The city, called Qart-ḥadašt (New City)in the Phoenician language, was founded in 814 BC. A dependency of the Phoenician state of Tyre at the time, Carthage gained independence around 650 BC and established its political hegemony over other Phoenician settlements throughout the western Mediterranean, this lasting until the end of the 3rd century BC. At the height of the city's prominence, it was a major hub of trade with trading stations extending throughout the region.
For much of its history, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and the Roman Republic, leading to a series of armed conflicts known as the Greek-Punic Wars and Punic Wars. The city also had to deal with the potentially hostile Berbers, the indigenous inhabitants of the area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Carthage was destroyed and then occupied by Roman forces. Nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies subsequently fell into Roman hands.