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Carthage was a city in North Africa located about 90 miles west and southwest of the Italian island of Sicily across the Mediterranean Sea. It was most likely founded by merchants and traders from Phoenicia in modern-day Lebanon. In history, it grew into a trading power with colonies at different locations around the Mediterranean, and it was a military rival of Rome. Unlike Rome, it was based not on the acquisition of land with an emphasis on territorial expansion; rather, it was trade-based, and generally sought to avoid war with Rome, but found itself embroiled in war despite this position. It engaged in several Punic Wars with Rome, and its armies were commanded during the second Punic War by the illustrious general Hannibal; nevertheless, Carthage lost its wars, and gradually became one more part of the growing Roman Empire. According to an account in the fictional myth by Virgil called the Aeneid, Carthage was founded by the fleeing princess Dido, who built the city.