CARTHAGE, the most celebrated Phoenician colony, founded by Queen Dido about 880 B. c., who came thither with a body of aristocrats, fleeing from the democratic party of Tyre.

Carthage was located in Africa, occupying a portion of the region now included in Tunis. Queen Dido fled from Tyre after the murder of her husband. She built up a colony around which great commercial interests centered, and the city of Carthage rose to vast importance among the ancient cities in Northern Africa. The population of the city before the time of its destruction was about 700,000. It was built on a peninsula about three miles wide, across which was constructed a triple wall with lofty towers. Every side of the city was defended by a wall.

The Carthaginianc traders brought immense wealth, thus resulting in the construction of massive buildings and in lavishing them with magnificent adornments. A double harbor served for merchants' ships and for the navy. The admiral's palace occupied a lofty island in the center of the inner harbor. At the time of its greatest prosperity Carthage occupied a site twenty-three miles in circumference, with a population probably greater than that of ancient Rome. Its navy was the largest in the world; at the time Regulus made his famous attack on Carthage it consisted of 350 vessels and 150,000 men.

Although initially only a city state, Carthage's power and influence grew quickly. The Carthaginians conquered Sardinia in the 6th century a. c. and entered upon a war for the possession of Sicily. They founded colonies on the western coast of Africa, contended for the possession of the Strait of Gibraltar, and invaded Spain and Gaul. Carthage's imperial ambitions brought it into conflict with another rising power in the region, Rome.

The history of Carthage is divided into three epochs for convenience in study. The first extends from its foundation to 410 a. c., and includes the rise and development of national power. The second extends from 410 to 265 B. c., and embraces the period of wars with Greece and Sicily. The third epoch embraces the period from 265 to 146 B. c., and includes the wars with Rome, ending with its fall and destruction.

In the first period colonization was widely extended and treaties were made with other powers. Among the most famous were those concluded with Rome in 509 B. c., in 348, and in 306. Its people were noted for their interests in commercial enterprises and the early wars were hut the natural result of an extending commerce and colonization. The first Punic War extended over twenty-three years, from 264 to 241. It was a period of contention for the occupation of Sicily and resulted in the expulsion of the Carthaginians from the island. What Carthage lost in Sicily was more than regained by the conquest of Spain under the skillful military achievements of General Hamilcar and his son, in-law, Hasdrubal.

After the death of these two distinguished generals, Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, took charge of the army and rose to eminence, establishing for himself a place among the most noted generals of the world. He organized the forces of Carthage in Spain and entered upon the second Punic War in the year 218 B. c., when he crossed the Alps with a powerful army and proceeded into Italy. His successes astounded the world, routing the best soldiers of Rome and gaining victories at Lake Trasimeno, Trebbia, and Cannae. For seventeen years he harassed Rome and brought it to the verge of ruin. After the Battle of Cannae, he sent a bushel of gold rings to Carthage, the ornaments of Roman knights. One-fifth of the Roman populace able to bear arms had fallen Continued ....

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