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Roman North Africa – Carthage to Augustine

By |2018-02-08T23:51:24+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Roman North Africa: This is the amphitheater in ancient Carthage where Romans killed Christians during the Decian persecution. Carthage controls the Mediterranean By the 300s BC, the North African port of Carthage was actively engaged in policing the whole Mediterranean. Carthage made treaties, for instance, with the Etruscans in Italy, to protect the Etruscans from [...]

Ba’al – the Levant – West Asian gods

By |2018-04-09T23:07:33+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Ba'al from Ugarit (Louvre Museum, Paris) All along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in what's now Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, and down into the Arabian Peninsula, there was (and still is) a feeling that it's wrong to say the name of your god aloud. Instead, people called their god "Lord". Baal is the Semitic word [...]

Iron Age economy in West Asia – the Phoenicians

By |2018-04-25T23:34:29+00:00September 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Iron Age economy: Phoenician glass - a face pendant of an African man. 400-200 BC Traders in the Mediterranean The rise of the Assyrian empire (in modern Iraq) and of the Phoenicians (in modern Lebanon) about 900 BC created a new economic boom in West Asia. The Phoenicians traded all over the Mediterranean Sea in ships, and established trading posts [...]

Silver and silver mining – the history

By |2017-10-17T13:26:22+00:00September 7th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Silver mining slaves at Laurion, near Athens People first mined silver in the Bronze Age. Like gold, silver is a great way to help people trade. Even before people started to make coins, little bits of silver - bracelets, earrings, and necklaces - were a great way to carry around something valuable but not [...]

Virgil – the Aeneid – Roman poetry

By |2017-09-04T08:21:45+00:00September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

The death of Dido, Queen of Carthage, from an illustrated copy of Virgil's Aeneid, about 400 AD Virgil was a poet who lived during the civil wars in Rome and then in the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus, just before the birth of Jesus Christ. Virgil (VER-jill) was a friend of Maecenas (my-SEEN-ass), who was a [...]

Third Punic War – Carthage and Rome

By |2018-04-25T10:14:06+00:00September 3rd, 2017|Africa, History, Romans|

The ruins of Punic Carthage After the Second Punic War, in 202 BC, Italy was a wreck. Hannibal's army had been marching up and down Italy wrecking things for more than ten years. All of the men had been away fighting in the war, and a lot of them had been killed, and others had decided to [...]

Second Punic War – Carthage and Rome

By |2018-04-25T10:05:10+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Hamilcar (Hannibal's father) (We know about this mainly from Polybius and Livy) The Carthaginians had a lot of trouble paying the money the Romans demanded from them after the First Punic War. So their general Hamilcar decided to take over some of southern Spain. There were rich silver mines in southern Spain that would help Carthage pay the Romans. But at the same [...]

First Punic War – Carthage and Rome

By |2018-04-25T10:04:35+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Sicily seen from space (the tip of Italy is on the right) (Most of what we know about this war comes from either Polybius or Livy): By 274 BC, the Romans had taken over all of Italy. Then a Greek city that was NOT in Italy asked the Romans to help it out in a war. This city was in Sicily, [...]

Who were the Etruscans? History of Italy

By |2018-04-25T09:26:35+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Etruscan tomb sculpture Around 700 BC, the Bronze Age people we call the Villanovans started to get ideas from the Greeks and Phoenicians who were sailing around the Mediterranean. They started to do things the way the Greeks and the Carthaginians did them. Historians call these people the Etruscans (ee-TRUSS-kins). People used to think that the Etruscans came from someplace in West Asia, [...]