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Carthage Resort names
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Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca,(248–183 or 182 BC), commonly known as Hannibal was a Carthaginian military commander and tactician who is popularly credited as one of the most talented commanders in history. His father Hamilcar Barca was the leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War, his younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair.

Hannibal lived during a period of tension in the Mediterranean, when Rome (then the Roman Republic) established its supremacy over other great powers such as Carthage, and the Hellenistic kingdoms of Macedon, Syracuse, and the Seleucid empire. One of his most famous achievements was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. In his first few years in Italy, he won three dramatic victories Trebia, Trasimene and Cannae and won over several Roman allies.

Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years, however a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa forced Hannibal to return to Carthage, where he was decisively defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama. Scipio studied Hannibal's tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, and finally defeated Rome's nemesis at Zama having previously driven Hasdrubal, Hannibal's brother, out of Spain.


Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar Barca, (d. 207 BC) was Hamilcar's second son and a Carthaginian general in the Second Punic War. He was a younger brother of Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca.

Hasdrubal was present when the Iberians ambushed the Carthaginian forces at Acre Luce. He, along with his brother Hannibal escaped, as Hamilcar led the Iberians in the opposite direction and drowned in the River Jucar.

Hannibal, when he set out for Italy, left a force of 13,000 infantry, 2,550 cavalry and 21 war elephants in Iberia. The Punic navy had a fleet of 50 Quinqueremes and 5 Triremes stationed there. However, only 32 Quinqueremes were manned at the start of the Second Punic War.

Left in command of Hispania when Hannibal departed to Italy in 218 BC, Hasdrubal was destined to fight for six years against the brothers Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius Scipio. The expedition led by Gnaeus Scipio in 218 BC had caught the Carthaginians by surprise, and before Hasrdrubal could join Hanno, the Carthaginian commander on the North of Ebro River, the Romans had fought and won the Battle of Cissa and established their army at Tarraco and their fleet at Emporiae.

Hasdrubal raided the Romans with a flying column of light infantry and cavalry, which inflicted severe losses and on their naval crews and reduced the fighting strength to 35 ships. This loss was offset by the arrival of an allied Greek contingent from the city of Massilia.


Hamilcar Barca or Barcas (ca. 275–228 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman, leader of the Barcid family, and father of Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago. He was also father-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair. The name Hamilcar was a common name for Carthaginian men. The name Brq (or Baraq) means "thunderbolt" in the Punic language and is thus equivalent to the epithet or cognomen Keraunos, common among many contemporary Greek commanders.

Hamilcar commanded the Carthaginian land forces in Sicily during 247–241 BC during the later stages of the First Punic War. He kept his army intact and led a successful guerrilla war against the Romans in Sicily. After the defeat of Carthage in 241 BC Hamilcar retired to Africa after the peace treaty. When the Mercenary War burst out in 239 BC, Hamilcar was recalled to command and was instrumental in concluding that conflict successfully. Hamilcar commanded Carthaginian expedition to Spain in 237 BC, and for 8 years expanded the territory of Carthage in Spain before dying in battle in 228 BC.


Tanit was a Phoenician lunar goddess, worshiped as the patron goddess at Carthage where from the fifth century BCE onwards her name is associated with that of Baal Hammon and she is given the epithet pene baal ("face of Baal") and the title rabat, the female form of rab (chief). Tanit and Baal Hammon were worshiped in Punic contexts in the Western Mediterranean, from Malta to Gades into Hellenistic times. In North Africa, where the inscriptions and material remains are more plentiful, she was, as well as a consort of Baal, a heavenly goddess of war, a virginal mother goddess and nurse, and, less specifically, a symbol of fertility. Several of the major Greek goddesses were identified with Tanit by the syncretic interpretatio graeca, which recognized as Greek deities in foreign guise the gods of most of the surrounding non-Hellene cultures.

Her shrine excavated at Sarepta in southern Phoenicia revealed an inscription that identified her for the first time in her homeland and related her securely to the Phoenician goddess Astarte (Ishtar). One site where Tanit was uncovered is at Kerkouan, in the Cap Bon peninsula in Tunisia.

