Who is Tanit? - African Goddess
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Who is Tanit?

Tanit
A tombstone from Carthage
with the symbol of Tanit

The goddess Tanit came to Africa with the Phoenicians, about 800 BC. Tanit was a moon goddess, maybe the same as Ishtar or Astarte. She also seems to have absorbed an older Berber goddess.

Moon
silver coin with woman's head on one side and lion and palm tree on the other
Head of Tanit on Carthaginian silver coin

People thought of Tanit as being married to another Phoenician god, Baal. Tanit's symbol appears on gravestones and temples all over North Africa, and on Carthaginian coins. People worshipped Tanit in North Africa not just during the Carthaginian period but all through the Roman Empire too. But when most people converted to Islam about 700 AD, then people gradually stopped worshipping Tanit.

Learn by doing: eclipse of the moon
More about Astarte

Bibliography and further reading about Tanit:

Phoenicians

The Phoenicians, by Elsa Marston (2001). For teenagers.

The Phoenicians and the West : Politics, Colonies and Trade, by Maria Eugenia Aubet (2nd edition 2001).

The Sanctuary Of Tanit At Carthage In The Roman Period: A Re-interpretation (Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series), by Henry Hurst and others.

The Atlas of Islam: People, Daily Life and Traditions, by Neil Morris, Manuela Cappon, Gian Paulo Faleschini, Studio Stalio (2003)

More about Baal
Quatr.us home


LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Quatr.us Study Guides with no distractions!
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Proud of your class page, homework page, or resource page? Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more?
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 23 March, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT