The North African city of Carthage was rich and powerful, but in the second century BC it suffered a terrible fate. … Carthage was destroyed by Rome and destroyed utterly; its people scattered and its library broken up. The Romans removed Carthage from history with such effect that it’s hard to know the city save through Roman eyes. But the ghosts of Carthage haunted the citizens of Rome and for many Romans the destruction of opulent and civilised Carthage was not a moment of triumph, but a harbinger of Rome’s own fate.
This is how the blog described the programme:
Rome vs Carthage can be a pretty blokeish subject, so it was a nice dare to have an all-woman panel: me, Ellen O’Gorman from Bristol and Jo Crawley Quinn from Oxford. … we managed to come down on different sides of one key Carthage question: what was the city like in the third century BC, just before the Punic wars.
Jo and Ellen took the view that it was really opulent, the Queen of the Mediterranean or (as Jo put it) “the New York of the third century BC’. Beard was more doubtful, suggesting that the opulence was a construction of the Romans themselves, and partly a legitimation for going to war (not unlike the WMD of the recent Iraq war as one of my smart students observed). …
Listen here, and enjoy!