A Study Of The Historical Significance Of Carthage

The Romans are often the first to come to mind, followed by the Egyptians, then the Mayans. But, what is greatness and what makes a civilization live on through history and others fade into dust? Does a civilisation’s longevity make it great? Is it great that a civilisation has claimed any territory? Is it great that a culture produces heroes? Carthage is a city that is largely unknown, despite its wealth and military might. In this essay, I will argue that Carthage has been one of Africa’s or the world’s most important civilisations.

Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians, who were renowned as intrepid seafarers, skilled engineers and merchants. They also had talented artisans and scribes. Carthage’s founding was done by the Phoenicians. These were seafarers who were also skilled engineers, traders, artisans, scribes and clever merchants. They passed on this alphabet to their neighbors and to Western Civilisation. Dido may have been the Founder of Carthage. This information comes from Greek, Roman and Tyre chronicles. Dido had an upbringing that was considered privileged, and she performed duties as a royal princess. This included arranging a marriage for her to her mother’s younger brother. Pygmalion wanted to kill Dido and her husband in order to get his wealth. Dido fled for fear of her life. Dido left together with the city’s elite, showing that she could be a leader in any position. Dido and the aristocracy fled to Cyprus to gain the trust of eighty virgins set to prostitute themselves in the temple dedicated to Aphrodite. Dido, her party, and the eighty virgins she saved, showed her to be very clever and witty. They then landed near a North African peninsula that is now Tunisia. Dido exchanged land for the peninsula. Kirjath Hadeschath was then founded 100 years before the Roman Empire, which is now known as Carthage.

Carthage, and in particular the wealthier classes, lived in the town, where even the poorer classes, including the slaves, generally enjoyed a standard of living well above that of their rural counterparts. Even the slaves enjoyed a better standard of living than the rural population. Carthage had a wealth that allowed them to be a major world power.

As Bosworth ,”… has shown, Carthage chose to avoid war in it’s early years. Why would they spend their gold on foreign mercenaries, hoping to extend their dominance inland, and in vain resist the mighty rulers of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon, who were able to defeat them? The strength of the Carthaginians was to be still and acknowledge the supremacy of those who claimed it. When the time came to do so, they would buy the intruder. Carthage showed restraint. Their restraint was a sign of power. Carthage is not cowardly because they weren’t violent. Carthage’s military has seen many victories and losses throughout history, most of which are part of the Punic Wars. The Punic Wars were three smaller wars fought between 264 BC and 146 BC. Hamilcar Barca – a powerful general who also happened to be the father a future Rome’s main enemy – was Carthage’s leading general during the first Punic Wars, which took place between 264 BC-241 BC. The war was fought to control Sicily. It was 23 years before the war ended. This shows just how great a general Hamilcar really was. He managed to hold back an army of superior numbers with better technology. Hamilcar was one of the leaders who made the Carthaginians great.

Carthage might have had great generals such as Hamilcar and Hasdrubal but none was more renowned than Hannibal Barca. Rome actually requested Hannibal Barca when Carthage eventually surrendered. She no longer feared Carthage, but she feared its citizens. Rome feared Hannibal as he was a great strategist in Africa. Hannibal’s marching of an army across the alps is one of his most famous military feats. Hannibal, a tactical planner, chose a route that took him through Gaul and the Alps in order not to meet Romans near to the coast. Livy writes, “This is not the shortest route, but Hannibal prefered it. As the farther he travelled from the shore, the less he’d encounter Roman resistance. Hannibal didn’t want a strength test until he reached Italy.” The writings show that Hannibal meticulously planned and had a strong Hannibal was a man of history, he made history by marching an army through the Alps. This was a very bold move, as no army this size had crossed the Alps. Hannibal didn’t want to conquer Italy; he wanted to destroy it. Hannibal was hampered by ambushes and snowstorms from the Gaulic tribes. Hannibal did not stop marching into Northern Italy even though his losses were recorded at about a tenth of the men he led. This is a good example of how Carthage, and Africa as a whole, became great. Hannibal took his army to Cartagena. There he gathered one of the largest armies in ancient history, near 90000 soldiers consisting of Carthaginians as well as mercenaries and Numidians from Libya and Numidia. It was an accomplishment for both the ancient and modern worlds. Hannibal took his army into Cannae and fought against an army that was twice the size of theirs. They killed over 50 000 soldiers within one afternoon. Hannibal’s plans failed because the Romans ultimately won the war through attrition.

You can easily say that Carthaginian heroes like Dido, Hamilcar or Hannibal only benefitted Carthage. Their actions did not have any positive impact on Africa. It is easy to disprove by examining the details. Dido was of Phoenician origin and she, along with her party of slaves and aristocrats contributed to the technological development of Africa. Hamilcar Barca is thought to be Dido’s descendant. He bought Africa time because, if Rome hadn’t taken Sicily in 23 years, its army would have been significantly stronger in 241 BC. It’s hard to imagine how far Rome could have spread in that period. Hannibal, his son, carried on the legacy of Dido by waging war against Rome and draining Rome of the ability to wage war. How far would Rome’s invasion of Africa have gone if nothing had been done by the Carthaginians or their allies? They would have conquered Southern Africa.

Carthage had a rich history and was a city founded by Dido. Hamilcar Barca, a descendant of Dido, fathered Hannibal Barca and Hasdrubal Barca. Hannibal Barca fought one of history’s most important campaigns against the Romans. The Romans were the superpowers at the time. Carthage provided protection to Africa against the Romans and introduced Phoenician technology.


  • spencerknight

    I'm Spencer Knight, a 29-year-old educational blogger and teacher. I write about a variety of topics related to education, from teaching strategies to student success stories. I hope to help others achieve their educational goals and help them develop a lifelong love of learning.



I'm Spencer Knight, a 29-year-old educational blogger and teacher. I write about a variety of topics related to education, from teaching strategies to student success stories. I hope to help others achieve their educational goals and help them develop a lifelong love of learning.

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