Carthage (Qart-ḥadašt "new city") was the Phoenician city-state of Carthage and during the 7th to 3rd centuries BC, included its sphere of influence, the Carthaginian Empire. The empire extended over much of the coast of North Africa as well as encompassing substantial parts of coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea.
Carthage 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 served as a major hub of trade, with trading stations extending throughout the region.