Carthage was the site of a powerful trading empire and rivalled Rome in supremacy until the 2nd Century BC. Established by the Phoenicians in the 9th century, and later became the main city after the fall of Tyre in the 6th century. Today, in Tunisia, the ruins of Carthage are protected by UNESCO and only the Roman ruins remain. When Rome conquered Carthage, they razed the city and nothing was left, including the incredible man-made port. The description and images are extraordinary.
My main character heads to Carthage to gather information that relates to the quest. In the story and through the character’s eyes, we see what Ancient Carthage may have been like. A bustling city, with two busy ports, one for merchant ships and the other for their navy. Imagine what it must have been like to arrive in a foreign city not knowing anyone or able to speak the language. We can. Most of us have done it when travelling to another country. You feel inadequate and also a little scared because you don’t understand and may get lost!
Now where does one go to find out about something? To a library. Now there is only so much information in books and on the internet that is available. I have researched the culture, the government, the people and religion of Carthage/Phoenicians and what I found most difficult locating is people’s names. Apart from the obvious ones like: Hannibal, Hamlicar, Hanno, Hasdrubal (bit of a pattern here!) and Mago, there wasn’t much to choose from. However, I did find a website that gave the etymology of names. It took a while to weed through but was an interesting exercise and learnt a lot about names. Always learning.
I also had my character go to a library and he found it quite enlightening. Good places libraries. He learnt now has to go to Thebes, Egypt.
One day, I’ll go. Sigh…