Carthage was founded by Phoenician colonists from Tyre in the 8th century B.C. Tradition says Dido was the founder and first queen of the city. From the 6th century to the 3rd century B.C. Carthage dominated trade in the western Mediterranean. Carthaginians felt no need for coinage until their invasion of Sicily at the end of the 6th century B.C. To pay for troops engaged in wars against Sicily¹s Greek states, Carthage minted a large number of silver tetradrachms for two centuries. The coinage is called Siculo-Punic¹ coinage.Much of its coinage was derived from Greek prototypes made in Syracuse.
1. Carthaginian Silver Tetradrachm of Early 4th Century B.C. Coin obverse shows a date palm tree with Punic legend below tree. The reverse shows a prancing horse facing left with Nike flying left to crown horse. (Sear 6427)
2. Carthaginian Silver Tetradrachm Mid 4th Century B.C. Coin obverse of female facing left with corn wreath. Coin reverse shows horse standing left with palm tree in background. (Sear 6429)
3. Carthaginian Silver Tetradrachm 350 BC to 325 B.C. The coin obverse shows Dido facing left. This coin obverse type is derived from the Persephone head of the engraver Euainetos of Syracuse. The coin reverse shows the head and neck of a horse facing left with a palm tree behind. (Sear 6434)
4. Carthaginian Gold Didrachm 280 BC to 270 B.C. Obverse coin shows stylized head of Tanit facing left, wreathed with corn and wearing necklace and ear-ring. Coin reverse shows horse standing left. (Sear 6469)
5. Carthaginian Silver Deckadrachm of Dido 270 B.C. to 260 B.C. Obverse of coin shows stylized head of Queen Dido wreathed with corn, wearing necklace and single drop earring. Coin reverse shows Pegasus flying right, beneath Punic legend 'in the land.¹ (Sear 6442)
In the 3rd Century B.C. Rome challenged Carthage¹s control of the western Mediterranean. From 240 B.C. to 146 B.C. Rome fought the Punic Wars against Carthage. In the end Carthage lost its Sicilian colonies and the City of Carthage was destroyed. Rome was now the new Mediterranean power.
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