Every house in the city was destroyed and the ground was sown with salt to prevent anything from crowing there.

 

For a hundred years nothing were left of the city of Carthage - but the location of the city was just too good to miss. So in the end the new big man in Rome with the name Julius decided to reestablish a city with the name of Carthage at its old location. With a few years the city grew and already in 29 BC it became a provincial capital and it grew to be the third biggest city in the Roman Empire second only to Alexandria and Rome itself.

 

Today there are not much left of Carthage - the Roman city might not have been destroyed in one deliberate demolishing process like the first city. But the passing and time and the reuse of columns and other artifacts from the city has resulted in an almost complete destruction. Compared to other Roman cities around the old empire it will not rank high on my most favored list.

sylviandavid says:
This was a wonderful read... I just read it for the second time... What a great history this spot has... can you imagine putting salt in an area where you already killed or enslaved everyone already...wow what a sense of vengence... Great blog. sylvia
Posted on: Jan 12, 2010
Vikram says:
Nice history, thanks for sharing!
Posted on: Dec 29, 2009
Koralifix says:
Congrats on having this blog featured, Mickey! Absolutely well done once more!
Posted on: Dec 29, 2009
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The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The view from old Carthage
The view from old Carthage
The view from old Carthage
The view from old Carthage
The view from old Carthage
The view from old Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
The first place settled at Carthage
Flowers at old Carthage
Flowers at old Carthage
Flowers at old Carthage
Flowers at old Carthage
Flowers at old Carthage
Flowers at old Carthage
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Statues at Carthage museum
Statues at Carthage museum
Statues at Carthage museum
Statues at Carthage museum
Statue at Carthage museum
Statue at Carthage museum
Statue at Carthage museum
Statue at Carthage museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
Mosaic at the Carthage Museum
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The Antonine Bath
The old harbor area at Carthage
The old harbor area at Carthage
Carthage
photo by: Biedjee