Facing Carthage

Telling the Story

Carthage was a independent colony of the city of Tyre.  Be sure you can find both on these maps.  It came to be the most dominant maritime power in Western Mediterranean, mostly through its sending out of its own colonies and engagement in trade.  As this first map shows it was well established by 550 BCE.

1920px-ancient_colonies

Like the Greeks, the Carthaginians began by establishing coastal colonies and only later concerned themselves with the control of the hinterlands.  They were most interested in gaining control of islands–Balderics, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, and then Eastern Spain.  All these regions had well establishing indigenous communities with a variety of different languages and ethnic identities.

1024px-greek_and_phoenician_colonies_in_the_iberian_peninsula

The story of this unit is how Rome reshapes the political landscape of the western Mediterranean and significantly curtails the gains of the Carthaginians.

carthaginian-empire

When Hannibal and Hasdrubal invade Italy there was no reason to believe they could not eventually control the whole pennisula, as elsewhere the Carthaginians were highly effective at recruiting support from local armies.  One could reasonable color on the map above all of Italy as green.

The Carthaginian language, Punic and Neo-Punic, is a Semitic language and in that language family closer to Hebrew than Arabic. They were a highly literate and literary people, because their social structure was destroyed by the Romans we only have literary accounts of their literature for Greek and Roman sources, although we do have a rich collection of inscriptions and archaeological finds.

They are especially remembered for their skill in ship-building and navigation. Four different Latin and Greek authors recount the exploration of the Atlantic coast of Africa by Hanno, a Carthaginian commander.

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Different renderings of the Tanit symbol

They were a polytheistic society with their chief goddess being Tanit, a fertility mother goddess, and also a strong connection to Melqart, the warrior-hero god strongly associated with their mother city of Tyre; we also hear of their worship of Baal Ammon.  On coins the image of Tanit is derived from representations of Demeter: notice the ears of grain and leaves in her hair.  But in ritual contexts Tanit is usually represented by a symbol that is some variation of small circle over a triangle with a horizontal line between, often with a crescent above (see diagram below).

The Carthaginians practiced infant sacrifice to Tanit.  This ritual involved the killing of a child and then the ritual burial with marker in a special area called a tophet; most Carthaginian colonies show evidence of tophets.  Overtime it appears the Carthaginians began sacrificing older children not just infants, remains suggest an upper limit in the final phase of about 4 years old.

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This is a typical type of design for Carthaginian coinage which often has Tanit and a horse and a palm tree; in Greek the word for palm tree is Phoenix and thus it represents the name of the ethnicity of the people, Phoenicians.
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Tophet markers with the sign of Tanit
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Diagram illustrating the changes in burial practices over time at the Tophet at Carthage itself.

Unit Content

four topics – these would typically correspond to class meeting periods when this course meets in person, these organize what we will learn into small ‘sub units’

three reading responses – the goal for these it give you an open ended yet structured task to help your comprehension of the readings; they are how I evaluate your engagement with the course materials and can serve as

two zoom meetings – These meetings are typically once a week and are recorded and posted after the fact on Blackboard.  you receive credit for watching but I strongly encourage you to attend to get the full participatory benefit of the course.

One unit test – The test covers all materials on this website and from meetings.  Tests are open book open note with a choice of questions to be answered.  They are also time limited.  If you need an accommodation, please let me know.

Unit Calendar

This is provides my recommended schedule for the completion of work so that you do not fall behind. See syllabus for grading and due date policies. 

3-Oct Sun Weekend
4-Oct Mon Review intro, structure and content of Unit 3
5-Oct Tue complete reading for Topic 9
6-Oct Wed complete reading response for Topic 9
7-Oct Thu 3.40  live zoom (recorded)
8-Oct Fri complete readings for Topic 10
9-Oct Sat Weekend
10-Oct Sun Weekend
11-Oct Mon complete reading response for Topic 10
12-Oct Tue complete reading for Topic 11
13-Oct Wed complete reading response for Topic 11
14-Oct Thu 3.40  live zoom (recorded), complete review and comment
15-Oct Fri Complete Unit 3 Test by NOON; Submission for Unit 3 assignments closes NOON
16-Oct Sat Weekend

9: The Carthaginians and Rome’s 1st Punic War

Secondary Literature

Gargola. “Mediterranean Empire (264‐134).” In A Companion to the Roman Republic, 147-9. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Just Two pages.

Primary Evidence

Trogus on the Carthaginian Origins

Hanno’s Voyage

AND The Extracts from Polybius, a Greek hostage writing a History of Rome

Reading Response Guidelines

Create blog post on this the class website, title your post “9: Your name reads something about the topic”.  Examples: 9: Jenna reads Sea Voyages, 6: Henrique reads Punic Stuff, 6: Ayşe reads Competing Empires

Give the post a fun featured image. Categorize it as a Reading Response and as Unit 3. The first line should read: Your first name, comma, and Reading Response for 9: 1st Punic War.  Example:  Ayşe, Reading Response for 9: 1st Punic War

Select three quotes from the primary evidence where you think the author is likely telling the truth and three quotes where you think the content might be fictionalized.  Discuss in your own words how you decided something seemed plausible or implausible.

