The cultural marvels of antique Carthage

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


More than 2,000 years ago, an army from North Africa came close to conquering Rome, one of the greatest empires ever known. Hannibal, the military leader of the Carthaginian civilisation, led 60-100,000 troops and a company of elephants across modern-day Spain and France, over the Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges, and deep into what we today know as Italy. Hannibal went on to win three decisive battles against the Romans and occupy much of the land around the city of Rome for 15 years.
Nowadays Carthage is an upmarket suburb of Tunis, the comely and laidback capital of Tunisia, but many ancient buildings and monuments from the civilisation's heyday remain intact. After Hannibal's death in 181-183 BC, Carthage's fortunes flipped when it was colonised by the Romans after the Third Punic War. Perhaps the most dazzling legacy of that period is the gargantuan Antonine Baths complex, which was originally supplied with water from the Atlas Mountains by an aqueduct built by the emperor Hadrian. Amongst the surviving highlights are an elegant granite structure inscribed with a dedication to Hadrian and two immense columns that, at sunrise and sunset, look spectacular against the backdrop of the cobalt Gulf of Tunis and the misty Atlas peaks beyond. You need spend only a minute in these beautiful baths to understand why they have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
VolumeAug-Sept 2017
Specialist publicationNew African
PublisherIC Publications
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2017


  • ancient history
  • Carthage
  • travel writing


Dive into the research topics of 'The cultural marvels of antique Carthage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this