The amphitheater of Carthage was built in the 1st century AD. J-C. outside the city and was considered as one of the largest in the Roman Empire. Descriptions of it by medieval chroniclers tell us of imposing structures and lofty arcades.
After the destruction of Punic Carthage in 146 BC, a new city of Carthage was built on the same land. By the 3rd century, Carthage developed into one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire, with a population of several hundred thousand.
It was the center of the Roman province of Africa, which was a major breadbasket of the empire. Carthage briefly became the capital of a usurper, Domitius Alexander, in 308–311.
Conquered by the Vandals in 439, Carthage served as the capital of the Vandal Kingdom for a century. Re-conquered into the Eastern Roman Empire in 533/4, it continued to serve as an Eastern Roman regional center, as the seat of the praetorian prefecture of Africa.
The city was sacked and destroyed by Arabs after the Battle of Carthage in 698 to prevent it from being reconquered by the Byzantine Empire. It remained occupied by a garrison during the Muslim period and was used as a fort by the Muslims until the Hafsid period when it was taken by Crusaders with its defenders killed during the Eighth Crusade. The Hafsids decided to destroy its defenses so it couldn’t be used as a base by a hostile power again. Roman Carthage was used as a source to provide building materials for Kairouan and Tunis in the 8th century.
Today, slightly set back from the road, only an oval arena remains, 65 m long by 37 wide with, at both ends, the accesses through which the wild beasts arrived.
The most famous of the tortured who experienced such an end, Saint Perpetua and Sainte Félicité, martyred for their faith in this enclosure in 203.
Tunis / Carthage
What is there to see:
– the cisterns of the Malga
– Odéon district
– the amphitheater
– the circus
– Damous Carita basilica
– Antonine thermal baths
– The theater
– From 16/09 to 31/05: 08.30 – 17.00
– From 01/06 to 15/09: 08:00 – 18:00
08.00 – 17.00