Carthage, an ancient maritime city, on a peninsula in the N. of
Africa, near the site of Tunis, and founded by Phoenicians in 850 B.C.;
originally the centre of a colony, it became the capital of a wide-spread
trading community, which even ventured to compete with, and at one time
threatened, under Hannibal, to overthrow, the power of Rome, in a series
of protracted struggles known as the Punic Wars, in the last of which it
was taken and destroyed by Publius Cornelius Scipio in 146 B.C., after a
siege of two years, though it rose again as a Roman city under the
Cæsars, and became a place of great importance till burned in A.D. 698
by Hassan, the Arab; the struggle during the early part of its history
was virtually a struggle for the ascendency of the Semitic people over
the Aryan race in Europe.
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