Carthaginian Society Paper
The key developments and forces that shaped the society can be accentuated through the study of historical and archaeological sources, focusing on he these aspects of its material culture: geographical context, social relationships, gender roles, economic aspects, military aspects, religion, death and burial, government, cultural life and people’s lives. Geography The capital city, Cartage, originally a Phoenician city was believed to be founded by the Queen Dido in BOCCE.
The city however was a dependency of Tire until 332 BCC when Alexander the Great conquered Tire. The Trains spared by Alexander were believed to be saved due to their abundance of wealth. They were able to institute new lives in Cartage and established it as the new centre of Phoenician trade. The city began to expand in grandeur and wealth, becoming the richest and most powerful empire in the Mediterranean in less than 100 years. The harbor was immense and the empires realm for trade, providing vast amounts of wealth for the nation.
With 220 docks, the Carthaginian trading ships sailed daily to ports all around the Mediterranean Sea while their navy, supreme in the region, kept them safe and, also, opened new territories for trade and resources through conquest. 190501593This map shows the extent of the Cartage empires territory exemplifying there dominance over the western Mediterranean. Social relationships Social relationships throughout Cartage portray a class society, however in its prominence the wealthy culture shows no signs of an impoverished class, besides that of the slaves.
From historical records by the Greek geographer Stratton, the population of Cartage is stated to be 700,000. However this figure is believed to be unreliable and excessive, with modern historians estimating the city’s population to be closer to, 200,000 people. This would still mean the city’s population is extensive, as Rome was estimated to have 150,000 people in its standing. At the height of the Social scale is an aristocracy of rich ship-owners, traders and property owners.
This class earned their wealth through their domination and exploitation of Cartage’s trade and agricultural domains. By studying the archaeological site of Ukraine, the only surviving Carthaginian town not modified by the Romans, it is evident the aristocratic class lived in palace like buildings. The next class is the workers. This class is inclusive of craftsmen, sailors, Dockers, farmers and miners. This class includes a majority of foreigners from Greek and Etruscan colonies from throughout he Empire. This class is believed to have lived in affluent yet small homes.
The next in the social scale is the slaves. These slaves were employed, or bought, for servile work in the mines, farms or domestic sectors. Although these slaves suffered harsh conditions, they were conceded freedom of worship and had the possibility of buying their freedom. The Libyan, were the native Africans of Cartage and suffered the worst conditions under Cartage rule. They were classed as free, however they had no civic rights and were forced to pay heavy tax, up to half their harvest. These poor notations led to the revolts of 39 and 379.
Overall for their time the citizens of the Cartage Empire had good social relationships, with the exceptions of the indigenous population. Gender roles Gender roles in Cartage were distinctive of the antiquity. It was a society where males dominated the workforce, military and government. Women were expected to do administrative and housekeeping Jobs. Although not allowed to participate directly in the political process, women could engage in religious and economic endeavourers. There are records about women who became priests and also leaders of elisions councils.
As the city of Cartage was actually founded by a woman called Elise, or Dido, they were respected by males in the society, which contrast some societies of the antiquity. Economic aspects The Carthaginian Empire relied on trade throughout the Mediterranean. There extensive and prosperous trade allowed the Cartage Empire to expand into the most advanced military and industrial empire of their time. The Carthaginian Empires trade routes spanned the Mediterranean and parts of the Atlantic Oceans, as well as deep into Africa.
The Empire’s main treaty’s of commerce were with cities f the Iberian peninsula (modern day Spain) and with Britain. From these countries Cartage obtained silver, lead, copper and there most utilities object, tin ore, from which they manufactured bronze. Cartages Naval dominance allowed them to enforce a monopoly on their trade relations. This allowed Cartage to become the largest manufacturer and exporter of bronze during their time, allowing them to maintain power and prosperity for the Empire. Another of Cartages major exports was the extremely valuable Train purple dye.
This dye was one of the most highly valued commodities of the antiquity. The dye was found on Toga’s worn in Roman society. It is used on the toga perpetrate, which was reserved for magistrates and high priests. Broad purple stripes were reserved for the togas of the senatorial class, while the equestrian class had the right to wear narrow stripes. Evidence of the manufacturing of the purple dye can be found at the archaeological site of Ukraine as mounds of shells of the murex marine snails from which the dye derives.
As well as the dye, Cartage was famous for its creation of textiles, including finely embroidered silks and its development of glassware. This creation promoted an advancement of Cartages manufacturing of household items including mirrors, cabinetry and beds. Despite Cartages large manufacturing advancements they were at large an agrarian society, as agriculture was the fundamental part of their economy. Their advanced agricultural system included the use of crop-rotation, irrigation and the use of iron ploughs.
Cartage also utilities the mainland of Africa as they traded in commodities of salt and timber for prized possessions of Arabian and African spices and slaves. Throughout mainland Africa the Carthaginian traded in markets and stalls. Overall, Cartages economy was the quintessential aspect of its society which allowed the Empire to become one of the most advanced for its time. Military aspects The military campaigns of Cartage were primarily between The Greeks in the Sicilian wars and between the Romans in the Punic wars, resulting in the complete annexation of Cartage.