Tanit was also a goddess among the ancient Berber people.

Her symbol, found on many ancient stone carvings, appears as a trapezoid/trapezium closed by a horizontal line at the top and surmounted in the middle by a circle: the horizontal arm was often terminated either by two short upright lines at right angles to it or by hooks.[citation needed] Later, the trapezoid/trapezium was frequently replaced by an isosceles triangle.The symbol is interpreted by Hvidberg-Hansen as a woman raising her hands.


Dido was, according to ancient Greek and Roman sources, the founder and first Queen of Carthage (in modern-day Tunisia). She is best known from the account given by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid. In some sources she is also known as Elissa.

The name Elissa is probably a Greek rendering of the Phoenician Elishat. The name Dido, used mostly by Latin writers, seems to be a Phoenician form meaning "Wanderer" and was perhaps the name under which Elissa was most familiarly known in Carthage.

Dido, or Elisha/Elissa, was a Phoenician Queen, founder of Carthage. First-born from King of Tyre, her succession was disputed by her younger brother, Pumayyaton/Pygmalion, who murdered her husband and imposed his rule. At this point she left Tyre with a large following, starting a long voyage; main stages were Cyprus and, possibly, Malta.

Landing on Libyan coasts, about 814 BC (Timaeus' date), she chose a place to found a new capital city for her Phoenician followers: Carthage. She peacefully obtained the land by an ingenious agreement with the local lord, today known as the "Theorem of Dido". During her widowhood, she was consistently sought in marriage by local kings; but if we accept Silius Italicus, she married again, probably with a Tyrian follower, from the Barca family.

Dido promoted a significant religious reform and after a long and prosperous reign, she favored the formation of a Republic; After her death, she was deified by her people with the name of Tanit and assimilated to the Great Goddess Astarte (Roman Juno).

The cult of Tanit survived Carthage's destruction by the Romans; it was introduced to Rome itself by Emperor Septimius Severus, himself born in North Africa. It was extinguished completely with the Theodosian decrees of the late 4th century.


Mago was a Carthaginian writer, author of an agricultural manual in Punic which was a record of the farming knowledge of Carthage. The Punic text has been lost, but some fragments of Greek and Latin translations survive.

Mago's long work (it was divided into 28 books) was partly based on earlier Greek agricultural writings but no doubt incorporated local north African and Phoenician traditional practices, Carthage being a Phoenician colony.

After Rome's destruction of Carthage in 146 BC, the Carthaginian libraries were given to the kings of Numidia. Uniquely, Mago's book was retrieved and brought to Rome. It was adapted into Greek by Cassius Dionysius and translated in full into Latin by Decimus Silanus, the latter at the expense of the Roman Senate. The Greek translation was later abridged by Diophanes of Nicaea, whose version was divided into six books.


Dougga or Thugga is a Roman ruin in northern Tunisia located on a 65 hectare site.

UNESCO qualified Dougga as a World Heritage Site in 1997, believing that it represents “the best-preserved Roman small town in North Africa”. The site, which lies in the middle of the countryside, has been protected from the encroachment of modern urbanisation, in contrast, for example, to Carthage, which has been pillaged and rebuilt on numerous occasions.

Dougga’s size, its well-preserved monuments and its rich Punic, Numidian, ancient Roman and Byzantine history make it exceptional. Amongst the most famous monuments at the site are a Punic-Libyan mausoleum, the capitol, the theatre, and the temples of Saturn and of Juno Caelestis.

Dougga's history is best known from the time of the Roman conquest, even though numerous pre-Roman monuments, including a necropolis, the mausoleum, and temples have been discovered during archaeological digs. These monuments are an indication of the site's importance before the arrival of the Romans.


Utica is an ancient city northwest of Carthage near the outflow of the Medjerda River into the Mediterranean Sea, traditionally considered to be the first colony founded by the Phoenicians in North Africa. Today, Utica no longer exists, and its remains are located not on the coast where it once lay, but further inland because deforestation and agriculture upriver led to massive erosion and the Medjerda River silted over its original mouth.

