A consul held the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic, ancient Romans considered the consulship the highest level of the cursus honorum. Each year, the citizens of Rome elected two consuls to serve jointly for a one-year term; the consuls alternated in holding imperium each month, a consul's imperium extended over Rome and the provinces. However, after the establishment of the Empire, the consuls became mere symbolic representatives of Rome's republican heritage and held little power and authority, with the Emperor acting as the supreme authority. After the legendary expulsion of the last Etruscan King, Tarquin the Proud, a harsh ruler at the end of the Roman Kingdom, most of the powers and authority of the king were ostensibly given to the newly instituted consulship; this change in leadership came about when the king's son, Sextus Tarquinius, raped the wife and daughter of powerful Roman nobles. A group of nobles led by Lucius Junius Brutus, with the support of the Roman Army, expelled Tarquinius and his family from Rome in 509 BC.
Consuls were called praetors, referring to their duties as the chief military commanders. By at least 300 BC the title of Consul became used. Ancient writers derive the title consul from the Latin verb consulere, "to take counsel", but this is most a gloss of the term, which derives—in view of the joint nature of the office—from con- and sal-, "get together" or from con- and sell-/sedl-, "sit down together with" or "next to". In Greek, the title was rendered as στρατηγὸς ὕπατος, strategos hypatos, simply as ὕπατος; the consul was believed by the Romans to date back to the traditional establishment of the Republic in 509 BC, but the succession of consuls was not continuous in the 5th century BC. During the 440s, the office was quite replaced with the establishment of the Consular Tribunes, who were elected whenever the military needs of the state were significant enough to warrant the election of more than the two usual consuls; these remained in place until the office was abolished in 367/366 BC and the consulship was reintroduced.
Consuls had extensive powers in peacetime, in wartime held the highest military command. Additional religious duties included certain rites which, as a sign of their formal importance, could only be carried out by the highest state officials. Consuls read auguries, an essential step before leading armies into the field. Two consuls were elected each year, serving together, each with veto power over the other's actions, a normal principle for magistracies, it is thought that only patricians were eligible for the consulship. Consuls were elected by the Comitia Centuriata, which had an aristocratic bias in its voting structure which only increased over the years from its foundation. However, they formally assumed powers only after the ratification of their election in the older Comitia Curiata, which granted the consuls their imperium by enacting a law, the "lex curiata de imperio". If a consul died during his term or was removed from office, another would be elected by the Comitia Centuriata to serve the remainder of the term as consul suffectus.
A consul elected to start the year - called a consul ordinarius - held more prestige than a suffect consul because the year would be named for ordinary consuls. According to tradition, the consulship was reserved for patricians and only in 367 BC did plebeians win the right to stand for this supreme office, when the Lex Licinia Sextia provided that at least one consul each year should be plebeian; the first plebeian consul, Lucius Sextius, was elected the following year. The office remained in the hands of a few families as, according to Gelzer, only fifteen novi homines - "new men" with no consular background - were elected to the consulship until the election of Cicero in 63 BC. Modern historians have questioned the traditional account of plebeian emancipation during the early Republic, noting for instance that about thirty percent of the consuls prior to Sextius had plebeian, not patrician, names, it is possible that only the chronology has been distorted, but it seems that one of the first consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus, came from a plebeian family.
Another possible explanation is that during the 5th century social struggles, the office of consul was monopolized by a patrician elite. During times of war, the primary qualification for consul was military skill and reputation, but at all times the selection was politically charged. With the passage of time, the consulship became the normal endpoint of the cursus honorum, the sequence of offices pursued by the ambitious Roman who chose to pursue political power and influence; when Lucius Cornelius Sulla regulated the cursus by law, the minimum age of election to consul became, in effect, 41 years of age. Beginning in the late Republic, after finishing a consular year, a former consul would serve a lucrative term as a proconsul, the Roman Governor of one of the provinces; the most chosen province for the proconsulship was Cisalpine Gaul. Although throughout the early years of the Principate, the consuls were still formally elected by the Comitia Centuriata, they were in fact nominated by the princeps.