The Carthaginian army is made up of light and heavy infantry, siege engines, skirmishers, light and heavy cavalry, as well as war elephants and chariots. Supreme command of the military was initially held by the civilian Suffuses until the third century BC. Thereafter, professional military generals were appointed directly by the Carthaginian Senate. The Sicilian wars started in BBC against the Greeks of Syracuse. The wars were fought over the contention for Sicily. The first Sicilian war resulted in defeat for Cartage and also the replacement of the old Monarchy with a Republic.
The second and third Sicilian wars also resulted in the defeat of the Carthaginian armies and the loss of Sicily to the Greeks. The Punic wars were fought between Cartage and Rome, initially for the control of the city Message. The second Punic war was between BOCCE and BOCCE. This war is famous for Hannibal, the general of Cartage, invasion of northern Italy through the Alps. However this war also resulted in Hannibal defeat in Africa. The third Punic war however was the greatest defeat for Cartage as it resulted in the Empires complete annexation, ending their existence as an empire.
The battle was fought in the city of Cartage. Overall Cartage’s history is a reflection of their excessive military defeats, which resulted in their defeat to the Roman Empire. Religion, Death and Burial Religion played a crucial role for the Carthaginian society, with substantial influence n daily life. Through the examination of sources the significance of religion, death and burial in Carthaginian society can be determined. Religion in Cartage is a direct continuation of the polytheistic Eleven beliefs. The central Gods of the Cartage religion were Tania and Bal Hammond.
Bal-Hammond was the God of Fertility and restorer of all energies in the Phoenician colonies of the Western Mediterranean. Tania was Queen Goddess of Cartage, Queen of Good Fortune and the Harvest. Sacrifice was another significant yet controversial part of Carthaginian religion. The reactive of Animal sacrifice and Child sacrifice were undertaken by the citizens. Animal sacrifices occurred during times of poverty and scarceness. It was a belief that only male animals would be sacrificed. Child sacrifice is a controversial part of Carthaginian religion and its importance is debated by historians today.
The act of Child Sacrifice in Cartage can be found in many Roman texts. The reliability of these texts however is faulted as they were political propaganda. As Cartage was an enemy of Rome during the Punic wars, Roman texts on Cartage were biased and storied by their inflicting political perspectives. Despite this evidence of child sacrifice can be found at Archaeological sites, such as Cartage Tope, excavated by Lawrence E. Stager, where pits of large amounts of infants can be found. It is believed the sacrifices were made for the god Bal Hammond.
It has been noted that these sacrifices occurred through the burning of children, who were then placed in Topes (pits). However many historians believe that the Topes were resting places for the cremated remains of children that died naturally of disease, not children who ere sacrificed. Sergei Rabbinic has argued that the Tope was “a child necropolis designed to receive the remains of infants who had died prematurely of sickness or other natural causes, and who for this reason were ‘offered’ to specific deities and buried in a place different from the one reserved for the ordinary dead”.
However there are archaeological sites with reliable proof of child sacrifice. Sites within Carthaginian Empire such as Mazda near Sicily revealed the remains of male children under the age of five. There was no evidence of disease in the bones that survived cremation. This has been interpreted as evidence for frequent and prominent child sacrifice to the god Bal Hammond. This is an issue still in debate by historians and archaeologists. On the whole, religion death and burial were important parts of Ancient Cartages society and sacrifice could have played a key role in their religion.
Government The government of Cartage was to an extent an oligarchic republic, with some representative and democratic institutions, allowing some public accountability. The Empire was governed by two annually elected Suffers (kings). The suffers were elected from amongst the most wealthy and influential families. They ruled ecologically with a ‘council’ of officials and commissioners who oversaw certain aspects of government such as treasury and foreign policy. The suffers operated Judicial power, however they did not control the military.
There was a Tribunal of the Hundred and four, a body of Judges, called penitentiaries, who formed a higher court, overseeing the actions of politicians and generals. Carthaginian government also had a popular assembly, which was formed as a democratic voice for the people. It consisted of legislators, trade unions and town meetings. This assembly made important sections when the Suffers and council reached a unanimous decision. Overall Cartages stable system of government was a product of the prosperous and advanced nation.
Culture and people’s lives The culture of Cartage was dominated by an Urban network of social activities, much like that of Roman society. They had forums or meeting places where people would buy and sell items. Theatre was the popular source of entertainment. Worship was conducted in public and private temples. Baths were a popular leisure activity, however unlike in Roman society where baths are public, in Cartage bath where mound in almost every home, emphasizing the idea that they are for personal health as well as leisure.
As stated in social relationships, people in Cartage for the most part, lived good and prosperous lives. Cartage’s strong economy allowed for high living standards for the time of antiquity. Overall Cartage became a dominating power in the Mediterranean through its strong economy. This allowed the society to prosper with a stable system of government. The citizens of Cartage were also able to sustain fine lives with good working conditions and living standards, with religion playing an important part of their culture.