Punic Wars > Tunis
The existence of the town is attested by sources dating from the 6th century BC. In the 2nd millennium BC a town, originally named Tunes, was founded by Berbers and also over time occupied by Numidians. In 146 BC, the Romans destroyed Tunis (along with Carthage). However, the city was subsequently rebuilt under the rule of Augustus and became an important town under Roman control and the center of a booming agricultural industry. Situated on a hill, Tunis served as an excellent point from which the comings and goings of naval and caravan traffic to and from Carthage could be observed. Tunis was one of the first towns in the region to fall under Carthaginian control, and in the centuries that followed Tunis was mentioned in the military histories associated with Carthage. Thus, during Agathocles' expedition, which landed at Cape Bon in 310 BC, Tunis changed hands on various occasions.The Lady of Carthage mosaic, one of the major surviving pieces of Byzantine art in modern TunisiaDuring the Mercenary War, it is possible that Tunis served as a center for the native population of the area, and that its population was mainly composed of peasants, fishermen, and craftsmen. Compared to the ancient ruins of Carthage, the ruins of ancient Tunis are not as large. According to Strabo, it was destroyed by the Romans during the Third Punic War. Both Tunis and Carthage were destroyed; Tunis, however, was rebuilt first. The city is mentioned in the Tabula Peutingeriana as Thuni. In the system of Roman roads for the Roman province of Africa, Tunis had the title of mutatio ("way station, resting place"). Tunis, increasingly Romanized, was also eventually Christianized and became the seat of a bishop. However, Tunis remained modestly sized compared to Carthage during this time.