Carthaginian /kahr'theuh jin"ee euhn/, adj., n.
/kahr"thij/, n.
1. an ancient city-state in N Africa, near modern Tunis: founded by the Phoenicians in the middle of the 9th century B.C.; destroyed in 146 B.C. in the last of the Punic Wars.
2. a town in central Missouri. 11,104.

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Ancient city and state, northern Africa.

Located near modern Tunis, Tun., it was built around a citadel called the Byrsa. Founded by colonists from Tyre, probably in the 8th century BC, its people undertook conquests in western Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia in the 6th century BC. Under the descendants of Hamilcar, it came to dominate the western Mediterranean Sea. In the 3rd century BC it fought the first of the three Punic Wars with Rome. Destroyed by a Roman army led by Scipio Africanus the Younger (146 BC), it became the site of a colony founded by Julius Caesar in 44 BC; in 29 BC Augustus made it the administrative centre of the province of Africa. Among the Christian bishops who served there were Tertullian and St. Cyprian. Captured by the Vandals in 439 and the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century, it was taken by the Arabs in the 7th century and was eclipsed by their emphasis on Tunis.

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      city, seat (1833) of Hancock county, western Illinois, U.S. It lies near the Mississippi River, about 85 miles (135 km) southwest of Davenport, Iowa. Laid out in 1833 and named for the ancient North African city (see Carthage), the community was hostile to the Mormons (Mormon) who settled at nearby Nauvoo in 1839. On June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith (Smith, Joseph), the founder of Mormonism, and his brother Hyrum, who were in the Carthage city jail awaiting trial on charges of treason, were shot to death by a mob that stormed the building. This act elevated Smith to martyrdom, and the jail is preserved as a monument. The city is an agricultural (soybeans, corn [maize], and livestock) centre, and electronics are manufactured there. Local history is preserved at the Kibbe Museum. Inc. 1837. Pop. (1990) 2,657; (2000) 2,725.

      city, seat of Jasper county, southwestern Missouri, U.S. It lies along Spring River, just east of Joplin. Established in 1842, it was named for ancient Carthage. During the American Civil War, it was a centre of border warfare and was destroyed by Confederate guerrillas in 1861; it was rebuilt in 1866. Nearby lead and zinc mines boosted the economy—at the end of the 19th century Carthage boasted more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States. Carthage is an agricultural trade centre (soybeans, wheat, corn [maize], dairy products) and is noted for its gray-marble quarries; the diversified economy includes food processing and the manufacture of furniture, footwear, spring wire products, and explosives. The stages of the Civil War Battle of Carthage (July 5, 1861) are indicated by historical markers. Belle Starr, the legendary female outlaw who served as a courier for Confederate guerrilla leader William C. Quantrill's bushwhackers, was born in or near Carthage in 1848. Inc. city, 1873. Pop. (2000) 12,668; (2005 est.) 13,096.

▪ ancient city, Tunisia
Phoenician  Kart-hadasht , Latin  Carthago 
 great city of antiquity, traditionally founded on the north coast of Africa by the Phoenicians of Tyre in 814 BC. It is now a residential suburb of the city of Tunis. Its Phoenician name means New Town.

Various traditions concerning the foundation of Carthage (World Heritage site) were current among the Greeks, who called the city Karchedon; but the Roman tradition is better known because of the Aeneid, which tells of the city's foundation by the Tyrian princess Dido, who fled from her brother Pygmalion (the name of a historical king of Tyre). The inhabitants were known to the Romans as Poeni, a derivation from the word Phoenikes (Phoenicians), from which the adjective Punic is derived.

      The date of the foundation of Carthage was probably exaggerated by the Carthaginians themselves, for it does not agree with the archaeological data. Nothing earlier than the last quarter of the 8th century BC has been discovered, a full century later than the traditional foundation date.

 The site chosen for Carthage in the centre of the shore of the Gulf of Tunis was ideal: the city was built on a triangular peninsula covered with low hills and backed by the Lake of Tunis with its safe anchorage and abundant supplies of fish. The site of the city was well protected and easily defensible. On the south the peninsula is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. The ancient citadel, the Byrsa, was on a low hill overlooking the sea. Some of the earliest tombs have been found there, though nothing remains of Carthage's domestic and public buildings.

      The standard of cultural life enjoyed by the Carthaginians was probably far below that of the larger cities of the classical world. Punic interests were turned toward commerce. In Roman times Punic beds, cushions, and mattresses were regarded as luxuries, and Punic joinery and furniture were copied. Much of the revenue of Carthage came from its exploitation of the silver mines of North Africa and southern Spain, begun as early as 800 BC.

      From the middle of the 3rd century to the middle of the 2nd century BC, Carthage was engaged in a series of wars with Rome. These wars, which are known as the Punic Wars, ended in the complete defeat of Carthage by Rome. When Carthage finally fell in 146 BC, the site was plundered and burned, and all human habitation there was forbidden.

 In 122 BC the Roman Senate entrusted Gaius Gracchus and Marcus Fulvius Flaccus with the foundation of a colony on the site of Carthage. Though the venture was unsuccessful, Julius Caesar later sent a number of landless citizens there, and in 29 BC Augustus centred the administration of the Roman province of Africa at the site. Thereafter it became known as Colonia Julia Carthago, and it soon grew prosperous enough to be ranked with Alexandria and Antioch. Carthage became a favourite city of the emperors, though none resided there. Of its history during the later empire very little is known, but from the mid-3rd century the city began to decline.

      From the end of the 2nd century it had its own Christian bishop, and among its luminaries were the Church Fathers Tertullian and St. Cyprian. Throughout the 4th and 5th centuries Carthage was troubled by the Donatist and Pelagian controversies.

      In AD 439 the Vandal ruler Gaiseric entered almost unopposed and plundered the city. Gelimer, the last Vandal king, was defeated at nearby Decimum by a Byzantine army under Belisarius, who entered Carthage unopposed (AD 533). Carthage, after its capture by the Arabs in 705, was totally eclipsed by the new town of Tunis.

  Though Roman Carthage was destroyed, much of its remains can be traced, including the outline of many fortifications and an aqueduct. The former Byrsa area was adorned with a large temple dedicated to Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva, and near it stood a temple to Asclepius. Also on the Byrsa site stood an open-air portico, from which the finest Roman sculptures at Carthage have survived. Additional remains of the Roman town include an odeum, another theatre constructed by Hadrian, an amphitheatre modeled on the Roman Colosseum, numerous baths and temples, and a circus.

      The Christian buildings within the city, with the exception of a few Vandal structures, are all Byzantine. The largest basilica was rebuilt in the 6th century on the site of an earlier one. Churches probably existed during the 3rd and 4th centuries, but of these no traces remain. The archaeological site of Carthage was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List (World Heritage site) in 1979. See also North Africa, History of: The Carthaginian period (North Africa).

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Universalium. 2010.

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