A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary; the largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public; the goal of serving researchers is shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children's museums. Amongst the world's largest and most visited museums are the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. the British Museum and National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. The English "museum" comes from the Latin word, is pluralized as "museums", it is from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, hence a building set apart for study and the arts the Musaeum for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BC. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, the purpose can depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of each classification of a field of knowledge for research and for display was the purpose; as American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the scientific research in the universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, cutting edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve artifacts for future generations.
Much care and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts and buildings. All museums display objects; as historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting."Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects, they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historic printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia; some seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while some museums have specific audiences, like the LDS Church History Museum or local history organizations. Speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display.
Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Henry VIII, opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes; the daily activities, historic clothing, temperature changes immerse the visitor in a slice of what Tudor life may have been. This section lists the 20 most visited museums in 2015 as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. For 2016 figures see List of most visited museums; the cities of London and Washington, D. C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts.
These were displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; the site dates from c. 530 BCE, contained artifacts from earlier M
Early Christian art and architecture
Early Christian art and architecture or Paleochristian art is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity to, depending on the definition used, sometime between 260 and 525. In practice, identifiably Christian art only survives from the 2nd century onwards. After 550 at the latest, Christian art is classified of some other regional type, it is hard to know. Prior to 100, Christians may have been constrained by their position as a persecuted group from producing durable works of art. Since Christianity was a religion of the lower classes in this period, the lack of surviving art may reflect a lack of funds for patronage, small numbers of followers; the Old Testament restrictions against the production of graven images may have constrained Christians from producing art. Christians may have made or purchased art with pagan iconography, but given it Christian meanings, as they did. If this happened, "Christian" art would not be recognizable as such.
Early Christianity used the same artistic media as the surrounding pagan culture. These media included fresco, mosaics and manuscript illumination. Early Christian art not only used Roman forms, it used Roman styles. Late classical style included a proportional portrayal of the human body and impressionistic presentation of space. Late classical style is seen in early Christian frescos, such as those in the Catacombs of Rome, which include most examples of the earliest Christian art. Early Christian art and architecture adapted Roman artistic motifs and gave new meanings to what had been pagan symbols. Among the motifs adopted were the peacock and the "Good Shepherd". Early Christians developed their own iconography, for example, such symbols as the fish, were not borrowed from pagan iconography. Early Christian art is divided into two periods by scholars: before and after either the Edict of Milan of 313, bringing the so-called Triumph of the Church under Constantine, or the First Council of Nicea in 325.
The earlier period being called the Pre-Constantinian or Ante-Nicene Period and after being the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils. The end of the period of early Christian art, defined by art historians as being in the 5th–7th centuries, is thus a good deal than the end of the period of early Christianity as defined by theologians and church historians, more considered to end under Constantine, around 313–325. During the persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, Christian art was and deliberately furtive and ambiguous, using imagery, shared with pagan culture but had a special meaning for Christians; the earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of Christian tombs in the catacombs of Rome. From literary evidence, there may well have been panel icons which, like all classical painting, have disappeared. Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the Ichthys, Lamb of God, or an anchor. Personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between the death and resurrection of Jesus, Daniel in the lion's den, or Orpheus' charming the animals.
The image of "The Good Shepherd", a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the most common of these images, was not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus. These images bear some resemblance to depictions of kouros figures in Greco-Roman art; the "almost total absence from Christian monuments of the period of persecutions of the plain, unadorned cross" except in the disguised form of the anchor, is notable. The Cross, symbolizing Jesus' crucifixion on a cross, was not represented explicitly for several centuries because crucifixion was a punishment meted out to common criminals, but because literary sources noted that it was a symbol recognised as Christian, as the sign of the cross was made by Christians from early on; the popular conception that the Christian catacombs were "secret" or had to hide their affiliation is wrong. The inexplicit symbolic nature of many early Christian visual motifs may have had a function of discretion in other contexts, but on tombs they reflect a lack of any other repertoire of Christian iconography.
The dove is a symbol of purity. It can be found with a celestial light. In one of the earliest known Trinitarian images, "the Throne of God as a Trinitarian image", the dove represents the Spirit, it is flying above an empty throne representing God, in the throne are a chlamys and diadem representing the Son. The Chi-Rho monogram, XP first used by Constantine I, consists of the first two characters of the name'Christos' in Greek. A general assumption that early Christianity was aniconic, opposed to religious imagery in both theory and practice until about 200, has been challenged by Paul Corby Finney's analysis of early Christian writing and material remains; this distinguishes three different sources of attitudes affecting early Christians on the issue: "first that humans could have a direct vision of God.
