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Ancient Carthage: Timeline

Important Dates in Carthaginian History

814/3 BCE

Carthage founded by Tyrian colonists according to Timaeus (350-260 BCE), a historian from Taormina in Sicily historian. F.Gr.Hist. 566 fr.60

Sixth Century BCE

Oligarchic Constitution established. Originally a governer (skn) reported to the king of Tyre.

508 and 450 BCE

Rome and the Carthaginians sign treaties.

480 BCE

The Greek colonies under the tyrants Gelon and Theron defeat the Hamilcar Barca and his Carthaginian at Himera in Sicily, thereby impeding Carthaginian interests in that area. Note that the Western Greeks are fighting this battle at the same time the Greeks on mainland Greece are fending off the Persians under Xerxes. Under Hamilcar’s grandson, Hannibal, Himera is destroyed in 409 BCE. After the 480 battle, a temple to Athena was built to mark the victory. See below two views of the temple in its present form—a church but one can clearly see the Doric columns and doric frieze.

End fifth century BCE

Takes over Greek colonies in western part of Sicily, including Selinus in 406 BCE.

Hellenistic Period (323-30 BCE)

The city of Carthage at its largest extent. By the end of the fourth century, about 200, 000 people were living there—an extraordinary number for cities in the ancient world.

264-40 BCE

First Punic War. As consequence of War, Sicily and Sardinia fall into Roman hands.

218 BCE

Hannibal Barca precipitates war against Rome when he besieges Saguntum in Spain. He escapes the Roman army sent to stop him, marches across the Alps in the winter, and defeat three consular armies in 218, 217 and 216 BCE.


L. Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Zama (in Tunisia). Second Punic War ends (218-202 BCE). During siege of Syracuse, Archimedes dies (212 BCE)

146 BCE

L. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus destroys Carthage. End of Third Punic War (149-146 BCE)

19 BCE

Vergil dies; Augustus has his ‘unfinished’ national epic published. Integral to the epic is Aeneas’ stay in Carthage. In the Aeneid, Vergil explains the mythical causes of the emnity between the Romans and Carthaginians

Late First Century BCE

Augustus, following the intentions of his adoptive father Julius Caesar, establishes a colony of veterans on the site of Punic Carthage.

Second Century

Apogee of city under Romans. Carthage at this time is the third largest city in the empire nad the second largest in the Western Mediterranean after Rome itself. The emperorAntoninus Pius has a large bathing complex constructed for the city, the ruins of which are still visible today.

Second-Fourth Centuries

Carthage enjoys prosperity and becomes a center of the Christian church in the West. Such notable Christian writers as Tertullian and Augustine lived in Carthage.


Succumbs to Vandals and eventually to the Byzantine Empire.


Falls to Muslims.

Carthago non delenda est

Copyright © 1997-2002 Christine Renaud, all rights reserved.

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