Appian, Roman History 8.1. The Punic Wars

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Appian’s Roman History, Book VIII




cap. i1. Καρχηδόνα τὴν ἐν Λιβύῃ Φοίνικες ᾤκισαν ἔτεσι πεντήκοντα πρὸ ἁλώσεως Ἰλίου, οἰκισταὶ δ᾿ αὐτῆς ἐγένοντο Ζῶρός τε καὶ Καρχηδών, ὡς δὲ Ῥωμαῖοι καὶ αὐτοὶ Καρχηδόνιοι νομίζουσι, Διδὼ γυνὴ Τυρία, ἧς τὸν ἄνδρα κατακαίνει Πυγμαλίων Τύρου τυραννεύων, καὶ τὸ ἔργον ἐπέκρυπτεν. ἡ δὲ ἐξ ἐνυπνίου τὸν φόνον ἐπέγνω, καὶ μετὰ χρημάτων πολλῶν καὶ ἀνδρῶν, ὅσοι Πυγμαλίωνος τυραννίδα ἔφευγον, ἀφικνεῖται πλέουσα Λιβύης ἔνθα νῦν ἔστι Καρχηδών. ἐξωθούμενοι δ᾿ ὑπὸ τῶν Λιβύων ἐδέοντο χωρίον ἐς συνοικισμὸν λαβεῖν, ὅσον ἂν βύρσα ταύρου περιλάβοι. τοῖς δὲ ἐνέπιπτε μέν τι καὶ γέλωτος ἐπὶ τῇ τῶν Φοινίκων μικρολογίᾳ, καὶ ᾐδοῦντο ἀντειπεῖν περὶ οὕτω βραχυτάτου· μάλιστα δ᾿ ἠπόρουν ὅπως ἂν πόλις ἐν τηλικούτῳ διαστήματι γένοιτο, καὶ ποθοῦντες ἰδεῖν ὅ τι ἔστιν αὐτοῖς τοῦτο τὸ σοφόν, συνέθεντο δώσειν καὶ ἐπώμοσαν. οἱ δὲ τὸ δέρμα περιτεμόντες ἐς ἱμάντα ἕνα στενώτατον, περιέθηκαν ἔνθα νῦν ἔστιν ἡ Καρχηδονίων ἀκρόπολις· καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦδε Βύρσα ὀνομάζεται.


The Punic Wars

Book VIII—Part I

The Punic Wars


1. The Phoenicians founded Carthage, in Africa,chap. i fifty years before the capture of Troy. Its founders were either Zorus and Carchedon, or, as the RomansFirst Phoenician settlement and the Carthaginians themselves think, Dido, a Tyrian woman, whose husband had been slain clandestinely by Pygmalion, the ruler of Tyre. The murder being revealed to her in a dream, she embarked for Africa with her property and a number of men who desired to escape from the tyranny of Pygmalion, and arrived at that part of Africa where Carthage now stands. Being repelled by the inhabitants, they asked for as much land for a dwelling-place as an ox-hide would encompass. The Africans laughed at the paltriness of the Phoenicians’ request, and were ashamed to deny so small a favour. Besides, they could not imagine how a town could be built in so narrow a space, and wishing to unravel the subtlety they agreed to give it, and confirmed the promise by an oath. The Phoenicians, cutting the hide round and round into one very narrow strip, enclosed the place where the citadel of Carthage now stands, which from this affair was called Byrsa (a hide).

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.appian-roman_history_book_viii_1_punic_wars.1912