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At the bottom of the large bay now known as the Gulf of Tunis, is a peninsula which was formerly united to the mainland by an isthmus about three miles broad. Carthage stood on this peninsula, about half way between Utica and Tunis, both of which were visible from its walls.

A slender neck of land projecting westward into the Mediterranean formed a double harbour, for the vessels of commerce and of war. A single wall constituted the defence on the side of the sea; but on the isthmus, the citadel Byrsa, cresting an eminence, and a three-fold wall, afforded protection against invaders. Behind stretched the city, a vast mass of tall houses, built of all sorts of materials, stone, wood, pebbles, reeds, shells, and mud, intersected by innumerable streets, with splendid temples rising here and there from the midst of groves of palm, citron, or cypress, and displaying their polished copper cupolas, glistening in the sun like red gold, their cones of white marble, their twisted columns and richly sculptured cornices.

The Phænician founders of Carthage came to Africa not as conquerors, but as peaceful sojourners, and purchased the land on which they settled by a yearly tribute. An industrious, energetic, enterprising race, skilled in the arts and manufactures of their parent state, the Carthaginians were able to turn to the best account the natural resources of their new homes. Situated in the midst of rude nomad tribes, who were incessantly fighting with each other, and often appealed to for succour by the combatants, it was easy for a civilized people to impress these barbarians with a sense of its superiority; and surrounded by regions without a master, it was impossible for Carthage to resist the appetite for conquest. She imposed a light yoke on her subjects, and taught them how to raise abundant harvests; in exchange for which they procured wine and oil. All she claimed in return was occasional military service.

But although her rule was far from harsh, the Africans were never reconciled to it. They were, however, willing to (13)


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assist the commerce of Carthage, by procuring supplies from the interior or the western coast of the continent. The island of Cerve was one of the chief stations at which the Carthaginians transacted business with the natives; and here we have an instance of the mute bargaining mentioned by travellers as customary among some of the Indians and Arabians. Carthaginians state,” says Herodotus, “that they are wont to sail to a nation beyond the Pillars of Hercules, on the Libyan coast. When they come there, they transport their wares on shore, where they leave them, and after kindling a fire, go back to their ships. Upon this signal the natives come down to the sea, and placing gold against the wares, again retire. The Carthaginians again approach, and see whether what has been left is sufficient. If it is, they take it and depart; should it, however, not be enough for their wares, they again go back to their ships and wait; and the other party brings more gold, until the strangers are satisfied. But neither party deals unfairly by the other; for the one touches not the gold till the value of the wares be brought, nor the other the wares until the gold be taken away." Modern travellers have described this practice as prevalent among some of the tribes of the Soudan.

Slaves, salt, and dates, were three of the chief articles in the internal trade of Africa. From the earliest times the negro seems to have been the favourite victim of the kidnapper and the slavedealer; and hosts of these wretched creatures were bought by the Carthaginians from nomad tribes, for exportation to Greece, Italy, and elsewhere. The desert yielded at least one article which was indispensable to the people of the fertile coast—salt. Vast quantities of it are found in the interior, either in the beds of driedup lakes or in great layers extending sometimes for many miles. Grain the Carthaginians obtained in great abundance from the adjacent fields of the Numidians. But there was another article of food of much importance to them, which a kindly Providence has assigned to those habitable regions where the soil is too barren for corn. In Africa the date harvest is regarded with only less interest than the crops of grain, for it is the bread of great bodies of the population; and moreover, by exchange, procures them wheat. Gold, ivory, furs, and hides, were also articles of commerce between the natives of the interior and the merchants of Carthage.

In addition to the settlements which she herself established on the north coast of Africa, most of the Greek and Phænician colonies there were obliged to acknowledge the supremacy of Carthage; and she soon began to acquire possessions within the bounds of Europe. Islands, as being convenient halting-places for their ships, and especially as more secure from attack, at a time when they were invincible at sea, were generally preferred by the Carthaginians to the mainland. Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, Minorca, and Malta were not secured and maintained without a hard struggle, but were of the utmost value to Carthaginian commerce, both as marts of exchange and sources of supply. Of all their territories, however, Spain was the most precious. Thence, during the long contest with Rome, they drew their best troops, and also the means of supporting the great armies which they had to keep in the field. Although the Carthaginians penetrated into the interior of the peninsula, their settlements were chiefly on the south-east coast. On the west, however, beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, they succeeded to some of the Phænician stations.

