|Carthage must be destroyed (Карфаген должен быть разрушен!) |
Carthage was a rich city-state in the northern part of Africa (on the territory of Tunisia today). It was founded by Phoenician merchants from the Mediterranean.
Rome felt that Carthage was a very strong rival, which brought down priced and occupied markets. Both states wanted to own Sicily — an island in the Mediterranean, which allowed a comfortable position on trade routes. The Romans called the Phoenicians Punes, and that is why all the three wars, led for the possession of Sicily, were called Punic.
Carthage lost these wars, but it didn’t upset Carthaginians very much. They very quickly recovered from losses and continued their trade, which made Rome very unhappy. Senator Cato was especially inconsolable and persistent. Whatever speech in the Senate he pronounced, — about the necessity to repair the plumbing, build a new road, — he invariably finished it with one and the same phrase: “And I also am convinced, that Carthage must be destroyed!”.
Since that time the phrase is used to stress somebody’s persistence.