As the years progressed, the distinction between the Comitia Centuriata and the Comitia Tributa appears to have disappeared, so for the purposes of the consular
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was or desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago. It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, representing 0.7 % of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar-the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa- is only 14 km wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, in the south by Africa, it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is 4,000 km; the sea's average north-south length, from Croatia's southern shore to Libya, is 800 km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travellers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region; the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia and Herzegovina, Albania, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea.
The Ancient Greeks called the Mediterranean ἡ θάλασσα or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα, ἡ ἡμέτερα θάλασσα, or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς. The Romans called it Mare Mare Internum and, starting with the Roman Empire, Mare Nostrum; the term Mare Mediterrāneum appears later: Solinus used it in the 3rd century, but the earliest extant witness to it is in the 6th century, in Isidore of Seville. It means'in the middle of land, inland' in Latin, a compound of medius, -āneus; the Latin word is a calque of Greek μεσόγειος, from μέσος and γήινος, from γῆ. The original meaning may have been'the sea in the middle of the earth', rather than'the sea enclosed by land'; the Carthaginians called it the "Syrian Sea". In ancient Syrian texts, Phoenician epics and in the Hebrew Bible, it was known as the "Great Sea" or as "The Sea". Another name was the "Sea of the Philistines", from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. In Modern Hebrew, it is called HaYam HaTikhon'the Middle Sea'. In Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ'the Middle Sea'.
In Islamic and older Arabic literature, it was Baḥr al-Rūm'the Sea of the Romans' or'the Roman Sea'. At first, that name referred to only the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was extended to the whole Mediterranean. Other Arabic names were Baḥr al-šām'the Sea of Syria' and Baḥr al-Maghrib'the Sea of the West'. In Turkish, it is the Akdeniz'the White Sea'; the origin of the name is not clear, as it is not known in earlier Greek, Byzantine or Islamic sources. It may be to contrast with the Black Sea. In Persian, the name was translated as Baḥr-i Safīd, used in Ottoman Turkish, it is the origin of the colloquial Greek phrase Άσπρη Θάλασσα. Johann Knobloch claims that in Classical Antiquity, cultures in the Levant used colours to refer to the cardinal points: black referred to the north, yellow or blue to east, red to south, white to west; this would explain both the Turkish Akdeniz and the Arab nomenclature described above. Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores and were influenced by their proximity to the sea.
It provided routes for trade and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate and access to the sea, c
Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
The Israelites were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah, through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, their son Jacob, called Israel, whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah. Modern archaeology has discarded the historicity of the religious narrative, with it being reframed as constituting an inspiring national myth narrative; the Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the Southern Levant, ancient Israel, the Transjordan region through the development of a distinct monolatristic—later cementing as monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
The outgrowth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites. In the Hebrew Bible the term Israelites is used interchangeably with the term Twelve Tribes of Israel. Although related, the terms Hebrews and Jews are not interchangeable in all instances. "Israelites" refers to the direct descendants of any of the sons of the patriarch Jacob, his descendants as a people are collectively called "Israel", including converts to their faith in worship of the god of Israel, Yahweh. "Hebrews", on the contrary, is used to denote the Israelites' immediate forebears who dwelt in the land of Canaan, the Israelites themselves, the Israelites' ancient and modern descendants. "Jews" is used to denote the descendants of the Israelites who coalesced when the Tribe of Judah absorbed the remnants of various other Israelite tribes. Thus, for instance, Abraham was a Hebrew but he was not technically an Israelite nor a Jew, Jacob was both a Hebrew and the first Israelite but not a Jew, while David was all three, a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Judahite.
A Samaritan, on the contrary, while being both a Hebrew and an Israelite, is not a Jew. During the period of the divided monarchy "Israelites" was only used to refer to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel, it is only extended to cover the people of the southern Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage; the Israelites are the ethnic stock from which modern Jews and Samaritans trace their ancestry. Modern Jews are named after and descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Many Israelites took refuge in the Kingdom of Judah following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel. In Judaism, the term "Israelite" is, broadly speaking, used to refer to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group, as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites. In texts of Jewish law such as the Mishnah and Gemara, the term יהודי, meaning Jew, is used, instead the ethnonym ישראלי, or Israelite, is used to refer to Jews. Samaritans refer to themselves and to Jews collectively as Israelites, they describe themselves as the Israelite Samaritans.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, derived from the Greek Ισραηλίτες, used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either "sons of Israel" or "children of Israel". The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29, it refers to the renaming of Jacob, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", el, "God, the divine"; the name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not"; the inscription refers to a people, not to a nation-state. In modern Hebrew, b'nei yisrael can denote the Jewish people at any time in history. From the period of the Mishna the term Yisrael acquired an additional narrower meaning of Jews of legitimate birth other than Levites and Aaronite priests.
