a famous ancient city on the coast of Africa, founded by Tyrian colonists, and long the rival of Rome, by which it was taken and destroyed, B.C. again rebuilt, however, and continued to flourish till the invasion (see a full account in Smith's Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v.) Its site has lately been explored (Davis, Ruins of Carthage 1861).
In Christian and ecclesiastical times Carthage was the metropolitan of the proconsular province of Africa, and the seat of a bishop, having metropolitan authority over all the provinces of Church. All the African churches were dependent on Rome, probably because their greater intercourse with Rome had made Latin the language of the country, and it was therefore more natural that they should be connected with the Latin than the Greek Church. Until the time of Constantine, the bishop of Carthage was the only prelate in the African Church having metropolitan jurisdiction; but under Constantine Africa was divided six provinces, and each province began to have its own metropolitan, taking, however, the title of primate, and not that of metropolitan, which was still peculiar to the bishop of Carthage. This prelate, from the first, had authority to select whom he pleased from any church in Africa to consecrate to a vacant see (third Council of Carthage); for the bishop of Carthage had also the privilege of nominating to all the vacant see (third Council of Carthage); for the bishop of Carthage had also the privelege of nominating to all the vacant sees of Africa. It was farther a privilege enjoyed by the primate of Carthage to convoke general and diocesan synods, to preside in them, and to judge therein of appeals brought thither from the provincial councils. That the African Church acknowledged no papal authority in the Roman see is evident from the well-known case of the priest Apiarius, where the African bishops denied the authority of the pope to receive appeals from the decisions of their synods, and his right to send a legate to take any sort of cognizance of their proceedings. In 691 the Saracens got possession of the city of Carthage, and of all this part of Africa, from which period the Church began to fall away; and though it was still in existence, under Leo IX, in the eleventh century, it soon after became entirely extinct.