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430
CARTHAGE


to Rome. The Carthaginians once at least sent offerings to Delphi, and Tanit approximated to some extent to Demeter; hence on the coins we find the head of Tanit or the Punic Astarte crowned with ears of corn, in imitation of the coins of the Greek Sicilian colonies. The symbol of Tanit is the crescent moon; in her temple at Carthage was preserved a famous veil or peplus which was venerated as the city’s palladium. On the innumerable votive stelae which have been unearthed, we find invocations to Tanit and Baal-Ammon, as two associate deities (θεοὶ πάρεδροι). The usual formula in these inscriptions is, “To the great lady Tanit, the manifestation [reflex, face] of Baal (Tanti-Penē-Baal) and to our lord Baal-Ammon, the vow of Bomilcar, son of Mago, son of Bomilcar, because they have heard his prayer” (Corp. inscr. semit. vol. i. pp. 276 f.; Audollent, Carth. Rom. p. 369).

Baal-Ammon or Moloch, the great god of all Libya, is represented as an old man with ram’s horns on his forehead; the ram is frequently found with his statues. He appears also with a scythe in his hand (“falcem ferens senex pingitur.” St Cyprian, De idol. vanit. 11). At Carthage children were sacrificed to him, and in his temple there was a colossal bronze statue in the arms of which were placed the children who were to be sacrificed (Diod. Sic. xx. 14; Justin xviii. 6, xix. 1; Plut. De superstit. 13, De sera num. vindic. 6.). The children slipped one by one from the arms into a furnace amid the plaudits of fanatical worshippers. These sacrifices persisted even under Roman rule; Tertullian states that even in his time they took place in secret (Apolog. cix.; cf. Delattre, “Inscript. de Carth.,” in Bulletin épigraphique, iv. p. 317; Audollent, op. cit. p. 398).

(4) Roman Period.—In 122 B.C., twenty-four years after the destruction of the city by Scipio Aemilianus, the Roman senate, on the proposal of Rubrius, decided to plant a Latin colony on the site. C. Gracchus and Fulvius Flaccus were entrusted with the foundation of the new city, which was christened Colonia Junonia, and placed under the protection of Juno Caelestis, the new name for the Punic Tanit. But its prosperity was obstructed both by unpropitious omens and by the very recollection of the ancient feud, and fifty years later Marius, proscribed by Sulla, found the ruins practically deserted. In the neighbourhood were the scattered remnants of the old Punic population, who, according to Athenaeus (Deipnosoph. v. 50), had actually had the assurance to send ambassadors to Mithradates the Great assuring him of their support against Rome. Ultimately M. Minucius Rufus passed a law abrogating that of 122 and suppressing the Colonia Junonia.

Julius Caesar, pursuing the lost supporters of Pompey, encamped on the ruins of the city, and there, according to tradition, had a dream which induced him to re-establish the abandoned colony. Returning to Rome, he despatched thither the poor citizens who were demanding land from him. Later on Augustus sent new colonists, and, henceforward, the machinery of administration was regularly centred there (Appian viii. 136; Dio Cass. lxxx. 1; Audollent, op. cit. p. 46). The proconsuls of the African province had hitherto lived at Utica; in 14–13 B.C. C. Sentius Saturninus transferred his headquarters to Carthage, which was henceforth known as Colonia Julia Carthago. Several inscriptions use this name, as also the bronze coins which bear the heads of Augustus and Tiberius, and were struck at first in the name of the suffetes, afterwards in that of duumviri.

Pomponius Mela and Strabo already describe Carthage as among the greatest and most wealthy cities of the empire. Herodian puts it second to Rome, and such is the force of tradition that the Roman citizens resident in Carthage boasted of its Punic past, and loved to recall its glory. Virgil in the Aeneid celebrated the misfortunes of Dido, whom the colonists ultimately identified with Tanit-Astarte; a public Dido-cult grew up, and the citizens even pretended to have discovered the very house from which she had watched the departure of Aeneas. The religious character of these legends, coupled with the city’s resumption of its old role as mistress of Africa, and its independent spirit, reawakened the old distrust, and even up to the invasions of the Vandals the jealous rivalry of Rome forbade the reconstruction of the city walls.

