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1. Beach holidays

2. Desert and oases

3. The empty mountains

4. Carthage and Romans

5. Islamic times

6. Berber sensations

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Carthage and the Romans




Bulla Regia



The stories about Hannibal bringing the elephants across the Alps to attack Rome, and senator Cato calling out for the destruction of Carthage towards the end of every speech are not only important details of ancient world history. They are decisive to much about how world history became. When Carthage defeated by Rome in 146 BCE perhaps also European history begins.
Carthage was established as a colony by tradesmen from modern Lebanon in 814 BCE, and with the rise of Rome, two great Mediterrenean powers clashed all too many times. War came to last almost 120 years.
From the era of Carthage quite little remains, there are a few uninspired and trashy ruins at Carthage; Cato really got his will. Kerkouane out on Cap Bon stands out as the only real memory of this era.
For long the Romans neglected their new province across the sea. Utica was early on developed as mew regional capital, but as its river came silt up, Carthage again to blossom, now as a true Roman city.
The Romans established several great cities in Tunisia. The foremost today does not count Carthage actually, but Dougga, Thuburbo Majus and Bulla Regia, all in the interior, cities thriving from agriculture. But everyone fascinated by Roman cities will have to count in many more stops. What definitely should be considered is Chemtou, the marble city, Maktar, which is huge but often overlooked as it is not terribly unique, and of course, the most spectacular of them all: El-Jem. El-Jem is so fantastic experience because its city is almost completely lost, all that remains is one of the fabulous amphitheatres in history, challenging the colusseum of Rome.
Sbeitla is very much a Roman city, but what makes it truly fascinating, is it being the last capital of Christian Tunisia before the brutal invasion of Muslims in the 7th century.

By Tore Kjeilen