Carthage

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Carthage

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:46 am

Salvete
the last week I have been working on revising the earlier essay I made on Carthage. I have added new info to the essay. I will post it here and any comments are welcome.
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THE CARTHAGINIAN EMPIRE

Carthage was an Phoenician colony of Tyrus which was the capitol city of the Phoenician Empire. This city was founded in the 9th century B.C., 2 centuries before the founding of the city Rome (in 753 BC). The name Carthage comes from the Phoenician language and means "New City". The Phoenicians themselves were conquered around the 6th century by the Assyrian Empire and later by the Persian Empire which gave them their independence back but not as a state. The Phoenician State would never rise again in the Middle East. This is the cause of the Carthaginian independence. Carthage was once an important city that could match the power of Rome. Carthage became a city where Phoenicians could flee to from their homeland. Like the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians were seafarers. They sailed around the Mediterranean Sea, but sources indicate that they also sailed as far south as the Ivory Coast and perhaps they might have reached Britannia. Their empire stretched on sea from the Street of Gibraltar to Sicily, from Sardinia to North- West Africa. On land, their empire stretched from Libya to Morocco and 2/3 of Iberia. Carthage also appears in the Aeneaid explaining: the feud between Rome and Carthage. The stories concerning Aeneas tell us how he fell in love with Dido, the queen of the newly founded Carthage but he had to leave North Africa to found a new Troy. This also shows how historical inaccurate Vergilius was in his stories. Historically Aeneas arrived in Italian peninsula around the 1100 BC more than 200 years before the founding of Carthage. Or did Aeneas arrive at the Italian peninsula in the 9th century BC? Who will tell? This isn't the only mythical history of Carthage. There is also a Phoenician side to it.
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:47 am

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MYTHICAL HISTORY OF CARTHAGE

Tired out,/Aeneas' people made for the nearest land,/Turning their prows toward Libya. There's a spot/Where at the mouth of a long bay an island/Makes a harbour, forming a breakwater/Where every swell divides it as its comes in/And runs far into curving recesses./There are high cliffs on this side and on that,/And twin peaks towering heavenward impend/On reaches of still water. Over these,/Against a forest backdrop shimmering,/A dark and shaggy grove casts a deep shade,/While in the Cliffside opposite, below/The overhanging peaks, there is a cave/With fresh water and seats in living rock... (R. Fitzgerald, tr., Aeneid, Book 1. 216-230)

According to the mythical tradition Elissa (Elishat) a group of Tyrians first conquered Cyprus, then the North coast of Africa, opposite of Sicily. After her brother killed her husband, she received the name 'Dido' (Deido: means wanderer). The early Roman poets used her name and from then on, this is how we remember her. Her mythical fate was the same of that of her husband. She killed herself out of love for Aeneas and swore that Carthage would never be friend with the descendants of Aeneas. She climbed the pyre and bared the Dardan sword-/A gift desired once, for no such need./Her eyes now on the Trojan clothing there/And the familiar bed, she paused a little,/Weeping a little, mindful, then lay down/And spoke her last words:....Aeneid, Book 4. 898-903. (Fitgerald translation)
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History of Carthage: intro

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:32 am

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HISTORY OF CARTHAGE: introduction


The history of Carthage doesn't just begin with the founding of the city but with the Phoenicians. This culture profited from the collapse of the Hittite Empire. They began to prosper. They were a known seafaring people which are also mentioned in the Odyssey where Odysseus meets the Phoenicians known under their Greek name: Phaekes. Their intent was not in territorial hegemony but in trade. Carthage belonged to the Phoenician state. Its language belongs to the Semitic peoples. Does this mean that the Carthaginians had normal Semitic features? According to the evidence that has been discovered, the ordinary Carthaginian had more Semitic- Negro features. What the Romans and Greeks did in the countries they conquered, the Carthaginians also did in the territories it conquered. Carthaginian language was known to be Punic, and the Punic language was the official language in Carthage and its institutions. In the territories that Carthage conquered, the Punic language became the language of the elite, a cultural language similar to Latin and later French in Belgium. The pressure of the Assyrian Empire and the increase of the population in the 9th century made it clear that Tyrus needed a colony. The colonists settled in North Africa, the closest point to Europe and founded Carthage, 'New City'. Carthage would grow and prosper to the point it became the rival of its mother city: Tyrus. Carthage was also the only colony that had other colonies in Spain, Sardinia and Sicily. When the settlers arrived in what now is Tunisia, they encountered the native population of Berbers who had been in the area since the ninth millennium BCE. The resulting culture we call Punic was an amalgamation of native and Punic elements. The Berbers, who had been semi-nomadic, adopted urban living. Originally Carthage was just another place to rest and re-supply their ships. These factories were built on most shores. The Phoenicians wanted islands to found colonies because they were easily defendable. This is the reason why Phoenician factories only stayed on the shores of North Africa. To them, the North African people had nothing to any interest of them. But after some time, one factory grew to become a city: Carthage. By the 6th century, Carthage had conquered most surrounding nations/ tribes. Most of them became slaves. Throughout the history of Carthage, never once were there several slave rebellions. At least not of those slaves, who lived in the city. Even when the Roman troops stood before the gates of Carthage, read to enter and kill most Carthaginians, the slaves didn’t abandon their masters. They fought side by side with them. The slaves in the city might have good lives, those on the country didn’t. There were couple of revolts by Libyans who had threatened the very existence of Carthage.
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Timeline of Carthage

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Mon Jul 26, 2004 7:37 pm

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Important dates in Carthaginian history:


814 BC: According to Timaeus (350-260 BC) Carthage was found in 814. Timaeus was a historian from Taormina in Sicily.

6th century BC: Oligarchic Constitution was founded. Originally a governor was to report to the king of Tyrus. But after the defeat of the Phoenicians by other Middle- Eastern imperial powers, Carthage stood alone. Their government was not so different from Rome during the Republican era.

