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
Carthage was a Phoenician state that included, during the 7th–3rd centuries BC, its wider sphere of influence known as the Carthaginian Empire. The empire extended over much of the coast of Northwest Africa as well as encompassing substantial parts of coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians founded Carthage in 814 BC. A dependency of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Carthage gained independence around 650 BC and established its political hegemony over other Phoenician settlements throughout the western Mediterranean, this lasting until the end of the 3rd century BC. At the height of the city's prominence, it served as a major hub of trade, with trading stations extending throughout the region. For much of its history, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and with the Roman Republic; the city had to deal with hostile Berbers, the indigenous inhabitants of the area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Roman forces destroyed Carthage redesigned and occupied the site of the city.
Nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies subsequently fell into Roman hands. According to Roman sources, Phoenician colonists from modern-day Lebanon, led by Dido, founded Carthage circa 814 BC. Queen Elissa was an exiled princess of the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre. At its peak, the metropolis she founded, came to be called the "shining city", ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean Sea and leading the Phoenician world. Elissa's brother, Pygmalion of Tyre, had murdered the high priest. Elissa escaped the tyranny of her own country, founding the "new city" of Carthage and subsequently its dominions. Details of her life are sketchy and confusing, but the following can be deduced from various sources. According to Justin, Princess Elissa was the daughter of King Belus II of Tyre; when he died, the throne was jointly bequeathed to her brother and her. She married her uncle Acerbas known as Sychaeus, the High Priest of Melqart, a man with both authority and wealth comparable to the king.
This led to increased rivalry between the monarchy. Pygmalion was a tyrant, lover of both gold and intrigue, who desired the authority and fortune enjoyed by Acerbas. Pygmalion assassinated Acerbas in the temple and kept the misdeed concealed from his sister for a long time, deceiving her with lies about her husband's death. At the same time, the people of Tyre called for a single sovereign. In the Roman epic of Virgil, the Aeneid, Queen Dido, the Greek name for Elissa, is first introduced as a esteemed character. In just seven years, since their exodus from Tyre, the Carthaginians have rebuilt a successful kingdom under her rule, her subjects present her with a festival of praise. Her character is perceived by Virgil as more noble when she offers asylum to Aeneas and his men, who had escaped from Troy. A spirit in the form of the messenger god, sent by Jupiter, reminds Aeneas that his mission is not to stay in Carthage with his new-found love, but to sail to Italy to found Rome. Virgil ends his legend of Dido with the story that, when Aeneas tells Dido, her heart broken, she orders a pyre to be built where she falls upon Aeneas' sword.
As she lay dying, she predicted eternal strife between Aeneas' people and her own: "rise up from my bones, avenging spirit" she says, an invocation of Hannibal. Aeneas goes on to found the Roman Kingdom; the details of Virgil's story do not, form part of the original legend and are significant as an indication of Rome's attitude towards the city she had founded, exemplified by Cato the Elder's much-repeated utterance, "Carthago delenda est", "Carthage must be destroyed". The Phoenicians established numerous colonial cities along the coasts of the Mediterranean to provide safe harbors for their merchant fleets, to maintain a Phoenician monopoly on an area's natural resources, to conduct trade free of outside interference, they were motivated to found these cities by a desire to satisfy the demand for trade goods or to escape the necessity of paying tribute to the succession of empires that ruled Tyre and Byblos, by fear of complete Greek colonization of that part of the Mediterranean suitable for commerce.
The Phoenicians lacked the population or necessity to establish large self-sustaining cities abroad, most of their colonial cities had fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, but Carthage and a few others developed larger populations. Although Strabo's claim that the Tyrians founded three hundred colonies along the west African coast is exaggerated, colonies were established in Tunisia, Algeria, to a much lesser extent, on the arid coast of Libya; the Phoenicians were active in Cyprus, Corsica, the Balearic Islands and Sicily, as well as on the European mainland at present-day Genoa in Italy and Marseille in present-day France. The settlements at Crete and Sicily were in perpetual conflict with the Greeks, but the Phoenicians managed to control all of Sicily for a limited time; the entire area came under the leadership and protection of Carthage, which in turn dispatched its own colonists to found new cities or to reinforce those that declined with the loss of primacy of Tyre and Sidon. The first colonies were settled on the two paths to Iberia's mineral wealth — along the Northwest African coast and on Sicily and the Ba
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
Gilbert Abbott à Beckett
Gilbert Abbott à Beckett was an English humorist. He was born in London, the son of a lawyer, belonged to a family claiming descent from Thomas Becket, he was educated at Westminster School and was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1841. He edited the comic paper Figaro in London and was one of the original staff of Punch and a contributor until his death, he was an active journalist on The Times and The Morning Herald, contributed a series of light articles to the Illustrated London News, conducted in 1846 The Almanack of the Month and found time to produce some fifty or sixty plays, among them dramatized versions of Charles Dickens's shorter stories, written in collaboration with Mark Lemon. He is best known as the author of Comic History of England, Comic History of Rome and a Comic Blackstone, he wrote the book for two operas with music composed by his wife Mary Anne à Beckett, Agnes Sorrel and Red Riding Hood. As poor-law commissioner he presented a valuable report to the Home Secretary regarding the Andover workhouse scandal, in 1849 he became a metropolitan police magistrate.
