The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Utica (Africa)

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The American Cyclopædia
Utica (Africa)
Edition of 1879. See also Utica, Tunisia on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

UTICA, an ancient city of Africa, on the W. arm of the river Bagradas, near the bay of Carthage, a short distance N. W. of the present city of Tunis; its site is now occupied by the little village of Bu-shatter. It is said to have been founded by the Tyrians 287 years before the foundation of Carthage. In the early wars between Rome and Carthage it appears as an ally of the latter. In the third Punic war it made a separate and early submission to Rome, and its prosperity was thereby greatly increased, as on the fall of Carthage a part of its territory was given to Utica, and that city was made the residence of the Roman governor. In the historical narratives of the struggles between Sulla and Marius, and those between Cæsar and Pompey, frequent references are made to it as a place of great importance. Its amphitheatre was capable of seating 20,000 persons, and on an artificial lake mimic sea fights were exhibited. Its supplies of water were stored in numerous vast reservoirs or cisterns, some of which still remaining are 136 ft. long, 19 ft. wide, and 20 or 30 ft. deep. Cato the younger, surnamed Uticensis, committed suicide here in 46 B. C. Augustus made Utica a free city. It was the see of a Christian bishop at an early date. It fell into the hands of the Vandals in 439, but was recovered by the Byzantine emperors, who retained it till toward the close of the 7th century, when it was conquered by the Arabs and destroyed.