508 & 450 BC: Carthaginians and Romans sign treaties. This was mainly done because of the defeat of the Etruscans by the Romans. The Carthaginians probably felt that the rising Roman power could treat them. By this time the power of the Etruscans became to fade.

480 BC: The Greek colonies under the Tyrants Gelon and Theron defeat the Hamilcar Barca and his Carthaginian army at Himera in Sicily therefore impeding the interest of Carthage in that area. Note: while the Western Greeks are fighting this battle, the Eastern Greeks of their mother country were fending of Persian attacks under Xerxes. Under Hamilcars grandson, Hannibal, Himera is destroyed in 409 BC. The Greeks built a temple in honour of Athena on the spot.

End 5th century BC: Carthage takes over the Greek colonies in Western- Sicily, including Selinus. Hellenistic period (323-30 BC) Carthage at its peak. About 200,000 people where living there at the end of the 4th century BC, an extraordinary number for cities in the ancient world. It was around this time the Carthaginian government asked the Greeks to come to their city to found the cult of Demeter. Around this time Hellenic and Egyptian influences was felt in their lives (art, architecture). The same influences were found with the Phoenicians.

396 B.C. and 379 B.C. Libyan farmers revolt against the oppression of Carthage. This revolt threatens the very existence of Carthage. The reason why the Libyans revolted was the poor standards of life. They already had not much and were asked to give a lot to the oppressors.

264 -240 BC: First Punic War between the Carthaginians and Romans. The consequence was that Sardinia and Sicily fall into Roman territories. The First Punic War took place on Sicily. The defeat of the Carthaginian troops resulted that Carthage couldn’t pay their troops which mainly consisted of mercenaries. The same mercenaries revolted against their employer, but the revolt was crushed by Hamilcar Barca. Rome took advantage of the situation and demanded that Sardinia was handed over to Roman power. Carthage found itself in a difficult situation and had no other choice than to give in. It could not afford another war. Also this war was the first time Romans used ships in warfare. They adjusted the ships design to suit their needs. The result: Rome could build a naval fleet.

218 BC: Second Punic War, Hannibal Barca precipitates war against Rome when he besieges Saguntum in Spain. He escapes with his army from the Roman army sent to stop him and he defeats three consular armies in 218-217 and in 216 BC after he marches through the Alps during the winter.

202 BC: L. Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal Barca and his army at Zama in Tunisia. Second Punic War ends. During the siege of Syracuse, Archimedes dies in 212 BC.

149- 146 BC: Third Punic War which ends in the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC by L. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus.

Late 1ste century BC: Augustus, following the intentions of his adoptive father Julius Caesar, creates a colony of veterans on the site of the Punic Carthage.

101-200 AD: Carthage is at this time the third largest city in the Empire and second largest city in the western part of the Roman Empire after Rome itself. Emperor Antoninus Pius has a large bathing complex constructed for the city, for which the ruins are still visible.

2001 -400 AD: Carthage enjoys prosperity and becomes a centre of the Christian Church in the West. Such notable Christian writers like Tertullian and Augustine lived there.

439 AD: succumbs to Vandals and eventually to the Byzantine Empire.

697 AD: Carthage falls in the hands of Muslims.
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History of Carthage part 1

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:11 pm

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History of Carthage part 2


During the third century BC, Carthage was the greatest naval power of the Mediterranean Sea. While the Romans were busy trying to control the entire Italian peninsula, Carthage had already taken over the North African coast from Western Libya to the Street of Gibraltar and ruled over most of southern Spain and the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia. Carthage was a formidable power. It controlled almost all the commercial trade in the Mediterranean, had subjected vast numbers of people all whom sent soldiers and supplies, and amassed tremendous wealth from gold and silver mines in Spain. These two mighty empires came in contact in the middle of the 3rd century BC when Rome's power had reached the southern tip of Italy. The two cultures and people had been in sporadic contact before, but neither side felt threatened by the others. The Romans were perfectly aware of the Carthaginian heritage: they called them by their old name, Phoenicians. In Latin this means Poeni, which does explain the name of the wars between the two empires: Punic Wars. These conflicts, which were disastrous for Carthage, were inevitable. Between Carthage and Italy lay the huge island of Sicily. Carthage ruled the western part of Sicily while the Romans reached the southern part of Italy which put them in throwing distance of the island.

When the city of Messana revolted against the Carthaginians, the Romans intervened and the first Punic War erupted. The First Punic War was concentrated entirely on the island of Sicily and ended in 241 BC with no particular side winning over the other. Carthage had to give up Sicily. The Romans besieged many of the Carthaginian cities and when Carthage attempted to raise the siege with its navy, this navy was destroyed. For the first time, Carthage had lost the power of the sea- ways. Carthage had to pay up for the war, which it was well capable of, but soon it faced rebellion among its mercenary troops and in 338, Rome took advantage of this confusing by taking the island of Corsica. The Romans wanted to create a buffer zone between them and Carthage because they feared them. By gaining Sicily, Rome had expelled the Carthaginians from their back yard. Now they wanted them out of the front yard, that is, the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, west of the Italian peninsula.
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History of Carthage part 2

