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they were first collected, and from whence they were first dispersed throughout Greece. By this route, along the strip which constitutes as it were a neutral region between the limestone rampart of the Atlas and the Sahara,-a region watered by the streams that descend from the former, before they become dried up by the evaporating power of the atmosphere in the desert — there is, and always has been from the earliest times, a caravan traffic between Morocco and Tripoli, and from the latter place yet further westward to the valley of the Nile, and the Arabian peninsula. There is, in fact, no other possible land route; and the only alternative is a sea voyage, an undertaking in which the founders of Carthage had no rivals. Between the coast and the northern edge of the Sahara, there lie the high plateaux of the Atlas, covered with snow in winter, and in spring with the countless flocks of the nomad tribes, feeding upon the luxuriant vegetation that springs up there as soon as the snow has melted. This region includes the three Roman provinces of Numidia, Mauritania Cæsariensis, and Mauritania Sitifensis, i.e. nearly the whole of French Algeria. The wool grown in their plains doubtless found its way to Carthage by the course we have indicated; as did also the dates of the oases, the skins, ivory, and gold dust from Morocco, the ostrich feathers from Tuggurt, the precious stones from the rocks of the Upper Nile, slaves from the whole of central Africa, horses and mules from the nomad tribes, and perhaps even spices from Arabia. These were paid for in grain, — for Masanissa was the first who made corn grow in Numidia, and barley is absolutely necessary for the horse of the desert, - in dyed articles of dress, in oil
, wine, salt-fish, (pickled tunny) and, above all, in manufactured arms. With such natural advantages of situation as we have sketched out, and with the spirit of commercial enterprise inherited from their ancestors, it can be no matter of surprise that the settlers who built the Bosra, on land purchased or rented from the native lords of the soil, should soon find themselves under the necessity of extending their occupation, should become the masters of their late landlords, and erect a new city (Kartha-khahdo, Kapxn@cov) around, or in juxtaposition to, their original settle
And the materials for doing so were close at hand. At El Awarieh, which lies between Ras el Amar and Cape Bon, about thirty miles' sail from Carthage, may be seen at this day the enormous quarries from which the stone, of which the new town may have been built, could be procured.
• They 'form,' says Dr. Davis, a series of vast chambers, or halls, varying in size, and communicating with each other by large
* arched openings. Their shape is generally square, tapering • upwards, and terminating in apertures about ten or twelve
These apertures appear to have served not merely as ventilators, but also as a means for hoisting up the • stones. They were then rolled down to the beach for em• barkation. The depth varies according to the incline of the * mountain; in some cases it must be upwards of three hundred "feet.' This, it may be remarked by the way, is the place where Agathocles, the Cortez of ancient history, ran his ships ashore, in that marvellous expedition which all but gave him possession of Carthage at the moment when he seemed about to succumb to her power. Whether the vast extent of the quarries may not date from the time of Hadrian's work of renovation in Africa, admits of some question; but they certainly were opened (for they are named) at the time of Agathocles's invasion (B.C. 310). Just south of Ras el Amar, too, was the head-quarters of the Carthaginian tunny-fishery. Ruins of a Roman city existed there when Shaw visited the place. In the midst of them stood what the Arabs called the tomb of a Mussulman saint, Sidi Daoud. It was in reality the fragment of a Roman building, and close by was a curious mosaic, illustrative of the character of the locality, then as now. Together with the horse, such as it appears on the Carthaginian coins, is combined the fish — still caught in enormous quantities on the spot -- the palm tree and olive, and the hawk and
partridge. It is impossible to give a better notion in symbols of the products of the Dakhul Bashir (the great peninsula which forms the eastern promontory of the gulf of Carthage), and the region immediately to the south of it as far as the commencement of the Syrtis; a district, the former wealth of which may be imagined from the circumstance that it still contains the ruins of Adrumetum, Leptis, Thapsus, Thysdrus, and probably of not less than a hundred other once considerable towns. Now, indeed, all is desolate enough. Wave after wave of barbarian invaders has swept over the land, and to the deluge centuries of chronic misrule have succeeded. Still here and there olive gardens surrounded by hedges of the prickly pear, show what would follow settled government and security for property; the palm flourishes in the low wet patches of clay ; and where the desolation is most complete, there is still a memorial of the sports of a better time. • The hawk and the eagle,' says Sir Grenville Temple, speaking of such a spot, 'seem the only tenants of this once peopled
scene. Most parts of the kingdom abound with game; but • never did I see such incredible numbers of partridges as are
here assembled, not even on the best preserved manors of • England.'
