PHOENICIANS AND CARTHAGINIANS
 THE native Iberians knew of silver and gold ore in the hills of southern Spain, which the
Phoenician merchant-sailors from Tyre taught them to utilize, giving them in exchange the
products of their skill, and in course of time a great trade was carried on between
distant Phoenicia on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and Iberian "Tarshish" beyond
its western end. Does not the prophet Ezekiel say, speaking of Phoenician Tyre, "Tarshish
was thy merchant, by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches?"
Tarshish, sometimes called by its Latin form, Tartessus, was the name applied, probably,
to the region about the mouth of the river Guadalquivir, and perhaps to all that portion
of Spain now known as Andalusia.
 Here the Phoenicians founded the city to-day known as Cadiz, and which they called
"Gaddir," or fortress, subsequently named Gadez by the Romans. Although the Phoenician
sailors had long traded here—for the founding of cities is not the first occupation
of explorers or traders—yet the probable beginning of Cadiz, about 1100 B.C.,
or three thousand years ago, is the first date that we can even approximately establish in
Two centuries later, or about 900 B.C., Greek sailors arrived at the Catalonian
coast of northeastern Spain, and there founded a colony which became prosperous through
its traffic with the natives. The Greeks had already sailed through the Straits of
Gibraltar, and declared that they had reached the extreme verge of the habitable globe. In
token of this their great Hercules, or the Tyrian hero, had set up two monuments, one on
the European and the other on the African coast, which even to-day are known as the
"Pillars of Hercules." There are other traditions referring to Hercules and his connection
with Spain, for it is thought that in this country he sought the oxen of the triple-bodied
Geryones, as he was on his way back from Gadira (or Gaddir), when he killed the monster
Cacus. And further, there is not
 much doubt that the famed "Hesperides" were located here, from which, as one of the
Herculean "labours," the son of Zeus was to fetch the golden apples. Hence it will be seen
that the early traditions of Spain are very respectably connected! And, moreover, we
should not forget that the Pillars of Hercules are perpetuated in the American "dollar
mark" ($), the two upright columns, wreathed within a scroll, according to a fanciful
In the seventh century B.C., Gaddir, or Cadiz, was a flourishing city, as also was
another Phoenician settlement on the north-east coast, Tartessus, or Tarracco, the modern
Tarragona, since famous for its wines and Roman ruins. During the first centuries of
Phoenician commerce with Spain, traditions tell us, silver was so abundant that the
Tyrians not only loaded their vessels with the ore, but hammered it into anchors and
ballast for their ships. Gold, silver, and copper coins were minted and ornaments wrought;
and these, together with other objects of antiquity, are frequently found
to-day—relics of the ancient Gaddir, or of Phoenician "Cadiz under the Sea." Some
have held that, while the first city was founded here, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir,
yet the mines of gold, silver, and copper were those we find today
 more northerly, in the province of Huelva. From the port of Huelva, at the mouth of the
Rio Tinto, vast amounts of copper have been exported in mode times; and, moreover, this
same river, down which the caravels of Columbus sailed at the very beginning of their
first voyage to America, derived its ancient name from the copper colour of its waters.
The Phoenicians came here as merchant rovers; perhaps at times they had acted as pirates
of the sea, but had carried on no war of conquest. At the most, they colonized a few
seacoast cities, and in exchange for the natural products of Spain they bestowed upon the
natives the benefits of their civilization, including, it is thought, the alphabet and the
art of writing.
It was left for the Phoenician colony of Carthage to bring the Iberians directly tributary
to another people, soon after the close of the first Punic war. Though, according to
tradition, an embassy of Gauls and Iberians was sent to Alexander the Great, in the fourth
century B.C., yet they still existed in obscurity when the great Hamilcar Barca
turned his attention to Spain as a possible recruiting ground for his depleted armies.
Rome had conquered him in Sardinia and Sicily, which provinces he had lost to Carthage,
 had been compelled to sue for peace. But his hatred of Rome was implacable, and,
foreseeing the futility of waging further war from Africa direct, he passed over into
Spain, and there again built up his forces with recruits from the wild but fearless
Hasdrubal, Hamilcar's son-in-law, who founded the city of New Carthage, or Cartagena, in
Spain, after Hamilcar was killed, in the year 228 B.C., carried on the conquest of
Spain until himself assassinated seven years later.
Hannibal, son of Hamilcar, was but eighteen years old when his father died, and twenty-six
when Hasdrubal was killed, but he had been bred to war from, childhood, trained to fight
with the Spanish levies, and taught to hate the archenemy of Carthage. When, as a boy, he
had pleaded with Hamilcar to be taken with him to Spain, his father had consented only
after he had sworn, on the altar of Jupiter the Great, eternal enmity to Rome. Not only
was he brought up in camp, sleeping and eating with the native troops, but in early
manhood he was married to a Spanish woman,. and by this act had won the native soldiers'
regard, as well as by his valour.
Chosen by the troops as Hasdrubal's successor, Hannibal began his real campaign against
Rome two years later, 218 B.C.,
lay-  ing siege to Saguntum, a Greek city under Roman protection, in the province of Valencia.
Famous in history has become that siege of Saguntum for the valor of its defenders and the
persistence of its foes, lasting nearly a year, and ending in its total destruction; for,
finding themselves hemmed in by Hannibal's army of one hundred and fifty thousand men, and
their fortifications crumbling beneath the terrible battering-rams, the Saguntine soldiers
made a vast heap of all their valuables, gathered around it their women and children, and
sallied forth to meet their death without the walls. At the same time the women set fire
to the pile and cast themselves into it, along with their children; and thus perished the
last of the heroic Saguntines.
You will not find Saguntum on the map of modern Spain; but in its place, and on its site,
Murviedro—meaning the old walls—on the east coast, north of the city of
Thus was ushered in what was known as the second Punic War—for Rome promptly
resented this destruction of a colony in alliance with her; and for the first time sent an
army to Spain. To forestall his enemies, Hannibal resolved to carry the war into Italy.
That same summer he left the city of Cartagena with twelve thousand horsemen,
thirty-  seven elephants, and ninety thousand foot soldiers, for the conquest of Rome. He had been
drilling his soldiers and husbanding his resources for years, in anticipation of this
momentous event; but even then it would seem that he was poorly prepared to meet a nation
that could put in the field an army of trained soldiers three times as great as his. But,
after the wonderful passage of the Alps, when his force had been reduced to less than six
thousand horse and twenty thousand foot soldiers, Hannibal still pushed on, to that long
and terrible campaign against Rome, lasting fifteen years, and not to end until this great
commander—declared to have been the greatest of his age—was recalled. to
Carthage to assist in its defence.
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