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:13 pm

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okay I know, the title seems a bit of, but like I said earlier. Any suggestions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
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The Carthaginians were furious because of these actions and began the shore up their presence in Europe by sending first General Hamilcar and then his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, to Spain to build colonies and an army. Both Hamilcar and Hasdrubal made allies along the native Iberians, and their armies, recruited from Iberians grew ominous as Carthaginian power and influence crept up the Iberian peninsula. Also the name Hannibal means 'favourite of Baal' By 218 BC, Carthage had a mighty, wealthy empire in Spain and when the city of Saguntum approached Rome for Roman friendship and alliance, Rome couldn't resist having a friendly ally in the heart of the Carthaginian Iberian Empire. This city was conquered by Hannibal and he travelled on to the Alps into the heart of the Roman Empire during the 2nd Punic War from 218- 202 BC. But the Carthaginians gained during this war an ally on the east side of the Italian peninsula: Philip V of Macedonia attacked several cities in the Roman Empire and the end result was that Rome turned international empire by turning east with their wars and conquest. They conquered the Hellenic kingdoms and by the end of the third Punic War, Rome controlled most of the known world. But by the end of the third Punic War, Roman soldiers who went from house to house systematically killed most of the Carthaginians. Carthaginians who weren't killed were sold into slavery. The harbour and the city were demolished and all the surrounding countryside was sown with salt in order to render it uninhabitable.

Aristotle compares Carthage with Crete and Sparta in his book "The Politics of Aristotle". He says that they nearly resemble one another and in the same time are very different from any other. He considered Carthage to have a excellent government which differs that from any other state in several aspects though it is some very like the Spartan. 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. Among the points in which the Carthaginian constitution resembles the Spartan are the following: The common tables of the clubs answer to the Spartan phiditia, and their magistracy of the Hundred-Four to the Ephors; but, whereas the Ephors are any chance persons, the magistrates of the Carthaginians are elected according to merit---this is an improvement. They have also their kings and their Gerousia, or council of elders, who correspond to the kings and elders of Sparta. Their kings, unlike the Spartan, are not always of the same family, nor that an ordinary one, but if there is some distinguished family they are selected out of it and not appointed by seniority---this is far better. Such officers have great power, and therefore, if they are persons of little worth, do a great deal of harm, and they have already done harm at Sparta. Most of the defects or deviations from the perfect state, for which the Carthaginian constitution would be censured, apply equally to all the forms of government which we have mentioned. But of the deflections from aristocracy and constitutional government, some incline more to democracy and some to oligarchy. The kings and elders, if unanimous, may determine whether they will or will not bring a matter before the people, but when they are not unanimous, the people decide on such matters as well. And whatever the kings and elders bring before the people is not only heard but also determined by them, and any one who dislikes may oppose it; now this is not permitted in Sparta and Crete. That the magistrates of five who have under them many important matters should be co-opted, that they should choose the supreme council of One Hundred, and should hold office longer than other magistrates (for they are virtually rulers both before and after they hold office)---these are oligarchic features; their being without salary and not elected by lot, and any similar points, such as the practice of having all suits tried by the magistrates, and not some by one class of judges or jurors and some by another, as at Sparta, are characteristic of aristocracy. The Carthaginian constitution deviates from aristocracy and inclines to oligarchy, chiefly on a point where popular opinion is on their side. For men in general think those magistrates should be chosen not only for their merit, but for their wealth: a man, they say, who is poor cannot rule well---he has not the leisure. If, then, election of magistrates for their wealth be characteristic of oligarchy, and election for merit of aristocracy, there will be a third form under which the constitution of Carthage is comprehended; for the Carthaginians choose their magistrates, and particularly the highest of them---their kings and generals---with an eye both to merit and to wealth. But we must acknowledge that, in thus deviating from aristocracy, the legislator has committed an error. Nothing is more absolutely necessary than to provide that the highest class, not only when in office, but when out of office, should have leisure and not disgrace themselves in any way; and to this his attention should be first directed. Even if you must have regard to wealth, in order to secure leisure, yet it is surely a bad thing that the greatest offices, such as those of kings and generals, 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 honourable, the other citizens are sure to follow their example; and, where virtue has not the first place, their aristocracy cannot be firmly established. Those who have been at the expense of purchasing their places will be in the habit of repaying themselves; and it is absurd to suppose that a poor and honest man will be wanting to make gains, and that a lower stamp of man who has incurred a great expense will not. Wherefore they should rule who are able to rule best. And even if the legislator does not care to protect the good from poverty, he should at any rate secure leisure for them when in office. It would seem also to be a bad principle that the same person should hold many offices, which is a favourite practice among the Carthaginians, for one business is better done by one man. The government of the Carthaginians is oligarchic, but they successfully escape the evils of oligarchy by enriching one portion of the people after another by sending them to their colonies. This is their panacea and the means by which they give stability to the state. Accident favours them, but the legislator should be able to provide against revolution without trusting to accidents. As things are, if any misfortune occurred, and the bulk of the subjects revolted, there would be no way of restoring peace by legal methods. This didn’t mean that there wasn’t any corruption in the Carthaginian government. The nobility controlled everything; the ordinary people had almost nothing to say.
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Far travels

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:26 pm

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This part deals with the exploration and travels of the Carthaginians. Its a short one.
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Far travels:





