Last updated
Thymiaterium is seen here at the lower left, on what is now the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Thymiaterium and Other Ancient Northwest African Settlements.png
Thymiaterium is seen here at the lower left, on what is now the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

Thymiaterium or Thymiaterion (Ancient Greek : Θυμιατήριον), [1] Scylax called it Thymiaterias (Θυμιατηρίας), [2] was an ancient Carthaginian colony in present-day Morocco. The Periplus (Περίπλους) of Hanno the Navigator claims that he founded it on his journey of exploration beyond the Pillars of Hercules. [3] [4] The manuscript is a copy of another Greek work which translated the Punic original and is part of the Codex Palatines Graecus 398 which belongs to the Heidelberg University. [3]

According to Hanno, he founded the colony, the first of his journey, two days' sail past the Pillars of Hercules. [5] Schoff, citing Karl Müller, identified it with the town of Mehedia, currently known as Mehdya. The location of Thymiaterium is also given at Mehedia in the Atlas of Ancient & Classical Geography. [6] Hanno may have been deliberately vague about the location of colonies he founded to prevent enemies of Carthage from finding them. [7]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carthage</span> Archaeological site in Tunisia

Carthage was the capital city of ancient Carthage, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisia. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world.

<i>Periplus of the Erythraean Sea</i> 1st century Greco-Roman periplus

The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, also known by its Latin name as the Periplus Maris Erythraei, is a Greco-Roman periplus written in Koine Greek that describes navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice Troglodytica along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, including the modern-day Sindh region of Pakistan and southwestern regions of India.

Hanno the Navigator was a Carthaginian explorer of the fifth century BC, best known for his naval exploration of the western coast of Africa. The only source of his voyage is a periplus translated into Greek. He has sometimes been identified as a king.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Periplus</span> Manuscript listing ports and coastal landmarks

A periplus, or periplous, is a manuscript document that lists the ports and coastal landmarks, in order and with approximate intervening distances, that the captain of a vessel could expect to find along a shore. In that sense, the periplus was a type of log and served the same purpose as the later Roman itinerarium of road stops. However, the Greek navigators added various notes, which, if they were professional geographers, as many were, became part of their own additions to Greek geography.

Himilco was a Carthaginian navigator and explorer who lived during the late 6th or early 5th century BC, a period of time where Carthage held significant sway over its neighboring regions.

Rhapta was an emporion said to be on the coast of Southeast Africa, first described in the 1st century CE. Its location has not been firmly identified, although there are a number of plausible candidate sites. The ancient Periplus of the Erythraean Sea described Rhapta as "the last emporion of Azania", two days' travel south of the Menouthias islands. The Periplus also states that the city and port were ruled by South Arabian vassals of the Himyarite kingdom, particularly a certain “ Mapharitic chieftain.”

<i>Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax</i> Ancient Greek periplus

The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax is an ancient Greek periplus describing the sea route around the Mediterranean and Black Sea. It probably dates from the mid-4th century BC, specifically the 330s, and was probably written at or near Athens. Its author is often included among the ranks of 'minor' Greek geographers. There is only one manuscript available, which postdates the original work by over 1500 years.

Isidore of Charax was a Greco-Roman geographer of the 1st century BC and 1st century AD, a citizen of the Parthian Empire, about whom nothing is known but his name and that he wrote at least one work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Draa River</span> River in Morocco

The Draa is Morocco's longest river, at 1,100 kilometres (680 mi). It is formed by the confluence of the Dadès River and Imini River. It flows from the High Atlas mountains, initially south-eastward to Tagounite, and from Tagounite mostly westwards to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean somewhat north of Tan-Tan. In 1971, the (El) Mansour Eddahabi dam was constructed to service the regional capital of Ouarzazate and to regulate the flow of the Draa. Most of the year the part of the Draa after Tagounite falls dry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Punic people</span> People from Ancient Carthage

The Punic people, usually known as the Carthaginians were a Semitic people who migrated from Phoenicia to the Western Mediterranean during the Early Iron Age. In modern scholarship, the term Punic, the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term Phoenician, is exclusively used to refer to Phoenicians in the western Mediterranean, following the line of the Greek East and Latin West. The largest Punic settlement was Ancient Carthage, but there were 300 other settlements along the North African coast from Leptis Magna in modern Libya to Mogador in southern Morocco, as well as western Sicily, southern Sardinia, the southern and eastern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, Malta, and Ibiza. Their language, Punic, was a dialect of Phoenician, one of the Northwest Semitic languages originating in the Levant.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leptis Parva</span>

