The Legend of Carthage

Aeroport Tunis, Tunisia

Tunisia is a country surrounded in legends, many of which are true. Here is the story of Carthage in Tunisia.

The Legend of Carthage

Bordering Tunis is the city of Carthage, also known as “The Shining City”. 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 became a super-power state for Rome during the 3rd century CE. 


The legend of Carthage is a heartbreaking story of well-respected 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 reign 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 truth 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 god 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’s influence is still 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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