Carthaginians and Phoenicians travelled far beyond the horizon. The reason why they undertook such endeavours were economical and not for adventure and exploration. They wanted to find new areas with more resources. Phoenicians always depended on the sea for their resources; with the Carthaginians it wasn’t any different. Hanno and other travellers travelled as far as the Ivory Coast and even further to what is now known as Cameroon. There they had witnessed a volcanic eruption which they saw as a sign of the Gods. They founded small factories along the coastline. Hanno had several thousands people with him in several ships on route to discover more land and resources. They discovered an island not far from Cameroon, as the Cannarian islands and Madeira. This was done in the 5th century B.C. Carthaginian travellers explored the Sahara desert and went as far as the river Niger. It is even suggested that Carthaginian ships even reached the shores of Britannia and maybe even Scandinavia. The Carthaginians wanted a way to reach the Celtic peoples in Gallia, but native tribes as Greeks prevented the Carthaginians to reach the Celts in Gallia. Some sources say that the Carthaginian explorers found an island west of Morocco, but this could be referred to Madeira and not Atlantis or America for that matter. A nation of seafarers would suggest that they nourished their traders and seafarers, but that was further than the truth. The traders and seafarers were probably better of somewhere else. The fact that they were able to reach the shores of what is now Ivory Coast is a real accomplishment. It is one of these things that get overlooked in history, like the discovery of America by the Vikings, 500 years before Columbus. The Carthaginian Himilco might even reached the shores of Britannia in search of tin. Phoenicians are known for their skills at sea, but Carthage is known as the enemy of Rome which was defeated by the Romans. It went into history as the loser of the power struggle between Rome and Carthage. Carthage doesn’t get its due that it deserves. Herodotus states that at the behest of pharaoh Necho (610-595 B.C.) the Phoenicians sailed around Africa in 3 years. But if this is true to yet to be seen. Just like the other fact that they supposedly were the first people who travelled to the Americas. If this is true, than there are some answers to several questions asked about the Americas, like the pyramids of the Aztecs en Mayans. If the Phoenicians really reached the Americas, than it is possible that they influenced the architecture of the peoples in the Americans. But to my knowledge this is still speculation. So far I know, the Vikings were the first to ever reach the Americas and it ended in a tragedy where all colonists were killed by the natives.
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Expansion and supremacy

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:28 pm

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Expansion and Supremacy

Carthage in antiquity was due to its strategic location close to Sicily and Italy and near the mouth of Medjerda River (then the Bagradas) -- often depicted on Roman coins. The river runs through an incredibly fertile valley -- the nourishing spine of Tunisia. This is the heart of the wheat-and-olive-growing areas, and it was subsequently a source of food supplies for Rome. Starting near what was the Roman military camp of Timgad in eastern Algeria, the river continues through the ancient Libyan/Berber city of Dougga (Thugga) and NE to Carthage and Utica, both of which were bursting ports, Punic and (later) Roman cities, strongholds and commercial centres. The quarries first exploited by the Libyans, include those at Chemtou near the Algerian border. These yielded a beautiful yellow and sometimes even pinkish marble (giallo antico) much prized by the Romans. The eastern coast area (Sahel) between Sousse (ancient Hadrumetum) and the fishing ports of Mahdia to the south has a pleasant climate. Mahdia was the site of a shipwreck in the early first century BC; bronze sculptures by major Hellenistic Greek artists (such as Boethos of Chalcedon) poured into the sea just off the coast. Mahdia was also a pottery-making region where an elegant African Red Slip Ware was produced. Berbers (the term is a misnomer, since it is derived from the Greek ba/rbaros and the Latin barbarus and means a group that is foreign, strange and savage). They were semi- nomads who lived off the land, tended flocks and carried their wealth with them as they migrated seasonally to warmth, shelter and food. They inhabited central Tunisia in the Capsian period- the 9th or the 8th millennium BC (Capsa was the ancient name of Gafsa). The Capsians, sometimes referred to as the Proto-Mediterraneans, began to spread across the Mahreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) in the 8th millennium. Rock engravings and sculptures like those found at El Mekta (near Gafsa) seem to date from the 7th millennium BC. The animals depicted on them stress the importance of hunting. Many Tunisian Berbers had their own dialects. They have no written literature, although numerous ancient Libyan inscriptions have been found. The Carthaginians began by paying a quit-rent or custom to the natives, but that did not last very long; they made war, and exacted tribute from the original possessors of the soil. When Carthage suffered from over-population colonies were dispatched out west along the coast, and down south into the interior. These colonies were more on the Roman than the Greek pattern; the emigrants built cities and intermarried freely with the Berbers, for there was no difference of colour between them, and little difference of race. In course of time the whole of the habitable region was subdued; the Tyrian factory became a mighty empire. Many of the roving tribes were broken in; the others were driven into the desert or into wild Morocco. A line of fortified posts and block-houses protected the cultivated land. The desire to obtain red cloth and amber and blue beads secured the allegiance of many unconquerable desert tribes, and by their means, although the camel had not yet been introduced, a trade was opened up between Carthage and Timbuktu. Negro slaves, bearing tusks of ivory on their shoulders and tied to one another so as to form a chain of flesh and blood, were driven across the terrible desert—a caravan of death, the route of which was marked by bones bleaching in the sun. Gold dust also was brought over from those regions of the Niger, and the Carthaginian traders reached the same land by sea. The Carthaginians were not content to trade only on the Morocco coast as far as Mogador. By good fortune there has been preserved the log-book of an expedition which sailed to the wood-covered shores of Guinea; saw the hills covered with fire, as they always are in the dry season when the grass is being burnt; heard the music of the natives in the night; and brought home the skins of three chimpanzees which they probably killed near Sierra Leone. Carthage maintained an iron grip on the entire coast, from the Gulf of Sidra to the Atlantic coast of Morocco, establishing many new settlements to protect its monopoly of trade. These were mostly small places, probably of only a few hundred inhabitants. The Greeks called them emporia, markets where native tribes brought articles to trade, which could also serve as anchorages and watering places. Permanent settlements in modern Libya were few and dated after the attempt of Dorieus to plant a Greek colony there. Though in time fishing and agriculture played a part in their wealth, Leptis Magna with its neighbours Sabratha and Oea (Tripoli) became rich through trans-Saharan trade; Leptis Magna was the terminus of the shortest route across the Sahara linking the Mediterranean with the Niger. A Carthaginian named Mago is said to have crossed the desert several times, but doubtless much of the trade (in precious stones and other exotics) came through intermediate tribes. Other stations on the Gulf of Gabes included Zouchis, known for its salted fish and purple dye, Gigthis (Bu Ghirarah), and Tacape (Qabis, Gabès). North of Thaenae was Acholla, traditionally an offshoot of the Phoenician settlement on Malta, Thapsus (Rass Dimas), Leptis Minor, and Hadrumetum, the largest city on the east coast of Tunisia. From Neapolis (Nabul, Nabeul), a road ran direct to Carthage across the base of the Cap Bon peninsula. The foreign policy of Carthage was very different from that of the motherland. The Phoenicians had maintained an army of mercenaries, but had used them only to protect their country from the robber kings of Damascus and Jerusalem. They had many ships of war, but had used them only to convoy their round-bellied ships of trade and to keep off the attacks of the Greek and Etruscan pirates. Their settlements were merely fortified factories; they made no attempt to reduce the natives of the land. If their settlements grew into colonies they let them go. But Carthage founded many colonies and never lost a single one. To her subject people Carthage acted as a tyrant. She had even deprived the old Phoenician cities of their liberty of trade. She would not allow them to build walls for fear they should rebel, loaded them with heavy burdens grievous to be borne, treated the colonial provinces as conquered lands, and sent decayed nobles as governors to wring out of the people all they could. If the enemies of Carthage invaded Africa they would meet Carthage was accused by its enemies in antiquity of oppressing and exacting excessive tribute from its subjects. The same thing was also done by other conquerors from other nations. It was the Libyans of the interior who suffered most, though few were reduced to slavery. During the First Punic War, Libyans are said to have had to pay one-half of their crops as tribute, and it is supposed that the normal exaction was a quarter, a burdensome imposition. They also were required to provide troops, and from the early 4th century they formed the largest single element in the Carthaginian army; it is unlikely that they received pay except in booty before the Punic Wars. The Carthaginians are said to have "admired not those governors who treated their subjects with moderation but those who exacted the greatest amount of supplies and treated the inhabitants most ruthlessly. In a revolt (241-237 BC), mercenaries, unpaid after the Carthaginian defeat in the First Punic War, revolted and for a while controlled much of Carthage's North African territory. It was fought with great atrocities on both sides, and the Libyans were among the most fervent of the rebels. They even issued coins on which the name Libyan appears (in Greek), which probably indicates a growing ethnic consciousness. Notwithstanding this relationship, Carthaginian civilization had profound effects on the material culture of the Libyans.
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Carthage in Sicily

