Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/241

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217
SEA PEOPLES AND TRADING PEOPLES

and Babylonian hosts, and, profiting greatly by the long siege of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar II, became the greatest maritime power the world had hitherto seen. She claimed the Western Mediterranean as her own, and seized every ship she could catch west of Sardinia. Roman writers accuse her of great cruelties. She fought the Greeks for Sicily, and later (in the second century b.c.) she fought the Romans. Alexander the Great formed plans for her conquest; but he died, as we shall tell later, before he could carry them out.

 

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At her zenith Carthage probably had the hitherto unheard-of population of a million. This population was largely industrial, and her woven goods were universally famous. As well as a coasting trade, she had a considerable land trade with Central Africa,[1] and she sold negro slaves, ivory, metals, precious stones and the like, to all the Mediterranean people; she worked Spanish copper mines, and her ships went out into the Atlantic and coasted along Portugal and France northward as far as the Cassiterides (the Scilly Isles, or Cornwall, in England) to get tin. About 520 b.c. a certain Hanno made a voyage that is still one of the most notable in the world. This Hanno, if we may trust the Periplus of Hanno, the Greek translation of his account which still survives, followed the African coast southward from the Straits of Gibraltar as far as the confines of Liberia. He had sixty big ships, and his main task was to found or reinforce certain Carthaginian stations upon the Morocco coast. Then he pushed southward. He founded a settlement in the Rio de Oro (on Kerne or Herne Island), and sailed on past the Senegal river.

  1. There were no domesticated camels in Africa until after the Persian conquest of Egypt. This must have greatly restricted the desert routes. (See Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, note to Chap. VIII.) But the Sahara desert of 3000 or 2000 years ago was less parched and sterile than it is to-day. From rock engravings we may deduce the theory that the desert was crossed from oasis to oasis by riding oxen and by ox-carts: perhaps, also, on horses and asses. The camel as a beast of transport was seemingly not introduced into North Africa till the Arab invasions of the seventh century a.d. The fossil remains of camels are found in Algeria, and wild camels may have lingered in the wastes of the Sahara and Somaliland till the domesticated camel was introduced. The Nubian wild ass also seems to have extended its range to the Sahara. — H. H. J.