If you're visiting northern Tunisia then you simply can't miss Carthage as it was here that the Romans ruled their north African empire. Carthage lies about 15km (9 miles) east of Tunis which makes it an ideal place to visit for a day out (see one of my travelogues about a walking tour). Carthage was a great ancient city and port where the military genius Hannibal lived and where Virgil wrote his Aeneid about the tragic romance between Dido, (who founded the city), and Roman Aeneas. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in 814 BC before falling to the Romans after the third Punic war in 146 BC. It then became a mighty city over a century later with walls that stretched for 34km and houses and villas that ran down from Byrsa Hill to the waterfront. It became the third largest imperial city behind Rome and Alexandria with 300,000 residents, three forums, a circus holding 70,000, mammoth baths and an amphitheatre, all of which can still be seen today. The multiple-entry ticket allows you to visit each sight during its one day validity so if, like me, you like visiting Roman ruins, you simply cannot miss visiting Carthage. Visit my Carthage page below:
Another ancient site to be visited on the outskirts of Tunis is the city of Carthage.
The city had a huge necropolis, religious area, market places, council house, towers, and a theatre, and was divided into four equally-sized residential areas with the same layout. Roughly in the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. It was one of the largest cities in Hellenistic times and was among the largest cities in pre-industrial history.
Today the archeogical sites can be found spread around and one should take a guided tour so that one does not miss one.
Civilization which developed within the city's sphere of influence, in much the same way "Rome" can refer to the city or the ancient civilization.
Originally a settlement of Phoenician colonists, Carthage grew into a vast economic power throughout the Mediterranean, accumulating wealth and influence through its economic prowess. Carthage was a contemporary superpower with the Roman Republic of the 2nd and 3rd Century BC, and was its rival for dominance of the western Mediterranean. Eventually this rivalry led to a series of wars known as the Punic Wars, in which a series of losses led to a decline in Carthage's political and economic strength, mostly due to the harsh penalties imposed on Carthage by Rome as conditions of the cessation of hostilites. The third and final Punic war ended with the complete destruction of the city of Carthage and the annexation of the last remnants of Carthaginian territory by Rome. Although a distinct Carthaginian civilization ceased to exist, remnants of it contributed to later Mediterranean culture.
The name Carthage is derived by way of Greek and Latin from the Phoenician meaning "new city." More than one Phoenician settlement originally bore this name, although only one city has the distinction of being the Carthage of the ancient world.
While the term Carthaginian is used by many modern writers, many ancient writings used the adjective Punic to describe anything to do with Carthaginian civilization, because of the Latin term Punius (earlier Poenius), itself borrowed from Greek.
Carthage remains a popular tourist attraction and residential suburb.
When I was in Tunesia, I also visited the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage which was destroyed by the Roman officer Scipio Africanus in the Punic Wars. Although there's very little left of this city, it's worth to pay a visit to this (rahter small) site.
See the remains in the old city of Carthage, Kart Hadasht, which means "the new town." It is on the outskirts of Tunis.
Carthage has been declared a national monument, along with nearby Salammbo.
The hill of Byrsa is where the legendary Princess Elissa-Dido founded Carthage in the eighth century BC.
This is an old Roman villa.
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