Founder of Carthage, Rome’s Great Rival
869 – 759 B.C.
Her husband, Acerbas (who as also her uncle), was priest of Baal-Melchar (the Greek Hercules) at Tyre, was murdered by Dido’s brother, the king Pygmalion of Tyre, for a cause. Dido therupon gathered a company of disaffected nobles of Tyre, and sailed first to the islands of Cyprus, and later to North Africa opposite Sicily, where they bought of the natives as much land as a bull’s hide would cover, and tricked the natives by cutting the hide into strips, so inclosing enough land on which to build Carthage.
They were wonderfully enterprising and the city became the greatest commercial emporium of its time, outrivaling the other great ancient cities of the Semite peoples, Sidon, Tyre, and Thebes.
The prophet Ezekiel’s description of the wealth and greatness of the mother city, Tyre, but faintly portrays that of Carthage, whose ships were the largest of the world, trading with all parts of the known earth, and exploring and colorizing distant, hitherto unknown lands.
It was governed by nobles called “suffetes,” corresponding to the “judges” of the Israelites, the form of government being very similar to the Spartan, save that the rich only had a voice in it.
Its army was composed, not of citizens, to whom such service was degrading (they being merchants and rulers only), but of mercenary troops officered by Carthagians. Several of these generals were among the very greatest the world has ever known.
Because of this military defect, Carthage was at last overcome by its great rival, Rome, towards the end of those three hundred years of commercial and military struggle for the world’s supremacy, it being captured with awful carnage and burned by the Romans at the end of the third Punic war, 146 B.C. The Romans unfortunately destroyed all its historic records.
Their religion and customs were sensual, revolting, and fearfully cruel; and often involved the offering of human sacrifices.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.