Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

14 - QUESTION:   Which city became a major power in the Mediterranean and controlled of the waters between Sicily and Tunisia?

Answer: Carthage.

Carthage, located in on the North African coast became a large and rich city, and thus a major power in the Mediterranean. Its central location in the Mediterranean enabled it to control of the waters between Sicily (Italy) and Tunisia. Carthaginian commerce covered vast sea and land routes throughout the Mediterranean, far into the Atlantic, and by land across the Sahara desert. Carthage's massive merchant fleet, which surpassed even those of the cities of the Levant, visited every major port of the Mediterranean, Britain, the coast of Africa, and the Canary Islands. Merchants at first favored the ports of the east: Egypt, the Levant, Greece, Cyprus, and Asia Minor (Turkey). But after Carthage's control of Sicily brought it into conflict with Greek colonists, it established commercial relations in the western Mediterranean, including trade with the Etruscans. Carthage traded in almost every commodity wanted by the ancient world, including spices from Arabia, Africa and India. Carthage also sent caravans into the interior of Africa and Persia, while its ships traversed the maritime trade routes.

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