In archaeology, excavation is the exposure and recording of archaeological remains. An excavation site or "dig" is a site being studied; such a site excavation concerns itself with a specific archaeological site or a connected series of sites, may be conducted over as little as several weeks to over a number of years. Numerous specialized techniques each with its particular features are used. Resources and other practical issues do not allow archaeologists to carry out excavations whenever and wherever they choose; these constraints mean. This is with the intention of preserving them for future generations as well as recognising the role they serve in the communities that live near them. Excavation involves the recovery of several types of data from a site; these data include artifacts, ecofacts and, most archaeological context. Ideally, data from the excavation should suffice to reconstruct the site in three-dimensional space; the presence or absence of archaeological remains can be suggested by remote sensing, such as ground-penetrating radar.
Indeed, grosser information about the development of the site may be drawn from this work but the understanding of finer features requires excavation though appropriate use of augering. Excavation techniques have developed over the years from a treasure hunting process to one which seeks to understand the sequence of human activity on a given site and that site's relationship with other sites and with the landscape in which it is set; the history of excavation began with a crude search for treasure and for artifacts which fell into the category of'curio'. These curios were the subject of interest of antiquarians, it was appreciated that digging on a site destroyed the evidence of earlier people's lives which it had contained. Once the curio had been removed from its context, most of the information it held was lost, it was from this realization that antiquarianism began to be replaced by archaeology, a process still being perfected. Archaeological material tends to accumulate in events. A gardener laid a gravel path or planted a bush in a hole.
A builder back-filled the trench. Years someone built a pigsty onto it and drained the pigsty into the nettle patch. Still, the original wall blew over and so on; each event, which may have taken a short or long time to accomplish, leaves a context. This layer cake of events is referred to as the archaeological sequence or record, it is by analysis of this sequence or record that excavation is intended to permit interpretation, which should lead to discussion and understanding. The prominent processual archaeologist Lewis Binford highlighted the fact that the archaeological evidence left at a site may not be indicative of the historical events that took place there. Using an ethnoarchaeological comparison, he looked at how hunters amongst the Nunamiut Iñupiat of north central Alaska spent a great deal of time in a certain area waiting for prey to arrive there, that during this period, they undertook other tasks to pass the time, such as the carving of various objects, including a wooden mould for a mask, a horn spoon and an ivory needle, as well as repairing a skin pouch and a pair of caribou skin socks.
Binford notes that all of these activities would have left evidence in the archaeological record, but that none of them would provide evidence for the primary reason that the hunters were in the area. As he remarked, waiting for animals to hunt "represented 24% of the total man-hours of activity recorded. No tools left on the site were used, there were no immediate material "byproducts" of the "primary" activity. All of the other activities conducted at the site were boredom reducers." There are two basic types of modern archaeological excavation: Research excavation – when time and resources are available to excavate the site and at a leisurely pace. These are now exclusively the preserve of academics or private societies who can muster enough volunteer labour and funds; the size of the excavation can be decided by the director as it goes on. Development-led excavation – undertaken by professional archaeologists when the site is threatened by building development. Funded by the developer meaning that time is more of a factor as well as its being focused only on areas to be affected by building.
The workforce is more skilled however and pre-development excavations provide a comprehensive record of the areas investigated. Rescue archaeology is sometimes thought of as a separate type of excavation but in practice tends to be a similar form of development-led practice. Various new forms of excavation terminology have appeared in recent years such as Strip map and sample some of which have been criticized within the profession as jargon created to cover up for falling standards of practice. There are two main types of trial excavation in professional archaeology both associated with development-led excavation: the test pit or trench and the watching brief; the purpose of trial excavations is to determine the extent and characteristics of archaeological potential in a given area before extensive excavation work is undertaken. This is conducted in development-led excavations as part of Project management planning; the main difference between Trial
Religion in Tunisia
The majority of Tunisians consider themselves to be Muslim Sunnis belonging to the Malikite madhhab, although there has never been a study on the exact proportions. A small number of Ibadhi Muslims still exist among the Berber-speakers of Jerba Island; the government pays the salaries of prayer leaders. The President appoints the Grand Mufti of the Republic; the 1988 Law on Mosques provides that only personnel appointed by the Government may lead activities in mosques and stipulates that mosques must remain closed except during prayer times and other authorized religious ceremonies, such as marriages or funerals. Some people may be interrogated just for associating or being seen in the street with practicing Muslims. New mosques may be built in accordance with national urban planning regulations; the Government partially subsidizes the Jewish community. There is a small indigenous Sufi Muslim community. Reliable sources report that many Sufis left the country shortly after independence when their religious buildings and land reverted to the government.