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 10:37 am

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Carthage in Sicily

Until 480 B.C. Carthage had a non- expansion policy. When a war broke out between several Greek cities on Sicily, Carthage sent a fleet to help out some cities to protect their overseas investments. The war was a disaster. Carthage suffered a defeat. They were defeated by Gelon of Syracuse and his allies. Carthage had by than expanded its domain beyond the coast of North African coast. It was ready to renew its adventures against the Sicilian Greeks. A somewhat cold war took place that lasted over a century, but in 40 B.C. with the help of Segesta turned the war into revenge of the defeat the Carthaginians suffered in 480 B.C. By than there were already several Phoenician settlements in Northwest Sicily. With the help of these Phoenician settlements and Segesta, the allied forces quickly destroyed the coastal Sicilian city of Selinunte (Selinus), Segesta long-time enemy. Then the Carthaginian forces spred across Sicily to Himera on the northern coast, site of their overwhelming defeat just 69 years earlier. Led by Syracuse, other Greek cities of the island rapidly sent support to Himera. After seizing Himera in a furious assault and slaughtering its inhabitants, the victorious Carthaginian leader returned to Carthage, leaving his forces in firm control of the entire area to the north and west of the captured cities. During the 4th century most of the region's wars were caused by the attempts of various rulers of Syracuse to drive the Carthaginians out of Sicily; three of these (398-392, 382-375, and 368) were with Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse. Three years later the Carthaginians attacked again, this time seizing and sacking the major stronghold at Agrigento (Acragas). The invaders then turned their sights on Gela. Syracuse, now emerging under the leadership of Dionysius from a period of political instability, moved to intervene. Dionysius' army soon withdrew in defeat and Gela fell as well. Dionysius' enemies, perhaps with justification, accused him of entering a secret arrangement with the Carthaginians, allowing Gela to fall in exchange for a subsequent truce that strengthened his still-shaky hold on power in Syracuse. In any event, the Carthaginians halted their advance and Dionysius was left with control of Syracuse and the remaining Greek area except Messina and the some settlements, which became independent. At this point, however, the tide of affairs turned in favour of Syracuse and its allies. By 398 B.C. Dionysius felt strong enough to launch an attack against one of the Carthaginian strongholds. Carthage reacted strongly and soon had Syracuse itself under siege, but in a sudden reversal the Carthaginians were routed and driven entirely from Sicily. Carthage found that she had lost all she had gained since her original invasion of 409 BC. In further campaigns in the ensuing ten years, Syracuse and her allies repulsed a new attack from Carthage and then moved offensively with a territorial expansion of her own, seizing--temporarily--territory in the "toe" of the Italian mainland across the Street of Messina. In the end Carthage had not gained any territories from the war and found itself limited to the Phoenician settlements in northwest Sicily. But Syracuse was severely weakened by the war and through several domestic successions. Syracuse lost its hegemony over the Greek settlements in Sicily. Syracuse was reduced to a sphere of dominance in eastern Sicily, and events were set in motion for the appearance of a new and overwhelming player on the scene: Republican Rome.
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Carthaginian Iberia (Spain)