He is buried at Highgate Cemetery. His elder brother, Sir William à Beckett, became chief justice of Australia, he was the father of two other Victorian writers, Gilbert Arthur à Beckett and Arthur William à Beckett. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: John William. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons – via Wikisource. Works by Gilbert Abbott À Becket at Project Gutenberg Works by Gilbert Abbott à Beckett at Faded Page Works by or about Gilbert Abbott à Beckett at Internet Archive "Punch, or, The London Charivari, 1841", Science in the 19th Century Periodical "The comic history of England". Colour engravings by John Leech with text by Gilbert Abbott À Beckett. BibliOdyssey À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott & Leech, John; the comic history of England, London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott & Leech, John. The comic history of England, London: George Routledge, New York: E. P. Dutton, Portraits of Gilbert Abbott A'Beckett at the National Portrait Gallery, London
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
Timoleon, son of Timodemus, of Corinth was a Greek statesman and general. As the champion of Greece against Carthage he is connected with the history of Sicily Syracuse. In the mid 360s BC, the brother of Timoleon, took possession of the acropolis of Corinth and made himself tyrant of the city. In response, who had earlier saved his brother's life in battle, became involved in the assassination of Timophanes. Public opinion approved his conduct as patriotic; because of the political problems facing Syracuse and the threat from Sparta, a group of Syracusans sent an appeal for help to Corinth which reached the city state in 344 BC. Corinth could not refuse help, though her chief citizens declined to accept responsibility for attempting to establish a stable government in fractious and turbulent Syracuse. Timoleon, being named by an unknown voice in the Corinthian popular assembly, was chosen by a unanimous vote to undertake the mission, set sail for Sicily with seven ships, a few of the leading citizens of Corinth and 700 Greek mercenaries.
He eluded a Carthaginian squadron and landed at Tauromenium in 344 BC, where he met with a friendly reception. At this time Hicetas, tyrant of Leontini, was master of Syracuse, with the exception of the island of Ortygia, occupied by Dionysius, still nominally tyrant. Hicetas was defeated by Timoleon at Adranum, an inland town, driven back to Syracuse. Timoleon was sent reinforcements from some north-western Greek states. During the siege of Syracuse, Dionysius surrendered Ortygia in 343 BC on the condition of his being granted a safe conduct to Corinth; this was agreed and Dionysius was sent to exile in Corinth. Hicetas now received help from Carthage. Timoleon was thus master of Syracuse, he at once began the work of restoration, bringing new settlers from the mother-city and from Greece and establishing a popular government on the basis of the democratic laws of Diocles. The citadel was razed to the ground, a court of justice erected on its site; the amphipolos, or priest of Olympian Zeus, chosen annually by lot out of three clans, was invested with the chief magistracy.
The impress of Timoleon's reforms seems to have lasted to the days of Augustus. Hicetas was able to persuade Carthage to send a great army. With a miscellaneous levy of about 12,000 men, most of them mercenaries, Timoleon marched westwards across the island to the neighbourhood of Selinus and won a great and decisive victory on the Crimissus. Timoleon led his infantry, the enemy's discomfiture was completed by a blinding storm of rain and hail. Carthage made one more effort and despatched some mercenaries to prolong the conflict between Timoleon and the tyrants, but it ended in the defeat of Hicetas, taken prisoner and put to death. Carthage agreed to a treaty in 338 BC by which Carthage was confined in Sicily to the west of the Halycus and undertook to give no further help to the Sicilian tyrants. Most of the remaining tyrants were expelled; this treaty gave the Greeks of Sicily many years of safety from Carthage. Timoleon established a new Syracusan constitution, it was described at the time as democratic.