The Carthaginians, although they exposed themselves to the wrath of Alexander by their efforts to assist Tyre, profited by her fall, which increased their monopoly of European commerce.

The riches of all nations poured into their marts, their fleets rode supreme on all the known waters of the globe, and for a time Carthage bade fair to be the mistress of the world. Across the Mediterranean, however, another state aspired to that position. Neither was disposed to yield its pretensions, and a war of extermination between Romans and Carthaginians became inevitable. It lasted, with various pauses, from 264 to 146 B.C. Hannibal shed the glory of heroic renown over Cathage; but no heroism could save it. The Romans triumphed, and the utter destruction of the capital of the vanquished accomplished the cruel, savage policy, which had been suggested by the memorable words of Cato- Delenda est Carthago. A few scattered and shapeless heaps of ruins are all that remain to mark the site of the once mighty city.


The best view of Cairo and its vicinity is obtained from the Citadel, which commands the whole city. It is thus described by Dean Stanley, in his “Sinai and Palestine in Connection with their History:”—“The town is a vast expanse of brown, broken only by occasional interludes of palms and sycamores, and by the countless minarets. About half a dozen large buildings, mosques or palaces, also emerge. On each side rise shapeless mounds;—those on the east covered with tents, and, dimly seen beyond, the browner line of the desert; those on the west, the site of Old Cairo, the site of the Roman fortress of Babylon, and of Fostat, where Amrou first pitched his tent, deserted since the time of Saladin. Beyond is the silver line of the Nile; and then, rising in three successive groups, above the delicate green plain which sweeps along nearly to the foot of the African hills, the Pyramids of Abusir, Sakarah, and Ghizeh—these last being "The Pyramids,' and the nearest. There is something very striking in their total disconnection with Cairo. They stand alone on the edge of that green vale which is Egypt. There is no intermingling, as in ancient and modern Rome It is as if you looked out on Stonehenge from London, or as if the Colosseum stood far away in the depths of the Campagna. Cairo is not the ghost of the dead Egyptian empire,' nor anything like it. Cairo itself leaves a deep feeling that, whatever there was of greatness or wisdom in those remote ages and those gigantic monuments, is now the inheritance, not of the East, but of the West. The Nile, as it glides between the tombs of the Pharaohs and the city of the Caliphs, is indeed a boundary between two worlds."

The Pyramids stand at the edge of the desert, on the western side of the Nile, but an hour or two's distance from the city. After crossing the ferry the stranger imagines them close at hand, though he has still a good long mile to traverse. A near view is generally disappointing; and it is not until the visitor begins to make comparisons that the fact of their exceeding vastness comes home to the mind. The base of the Great Pyramid of Cheops is 800 feet square, covering a surface of eleven acres; and its height is 461 feet, being 117 feet higher than the cross of St. Paul's Cathedral. It is a common feat of travellers to ascend, with the aid of a couple of Arab guides, to the summit, which may be reached by an active man in about twenty minutes. “ The view from the top,” says Stanley, “has the same vivid contrast of life and death which makes all wide views in Egypt striking—the desert and the green plain: only the view over the desert—the African desert-being much more extensive here than elsewhere, one gathers in better the notion of the wide, heaving ocean of sandy billows, which hovers on the edge of the valley of the Nile. The white line of the minarets of Cairo is also a peculiar featurepeculiar because it is strange to see a modern Egyptian city which is a grace instead of a deformity to the view. You see also the strip of desert running into the green plain on the east of the Nile, which marks Heliopolis and Goshen.

“ The strangest feature in the view is the platformi on which the Pyramids stand. It completely dispels the involuntary notion that one has formed of the solitary abruptness of the three Pyramids. The whole platform of the greatest of them all is a maze of pyramids and tombs. Three little ones stand beside the first; three also beside the third. The second and third are each surrounded by traces of square enclosures, and their eastern faces are approached through numerous masses of ruins, as of some great temple; whilst the first is enclosed on three sides by long rows of massive tombs, on which you look down from the top as on the plats of a stone garden.”

It is said that six millions of tons of stone were made use of in the construction of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, and that its erection occupied a hundred thousand men for twenty years! The mass is not solid, but contains a series of chambers, the entrance to which is on the north side. A long, close, and devious passage leads to the Queen's Chamber, 17 feet long by 12 high; from thence another long passage leads to the King's Chamber, 37 feet

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