The Queen of Carthage: Dido

09 Nov 2017  Thu

Queen Dido was the first Queen and founder of Carthage in 813 BCE. Her tale is most famously recounted in Virgil’s Aeneid, she also appears in many works of ancient writers. Most of the historians relate her tale with myth.

Dido lived in 9th Century BCE nearly 3000 years ago. She was the legendary Queen of Tyre in Phoenicia who was forced to flee the city after the assassination of her husband with her loyal band of followers. Her lore is so famous that she was worshipped as a goddess in ancient Carthage.

There are many coins minted from the city of Tyre in Phoenicia which depicted Dido sailing and also coins depicting Dido overseeing the construction of the wall of Carthage. Punic Sicily's coin in 320 BCE depicted Dido wearing a Phrygian tiara on the obverse side. The above-shown image depicts Dido wearing a Phrygian tiara in the style of a Tyrian Murex shell.

The copper coin of Phoenicia from 218-225 AD depicts Dido overseeing the construction of Carthage on the reverse side. The Phoenicia coin during Gallienus rule depicts Queen Dido worshipping at the Melqarth-Hercules temple.

Dido was an inspiring and fascinating personality in many ancient works. Her popularity among writer was due to her being a female leader which was exceptionally rare in ancient time.

Learn more about Greek coinage .

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