Carthage : A History

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Carthage, now a spectacular ruin on the North coast of Africa, was the capital of one of the ancient world's most powerful empires. This book describes its history, from foundation by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC to destruction by the Romans some six centuries later. The volume opens with a narrative account of the expansion of the Phoenician trade empire from the 10th to the 5th centuries BC. The author then examines the growth of Carthage from a colony of Tyre to the capital of a western empire that stretched across Africa, from modern-day Libya to the coast beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and in Europe from Spain through Sardinia to Sicily. The central part of the book creates a portrait of Carthage at the peak of its power. Professor Lancel describes its society, trade, rituals and religion. He presents a picture of the Carthaginian urban and rural landscape, the latter featuring great estates, sprawling villas and huge parks, constructed and maintained by large numbers of slaves, and protected against slave revolts and piratic invasions by extensive walls and defensive towers. This was a sophisticated, urbane and cultured society. The two penultimate chapters tell the story of the great conflict with Rome, famously featuring Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, and concluding with the city's destruction in 146 BC. The author concludes with an essay on what of Punic culture survived the demise of the city. The book draws on the latest findings of archaeological research throughout the Mediterranean, on technical research from many disciplines, and on all surviving contemporary writing. It is illustrated with maps and photographs.

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  • Paperback | 475 pages
  • 142.24 x 218.44 x 25.4mm | 612.35g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • OxfordUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 167 photographs, 81 figures, maps, bibliography, index
  • 1577181034
  • 9781577181033

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"The book is accessibly written and superbly translated, with copious well-selected illustrations, and should serve as the standard introduction to Punic Carthage for many years to come." "Antiquity" "A detailed, wide-ranging, and authoritative analysis of Punic culture. It is a brilliant achievement." "Choice" "Lancel's book is now an excellent summation and interpretation of the specialized archaeological reports that otherwise tend to be forbidding and inconclusive. His book is a fine introduction to the intricacies of conceptualizing the cemeteries, tombs, graves, houses, temples, and walls that once defined the space of the city, and of understanding the pottery, terracotta masks, figurines, jewellery, votive inscriptions, and religious statuettes that once gave meaning to ordinary life. Complementing his discussion are 250 very helpful photos, diagrams, plans, and maps." "Historian"

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About Serge Lancel

Serge Lancel is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Grenoble. For the past thirty years he has excavated and published on those excavations in and around Carthage. He has been the director, since its foundation, of the crucial excavation at Byrsa, an important sector of Carthage for most of its existence.

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