In modern Hebrew this contrasts with the term Yisraeli, a citizen of the modern State of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The term Hebrew has Eber as an eponymous ancestor, it is used synonymously with "Israelites", or as an ethnolinguistic term for historical speakers of the Hebrew language in general. The Greek term Ioudaioi was an exonym referring to members of the Tribe of Judah, which formed the nucleus of the kingdom of Judah, was adopted as a self-designation by people in the diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem; the Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria, but until modern times many Jewish authorities contested their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners w
The Biblical judges are described in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Judges, as people who served roles as military leaders in times of crisis, in the period before an Israelite monarchy was established. A cyclical pattern is recounted in the Book of Judges to show the need for the various judges: apostasy of the Israelite people, hardship brought on as punishment from God, crying out to the Lord for rescue; the story of the judges seems to describe successive individuals, each from a different tribe of Israel, described as chosen by God to rescue the people from their enemies and establish justice. While judge is a literalistic translation of the Hebrew term used in the Masoretic text, the position as described is more one of unelected non-hereditary leadership than that of legal pronouncement. However, Cyrus H. Gordon argued that they may have come from among the hereditary leaders of the fighting and ruling aristocracy, like the kings in Homer. Coogan says that they were most tribal or local leaders, contrary to the Deuteronomistic historian's portrayal of them as leaders of all of Israel, but Malamat pointed out that in the text, their authority is described as being recognized by local groups or tribes beyond their own.
The biblical scholar Kenneth Kitchen argues that, from the conquest of Canaan by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel and Judah, the Israelite tribes may have formed a loose confederation. In this conception, no central government would have existed but in times of crisis, the people would have been led by ad hoc chieftains, known as judges. However, some scholars are uncertain. Working with the chronology in Judges, Payne points out that although the timescale of Judges is indicated by Jephthah's statement that Israel had occupied the land for around 300 years, some of the judges overlapped one another. Claiming that Deborah's victory has been confirmed as taking place in 1216 from archaeology undertaken at Hazor, he suggests that the period may have lasted from c. 1382 to c. 1063. Bill T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson wrote that if all the figures given in Judges are treated as consecutive the total duration of the events described in Judges is 410 years. If we accept a date of 1000 BCE for the beginning of David's reign over all Israel, which puts the beginning of Eli's leadership of Israel at about 1100 BCE the judges period would begin no than 1510 BCE – impossible for those who date the conquest to the fifteenth century BCE There is doubt among some scholars about any historicity of the Book of Judges.
In the Hebrew Bible, Moses is described as a shofet over the Israelites and appoints others to whom cases were delegated in accordance with the advice of Jethro, his Midianite father-in-law. The Book of Judges mentions twelve leaders who judged Israel: Othniel, Shamgar, Gideon, Jair, Ibzan, Elon and Samson; the First Book of Samuel mentions Samuel, as well as Joel and Abiah. The First Book of Chronicles mentions his sons; the Second Book of Chronicles mentions Zebadiah. The biblical text does not describe these leaders as "a judge", but says that they "judged Israel", using the verb שָׁפַט. Thus, Othniel "judged Israel", Tola "judged Israel twenty-three years", Jair judged Israel twenty-two years. Shophet
A tribal chief is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Tribal societies with social stratification under a single leader emerged in the Neolithic period out of earlier tribal structures with little stratification, they remained prevalent throughout the Iron Age. In the case of indigenous tribal societies existing within larger colonial and post-colonial states, tribal chiefs may represent their tribe or ethnicity in a form of self-government; the most common types are the chairman of a council and/or a broader popular assembly in "parliamentary" cultures, the war chief, the hereditary chief, the politically dominant medicineman. The term is distinct from chiefs at lower levels, such as village chief or clan chief; the descriptive "tribal" requires an ethno-cultural identity as well as some political expression. In certain situations, in a colonial context, the most powerful member of either a confederation or a federation of such tribal, clan or village chiefs would be referred to as a paramount chief.
