Tunisia is a country surrounded in legends, many of which are true. Here is the story of Carthage in Tunisia.
Bordering Tunis is the city of Carthage, also known asÂ “The Shining City”.Â Well protected by its navy at sea and the military on the mountains, its confidence became its undoing when the Romans came in and stormed the city, all its defences broken. The Romans razed the city and built their own – structures you still see today, such as the baths and basilicas. Carthage becameÂ a super-power state for Rome during the 3rd century CE.Â
The legend of Carthage is a heartbreaking story of well-respectedÂ Queen Dido (Greek name: Queen Elissa). Dido, who was a princess exiled from Tyre, founded the city of Carthage and another 300 cities across the west Mediterranean. Her reignÂ began after her brother murdered her husband – a high priest, who was also her uncle. The act remained a secret to her brother for a long time, until she finally she discovered the truthÂ and fled to create her own city.
When Aeneas and his men escape from Troy, it was Queen Dido who offered them asylum in the city of Carthage and a love between the two blossomed. The godÂ Jupiter, however, had other plans. He sent Mercury to deliver a message to Aeneas that he must sail to Italy. Dido became stricken with such grief that she fell upon Aeneas’ own sword and, with her dying breath, spoke of a never-ending conflict between Aeneas’ people and her own.
Today, Carthage is a popular tourist attraction, as Rome’sÂ influence is stillÂ apparent in much of the architecture and structures around the city. The Carthage National Museum displays many of the city’s historical artifacts. Tourists may also want to visit the cathedral and the baths.
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