10: 2nd Punic War, or The Hannibalic War

The meta-goal of these readings is to get you thinking about the tradition of biography in the ancient world as a different genre than history.

Secondary Literature

Gargola. “Mediterranean Empire (264‐134).” In A Companion to the Roman Republic, 151-54. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Just FOUR pages.

Mulligan, Bret, and Cornelius Nepos. 2015. Cornelius Nepos, Life of Hannibal: Latin text, notes, maps, illustrations and vocabulary. Open Book Publishers.

PDF or Website version (Better for reading on phone) – from the side menu, read “Life of Nepos”, “Carthage and the Punic Wars”, and “Hannibal”,  The Chronology (a timeline) may also be helpful.

Primary Evidence

Nepos’ Life of Hannibal in Translation

Link to Loeb Classical Library which will work from off-campus

Same translation open access on Archive.org

Website that may be easier to read on phone or to copy and print

Reading Response Guidelines

Create blog post on this the class website, title your post “10: Your name reads something about the topic”.  Examples: 10: Jenna reads of Elephants and Alps, 6: Henrique reads Punic Stuff, 6: Ayşe reads Portraits of Hannibal

Give the post a fun featured image. Categorize it as a Reading Response and as Unit 3. The first line should read: Your first name, comma, and Reading Response for 10: 2nd Punic War.  Example:  Ayşe, Reading Response for 10: 2nd Punic War

Pair quotes from the readings in the secondary literature and quotes from Nepos himself.  Create three pairs (so six quotes total).  Discuss in your own words how the one quote helps or complicates your understand of the other.

11: Polybius

One goal of this course is to build you comfort and comprehension reading primary texts critically.  We’re reading for this class MY FAVORITE HISTORIAN OF ALL TIME, Polybius.  He rocks. The online translations not so much.  I think Waterfield’s translation is the best, but Oxford doesn’t make an ebook version that universities can purchase it seems AND this version is only a partial translation.  I am fond in an antiquated way Shuckburgh and Paton is ok and widely read.  Both of these translations are in the public domain.

Secondary Literature

Start by reading about who Polybius was.

Primary Evidence

Then read extracts of Polybius

Reading Response Guidelines

Create blog post on this the class website, title your post “11: Your name reads something about the topic”.  Examples: 10: Jenna reads treaties, 6: Henrique reads a historian in exile, 6: Ayşe reads more Hannibalic War stuff

Give the post a fun featured image. Categorize it as a Reading Response and as Unit 3. The first line should read: Your first name, comma, and Reading Response for 11: Polybius.  Example:  Ayşe, Reading Response for 11: Polybius

To read critically means to distinguish INFORMATION from INTERPRETATION.  Information is any point that the author (Polybius) presents as a fact–it might or might not be true but if you had a time machine you could check.  Interpretation is any word phrase or sentence where Polybius tell you what he thinks about that information.  It could assumptions about what motivates individuals or what people think or feel.  It could be adjectives that color the description. 

Select three Polybius quotes. Underline any interpretation in the quote and put [square brackets] around any information in the quote.

12:Comment and Review

There is no reading response assignment for days on which you will take a quiz, HOWEVER there is assigned reading.  This reading is designed to help you review and consolidate what you learned in the previous classes and from the previous readings.

Boatwright, Mary T., Daniel J. Gargola, and Richard J. A. Talbert. Romans : From Village to Empire. Oxford University Press, 2004.  Chapter 4 down to p. 119.

It is STRONGLY recommended you complete the review reading before attempting the unit test.

Remember you must also comment constructively on all the blog posts for Unit 2 of at least two classmates.  See syllabus for further information.

Link to next Unit (4)

Unit 3: Learn More Opportunities

Option 1
chapter 4 OR chapter 5 of Quinn, Josephine Crawley. In Search of the Phoenicians. Miriam S. Balmuth Lectures in Ancient History and Archaeology. 2018.
 
OR, and one chapter of your choice out of a chapter of Quinn, Josephine Crawley, and Vella, Nicholas C. The Punic Mediterranean : Identities and Identification from Phoenician Settlement to Roman Rule. British School at Rome Studies. 2014.  Brooklyn College Library (PHYSICAL BOOK: DE73.2 .P56 P86 2014)

OR, Select any one chapter from Hoyos, Dexter. Blackwell Companion to the Punic Wars. Oxford, UK: Wiley‐Blackwell, 2011.

Write as a blog post that is a précis of the chapter relying heavily on quotes (with page numbers).  This should be 800-1000 words including quotes.  Include at least three images of either maps or primary evidence that help illustrate the material.

Categorize Post: Extra Credit, Unit 3

Option 2

Mike Duncan is the grand-daddy of History podcasting and is rightly famous for his work.  I happily confess that my partner some times knows more about some parts of Roman history than I do just for being a devoted fan of Duncan.  Duncan himself says he cut his teeth on the Republic and only really hit his research stride in the Empire.  Listen to episodes 19-23 ( approx 3 hours total in 15-20 minute segments).  Reflect on his approach versus what else you’ve learned in this unit.   Make specific reference to specific episodes and their strength and weaknesses.   When and how does Duncan talk about PRIMARY EVIDENCE.  Write ~300 words, excluding any quotes.

Categorize Post: Extra Credit, Unit 3