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Old Carthage: the most celebrated city in all Africa, and for a long time the formidable rival of Republican Rome. It was a colony of the the Tyrians, said to have been founded by Dido, 72 years before the building of Rome. The metropolis of the Punic nation, and a great maritime power, Carthage waged three terrible wars with the Romans; and was at length subdued by Scipio Africanus Minor, 185 B.C.; and the city itself, by order of the Senate, was totally demolished.
It was afterwards made the seat of a Roman colony by Julius Caesar, 44 B.C., and afterwards, being rebuilt and autmented by Augustus, in 29 B.C., it again became the principal of the African cities, until it was destroyed by the Arabs, towards the close of the seventh century A.D. Its ruins are still to be distinguished near Tunis, the ancient Tunetum.
THe earliest coin of this African colony are classed by Mionnet, in his Descriptions des Medailles Romaines, as follows:
1. Latin Autonomes. KARTHAGO. Female figure standing, holding the hasta. Rev. A horse 's head.
Another reverse has VENERIS KAR and a temple with four columns. In second and third brass.
2. Coins of Clodius Macer, pro-pretor of Africa; in silver. -- See MACER.
3. Second brass coins of Augustus, Tiberius, and Drusus junior; assigned by different authors to the colony of Carthage. (See Eckhel, D. N. Vet. iv. 139) THe following is an example:
IMP. C. D. F. P. M. P. P. Bare head of Augustus. Rev. C.I.C. (names of duumvirs): in the middle of the field P.P. D. D. (Decreto Decurionum).
On the above cited coin the letters C.I.C. are explained by Vaillant, with whom Bimard agrees, to mean Colonia Julia Carthago.
The first of the later emperors, who revived the name of ancient Carthage on the coins of the Roman die, appears to have been Septimius Severus, who was himself of African origin; and on a coin struck in easd metal during his reign is the legend INDVLGENTIA AVG. IN. CART. The type being Cybele seated on a running lion, holding a tympanum in her right hand and her scepter in her left--See INDVLGENTIA.
See also FELIX KART (Karthago) on coins of Severus, Caracalla, and Constantius Chlorus.
CONSERVATORES KART SVAE of Val. Maximianus and Maxentius.
SALVIS AVGG AVCTA KART of Diocletian, etc.
The last monetal record of CarthagoVetus is preserved on two silver coins of Hilderic, king of the Vandals, one of which is thus described in the great work of Mionnet: D N HILDIRIX (sic.) REX. Beardless and diademed head of Hilderic. Rev. FELIX KARTO. (sic.) Woman standing with grain ears in each hand.