Location of Carthage during the third century
|Languages|| Punic language|
|•||814-??? BC||Dido (first)|
|Historical Era||Era One, Era Two, and Era Three|
|•||Founding of Carthage||814 BC|
|•||The Mediterranean War||245-244 BC|
|•||Ptolemaic-Carthegian War||97-95 BC|
|•||1167 Uprisings||467 AD|
|•||1 AD est.||1.5 million|
Carthage was a monarchy in Libya that existed between 814 BC and 467 AD. During this time, it was a major trading hub and military power. It was highly influential across Europe and Ethiopia. At several times during its existence it had a near monopoly on trade in the Mediterranean, and massive political control over its neighbors. This would make it one of the richest and longest lasting nations to ever exist, and its government model was attempted by various other powers on the Mediterranean. Eventually it would fall to the Republic of Egypt in 467, and the two would be merged to form Aphrika.
The Mediterranean War
After Safinei sailors had ignored the trade tax set by Carthage and Safineim had declared war on them, Carthage was thrown into one of its first major conflicts. However, while Carthage had never been in a conflict of this size, Safineim in its current form had never really been in a conflict of any since. This, Carthage was able to take advantage of their vastly superior navy to corner the Safinei in a series of concentrated battles. Winning all of these sea battles resulted in Carthaginian dominance over the sea, as well as destruction of the Safinei Navy. With the seas controlled by them, Carthage began massing troops on Sicily, ready to invade southern Italy. This put Safineim into a state of panic as they scrambled to set up a defense.
Using their enemy's panic to their advantage, Carthage started a massive attack. To start off, they established a foothold, at which point they were held back by the desperate remains of the Safinei army. Carthage then began to blockade Safineim's ports, cutting them off from the any potential help. This put the war at a near stalemate, with Carthage making only limited gains. Eventually however, a blockade of Safinei ports and a massive assault by Carthage forced Safineim to surrender. The terms were surprisingly lenient, as Safineim was allowed to continue trade, though under much stricter rules. This put Carthage in the position of a major Mediterranean for the next several hundred years.
In order to further expand their trade and influence, Carthage decided to expand its existing colonies in Iberia, starting around 117. The first step of this was to expand what few ports existed, and create new ones further north. With that out of the way, the government began to create more incentives to move to Iberia. The most notable of these incentives was access to farmland, a novel concept to most of the populace. Traditionally, Carthage had fed itself by importing a vast majority of its food, growing very little. However, this new motivation to farm would eventually begin to change this, and over time, Carthage would become more and more self sufficient. Another major factor was the ability to trade with Iberian natives, while this was (obviously) not set up by the Carthegian government, it proved a popular reason to move to the new settlements.
As these settlements became increasingly valuable, they were increasingly developed. In addition to farming and inland trading, they provided a faster trade route to the developing Keltoic states, as well as an overland one to the Senone, Etruscan, and at times, Safineim. This would never replace sea trade, but it was a reliable source of income, and it only grew with time. However, as the area became more important, Carthage implemented more authoritarian policies to keep a handle on the area. Instead of being treated as an extension of Carthage, it was treated as a vassal state, at best. While this system worked pretty well when the region had a small population of consisting of traders and farmers, it became more of an issue as more people moved in.
These new immigrants mostly came from Carthage, and many of them expected to have the same freedoms and privileges that they had when the lived in the Carthage mainland. These new immigrants made for a further diversified economy, and with it, the area became even more valuable, but harder to control. While at first, Carthage was barely able to control them, when the population density began to compare with the mainland's, demands for more rights and privileges became very hard to ignore. Finally, the levy broke, and after a summer of what amounted to rioting, the desired privileges were given, Citizens in Carthage Iberia became citizens of Carthage by default, and thus control was solidified over the region, though perhaps not in the way Carthegian authorities had imagined.
The Egyptian-Carthiginian War
Wanting the expand their trade to the Eastern Mediterranean, Carthage decided to launch an attack on the Egypt to take Alexandria. The goal was to use the valuable city as an eastern trading hub. The idea was very popular with the populace, and thus, in 17 AD, the idea came to fruition. A contingent of Carthegian troops sailed eastward to launch an attack on Alexandria, landing only about 30 miles west of the city. This gave the Egyptians some time to rally there troops, forcing a war instead of a quick sack of Carthage. The war was actually surprisingly small, but still had a surprisingly huge effect on Egyptian society. After three years, the Egyptian line collapsed, and Carthage was able to take Alexandria.
Because of the limited nature of the war, it had surprisingly little effect on Carthaginian society. Egypt on the other hand, fared much worse. It was economically destroyed, and the capture of its capital dealt a substantial political blow as well. While Egyptian was slammed pretty hard, Carthage actually maneged a notable economic boost. And, if the initial economic boost wasn't enough, the long term benefit of capturing Alexandria. This, combined with the victory over Carthage's only remaining powerful rival, made the war undeniably worth it for Carthage. As for the Egyptians, they would be in a tailspin until around 40 AD, at which point they would be reformed into the world's first Christian kingdom.
Following the dramatic rise in power of this neighbor, Christianity, both the existence of, and potential conversion to, became a major issue in Carthage. Like many major Carthaginian movements, it was started by merchants and traders, who needed to trade with Carthage. In order to get more favorable deals and better treatment from the locals, in around 130 AD, various merchants began to convert. In the early years, they were often ostracized for their religion, and thus rarely practiced in Carthage itself. However, by 150, it soon became clear that Christian merchants did indeed get more favorable treatment from the Egyptians, and the religion slowly became more mainstream with merchants, and several churches were built in Carthage.
By 155 or so, the King of Carthage, Hannar, began to be concerned with the new religion. He felt that it put Carthage under to much Egyptian influence, and also felt it might weaken his hold on the nation. Because of this, he made a habit of refusing the requests of Christian merchants for various privileges, and instead tried to help non-Christians with their trading. However, Hannar's second son, Hacor held a much more favorable view of Christianity, and he made many attempts to use both state funds and his personal fortune to build churches and sponsor the new religion. While this slightly annoyed Hannar, Hacor was his second son and barely in line for secession, so he allowed him to continue, grudgingly.
However, Christianity began to spread across Carthage, continuing to bemuse Hannar, and at several points in 157, almost incurring his wrath. Hacor meanwhile, enjoyed immense popularity with the rapidly growing Christian population, while his father and older brother had low approval ratings. Over time, the second son saw an opportunity develop - large segments of the populace were on his side, as was much of the court, so why should the throne not be his? After years of deliberation, Hacor finally launched his coup in 159. It was a quick success, and within days he had seized the throne for himself, and disposed of his father, older brother, as well as court members who had been loyal to Hannar.
After a supposed two month power struggle (records vary), Hacor was able to take full control over Carthage, and began to implement his Christian focused reforms. To start with, he himself converted to Christianity, an obvious choice for a man ho wished to style himself as a Christian king. Following that, he continued his previous activities of building churches, and funding Christian merchants. However, he did this a lot more then he had been able to previously, which greatly increased the spread of Christianity. By 190 AD, Hacor's reforms wold be set in stone, making Carthage another powerful Christian state, which would shape the indentity of the nation for centuries to come.
Second Mediterranean War