However, he did have wide powers equivalent to a supreme commander. He invited settlers from mainland Greece to assist in the re-population of Syracuse and other Sicilian cities. During this period, Greek Sicily enjoyed a recovery in its culture. Timoleon retired into private life on becoming blind, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, accepted, he was buried at the cost of the citizens of Syracuse, who erected a monument to his memory in their market-place, afterwards surrounded with porticoes, a gymnasium called Timoleonteum. The ancient historian Timaeus gave Timoleon high accolades in his work. However, Polybius criticized Timaeus for bias in favour of Timoleon and many modern historians have sided with Polybius. Peter Green thinks it has gone too far. While he concedes that Timoleon tended to play the democrat while using the methods of a tyrant, he did make an effort to maintain the outward forms of democracy. Further, he reformed Syracuse in a democratic direction and demolished the stronghold of the island, so useful to tyrants in the past.
Plutarch, Life of Timoleon. Cornelius Nepos, Timoleon. Diod. Sic. Historical Library, xvi.65–90. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Timoleon". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26. Cambridge University Press. Westlake, H. D. Timoleon and His Relations With Tyrants. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1952. Bicknell, P. J. "The Date of Timoleon's Crossing to Italy and the Comet of 361 B. C.", The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 34, No. 1. Pp. 130–134. Talbert, R. J. A. Timoleon and the Revival of Greek Sicily, 344–317 B. C.. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975.
Syracuse is a historic city on the island of Sicily, the capital of the Italian province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, amphitheatres, as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes; this 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea; the city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans and became a powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth and exerted influence over the entirety of Magna Graecia, of which it was the most important city. Described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it equaled Athens in size during the fifth century BC, it became part of the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire. Under Emperor Constans II, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.
The kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12; the patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy. Syracuse and its surrounding area have been inhabited since ancient times, as shown by the findings in the villages of Stentinello, Plemmirio, Cozzo Pantano and Thapsos, which had a relationship with Mycenaean Greece. Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea, led by the oecist Archias. There are many attested variants of the name of the city including Συράκουσαι Syrakousai, Συράκοσαι Syrakosai and Συρακώ Syrakō. A possible origin of the city's name was given by Vibius Sequester citing first Stephanus Byzantius in that there was a Syracusian marsh called Syrako and secondly Marcian's Periegesis wherein Archias gave the city the name of a nearby marsh.
The settlement of Syracuse was a planned event, as a strong central leader, Arkhias the aristocrat, laid out how property would be divided up for the settlers, as well as plans for how the streets of the settlement should be arranged, how wide they should be. The nucleus of the ancient city was the small island of Ortygia; the settlers found the land fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean. Colonies were founded at Akrai, Akrillai and Kamarina; the descendants of the first colonists, called Gamoroi, held power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the lower class of the city. The former, returned to power in 485 BC, thanks to the help of Gelo, ruler of Gela. Gelo himself became the despot of the city, moved many inhabitants of Gela and Megara to Syracuse, building the new quarters of Tyche and Neapolis outside the walls, his program of new constructions included a new theatre, designed by Damocopos, which gave the city a flourishing cultural life: this in turn attracted personalities as Aeschylus, Ario of Methymna and Eumelos of Corinth.
The enlarged power of Syracuse made unavoidable the clash against the Carthaginians, who ruled western Sicily. In the Battle of Himera, who had allied with Theron of Agrigento, decisively defeated the African force led by Hamilcar. A temple dedicated to Athena, was erected in the city to commemorate the event. Syracuse grew during this time, its walls encircled 120 hectares in the fifth century, but as early as the 470's BC the inhabitants started building outside the walls. The complete population of its territory numbered 250,000 in 415 BC and the population size of the city itself was similar to Athens. Gelo was succeeded by his brother Hiero, who fought against the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BC, his rule was eulogized by poets like Simonides of Ceos and Pindar, who visited his court. A democratic regime was introduced by Thrasybulos; the city continued to expand in Sicily, fighting against the rebellious Siculi, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, making expeditions up to Corsica and Elba. In the late 5th century BC, Syracuse found itself at war with Athens, which sought more resources to fight the Peloponnesian War.
The Syracusans enlisted the aid of a general from Sparta, Athens' foe in the war, to defeat the Athenians, destroy their ships, leave them to starve on the island. In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 300 hoplites and a general to Cyrus the Younger's Army of the Ten Thousand. In the early 4th century BC, the tyrant Dionysius the Elder was again at war against Carthage and, although losing Gela and Camarina, kept that power from capturing the whole of Sicily. After the end of the conflict Dionysius built a massive fortress on Ortygia and 22 km-long walls around all of Syracuse. Another period of expansion saw the destruction of