"Utica" is from the Phoenician atiq meaning "old [town]," contrasting with the later colony "Carthage", meaning "new town."

Utica was founded as a port located on the trade route leading to the Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlantic, thus facilitating Phoenician trade in the Mediterranean. The actual founding date of Utica is controversial. Several classical authors date its foundation around 1100 BC. The archaeological evidence, however, suggests a foundation no earlier than the eighth century BC. Although Carthage was later founded about 40 km. from Utica, records suggest “that until 540 BC Utica was still maintaining political and economic autonomy in relation to its powerful Carthaginian neighbor”. By the fourth century BC, Utica came under Punic control but continued to exist as a privileged ally of Carthage.


This Phoenician city was probably abandoned during the First Punic War (c. 250 B.C.). The remains constitute the only example of a Phoenicio-Punic city to have survived. The houses were built to a standard plan in accordance with a sophisticated notion of town planning.

This is one of Tunisia’s most precious archaeological sites because so far it is unique. It was founded during the Punic period – perhaps in the Vth century BC – and was never rebuilt by the Romans after the third Punic war that resulted in the annexation of Africa to the Roman Empire, thereby ensuring that the urban fabric of this small, as yet unidentified city remained typically Punic.

Apparently abandoned at the end of the war with Rome before being discovered in the 50’s of the last century, the city had more or less been levelled to the ground. Yet today, the vestiges clearly reveal the plan of a typically Punic city, with the houses neatly outlined and equipped with every facility (bathtubs and ovens included) decorated with primitive mosaic pavements, one of which figures the Punic goddess Tanit.

As a coastal city, Kerkouane had a port, some parts of which have survived. It must have engaged in trade with other Mediterranean ports to which it exported agricultural produce as well as craft products, such as purple dyed cloth, as attested by the dyeing installations discovered near the coast as well as the shops also found in a commercial quarter. A museum, housing some of the objects discovered, is to be found at the entrance of the site.


Tapsus was an ancient city in what is modern day Tunisia. Its ruins exist at Ras Dimas near Bekalta, approximately 200 km southeast of Carthage. Originally founded by Phoenicians, it served as a marketplace on the coast of the province Byzacena in Africa Propria. Tapsus was established near a salt lake on a point of land eighty stadia (14.8 km) from the island of Lampedusa.
In 46 BC, Julius Caesar defeated Metellus Pius Scipio and the Numidian King Juba with a tremendous loss of men near Tapsus (see Battle of Tapsus). Caesar exacted a payment of 50,000 sesterces from the vanquished. Their defeat marked the end of opposition to Caesar in Africa. Tapsus then became a Roman colony.

Following the battle of Tapsus, Caesar renewed the siege of the city, which eventually fell. Caesar proceeded to Utica, where Cato the Younger was garrisoned. On the news of the defeat of his allies, Cato committed suicide. Caesar was upset by this and is reported by Plutarch to have said: Cato, I must grudge you your death, as you grudged me the honour of saving your life.

The battle preceded peace in Africa—Caesar pulled out and returned to Rome on July 25 of the same year. Opposition, however, would rise again. Titus Labienus, the Pompeian brothers and others had managed to escape to the Hispania provinces. The civil war was not finished, and the battle of Munda would soon follow. The battle of Tapsus is generally regarded as marking the last large scale use of war elephants in the west.


There were three leaders of ancient Carthage who were known as Hanno the Great. These figures being called: Hanno I the Great, Hanno II the Great, and Hanno III the Great.

