Carthage was an ancient city port established by the Phoenicians. This particular port became so powerful that it was able to form its own unique kingdom independent of Tyre. Ancient Phoenician traders from Tyre created the port as a western hub for trade within the Mesopotamian Sea. Once Carthage was established as a trade colony in time it grew to become a major power within the Mesopotamian region. The city was established in 841 B.C. which is where it appears on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History.
One of the reasons why Carthage became so powerful was because of their ability to dominate the waterways of the Mesopotamian Sea. Carthage not only controlled oversea trade routes for commerce they also had one of the most powerful navies in ancient history.
The Carthage navy was powerful for a number of reasons. The first being is that Carthage had a naval force that was feared by many kingdoms and empires in the ancient world. This city-state had a vast number of ships that they could use immediately for warfare. Historical sources claim that the Carthaginians could place about 350 warships into the sea for the purpose of defence or to assault an enemy.
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Many Carthaginians were excellent seafarers and they knew how to sail and fight on the open waters of the Mesopotamia. A lot of the sailors were trained in basic naval functions and military tactics. The Carthaginians were considered the best sailors in the ancient world and they were a deadly force to contend with if they were engaged on the seas by an enemy. The Carthaginians used quadriremes and quinqueremes. These were three-decked ships that were powered by rowers and sails. They were used to ram enemy vessels or they shot long bolts at enemy boats with large sized bolts that resembled modern day harpoons. The use of Greek Fire (burning oil or pitch) was also as a weapon when sea battles occurred.
God established the city of Tyre to be a powerful trading city-state. The Phoenician kings of Tyre had befriended both Kings David and Solomon before the kingdom of Israel split apart. King David had King Haram of Tyre supply him with supplies and other goods for Solomon when he was ready to build the Temple. King Solomon built the Temple he also used King Hiram’s assistance with supplies, goods and craftsmen for the project. Solomon and Hiram established an alliance and from this alliance Israel established its first navy that was based in Tyre. The powerful city-state of Tyre still remained allies with the people of Judah and Israel but their alliances are barely mentioned after the rule of Solomon.
Even though Carthage isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible, it can be reasonably said that the city wasn’t too different from that of Tyre.
- 1 Kings 8: 10 – 11, 26 – 28 King Solomon’s navy established at Tyre.