Ancient Carthage

An early Phoenician settlement, the ancient city-state of Carthage was located in modern-day Tunisia and covered much of the Mediterranean. Its strategic placement—and abundance of trade—allowed Carthage to grow quite wealthy.

As the Carthage people were extremely skilled in furniture crafting, Punic cushions, mattresses, and beds were an expensive luxury. At one point, their Roman rivals unsuccessfully attempted to copy their designs.

Carthage also created an intricate system of governmental checks and balances, wrote a constitution, and managed an extensive library. Unfortunately, most of their literature was destroyed or given as gifts to Numidian kings. Only one book remains—a manual on agricultural technique that was translated into Greek.

Eventually, Carthage was burned and plundered by the expansion of the Roman Empire. However, the Carthage city-state left an indelible mark as a rich trading empire and a powerful commercial force in Africa.

Source: Listserve