Although the Sufi community is small, its tradition of mysticism permeates the practice of Islam throughout the country. There is a small indigenous "Maraboutic" Muslim community that belongs to spiritual brotherhoods known as "turuq." The Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, Mawlid are considered national holidays in Tunisia. In 2017 a handful of men were arrested for eating in public during Ramadan, they were convicted of committing “a provocative act of public indecency” and sentenced to month-long jail sentences; the state in Tunisia has a role as a "guardian of religion", used to justify the arrests. The Christian community, composed of indigenous Berber residents, Tunisians of Italian and French descent, a large group of native-born citizens of Arab descent, numbers 25,000 and is dispersed throughout the country. From the late 19th century to after World War II, Tunisia was home to large populations of Christian French and Maltese descent, although nearly all of them, along with the Jewish population, left after Tunisian independence.
There are an estimated 20,000 Catholics. The Roman Catholic Church in Tunisia, which forms the Archdiocese of Tunis, operates 12 churches, 9 schools, several libraries, 2 clinics. In addition to holding religious services, the Catholic Church opened a monastery organized cultural activities, performed charitable work throughout the country. According to church leaders, there are 2,000 Protestant practicing Christians, including a few hundred citizens who have converted to Christianity; the Russian Orthodox Church has 100 practising members and operates a church in Tunis and another in Bizerte. The Reformed Church of France maintains a church in Tunis, with a congregation of 140 foreign members; the Anglican Church has a church in Tunis with several hundred predominantly foreign members. There are 50 Seventh-day Adventists; the 30-member Greek Orthodox Church maintained 3 churches. Catholic and Protestant religious groups held services in private residences or other locations. Scattered among the various churches, though evangelical, are a number of Christian believers from Muslim backgrounds.
A 2015 study estimates some 500 such individuals in Tunisia. Judaism is the country's fourth largest religion with 1,500 members. One-third of the Jewish population lives in and around the capital, is descended predominantly from Israelite and Spanish immigrants; the remainder lives on the island of Djerba. The Bahá'í Faith in Tunisia begins circa 1910 when the first Bahá'í arrives from Egypt. In 1963 a survey of the community counted 18 organized groups of Bahá ` ís in Tunisia. US State Department 2001 estimates mention the Bahá'í community at about 150 persons; however Association of Religion Data Archives and several other sources point to over 1,000 Bahá'ís in the country. The Constitution of Tunisia provides for freedom of religion and the freedom to practice the rites of one's religion unless they disturb the public order; the Constitution declares the country's determination to adhere to the teachings of Islam and stipulates that Islam is the official state religion and that the president must be Muslim.
The government does not permit the establishment of political parties on the basis of religion and prohibits efforts to proselytize. Although changing religions is legal, there is great societal pressure against Muslims who decide to leave Islam; the government allows a small number of foreign religious charitable nongovernmental organizations to operate and provide social services
Carthage was the center or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia. The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire dominating the Mediterranean during the first millennium BC; the legendary Queen Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a local tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide. Cutting the skin into strips, she laid out her claim and founded an empire that would become, through the Punic Wars, the only existential threat to Rome until the coming of the Vandals several centuries later; the ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC and re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. The city was sacked and destroyed in the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in 698.
The site remained uninhabited, the regional power shifting to the Medina of Tunis in the medieval period, until the early 20th century, when it began to develop into a coastal suburb of Tunis, incorporated as Carthage municipality in 1919. The archaeological site was first surveyed by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe. Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre; the Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. Excavations performed by French archaeologists in the 1920s first attracted an extraordinary amount of attention because of the evidence they produced for child sacrifice. There has been considerable disagreement among scholars concerning whether or not child sacrifice was practiced by ancient Carthage; the open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984. The name Carthage /ˈkarθɪdʒ/ is the Early Modern anglicisation of French Carthage /kaʁ.taʒ/, from Latin Carthāgō and Karthāgō from the Punic qrt-ḥdšt "new city", implying it was a "new Tyre".