On one point of vital importance to the spirit and character of a nation, the Carthaginians were separated by an abyss from their more polished and fortunate neighbours in the ancient world. Their idolatry was in its essence a cruel one. Human sacrifices, which as a rule, were an abomination to the Greeks of the historical age, and, except in the shape of gladiatorial shows, a rare event in the annals of Rome, continued to imbrue the Punic altars even after the close of the Carthaginian dominion; and the darkest form of superstition attained there the most absolute sway. In the inscriptions which have been from time to time brought to light, three principal deities appear, all of which, however, are plainly of a composite character; that is, they embody, in the shape in which they appear in the historical times, rituals derived from different localities, and ideas belonging to different cycles of thought. The religions of pagan antiquity possessed in every case a germinative power and a faculty of assimilation, which rendered easy the combination of two cognate cults, and the developement of the new compound by means of a fresh myth. Thus it was that the principal Carthaginian deity, Bal-Samon, or Melkareth, became in his several relations the equivalent of the Sun-god of Mesopotamia, of the Moloch of Syria, of the Heracles (in his early shape) of Asiatic Greece, of the Kronus of Crete, and of the Poseidon of Achaia. The second, Tanath, was in like manner identical with the Selenè of Greece, the Juno of Latium, the Artemis of Ephesus, the Aphroditè Urania of Cyprus, and the Atergatis or Derceto of Syria. The third, Ashmon or Esmun, is the Æsculapius of classical antiquity, with some analogy also to the Faunus of Latium and the Trophonius of Baotia. But the ritual which seems especially to have harmonised with the fierce and gloomy temperament that belongs, even at the present day, to the natives of Barbary, was that of the Syrian Moloch. As the bitterest penance is most ardently thirsted for by the penitent who has given himself up in the days of his sin to the most unstinted self-indulgence; 30, perhaps, we may account for the morbid passion for a mode of sacrifice, the most horrible that history records, prevailing so as to be almost ineradicable, in a thoroughly sensual and luxurious people. The more ample the blessings showered down by the Deity, it perhaps was said, the more anxiously was his wrath to be feared, his envy propitiated. What offer
* Excursions in the Mediterranean, vol. ii. p. 90.
ing was sufficient to purchase peace ? • Thousands of rams ' and rivers of oil' were sacrifices which cost the Punic mágnate nothing; for him only one sacrifice really deserved the name, -- to give his firstborn for his transgression; the * fruit of his body for the sin of his soul.' And this accordingly became an institution. A brazen image of the god stood over a pit filled with burning charcoal, with hands held out to receive the horrible offering, - children of the noblest of the citizens selected by lot. The infant was placed upon them, and as it rolled off into its fiery bed, its cries were drowned by a burst of wild music from fifes and drums. A perverted imagination once set to work in pursuit of horrors, soon invented a refinement even upon this cruelty, in assigning to the mother of the child the post of executioner. She stood by, with dry eyes and without a groan-else were the offering not meritorious — caressing the helpless infant, lest its instinctive fear should produce a gesture implying unwillingness, or a cry of grief to mar the sacrifice.* It was impossible but that human nature should assert its claims even under the most frightful perversion of sentiment, and accordingly the richer Carthaginians in many cases resorted to the expedient of substituting for their own offspring children purchased from the poor. But for this sacrilegious fraud, national calamity was regarded as the penalty; and on one such occasion an investigation was set on foot, the secret sin brought to light, and atoned for by the public sacrifice of no less than two hundred children from the most distinguished houses, and an even greater number of adults, who, conscience-stricken, offered themselves as voluntary victims.
This is not the place to follow the romantic fortunes of Agathocles during his four years’ stay in Africa, from which, after all but complete success, he finally stole away to Syracuse, as Napoleon did from Egypt in later days, leaving his army to the mercy of the victorious enemy. But it is important to our purpose to notice, that he stormed Utica, (which had at first adhered to his cause and afterwards revolted), plundered the city and massacred the inhabitants; that both at Clypea and Hippo Zarytus (Benzert) he built a new city, fortified it, and settled a fresh population there, and that the nature of his operations revolutionised the whole Carthaginian territory. In the course of
Osculo comprimente vagitum ne flebilis hostia immolaretur,' is the expression of Dinucius Felix, § 30. The importance attached by the ancients to the apparent consent even of an animal led as a victim to the altar, is well known.
the war, all the provincial towns had passed through the invader's hands; some had been stormed, some had capitulated, some had voluntarily joined his standard. We
We may reasonably infer, therefore, that at its conclusion the relations of the dominant city to her African possessions became much more simplified than was the case when the second treaty with Rome, which has been noticed above, was made. There can no longer have been any pretence to equality of rights, nothing like a confederacy of several states. At the end of such a conflict Carthage must have stood to all the rest distinctly in the posi
tion of sovereign to vassals ; for everything had been lost, and 13 everything recovered. And this view is confirmed by the
altered form of the third treaty between Carthage and Rome,
preserved by Polybius, which took place about the year 278 * B.C., at the time when Pyrrhus was invading the South of Italy.
In this the principal contracting powers are alone mentioned, without
any reference to their allies by name. Rome, in fact, had by the Samnite and Lucanian wars, centralised and consolidated her own power in Italy, as Carthage had hers in Africa, in the sequel of the campaigns with Agathocles. It is also confirmed by the fact that the maritime power of the African state—that sole anchor which held through the storm — had risen to such a height as to be recognised in the provisions of the new treaty. After stipulating that in the event of a convention being agreed upon with Pyrrhus by either party, the other should be included, so far as to secure mutual assistance in case of war with a third power, the treaty goes on to provide that in all contingencies the means of transport either for offensive or defensive purposes shall be furnished by the Carthaginians, both parties paying their own contingent, and also that the Carthaginians, in case of necessity, should assist the Romans with a naval force; but that the crews should not be compelled to land. This period is perhaps the one when the power of Carthage was at its zenith. "Nearly the whole of Sicily was under her sway, and the remainder, weakened by the long-con
, tinued wars of the Greek and Italian dynasts, appeared likely to fall
a prey at no long distance of time. Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic Islands were indisputably hers; Port Mahon even to this day preserves in its name the memory of its founder, the suffete Mago. So was Malta, and the Lipari Islands. The valley of the Lower Rhone was occupied by Greek traders, the descendants of the Phocæans; but from the mouth of the Ebro all along the coast of Spain as far, at least, as Cadiz, and for the whole length of the Northern and NorthWestern shore of Africa, with the exception of the Riff, there