This was adopted as the official language of the Carthaginian Empire. Carthage was founded around BC at what is now Tunisia. It was originally a part of the Phoenician Empire, which was based in Lebanon. When the empire was invaded, Carthage remained safe and became a powerful nation of its own.
The skills of sailing and exploration that they had got from their Phoenician relatives helped them to trade and expand their lands. Carthage was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean Sea. During the 5th and 4th Centuries BC they fought against the Greeks for control of Sicily and its trade. In the 3rd Century BC they started fighting with Rome, which was getting powerful as well. It took place from - BC. The Romans were not great sailors, but somehow, they beat the Carthaginians three times in a sea battle.
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In BC the Carthaginians Surrendered. They lost Sicily, along with Sardinia and Corsica. This was the war that the great general Hannibal was famed for - he nearly defeated Rome. Hannibal marched from Spain to get to Italy over the Alps with his elephants. He defeated many Roman armies, but he could not take Rome itself. Eventually the Romans attacked Spain and Carthage itself to distract Hannibal. Hannibal was ordered to come back to Carthage to help against the Romans at the Battle of Zama.
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Hannibal was defeated and the battle ended up as a Roman victory. Carthage had to pay a lot of money to Rome and promise to recognise Rome as the greatest power. It also lost its empire in Spain and Portugal and its army was made very small. Carthage had recovered and attacked Numidia - a Roman land. This time, Rome invaded Carthage and totally destroyed the city so that it would never cause trouble again. Hannibal is by far the most famous Carthaginian.
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He led an almost successful invasion on Rome, attacking them in Spain and Northern Italy, but eventually failed. Hannibal is often connected with elephants because he used elephants against Roman Troops, however most died while crossing the Alps on the way to Rome. A famous Carthaginian from Roman mythology is Queen Dido. In the myth, she was the ruler of Carthage when Aeneas, a Trojan who had escaped from the Greek attack on Troy, landed in her kingdom.
She loved Aeneas, but he needed to find Italy where he would found the empire of the future Romans. Dido killed herself when Aeneas left Carthage.
Being the bitter enemies of the Romans, having fought over Mediterranean power and over islands like Sicily for many decades, the Roman Empire sought to totally destroyed Carthage so as to eliminate its threat altogether. Carthaginian civilization therefore ended with its conquest by Rome in the Third Punic War, where it was eventually destroyed. It is a common misconception that Rome sowed Carthage with salt after this final war.
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This is, however, a mere exaggeration showing their deep hatred; Appian, a Greek historian, tells us that the Romans colonised Carthage afterward. Hoyos, D. The Carthaginians Peoples of the Ancient World.
Ancient History Encyclopedia. Hoyos, Dexter.
Last modified July 05, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 05 Jul Rating: Audience: University Difficulty: Easy. About the Reviewer Mark Cartwright. Mark is a history writer based in Italy.
His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common.