The Latin adjective pūnicus, meaning "Phoenician", is reflected in English in some borrowings from Latin—notably the Punic Wars and the Punic language. The Modern Standard Arabic form قرطاج is an adoption of French Carthage, replacing an older local toponym reported as Cartagenna that directly continued the Latin name. Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the south; the city's location made it master of the Mediterranean's maritime trade. All ships crossing the sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where Carthage was built, affording it great power and influence. Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring the city's massive navy of 220 warships and the other for mercantile trade. A walled tower overlooked both harbors; the city had 37 km in length, longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were located on the shore, thus could be less impressive, as Carthaginian control of the sea made attack from that direction difficult.
The 4.0 to 4.8 km of wall on the isthmus to the west were massive and were never penetrated. The city had a huge necropolis or burial ground, religious area, market places, council house, a theater, was divided into four sized residential areas with the same layout. In the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. Carthage was one of the largest cities of the Hellenistic period and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD 14, Rome had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, the cities of Alexandria and Antioch numbered only a few hundred thousand or less. According to the not always reliable history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire. On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, a residential area from the last century of existence of the Punic city was excavated by the French archaeologist Serge Lancel; the neighborhood, with its houses and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago.
The remains have been preserved under embankments, the substructures of the Roman forum, whose foundation piles dot the district. The housing blocks are separated by a grid of straight streets about 6 m wide, with a roadway consisting of clay. Construction of this type presupposes organization and political will, has inspired the name of the neighborhood, "Hannibal district", referring to the legendary Punic general or sufet at the beginning of the second century BCE; the habitat is typical stereotypical. The street was used as a storefront/shopfront. In some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortar; the merchant harbor at Carthage was developed, after settlement of the nearby Punic town of Utica. The surrounding countryside was brought into the orbit of the Punic urban centers, first commercially politically. Direct management over cultivation of neighbouring lands by Punic owners followed. A 28-volume work on agriculture written in Punic by Mago, a retired army general, was trans
The Latin word basilica has three distinct applications in modern English. The word was used to refer to an ancient Roman public building, where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions, it had the door at one end and a raised platform and an apse at the other, where the magistrate or other officials were seated. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town adjacent to the main forum. Subsequently, the basilica was not built near a forum but adjacent to a palace and was known as a "palace basilica"; as the Roman Empire adopted Christianity, the major church buildings were constructed with this basic architectural plan and thus it became popular throughout Europe. It continues to be used in an architectural sense to describe rectangular buildings with a central nave and aisles, a raised platform at the opposite end from the door. In Europe and the Americas the basilica remained the most common architectural style for churches of all Christian denominations, though this building plan has become less dominant in new buildings since the latter 20th century.
Thirdly, the term refers to an official designation: a large and important Catholic church, given special ceremonial rights by the Pope, whatever its architectural plan. These are divided into four major basilicas, all of which are ancient churches located within Rome, and, as of 2017, 1,757 minor basilicas around the world; some Catholic basilicas are Catholic pilgrimage sites, receiving tens of millions of visitors per year. In December 2009 the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe set a new record with 6.1 million pilgrims during Friday and Saturday for the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Latin word basilica lit. "royal stoa" referring to the tribunal chamber of a king. In Rome the word was at first used to describe an ancient Roman public building where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. To a large extent these were the town halls of ancient Roman life; the basilica was centrally located in every Roman town adjacent to the main forum. These buildings, an example of, the Basilica Ulpia, were rectangular, had a central nave and aisles with a raised platform and an apse at each of the two ends, adorned with a statue of the emperor, while the entrances were from the long sides.
By extension the name was applied to Christian churches which adopted the same basic plan and it continues to be used as an architectural term to describe such buildings, which form the majority of church buildings in Western Christianity, though the basilican building plan became less dominant in new buildings from the 20th century. The Roman basilica was a large public building; the first basilicas had no religious function at all. As early as the time of Augustus, a public basilica for transacting business had been part of any settlement that considered itself a city, used in the same way as the covered market houses of late medieval northern Europe, where the meeting room, for lack of urban space, was set above the arcades, however. Although their form was variable, basilicas contained interior colonnades that divided the space, giving aisles or arcaded spaces on one or both sides, with an apse at one end, where the magistrates sat on a raised dais; the central aisle tended to be wide and was higher than the flanking aisles, so that light could penetrate through the clerestory windows.
