April 28, 2015

1547 TUNISIA - Archaeological Site of Carthage (UNESCO WHS)

The city of Carthage, founded in the 9th century B.C. on the Gulf of Tunis, on a promontory with sea inlets to the north and the south, developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of an empire, because all ships crossing the Mediterranean Sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where the city was built. The area was before inhabited by Berber people who also became the bulk of Carthage's population and constituted a significant part of its army, economy and administration. Native Berbers and settling Phoenicians in Carthage mixed in different ways including religion and language, creating the Punic language and culture.

Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring its massive navy of 220 warships and the other for trade, and massive walls, 37 km in length, most of the them located on the shore. Carthage was not only one of the largest cities in Hellenistic times, but also one of the largest in pre-industrial history. On the other hand, the Carthaginian Republic was one of the longest-lived and largest states in the ancient Mediterranean. Unfortunately for it, in the 3rd century B.C. its interests came into conflict with those of a new power, the Roman Republic, which led to the Punic Wars (264-146 BC). At the end of the third war, Rome had conquered Carthage's empire, completely destroyed the city, and become the most powerful state of the Western Mediterranean.

However, the Romans refounded Carthage, which became the empire's fourth most important city and the second most important city in the Latin West. It later became the capital of the short-lived Vandal kingdom. It remained one of the most important Roman cities until the Muslim conquest, when it was destroyed a second time in 698 AD. The historic and literary renown of Carthage has always nourished the universal imagination. The site of Carthage is associated with the home of the legendary princess of Tyre, Elyssa-Dido, sung about by Virgil in the Aeneid; with the great navigator-explorer, Hannon, with Hannibal, one of the greatest military strategists of history, with writers such as Apuleius, founder of Latin-African literature, with the martyr of Saint Cyprien and with Saint Augustin.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Architecture of the City of Tozeur, about which I wrote here.

Carthage - Wikipedia 
Archaeological Site of Carthage - UNESCO official website

Sender: Eunika Gos (direct swap)
Sent from Monastir (Monastir / Tunisia), on 03.09.2014

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