Hanno I the Great was a politician and military leader of the 4th century BC. His title was princeps Cathaginiensium. It is considered more likely that the title signifies first among equals, rather than being a title of nobility or royalty.
His rival Suniatus was called the potentissimus Poenorum, or "the most powerful of the Carthaginians", in the year 368. Several years later Suniatus was accused of high treason (for correspondence with Syracuse) and probably executed.
In 367 Hanno the Great commanded a fleet of 200 ships which won a decisive naval victory over the Greeks of Sicily. His victory effectively blocked the plans of Dionysius I of Syracuse to attack Lilybaeum, a city allied to Carthage in western Sicily

Hanno II the Great was a wealthy Carthaginian aristocrat in the 3rd century BC. Hanno's wealth was based on the land he owned in Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, and during the First Punic War he led the faction in Carthage that was opposed to continuing the war against Roman Republic. He preferred to continue conquering territory in Africa rather than fight a naval war against Rome that would bring him no personal gain. In these efforts, he was opposed by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. Hanno demobilized the Carthaginian navy in 244 BC, giving Rome time to rebuild its navy and finally defeat Carthage by 241 BC.
After the war, Hanno refused to pay the mercenaries who had been promised money and rewards by Hamilcar. The mercenaries revolted, and Hanno took control of the Carthaginian army to attempt to defeat them. His attempt failed and he gave control of the army back to Hamilcar. Eventually, they both cooperated to crush the rebels in 238 BC.

Hanno III the Great was an ultra-conservative politician at Carthage during the 2nd century BC


Maharbal (fl. 2nd century BC) was Hannibal's cavalry commander during the Second Punic War. He was often critical to the success of the side of Carthage over Rome.

Throughout his Italian campaign Hannibal maintained an advantage in mounted soldiers and thus relied upon them and Maharbal to give himself a sizeable edge.

Maharbal is most famously known for what he allegedly said in a conversation with Hannibal immediately following the Battle of Cannae. The conversation went like this: after Maharbal expressed interest on marching to Rome immediately: "I commend your zeal," he (Hannibal) said to Maharbal, "but I need time to weigh the plan which you propose." "Assuredly," Maharbal replied, "no one man has been blessed with all God's gifts. You, Hannibal, know how to gain a victory; you do not know how to use it." The famous Latin for the last sentence of the conversation goes like this: "Vincere scis, Hannibal; victoria uti nescis."

At the battle of lake Trasimene, 6000 Romans who had escaped from the battle occupied a strong position in one of the neighbouring villages. These survivors were induced to lay down their arms, on receiving from Maharbal a promise of safety. Hannibal, however, refused to ratify the capitulation, alleging that Maharbal had exceeded his powers. He dismissed, without ransom, all those men who belonged to the Italian allies, and only retained the Roman citizens as prisoners of war.

Maharbal commanded the right wing of the Carthaginian army at the battle of Cannae.
Immediately after the victory, Maharbal urged Hannibal to push on at once with his cavalry upon Rome itself, promising him that if he did so, within five days he should sup in the Capitol. On the refusal of his commander, Maharbal is said to have observed, that Hannibal knew indeed how to gain victories, but not how to use them.


Sophonisba (fl. 203BC) was a Carthaginian noblewoman who lived during the Second Punic War, and the daughter of Hasdrubal Gisco Gisgonis

A celebrated beauty, until 206, she had been betrothed to Massinissa, the leader of the Massylian (or eastern) Numidians. But in 206 Massinissa allied himself to Rome. Hasdrubal having lost the alliance with Massinissa started to look for another ally, which he found in Syphax, King of the Masaesyli (or western Numidians). As was normal in those days, Hasdrubal used his daughter to conclude the diplomatic alliances with Syphax who had previously been allied to Rome.

When Syphax was defeated in 203 BC by Masinissa, King of Numidia, and the Romans, Masinissa fell in love with Sophonisba and married her. Scipio Africanus refused to agree to this arrangement, insisting on the immediate surrender of the princess so that she could be taken to Rome and appear in the triumphal parade. Masinissa, upbraided by Scipio for his weakness, was urged to leave her.
Masinissa feared the Romans more than he loved Sophonisba. Thus, he went to Sophonisba and swore his love to her. He told her that he could not free her from capitivity or shield her from Roman wrath, and so he asked her to die like a true Carthaginian princess. With great composure, she drank a cup of poison that he offered her. The outrage that Sophonisba escaped through suicide may not have been rape or physical violence, but from being led in a triumphal parade at Rome, with its accompanying degradations and humiliations.