This term has fallen out of use and such personages are now called kings. A woman who holds a chieftaincy in her own right or who derives one from her marriage to a male chief has been referred to alternatively as a chieftainess, a chieftess or in the case of the former, a chief. Anthropologist Elman Service distinguishes two stages of tribal societies: simple societies organized by limited instances of social rank and prestige, more stratified societies led by chieftains or tribal kings. Tribal societies represent an intermediate stage between the band society of the Paleolithic stage and civilization with centralized, super-regional government based in cities. Stratified tribal societies led by tribal kings thus flourished from the Neolithic stage into the Iron Age, albeit in competition with civilisations and empires beginning in the Bronze Age. An important source of information for tribal societies of the Iron Age is Greco-Roman ethnography, which describes tribal societies surrounding the urban, imperialist civilisation of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, tribal kingdoms were again established over much of Europe in the wake of the Migration period. By the High Middle Ages, these had again coalesced into super-regional monarchies. Tribal societies remained prevalent in much of the New World. Exceptions to tribal societies outside of Europe and Asia were Paleolithic or Mesolithic band societies in Oceania and in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Europeans forced centralized governments onto these societies during colonialism, but in some instances tribes have retained or regained partial self-government. Lonco among the Mapuche Morubixaba — tribal Cacique of the Tupi people Oubutu Rajiv Tyee, a tribal chief of the Chinookan peoples in the Pacific Northwest of the present-day United States Cacique, a term used among the Taino Nation of the Caribbean islands adopted by the Spanish to refer to all heads of chiefdoms whom they encountered: Cuauhtémoc, Tecun Uman, Atlacatl, Nicarao, Tupac Amaru II Sachem, term of chiefdom of the Algonquian nations of present-day New England in the United States Afro Bolivian king Eze Gbong Gwon Jos Kgosi Mogho Naba Nkosi Oba and Oloye.
Obai Omanhene Orkoiyot Sarkin Obong Tor Tiv of the Tiv people of Central Nigeria Aliʻi and Aliʻi nui were the chiefs and high chiefs of the islands of Hawaii Islands Ariki,'ariki henua Grade-taking systems of northern Vanuatu Ibedul Meena means Chief of tribals in South Asia. Iroijlaplap Matai, in the Samoan fa'amatai system Nahnmwarki, Lepen Palikir Rangatira, a chief of Māori in New Zealand Ratu, Fijian Chief, Malay for Queen Datu and Filipino Chief Arabs, in particular peninsular Arabs and nomadic Bedouins, are organized in tribes, many of whom have official representatives in governments. Tribal chiefs are known as Sheikhs, though this term is sometimes applied as an honorific title to spiritual leaders of Sufism; the Afro-Bolivian people, a recognized ethnic constituency of Bolivia, are led by a king whose title is recognized by the Bolivian government. In Botswana, the reigning chiefs of the various tribes are empowered to serve as advisers to the government as members of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi, the national House of Chiefs.
In addition to this, they serve as the ex officio chairs of the tribal kgotlas, meetings of all of the members of the tribes, where political and social matters are discussed. The band is the fundamental unit of governance among the First Nations in Canada. Most bands have elected chiefs, either directly elected by all members of the band, or indirectly by the band council, these chiefs are recognized by the Canadian state under the terms of the Indian Act; as well, there may be traditional hereditary or charismatic chiefs, w
The Punics known as Carthaginians, were a people from Ancient Carthage who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. Punic is the English adjective, derived from the Latin adjective punicus to describe anything Carthaginian, their language, was a dialect of Phoenician. Unlike their Phoenician ancestors, the Carthaginians had a landowning aristocracy, which established a rule of the hinterland in Northwestern Africa and trans-Saharan trade routes. In times, one of the clans established a Hellenistic-inspired empire in Mediterranean Iberia and had a foothold in western Gaul. Like other Phoenician people, their urbanized culture and economy were linked to the sea. Overseas, they established control over some coastal regions of Berber Northwest Africa in what is now Tunisia and Libya as well as Sardinia, Sicily, the Balearic Islands and other small islands of the western Mediterranean. In the Balearic Islands, Sardinia and Sicily, they had strong economic and political ties to the independent natives in the hinterland.
