[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
Ancient Carthage (from Phoenician Qart-ḥadašt) was a Semitic civilization centered on the Phoenician city-state of Carthage, located in North Africa on the Gulf of Tunis, outside what is now Tunis, Tunisia. It was founded in 814 BC. Originally a dependency of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Carthage gained independence around 650 BC and established a hegemony over other Phoenician settlements throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa and what is now Spain which lasted until the end of the 3rd century BC. At the height of the city’s prominence, its political influence extended over most of the western Mediterranean and it was one of the major trade hubs.
For much of its history, Carthage was in a constant state of struggle with the Greeks on Sicily and the Roman Republic, which led to a series of armed conflicts known as the Greek-Punic Wars and Punic Wars. They also had to deal with the volatile Berbers, the indigenous inhabitants of the entire area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Carthage was destroyed and then occupied by Roman forces. Nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies fell into Roman hands from then on.