The revolt of L. Clodius Macer, legate of Numidia, in A.D. 68 was warmly supported by Carthage, and one of the coins of this short-lived power bears the symbol of Carthage personified. At the moment of the accession of Vitellius, Piso, governor of the province of Africa, was in his turn proclaimed emperor at Carthage. A little later, under Antoninus Pius, we read of a fire which devastated the quarter of the forum; about the same time, i.e. under Hadrian and Antoninus, there was built the famous Zaghwan aqueduct, which poured more than seven million gallons of water a day into the reservoirs of the Mapalia (La Malga); the cost of this gigantic work was defrayed by a special tax which pressed heavily on the inhabitants as late as the reign of Septimius Severus; allusions to it are made on the coin-types of this emperor (E. Babelon, Revista italiana di numismatica, 1903, p. 157).

In the early history of Christianity Carthage played an auspicious part, in virtue of the number of its disciples, the energy and learning of their leaders, the courage and eloquence of its teachers, the persecutions of which it was the scene, the number of its councils and the heresies of which it witnessed the birth, propagation or extinction (see Carthage, Synods of). The labours of Delattre have filled the St Louis museum at Carthage with memorials of the early Church. From the end of the 2nd century there was a bishop of Carthage; the first was Agrippinus, the second Optatus. At the head of the apologists, whom the persecutions inspired, stands Tertullian. In 202 or 203, in the amphitheatre, where Cardinal Lavigerie erected a cross in commemoration, occurred the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas. Tertullian was succeeded (248) by a no less famous bishop Cyprian. About this time the proconsul Gordian had himself proclaimed (239) emperor at Thysdrus (El Jem). Shortly afterwards Sabinianus, aspiring to the same dignity, was besieged by the procurator of Mauretania; the inhabitants gave him up and thus obtained a disgraceful pardon (R. Cagnat, L’armée romaine d’Afrique p. 52; Audollent, op. cit. p. 73). Peace being restored, the persecution of the Christians was renewed by an edict of the emperor Decius (250). Cyprian escaped by hiding, and subsequently caused the heresy of Novatian to be condemned in the council of 251. In 257, in a new persecution under Valerian, Cyprian was beheaded by the proconsul Galerius Maximus.

About 264 or 265 a certain Celsus proclaimed himself emperor at Carthage, but was quickly slain. Probus, like Hadrian and Severus, visited the city, and Maximian had new baths constructed. Under Constantius Chlorus, Maxentius proclaimed himself emperor in Africa; this caused great excitement in Carthage, and the garrison, which was hostile to the pretender, compelled L. Domitius Alexander to assume the purple. Domitius was, however, captured by Maxentius and strangled at Carthage. About 311 there arose the famous Donatist heresy, supported by 270 African bishops (see Donatists and Constantine I.). At the synod of Carthage in 411 this heresy was condemned owing to the eloquence of Augustine. Two years later the Carthaginian sectaries even ventured upon a political rebellion under the leadership of Heraclianus, who proclaimed himself emperor and actually dared to make a descent on Italy itself, leaving his son-in-law Sabinus in command at Carthage. Being defeated he fled precipitately to Carthage, where he was put to death (413). Donatism was followed by Pelagianism (see Pelagius), also of Carthaginian origin, and these religious troubles were not settled when in May 429 the Vandals, on the appeal of Count Boniface, governor of Africa, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and invaded Mauretania. Genseric, who was hailed with one accord by all the different sectaries as the champion of their several views, appeared in 439 before the walls of Carthage, which had been hastily rebuilt after five hundred years by the order of Theodosius II. The priest Salvianus has left a splendid picture of Carthage at this moment (de Gubern. vii. 16). It had 500,000 inhabitants, and 22 basilicas (several of which have been discovered by Delattre). Genseric entered almost without a blow (October 19, 439), and gave over the city to plunder before departing for his attack on Italy. From this time Carthage became, in the hands of the Vandals, a mere pirate stronghold, such as Tunis and Algiers were subsequently to become. Once, in 470, the fleet of the Eastern empire under the orders of Basiliscus appeared in the Bay of Carthage, but Genseric succeeded in setting fire to the attacking ships and from Byrsa watched their entire annihilation.