Their naval presence and trade extended throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, to Atlantic Iberia, the British Isles, the Canaries, West Africa. Technical achievements of the Punic people of Carthage include the development of uncolored glass and the use of lacustrine limestone to improve the purity of molten iron. Most of the Punic culture was destroyed as a result of the Punic Wars fought between Rome and Carthage, from 264 to 146 BC, but traces of language and technology could still be found in Africa during the early Christianisation, from AD 325 to 650. After the Punic Wars, Romans used the term Punic as an adjective meaning treacherous. Punic, in archaeological and linguistic usage, refers to a culture and dialect in Carthage from Hellenistic and times that had developed into a distinct form from the Phoenician of the mother city of Tyre. Phoenicians settled in Northwest Africa and other areas under Carthaginian rule, but their culture and government were distinct. Punic remains can be found in settlements from Iberia to Cyprus.
The Punic religion was based on that of their Phoenician forefathers, who worshiped Baal Hammon and Melqart, but merged Phoenician ideas with Numidian and some Greek and Egyptian deities, such as Apollo and Dionysus, with Baal Hammon being the most important Punic god. Punic culture became a melting pot, since Carthage was a big trading port, but the Carthaginians retained some of their old cultural identities and practices; the Carthaginians carried out significant sea explorations around Africa and elsewhere from their base in Carthage. In the 5th century BCE, Hanno the Navigator played a significant role in exploring coastal areas of present-day Morocco and other parts of the African coast noting details of indigenous peoples such as at Essaouira. Carthaginians pushed westerly into the Atlantic and established important settlements in Lixus, Volubilis and Mogador, among other locations. Being trade rivals with Magna Graecia, the Carthaginians had several clashes with the Greeks over the island of Sicily in the Sicilian Wars from 600–265 BCE.
They also fought Rome in the Sicilian Wars of 265–146 BCE, but lost due to being outnumbered, lack of full governmental involvement, over-reliance on their navy. This enabled eventual domination of the Mediterranean Sea. Cato the Elder famously ended all his speeches, regardless of subject, with the imperative that Carthage be utterly crushed, a view summarised in Latin by the phrase Praeterea censeo Carthaginem esse delendam meaning, "Moreover, I declare, Carthage must be destroyed!". Although the Carthaginians were conquered in 146 BCE and their city destroyed, Cato never got to see his victory, having died 3 years earlier; the destruction of Carthage was not the end of the Carthaginians. After the wars, the city of Carthage was razed and the land around it was turned into farmland for Roman citizens. There were, other Punic cities in Northwest Africa, Carthage itself was rebuilt and regained some importance, if a shadow of its ancient influence. Although the area was Romanized and some of the population adopted the Roman religion, the language and the ethnicity persisted for some time.
People of Punic origin prospered again as traders and politicians of the Roman Empire. Septimius Severus, emperor of Rome and a proud Punic, was said to speak Latin with a Punic accent. Under his reign Carthaginians rose to the elites and their deities entered their imperial cult. Carthage was rebuilt about 46 BCE by Julius Caesar and settlements in the surrounding area were granted to soldiers who had retired from the Roman army. Carthage once again prospered and became the number-two trading city in the Roman Empire, until Constantinople took over that position; as Christianity spread in the Roman Empire, it was successful in Northwest Africa, Carthage become a Christian city before Christianity was legal. Saint Augustine, born in Thagaste, considered himself Punic, left some important reflections on Punic cultural history in his writing. One of his more well known passages reads: “It is an excellent thing that the Punic Christians call baptism itself nothing else but ‘salvation’, the sacrament of Christ's body nothing else but ‘life’.”The last remains of a distinct Punic culture disappeared somewhere in the chaos during the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
The demographic and cultural characteristics of the region were transformed by turbulent events such as