Leptis or Lepcis Parva was a Phoenician colony and Carthaginian and Roman port on Africa's Mediterranean coast, corresponding to the modern town Lemta, just south of Monastir, Tunisia. In antiquity, it was one of the wealthiest cities in the region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Erythraean Sea</span> Ancient name of water between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula

The Erythraean Sea was a former maritime designation that always included the Gulf of Aden and at times other seas between Arabia Felix and the Horn of Africa. Originally an ancient Greek geographical designation, it was used throughout Europe until the 18–19th centuries. At times the name frequently extended beyond the Gulf of Aden—as in the famous 1st-century Periplus of the Erythraean Sea—to include the present-day Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean as a single maritime area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mainake (Greek settlement)</span>

Mainake, Menace was an ancient Greek settlement lying in the southeast of Spain, according to the Greek geographer and historian Strabo (3,4,2) and Pausanias of Damascus. Pausanias adds that it was a colony of the Greek city of Massalia. Maria Eugenia Aubet locates it at the site of modern Málaga. The first colonial settlement in the area, dating from the late 8th century BC, was made by seafaring Phoenicians from Tyre, Lebanon, on an islet in the estuary of the Guadalhorce River at Cerro del Villar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Carthage</span> Aspect of history

The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC on the coast of Northwest Africa, in what is now Tunisia, as one of a number of Phoenician settlements in the western Mediterranean created to facilitate trade from the city of Tyre on the coast of what is now Lebanon. The name of both the city and the wider republic that grew out of it, Carthage developed into a significant trading empire throughout the Mediterranean. The date from which Carthage can be counted as an independent power cannot exactly be determined, and probably nothing distinguished Carthage from the other Phoenician colonies in Northwest Africa and the Mediterranean during 800–700 BC. By the end of the 7th century BC, Carthage was becoming one of the leading commercial centres of the West Mediterranean region. After a long conflict with the emerging Roman Republic, known as the Punic Wars, Rome finally destroyed Carthage in 146 BC. A Roman Carthage was established on the ruins of the first. Roman Carthage was eventually destroyed—its walls torn down, its water supply cut off, and its harbours made unusable—following its conquest by Arab invaders at the close of the 7th century. It was replaced by Tunis as the major regional centre, which has spread to include the ancient site of Carthage in a modern suburb.

Marcian of Heraclea was a minor Greek geographer from Heraclea Pontica in Late Antiquity.

The Magonids were a political dynasty of Ancient Carthage from 550 BCE to 340 BCE. The dynasty was first established under Mago I, under whom Carthage became pre-eminent among the Phoenician colonies in the western Mediterranean. Under the Magonids, the Carthaginian Empire expanded to include Sardinia, Libya, and for almost a decade much of Sicily.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ancient Carthage</span> Phoenician city-state and empire

Ancient Carthage was an ancient Semitic civilization centered in North Africa. Initially a settlement in present-day Tunisia, it later became a city-state and then an empire. Founded by the Phoenicians in the ninth century BC, Carthage reached its height in the fourth century BC as one of the largest metropolises in the world. It was the centre of the Carthaginian Empire, a major power led by Punic people who dominated the ancient western and central Mediterranean Sea. Following the Punic Wars, Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, who later rebuilt the city lavishly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wilfred Harvey Schoff</span> American antiquarian and classical scholar (1874–1932)

Wilfred Harvey Schoff (1874–1932) was an early twentieth-century American antiquarian and classical scholar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phoenician–Punic literature</span>

Phoenician–Punic literature is literature written in Phoenician, the language of the ancient civilization of Phoenicia, or in the Punic language that developed from Phoenician and was used in Ancient Carthage. It is surrounded by an aura of mystery due to the few preserved remains. All that is left is a series of inscriptions, few of which are of a purely literary nature, coins, fragments of Sanchuniathon's History and Mago's Treaty, the Greek translation of the voyage of Hanno the Navigator and the Poenulus by Plautus.


  1. Periplus of Hanno, 2
  2. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), Thymiaterion
  3. 1 2 Hanno: Carthaginian Explorer
  4. Hanno the Navigator (1912). The Periplus of Hanno, a Voyage of Discovery down the African Coast, by a Carthaginian Admiral of the Fifth Century B.C. Translated by Schoff, Wilfred H. Philadelphia: Secretary of the Commercial Museum.
  5. Hanno the Navigator (2)
  6. Butler, Samuel (1907). Atlas of Ancient & Classical Geography. London: JM Dent & Co.
  7. B. H. Warmington, Carthage, p. 64, New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1960 Internet Archive OCLC   59366

Karl Müller, Geographi Græci Minores, vol. 1, Firmin-Didot, 1882