While she was walking away from the dock, Elyssa had huge bags full of sand thrown into the sea while pronouncing invocations: she pretended that it was Melqart temple’s treasure she was throwing as a offering to the gods, so that they forgive her for betraying the memory of her murdered husband. That way, nobody would pursue her to get the treasure back. Second trick.
Elyssa and her companions reached the coasts of Africa, not far from current Tunisia.Meeting the inhabitants, she offered to buy them a land to allow her companions to rest from their journey. They will have to settle with an area defined by a beef pelt (“beef pelt” is “byrsa” in Greek). But Elyssa meticulously cut the pelt and got a thin 4km long strap: this will be the perim eter of the first territory of their new town, Byrsa’s hill in Carthage. Third trick.
Years went by. The local population’s king, attracted by Carthage’s prosperity, asked for Elyssa’s hand, threatening to take over the city if she refused. Elyssa pretented to accept. She organized a great sacrifice ceremony: she claimed that it was to obtain the blessing of her first husband’s spirit before remarrying. But instead of the planned ritual, she climbed herself on the pyre and stabbed her heart with a dagger. Last trick of the queen of Carthage who offered her own life to save her city.
(Based on the stories of the Greek historian Timaeus from Tauromenium)
“Carthage” by Samir Aounallah, AMVPPC/Contraste éditions (in French)