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 1:36 pm

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Carthaginian Iberia

After the failure of the first Punic War, the Barcide clan sought to establish a Carthaginian stronghold in Spain in event of something bad would happen to Carthage. Hasdrubal, brother of Hannibal allegedly thought of founding a colony on Madeira in case Carthage was taken. It is unclear if he executed his plan. Carthage Nova, New Carthage of Cartagena, was the name of the city Hasdrubal founded in Spain, it was the new Carthage. Hasdrubal didn’t start a city from scratch, he expanded the ancient city of Mastia into New Carthage. Not much is known of Hasdrubal the fair, the brother in law of Hamilcar Barco. When Hamilcar died during a flood in 229 B.C., Hasdrubal succeeded the general, for that Hannibal was found to young to succeed his father. Hasdrubal the Fair made Hannibal his admiral when he became chief of the Carthaginian- Spanish army. Hasdrubal the Fair was not really warlike like Hamilcar, but was more of a politician. Hasdrubal the Fair wanted to create a new Carthaginian state with a monarchy as the ruling government and not an oligarchy. He created Nova Carthage after Hellenic model. The Romans became aware of the power of Hasdrubal the Fair after being alerted by the Greeks of Empirion. They sent a ultimatum to Carthage but made a treaty with Sagunto. This treaty negotiated by the aristocratic party in the Spanish port, was attacked by the popular faction. Hasdrubal the Fair was forced by the Romans to execute the leaders of the opposition and he had to accept. Hasdrubal the fair made a treaty with Rome that the Ebro was the final border of Carthage and that he would not cross it. But the Carthaginian monarch still continued his policy of developing relations with a Iberian princess beyond the Jucar. Hasdrubal the fair’s agents helped the federate the tribes of Catalonia and Edecon and united those of Aragon. His final goal was to isolate the friends of Rome in their coastal towns. The reign of Hasdrubal the Fair ended with his death by the hands of a Celt who had sworn not to survive the death of his master and stabbed the Carthaginian monarch until he died. The Carthaginian armies in Spain, though hardly uniform in composition, shared certain common features. They were generally composed of both African and Spanish contingents. The African professional troops were considered far more valuable than the Iberian tribal levies. The Carthaginian military had a different makeup than the original. The heavy infantry spearmen of Libya formed the backbone. They were armed with pikes or long spears, and probably fought in a formation similar to the Macedonian phalanx. The Libyan infantry proved to be a match for Rome's legionaries throughout the Second Punic War. These spearmen were augmented by Balearic slingers, renowned as the finest missile troops in the world at the time, along with Numidian archers and javelinmen. It was, however, the mounted arm of the Carthaginian army that was decidedly superior to its Roman counterpart. The javelin-armed Numidians were far and away the finest light cavalry in the western world. Those superb horsemen provided Carthage the margin of victory time and again. Heavy cavalry, in the form of Libyan-Phoenician horsemen, though few in numbers, provided shock action to complement the fire of the Numidians. A key element of the Carthaginian army was its elephants. Hannibal took elephants across the Alps, but most died on the journey or after the battle of the Trebbia.
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Jul 31, 2004 1:37 pm

