The Ancient City of Carthage

Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, located between the Tunisian capital city of Tunis and the Gulf of Tunis.

The Former City of Carthage

In ancient times, this was a very large city. A population of 500 thousand to 750 thousand was considered massive, whereas now we would consider this pretty small. The city of Rome at its zenith (100 AD) was only about 1 million people.

Most cities in the West wouldn’t see population higher than 500 thousand until after the Middle Ages (London during the time of the Black Death was only about 50 thousand people).

The harbour of Carthage
The harbour of Carthage

Carthage city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the 3rd Punic War in 146 BC and then re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the most important city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. The city was destroyed by Umayyad forces after the Battle of Carthage in 698 to prevent it from being reconquered by the Byzantine Empire. It remained occupied throughout the Muslim period and was used as a fort by the Muslims until the Hafsid period when it was taken by the Crusaders. The Hafsids decided to destroy its defenses so it couldn’t be used as a fortification by an opposed power again.

Nowadays, Carthage is a suburb of Tunis and has a population of just over 20 thousand.

Related post:
A faithful reconstruction of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (1200 AD)

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