The first full-scale history of Hannibal's Carthage in decades and "a convincing and enthralling narrative." (The Economist )
Drawing on a wealth of new research, archaeologist, historian, and master storyteller Richard Miles resurrects the civilization that ancient Rome struggled so mightily to expunge. This monumental work charts the entirety of Carthage's history, from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as a Mediterranean empire whose epic land-and-sea clash with Rome made a legend of Hannibal and shaped the course of Western history. Carthage Must Be Destroyed reintroduces readers to the ancient glory of a lost people and their generations-long struggle against an implacable enemy.
In the spring of 146 B.C.E., the Roman commander Scipio Aemilianus ordered his army's final assault upon the very weakened North African city of Carthage. Surrounded on all sides by the Romans and facing starvation and death, many Carthaginians, including the city's commander, Hasdrubal, surrendered into certain slavery while others, refusing to submit, died in a hellish conflagration that consumed their city. In destroying the physical city of Carthage, the Romans also destroyed much of its history. Until now, Rome's version of the history and significance of Carthage has been unchallenged. Drawing deeply upon fresh archeological evidence, Miles dynamically recreates daily life in ancient Carthage by examining the numerous inscriptions and monuments that bring to life the religious and public rituals of the city's inhabitants. Such material evidence offers a glimpse of Carthage's social hierarchies while also providing clues to the city's reputation as an agricultural center known for its figs and pomegranates, and its invention of the Punic cart, a primitive but highly effective threshing machine. Miles breathtakingly narrates Carthage's rise to fame as an ancient cultural and commercial center and its demise before its rebuilding as a Roman city by the emperor Augustus in the first century C.E. Illus.; maps.