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Carthaginian Army

During the 6th and 5th centuries, most military commands were held by kings, but later the generalship was apparently dissociated from civil office. Even in the time of the kings, military authority appears to have been conferred upon the kings only for specific campaigns or in emergencies. The generals are said to have been regarded as potential overthrowers of the legal government, but in fact there is no record of any army commander's having attempted a coup d'état. Thus, unlike a Roman consul, the Suffetes did not take part in military affairs and the Carthaginians appointed professional generals, who were separate from the civil government. The Phoenician populations were always small, and since these communities depended on trade to survive, it was decided to exempt citizens from military service under normal circumstances, and to use the wealth of the community to hire mercenary armies. For this they were criticized by 19th and early 20th century scholars, who valued the military service of the modern nation state (conscript armies of citizens loyal to the state), and for this reason compared the Carthaginian army unfavorably with the native army of the Romans. In fact, the Carthaginian military seems to have been no worse than the Roman, and proved disloyal only at the end of the First Punic War, when the Carthaginians could not pay rewards they had promised.
Up to the 6th century, the armies of Carthage were apparently citizen levies similar to those of all city-states of the early classical period. But Carthage was too small to provide for the defense of widely scattered settlements, and it turned increasingly to mercenaries, officered by Carthaginians, with citizen contingents appearing only occasionally. By the 3rd century BC, citizens were excluded from military service (to manage Punic trading interests and industries). Given the limited Carthaginian population (even though the city probably did eventually have a population in the low 100,000s), the decision seems to have made sense. If they had fought the Romans with their own population, they probably would have succumbed earlier than they did, and their mercenary military came close to defeating the Romans. Carthage was served quite well by its officer corp despite very exacting Punic standards. They usually crucified generals who lost and were reluctant to reinforce winning generals, too many troops feed tyrannical ambitions. This is seen in the Punic Wars. Being traders, the Carthaginians naturally were skilled seamen and had a particularly potent navy of about 200 ships. This was of course necessary to maintain contact with their overseas settlements. Since the Carthaginians needed money for their armies and navy, they were apparently severe in their exactions of money from the native populations they controlled, especially among the Berbers. As merchants, they had a bad reputation among the Greeks. There are numerous references to them in the Odyssey, uniformly hostile.
Libyans were considered particularly suitable for light infantry, the inhabitants of the later Numidia and Mauretania for light cavalry; Iberians and Celtiberians from Spain were used in both capacities. In the 4th century the Carthaginians also hired Gauls, Campanians, and even Greeks. The disadvantages of mercenary armies were more than outweighed by the fact that Carthage could never have stood the losses incurred in a whole series of wars in Sicily and elsewhere. Very little is known about the manning of the Carthaginian fleet; technically, it was not overwhelmingly superior to those of the Greeks, but it was larger and had the benefit of experienced sailors from Carthage's maritime settlements. The Carthaginian army was composed primarily of mercenary troops. Africa, Spain and Gaul were their recruiting grounds, an inexhaustible treasury of warriors as long as the money lasted which they received as pay. The Berbers were a splendid cavalry; they rode without saddle or bridle, a weapon in each hand; on foot they were merely a horde or savages with elephant-hide shields, long spears, and bear-skins floating from their shoulders. The troops of Spain were the best infantry that the Carthaginians possessed; they wore a white uniform with purple facings; they fought with pointed swords. The Gauls were brave troops but were badly armed; they were naked to the waist; their cutlasses were made of soft iron and had to be straightened after every blow. The Balearic Islands supplied a regiment of slingers whose balls of hardened clay whizzed through the air like bullets, broke armour, and shot men dead. The Sacred Legion in the Sicilian wars was composed of young nobles, who wore dazzling white shields and breast-plates which were works of art; who even in the camp never drank except from goblets of silver and of gold. But this corps had apparently become extinct, and the Carthaginians only officered their troops, who they looked upon as ammunition, and to whom their orders were delivered through interpreters. The various regiments of the Carthaginian army had therefore nothing in common with one another or with those by whom they were led. They rushed to battle in confusion, "with sounds, discordant as their various tribes," and with no higher feeling than the hope of plunder or the excitement which the act of fighting arouses in the brave soldier.
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Carthaginian dynasties

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:30 am

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Carthaginian dynasties: The Magonids


Around 550 B.C. a Carthaginian ruler name Mago started a new dynasty that made some reforms in Carthage. The foreign policy became more aggressive than before. Until 550 B.C. Carthage only had a colony on Ibiza. Now Mago wanted to conquer new territories. It is a wrong assumption that Mago and his successors were kings. They were tyrants who ruled for a certain amount of time, after which they had to seek re-election. It is possible that Mago and the whole Magonide dynasty of warlike rulers where elected high-priests. Mago’s greatest political achievement was probably the alliance between the Etruscans and the Carthaginians. This alliance only lasted until Rome had thrown out its Etruscan kings. Rome made a alliance with Carthage under Mago. This was probably more to make sure that Rome was safe for a certain amount of time, so it could strengthen their position (political, military and economical). Mago was succeeded by his nephew Hamilcar, son of Hanno. The Persians and even the Greeks might have made alliances with Carthage in the 5th century B.C. When the battle of Himera broke out between Carthaginian forces and Sicilian Greek forces, the Greeks in Hellas had probably at the same time to deal with the Persian threat. It is unclear that the battle of Himera took place on the same day as the battle of Thermopylae. In 480 B.C. Hamilcar was succeeded by Hanno the navigator. Hanno the Navigator was the son of Hamilcar. Hanno explored the African dominions and the Atlantic coast. In 410 BC Hannibal (son of Gisco and grandson of Hamilcar) became the 'king' of Carthage. No sooner was he in power he already set out on a new campaign in Sicily, which in 409 BC ended in the utter destruction of the city of Selinus, ally of the powerful Greek city state of Syracuse. Hannibal achieved true notoriety with the sheer destruction he wrought and with the cruelty with which he slaughtered thousands of prisoners. It was at the siege of the Greek city of Agrigentum that an epidemic swept through the Carthaginian camp which killed Hannibal. Hannibal's cousin Himilco (son of Hanno the Navigator and grandson of Hamilcar) now assumed the reigns of power over Carthage. He was only formerly crowned king in 396 BC, but this most likely means that a Carthaginian 'king' could only be installed in the city of Carthage itself and so he had to wait to receive his title formally until he returned home from Sicily. He should spend his time on Sicily in an on-and-off war with the great Syracusan tyrant Dionysius until in 396 BC he was disastrously defeated, fleeing Sicily in disgrace with Carthaginian refugees whilst abandoning his remaining mercenary troops to be slaughtered by the victorious Greeks. Himilco later committed suicide. The Magonid dynasty itself was, so it seems, not quite finished yet. Mago, Himilco's nephew inherited the title of leader at first. His first task was to try and quell a Libyan revolt which came close to overthrowing Carthaginian rule altogether. Thereafter he set out to Sicily again and later even to southern Italy, to occupy himself with Dionysius. What Mago lacked in military ability he made up for with diplomatic skill. But finally he fell in the Battle of Cronion (378 BC) in southern Italy against the Syracusian army. Alas, Carthage and Syracuse agreed a peace. What is intriguing about this time is that, if earlier 'kings' of Carthage, though required to put important decisions to the Council of Elders, had enjoyed almost absolute power.
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Carthaginian dynasties continues

