The arrival of new peoples (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Byzantines)

The arrival of new peoples

Phoenician tophet in Sant'AntiocoThe Phoenicians, who came from the coasts of the present Liban, started reaching the Sardinian coasts since the 11th century BC, attracted both by its favourable position in the center of the western Mediterranean and by its natural resources. But soon they also created new towns, as Karalis, Nora, Bithia, Sulcis, Tharros, Bosa, Torres, Olbia.
In the 6th century BC, as the Phoenicians continued expanding inland, the nuragic people attacked the towns of the coasts, that asked for support to Carthage. The Carthaginians defeated the Sardinians and conquered all the island apart from the western mountainous part, that later will be called Barbagia. Three centuries later, in 238 BC, the Carthaginians were defeated by the Romans and had to leave the island.
Archaeological site of TharrosThe Romans enlarged the towns created by the Phoenicians and created new towns and roads that connected the different parts of the island. For Rome, Sardinia was important for several reasons: it was in fact the ideal passage towards Africa and Spain; moreover, its land was rich of minerals and of corn: with the plantations in the wide plain of Campidano, it was one of the three granaries of Rome, together with Sicily and Africa. The Romans ruled Sardinia until the 5th century AD, when the island was struck by the raids of the Vandals, who occupied Karalis and the coastal towns and expulsed Sardinia the Christian bishops of Africa. But in 534 they were defeated by the army of the emperor Giustiniano and Sardinia became bizantine. The emperor divided the island into districts ruled by a "judex" and controlled by an army guided by a "dux". The byzantine rule lasted more than 3 centuries, they brang Christianisme everywhere in the island apart from Barbagia that had its own kingdom with pagan faith.
Since the 8th century, the Sardinians started to leave the coastal towns because of the frequent Arabian raids. In this situation, Bisance left the Island alone, the judex transferred his powers to the districts’lieutenants, who around the 9th century proclaimed themselves judices of their lands: these kingdoms of Cagliari, Arborea, Logudoro (or Torres) and Gallura were named "Giudicati".

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