Carthaginian Domain, Sardinia Bronze, c. 264-241 BC.

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Carthaginian Domain, Sardinia Bronze, c. 264-241 BC. Æ (19mm, 5.03g, 11h). Wreathed head of Kore-Tanit l. R/ Head of horse r. Piras 1; SNG Copenhagen (Africa) 149-150. Smoothed, Good VF / XF


Carthage was settled around 814 BC by colonists from Tyre, a leading Phoenician city-state located in present day Lebanon. In the seventh century BC, following Phoenicia's conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Carthage became independent, gradually expanding its economic and political hegemonyacross the western Mediterranean. By 300 BC, through its vast patchwork of colonies, vassals, and satellite states, Carthage controlled the largest territory in the region, including the coast of northwest Africa, southern Iberia (Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar) and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Malta, and the Balearic archipelago.

As the dominant power of the western Mediterranean, Carthage inevitably came into conflict with many neighbours and rivals, from the indigenous Berbers of North Africa to the nascent Roman Republic. Following centuries of conflict with the Sicilian Greeks, its growing competition with Rome culminated in the Punic Wars (264146 BC), which saw some of the largest and most sophisticated battles in antiquity. Carthage narrowly avoided destruction after the Second Punic War, and was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC after the third and final Punic War, who later founded a new city in its place. All remnants of Carthaginian civilization came under Roman rule by the first century AD, and Rome subsequently became the dominant Mediterranean power, paving the way for its rise as a major empire.