Adrienne Mayor: Carthage, 24 June 2010
Show More Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Mediterranean Civilisation by Richard Miles.
Allen Lane, 520 pp., £30, March 2010, 978 0 7139 9793 4Show More
“... Those who discovered Salammbô at an impressionable age, before reading any conventional histories of the Punic Wars, know how difficult it is to shake off Flaubert’s intoxicating vision of the doomed Carthaginian Empire. Brimming with war and lust, vast riches and bizarre rituals, violence and tragedy verging on melodrama, his novel about the North African power that rivalled Rome in the third century BC received mixed reviews, but Salammbô herself – a high priestess of strange Punic rites, the femme fatale of Carthage – inspired operas by Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky, appeared in voluptuous Art Nouveau and Symbolist paintings, and even influenced Parisian fashions ...”