After years of strict stewardship (in vengeance for the gnawing 50 years of war in which the Carthaginians, last of the Phoenician colonies, were finally beaten out of Sicily), the Roman empire, in 149 BC, demanded that the Carthaginians leave their city and move inland. After years of harassment by Rome, this at last the Carthaginians refused to do, and after three bloody years of war (the third Punic war, Punic being the latin word for Phoenician), Carthage was razed to the ground, burnt, her fields sown with salt (so that even if it was ever rebuilt, it would starve (thanks, p_i!)) and annexed to Rome, while the few surviving Carthaginians were taken to Rome as slaves. Phoenicia, the sea-faring nation who invented the alphabet, was dead, another bloody spot on Rome's imperial glove.

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