The oldest known basilica, the Basilica Porcia, was built in Rome in 184 BC by Cato the Elder during the time he was Censor. Other early examples include the basilica at Pompeii; the most splendid Roman basilica is the one begun for traditional purposes during the reign of the pagan emperor Maxentius and finished by Constantine I after 313 AD. Basilica Porcia: first basilica built in Rome, erected on the personal initiative and financing of the censor Marcus Porcius Cato as an official building for the tribunes of the plebs Aemilian Basilica, built by the censor Aemilius Lepidus in 179 BC Basilica Sempronia, built by the censor Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 169 BC Basilica Opimia, erected by the consul Lucius Opimius in 121 BC, at the same time that he restored the temple of Concord Julian Basilica dedicated in 46 BC by Julius Caesar and completed by Augustus 27 BC to 14 AD Basilica Argentaria, erected under Trajan, emperor from 98 AD to 117AD Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine In the Roman Imperial period, a basilica for large audiences became a feature in palaces.
In the 3rd century AD, the governing elite appeared less in the forums. They now tended to dominate their cities from opulent palaces and country villas, set a little apart from traditional centers of public life. Rather than retreats from public life, these residences were the forum made private. Seated in the tribune of his basilica, the great man would meet his dependent clientes early every morning. Constantine's basilica at Trier, the Aula Palatina, is still standing. A private basilica excavated at Bulla Regia, in the "House of the Hunt", dates from the first half of the 5th century, its reception or audience hall is a long rectangular nave-like space, flanked by dependent rooms that also open into one another, ending in a semi-circular apse, with matching transept spaces. Cluster
Tunisia is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent, it is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was 11.435 million in 2017. Tunisia's name is derived from its capital city, located on its northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains, the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil, its 1,300 kilometres of coastline include the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, feature the African mainland's second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar. Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, it is considered to be the only democratic sovereign state in the Arab world.
It has a high human development index. It has an association agreement with the European Union. In addition, Tunisia is a member state of the United Nations and a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Close relations with Europe – in particular with France and with Italy – have been forged through economic cooperation and industrial modernization. In ancient times, Tunisia was inhabited by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC. A major mercantile power and a military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated by the Romans in 146 BC; the Romans, who would occupy Tunisia for most of the next eight hundred years, introduced Christianity and left architectural legacies like the El Djem amphitheater. After several attempts starting in 647, the Muslims conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottoman Empire between 1534 and 1574; the Ottomans held sway for over three hundred years. The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881.
Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957. In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by parliamentary elections; the country voted for parliament again on 26 October 2014, for President on 23 November 2014. The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis; the present form of the name, with its Latinate suffix -ia, evolved from French Tunisie. in turn associated with the Berber root ⵜⵏⵙ, transcribed tns, which means "to lay down" or "encampment". It is sometimes associated with the Punic goddess Tanith, ancient city of Tynes; the French derivative Tunisie was adopted in some European languages with slight modifications, introducing a distinctive name to designate the country. Other languages remained untouched, such as Spanish Túnez. In this case, the same name is used for both country and city, as with the Arabic تونس, only by context can one tell the difference. Before Tunisia, the territory's name was Ifriqiya or Africa, which gave the present-day name of the continent Africa.
Farming methods reached the Nile Valley from the Fertile Crescent region about 5000 BC, spread to the Maghreb by about 4000 BC. Agricultural communities in the humid coastal plains of central Tunisia were ancestors of today's Berber tribes, it was believed in ancient times that Africa was populated by Gaetulians and Libyans, both nomadic peoples. According to the Roman historian Sallust, the demigod Hercules died in Spain and his polyglot eastern army was left to settle the land, with some migrating to Africa. Persians became the Numidians; the Medes settled and were known as Mauri Moors. The Numidians and Moors belonged to the race from; the translated meaning of Numidian is Nomad and indeed the people were semi-nomadic until the reign of Masinissa of the Massyli tribe. At the beginning of recorded history, Tunisia was inhabited by Berber tribes, its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 12th century BC. The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC by Phoenicians. Legend says that Dido from Tyre, now in modern-day Lebanon, founded the city in 814 BC, as retold by the Greek writer Timaeus of Tauromenium.
The settlers of Carthage brought their culture and religion from Phoenicia, now present-day Lebanon and adjacent areas. After the series of wars with Greek city-states of Sicily in the 5th century BC, Carthage rose to power and became the dominant civilization in the Western Mediterranean; the people of Carthage worshipped a pantheon of Middle Eastern gods including Tanit. Tanit's symbol, a simple female figure with extended arms and long dress, is a popular icon found in ancient sites; the founders of Carthage established a Tophet, altered in Roman times. A Carthaginian invasion of Italy led by Hannibal during the Second Punic War, one of a series of wars with Rome, nearly crippled the rise of Roman power. From the conclusion of the Second Punic War in 202 BC, Carthage functioned as a client state of the Roman Republic for another 50 years. F