How were relations between Carthage and Ptolemaic Egypt?

#11
Did that book talk about trade between Carthage & Egypt. Ptolemaic Egypt established a big trade in papyrus, wheat/barley, and luxury goods (fabrics, perfumes, ceramics, objects from the African interior like ebony & elephant tusks). It sounds like luxury goods were found in Carthage. Any idea what Carthage traded?
It did talk about trade between the two, but I don't remember the specifics. Carthage did indeed import luxury items from Egypt, although they got their wheat/barley from the Bagradas Valley and Sardinia. The Carthaginians were big cultivators of stone fruits and wine, but I'm not sure how much of that was ending up in Egypt.
 
Aug 2011
83
The Castle Anthrax
#12
According to this;

Ancient Carthage | World Civilization

If you wanted it they had it.

Carthage traded in almost every commodity wanted by the ancient world, including spices from Arabia, Africa, and India. It also participated in the slave trade.
...Carthage’s monopoly on Iberian trade and that with tin-rich Britain), made it the sole significant broker of tin and maker of bronze in its day. Maintaining this monopoly was one of the major sources of power and prosperity for Carthage; Carthaginian merchants strove to keep the location of the tin mines secret. In addition to its role as the sole significant distributor of tin, Carthage’s central location in the Mediterranean and control of the waters between Sicily and Tunisia allowed it to control the eastern peoples’ supply of tin. Carthage was also the Mediterranean’s largest producer of silver mined in Iberia and on the North African coast; after the tin monopoly, silver was one of its most profitable trades.
I recall reading somewhere that Carthage supplied Rome with grain, although, that seems backwards. Then again, Mago's work was ordered by the senate to be translated. Mago (agricultural writer) I may has misremembered, but apparently Carthage did earn a reputation for agriculture.
 
Oct 2016
888
Merryland
#13
my take; Egypt was too isolated to be much of a player in the ancient world, and they were self-sufficient to the point they had little motivation to expand. They provided food and cloth and were presumably content to trade with Carthage, who was apparently content to be a trading partner.
it was a sign of Assyria's strength and ambition that they finally crossed the deserts and ended Egypt's independence. Rome turned Egypt into a fairly minor province used to supply foodstuffs.
 
Mar 2018
478
UK
#14
Did that book talk about trade between Carthage & Egypt. Ptolemaic Egypt established a big trade in papyrus, wheat/barley, and luxury goods (fabrics, perfumes, ceramics, objects from the African interior like ebony & elephant tusks). It sounds like luxury goods were found in Carthage. Any idea what Carthage traded?
I have the book on my shelf, and have taken the time to rummage the index thoroughly. I couldn't find anything about what was traded to Egypt specifically, although the text does say:
Carthage very quickly showed that it would plot its own course in the choppy waters of Mediterranean power politics by maintaining a strong trading relation with Egypt at a time when the Phoenician cities had been forbidden from such activities by their Assyrian "allies".
when talking about the cities origins (circa 8th BC). Clearly pre Ptolemaic, but it suggests that Carthage inherited the trading links with Egypt from its Phoenician motherland.

I think its important to bear in mind that Carthage's wealth was in part as a trading middle man, as much as its own exports. Considering they were the only one's capable of connecting the silver mines of southern Hispania to the rich eastern Mediterranean, I'd wager a lot of that silver would have made it to Egypt.
 
Mar 2018
478
UK
#15
my take; Egypt was too isolated to be much of a player in the ancient world, and they were self-sufficient to the point they had little motivation to expand. They provided food and cloth and were presumably content to trade with Carthage, who was apparently content to be a trading partner.
it was a sign of Assyria's strength and ambition that they finally crossed the deserts and ended Egypt's independence. Rome turned Egypt into a fairly minor province used to supply foodstuffs.
That's a rather strange thing to say. The New Kingdom expanded into the near east repeatedly and hard. The Persians seem to have had a great deal of trouble in subduing Egypt and never really managed it. The Ptolemies were a huge power and constantly at war with the Seleucid. Egypt was one of the most important Roman provinces, and Alexandria its 3rd or 4th largest city.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,453
#16
I recall reading somewhere that Carthage supplied Rome with grain, although, that seems backwards. Then again, Mago's work was ordered by the senate to be translated. Mago (agricultural writer) I may has misremembered, but apparently Carthage did earn a reputation for agriculture.
Sicily then Roman Africa were the largest suppliers of grain to Rome until Egypt was conquered and even then Roman Africa remained hugely important for agricultural imports to Rome though Egyptian grain was the most important to the city of Rome- the overall development of Roman Africa was probably at the highest level of the Roman Empire outside of Italy and Greece.
 
Mar 2017
854
Colorado
#17
Iberian trade, Tin monopoly.
Thanks! That makes perfect sense.

Egypt didn't need Carthage for that other stuff, and I just didn't see what resources they would have. I had my blinders on ... I didn't look a short distance north across the Mediterranean ... and didn't know about the tin trade.
 
Mar 2017
854
Colorado
#18
Sicily then Roman Africa were the largest suppliers of grain to Rome until Egypt was conquered and even then Roman Africa remained hugely important for agricultural imports to Rome though Egyptian grain was the most important to the city of Rome- the overall development of Roman Africa was probably at the highest level of the Roman Empire outside of Italy and Greece.
Thanks! You just slapped me upside the head.

It didn't sound right to me that Egyptian wheat only became important to Rome in ACE ... but you are absolutely correct. Egypt became the most important single source for Roman wheat in ACE. I'm having difficulty finding out where their wheat went in BCE.

It looks like there was a major switchover from barley to wheat in Ptolemaic times to address "foreign" markets, but I can only guess Greece, Cyprus, & the Middle East? Any help here?
 
#19
I recall reading somewhere that Carthage supplied Rome with grain, although, that seems backwards. Then again, Mago's work was ordered by the senate to be translated. Mago (agricultural writer) I may has misremembered, but apparently Carthage did earn a reputation for agriculture.
While I couldn't comment on their trade with Egypt in specifics, certainly the Carthaginians were renowned both for agriculture and as middle men. Mago was indeed considered one of the most important agricultural minds of the ancient world and only his text of all the Punic texts was ordered translated by the Senate. Other Punic texts were gifted to the Numidians.
As for their role in trade, they were exceptionally prominent as middle men because they controlled parts of both the east-west Mediterranean trade route (Thus silver, tin, etc) and also the Tyrrhenian north-south trade route which would have affected Italy among others regions. Their Atlantic and sub-Saharan expeditions also brought them in contact with African gold, British tin, German amber, furs, exotic animals, etc.
 
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