This is an excellent documentary with the purpose of addressing a story which is yet to be fully told, and when it has been it was mostly been done with a pack of lies and fabrications by roman historians. And as it is commonly known, history is written by the winners!
The following is Dewi Cooke review of the documentary:
Before Rome there was Carthage. An empire stretching across the top of North Africa and into Spain, Carthaginians viewed the Mediterranean as an extension of their empire and for hundreds of years held control of Sardinia and Sicily in Italy.
But in 146 BC Roman troops tore down the ancient city, systematically destroying every building and killing every inhabitant. Seen here, all that is left today are poorly preserved ruins under modern-day Tunis that belie the significance of the once booming metropolis.
Cambridge University historian Richard Miles is eager to set the record straight, that the destruction of Carthage was a holocaust on a grand scale and that the Carthaginians were ahead of any advances the Roman empire claims to have made.
The wealth of natural resources in their territories gave them immense riches, so that by 500 BC, Carthage, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, was the wealthiest city in the Western world. Miles’ description of the Carthaginians makes them sound like a coterie of rich Miami powerbrokers who face up against a ruthless mob syndicate from New Jersey; one, comfortable in its wealth and security, the other desperate to steal some of that affluence and power away. He is enthusiastic about his subject, having spent time in the region over the past decade. Many of his piece-to-camera explanations are staged on boats, presumably to emphasise the Carthaginians’ natural affinity with the sea, a connection that would eventually contribute to the empire’s downfall.
The legacy of the empire has been glossed over by history because the Romans, under instructions to “leave not one building standing, not one person alive”, were exceedingly thorough in their destruction of the great city. As in many military conquests, the library was one of the first buildings to go and so all record of Carthaginian culture, society and language – recorded by the people themselves – was lost.
Here Miles reminds us that all that is left is the victor’s account, which, like much of history, must be seen through a critical lens.