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:34 am

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The Hannonians

The title of King of tyrant was still used but it had lost most of its power. The aristocracy gained in power through the Council of Elders which was similar to the Senate in Rome. Than there was a People’s Assembly who acted a deciding party of the king and the Council of Elders couldn’t agree on something. The Tribunal of the 104 acted more as the highest court filled with aristocrats. Two factions quickly emerged. One was led by Eshmuniaton, who was apparently favoured by the aristocrats, the other was Hanno, the Great who was appointed commanded of the Carthaginian forces was a military but also a aristocrat. In his position, Hanno was more likely to occupy the title and position of King. Hanno enjoyed great support as the war with Syracuse was once more renewed and Carthage was gripped by nationalism. His enemy Eshmuniaton was soon disposed of in the courts, condemned for treason. After the death of Dionysius in 367 B.C., the hostilities ended. An alliance between Syracuse and Tarentum strengthened the Greeks. This strength was seen as a threat to both the Carthaginians and the Etruscans who signed a pact to protect themselves from such a increased Greek power. Hanno could now dedicate himself to other conquests after peace was made with Syracuse. He fought campaigns in Spain and Mauretania. At one point Hanno sought to overthrow the Council of Elders by assassinating them. When that failed, he attempted to organize a revolt. This to failed and Hanno, the great as executed in a gruesomely brutal fashion along with most relatives. The date is unknown but it very well be in the years of 350 B.C. Eshmuniaton and Hanno created a balance in power in Carthage, very much like the two consuls in Rome or the two kings in Sparta. With the removal of Eshmuniaton, this balance became unstable. All it needed was the death of Hanno to restore the balance of power in Carthage.
In 345 B.C. the Carthaginians launched a large scale military campaign in Sicily. Syracuse, now severely weakened by internal turmoils, but reinforced by Corinthian troops, it was able to drive away the Carthaginian troops. Carthage under command of Mago send a force of 50.000 infantry back by cavalry and a large fleet war chariots and a lot of siege engines. This all could not prevent the Carthaginians to suffer a defeat. Mago, knowing he would be sentenced to death by the Tribunal of 104, committed suicide. However, Carthage send another army under command of Hasdrubal and Hamilcar who were defeated at the battle of Crimisus. It was ranked among the greatest Carthaginian military disasters. Hasrubal was executed. Hanno’s family gained support and became popular as public passion ran high and imperialist powers surrounding the survivors of Hanno’s family gained the upper hand. Hanno’s son, Gisco was recalled from exile and became king, a title he was able to pas on to his son. With Gisco a new peace with the Greeks was achieved. During his reign, Carthage became wealthier and trade was booming.
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Carthaginian dynasties continues....

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:34 am

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The only problem surrounding the sucssion of kigns is that to many men bared the same name. Gisco was succeeded by his son Hamilcar who beared the same name as the Hamilcar who helped Agathokles to power in Syracuse and was ousted from position for this. Agathoklos surprised Carthage by attacking them on their own territory. Carthage, in a state of panic, appointed two commanders to fend of the attackers. The one was called Bomilcar, nephew of Hamilcar, who made a initial treaty with Agathoklos. Despite their joint heritage, Bomilcar’s line of the family was in bitter rivalry with that of Hamilcar’s. Of the two leaders at Carthage Hanno soon fell in battle. Bomilcar had to retreat, if not flee, before the army of Agathokles. At such time of crisis Carthage reverted partly back to its old ways, sacrificing 300 children of noble birth. But Agathokles did not possess the forces necessary to attack the well fortified city of Carthage and instead contented himself in raiding the countryside in an effort to bring the territories of Carthage to switch their allegiance to his side. If king Hamilcar in Sicily did send some troops back to Africa then he retained his main army to continue the siege of Syracuse. He was however captured during one assault and died a gruesome death at the hands of his enemies’ torturers. And so in 309 BC the title of melek (king) passed on to Bomilcar, nephew of the Hamilcar. But as with Hanno the Great he once more united the position of general and sole leader in his person. But rather than concentrating on the enemy, Bomilcar put his efforts into an attempt of overthrowing the Council of Elders and seizing power for himself in 309-308 B.C. However, his attempt saw a popular uprising, with the people taking up arms against his troops. Bomilcar himself was captured, tortured and crucified.
This latest attempt by a Carthaginian 'king' to make himself a tyrant was the final straw for the Council of Elders and they abolished the monarchy altogether. The title of 'king' was still used thereafter, but was purely honorary and held no constitutional powers. Power in future should lie with the Council of Elders and the generals.
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Postby Anonymous on Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:51 pm

Salvete.

The origin of Carthagenias are Phonethians, hence semitic. About it speak also Carthagenian language. Same words that I know by it are the same or near to Hebrew. For example - the Chif Ruler ( President ) - Shofet by Carthagenian, Shofet - judge. The maney - shekel, by Hebrew - the same - shekel - money. Carthagena( Carfagen) - New Village, By Hebrew village - Cfar. Baal it is by Hebrew Master, Boss. A second name Barko also have place in Israel. Hannibaal - joy of Lord, by Hebrew - Eanny of Baal, that is Lord.
That are a words I only know. Without doubt there are much analogous words at the Carthagenians and Hebrew languages.
Sorry for not well English.
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:55 pm

No worries about the English, Medice, your meaning is clear. Thank you for the examples.

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