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Basic Information

The city known as Carthage was the one of the wealthiest and most important trading hubs of the Ancient World. It was the capital city of Ancient Carthage, a powerful Thalassocracy that competed with and alternately traded or warred with Ancient Rome.

Carthage was founded by Phoenicians in 814 BC, rose to be the dominant power of the Western end of the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern coast of Africa from the 7th Century BC to the 4th Century BC. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, effectively ending the nation's existence. They triumphant victors rebuilt the city as Roman Carthage, which in turn lasted until it was sacked by the Vandals in 439. It was sacked and destroyed by the Umayyad Empire in 698, then occupied by Muslims until they were massacred by the Eight Crusade. The city has seen a lot of death and destruction.

Today, the city is located in the modern nation of Tunisia, and is essentially a suburb of Tunis.

As befitted a sea going power, ancient Carthage was know for its impressive harbour facilities, both the external commercial harbour - which was then said to be (one of) the most advanced in the world - and the inner naval base, known as the Cothon1 - a ring shaped harbour surrounded by naval support buildings with a central island, also built up. The surrounding buildings comprised a ground floor of ship sheds, drydocks and graving yards, with warehouses on the floors above. The central island was similarly equipped but topped with a viewing turret from which the admiral in charge could look down on the yard, or out along the reach of the main harbour. The Cothon was said to base over two hundred ships at full capacity. Arguably these sort of facilities would not be seen again until the Venetian Arsenale was brought on line and may have helped to inspire the Crown Dockyards of the Royal Navy.



Game and Story Use

  • It's a city with a very exciting, colorful, and often tragic, history. A good site for games set in the Ancient World or the Middle Ages.
  • Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's also a great dig for a globe-trotting Adventurer Archaeologist hoping to dig up treasure.
    • With how much the Ancient Carthaginians got around, and how far afield armies came from to raze the place, you could justify just about any mcguffin or public domain artifact ending up in Carthage.
  • For more ideas, check out our Ancient Carthage page.
  • The Cothon is a useful thing to recycle for the naval headquarters of any ancient sea-power.
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