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Brief history of Ibiza (2nd part)
The Carthaginians and their affairs

(by Pablo Burgués)

Though it’s hard to believe, the first people who conquered the noble lands of Ibiza were not the Italians, nor even the Argentinians, but the Phoenicians (you can read some of their Ibiza pranks clicking here). Well, the second people who turned this island into their private low cost hotel were the Carthaginians, also known as Punics. 

These nice human beings from the city of Carthage (current Tunis) were mainly merchants and their top product in the Pitiusan islands was the salt. We have to take into account that at that time sodium chloride was highly expensive, so much that it was even used as a currency of payment. The Carthaginians, a sea people who were very bold and keener to have fun than to work, decided to create their own money-making machine. And that’s how the present salt mines in Ibiza were born.

They also brought the first image of Tanit to the island. Tanit is the goddess of the Earth and fertility, patroness of Carthage and sancta sanctorum of the Hippie-Wellness-NewAge-KarmaToTheTop community in Ibiza at all past and present times. If you want to know more about this lady, I recommend you to visit Cova Des Culleram, in Sant Vicent de sa Cala. This little cave, discovered in 1907, holds hundreds of clay figures of goddess Tanit, so, either this is a Chinese illegal warehouse or it is one of the most important Punic sanctuaries in the Mediterranean.

But, be careful, don’t let that the mystic and nice face of the Carthaginians outshines you, because in spite of pretending to be kind merchants what these guys really liked was to kick the shit beyond the seas. So, at the end of the stick-stick-stick century before Christ, Carthage was the first economic and military power in the neo-Western Mediterranean.

But, surprise, one day, when they were invading all around, the Carthaginians came across some guys with skirt, sideburn helmet and punk crest, named Romans, who were also really lively. The nasty feeling between both nations soon woke up, and led to the three Punic Wars.

The Carthaginians were thrashed in the three derbies, but, the MVP of the struggle was theirs: Hannibal Barca, an eccentric Carthaginian soldier who crossed all the Iberian Peninsula with his army, crossed the Alps on an elephant and was on the verge of conquering Rome. By the way, there are diverse theories that state that the guy was born in Ibiza (I tell you all here).

But in spite of all the titanic Punic efforts, by mid stick-stick century before Christ the Romans conquered Carthage and after that all the cities that were part of the Punic empire fell down one by one, including Ibiza. But I’ll tell you about this next week, because you would like to go to sleep now.

To be continued…

 

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Pablo Burgués on Instagram and Twitter

Translation: Dora Sales

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