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Snake in a Jar in Nablus He was born into military conflict and died as a result of one, a sad misfit in a land far, far away from his beloved home. Carthage at that time was one of two dominant powers in the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Carthage was an old city, having been founded by the Phoenicians , an early people who expanded outward from the area that we now call the Middle East.
The Phoenicians built ships and explored the Mediterranean, building colonies along the way.
Carthage was one such colony. As the Phoenicians' power and influence waned, their colonies became self-sufficient. In the case of Carthage, the colony also became powerful. Carthaginian ships sailed the Mediterranean, patrolling the waters and protecting the trade that poured forth from the busy seaports of Carthage.
Many smaller cities and settlements paid tribute to Carthage rather than suffer at the hands of the war-like Carthaginians. One of the area's cities that didn't want to pay tribute to Carthage was Rome.
Rome and Carthage had clashed early on, in what came to be known as the Punic Wars. Rome had, for all practical purposes, won the First Punic War.