I've spent the last few hours reading material from about 6-7 different websites that have a lot on the history of Carthage... I was especially interested in Carthage's political history...
Here's a summary of the best version I found for the EARLY political history of Carthage (from the start of Mago's dynasty as tyrant to the end of the monarchy):
- Kings ('tyrants') were elected and were required to seek re-election. Carthage also had a Council of Elders and a People's Assembly.
- Mago was succeeded by his son Hasdrubal, who was elected 'tyrant' 11 times.
- The next successor was Hamilcar, the son of Hasdrubal's brother Hanno.
- After Hamilcar's death in 480 B.C., the dynasty continued on with Hamilcar's son Hanno "the Navigator" up to 440 B.C. Hanno directed the exploration of the western coast of Africa. Hanno also rebuilt the Carthaginina military.
- By 410 B.C., Hannibal (son of Gisco and grandson of Hamilcar) was the 'king' of Carthage. As soon as he took power, he set out for Sicily and obtained considerable noteriety for his sheer brutality in battle and the treatment of prisoners.
- Hannibal was killed in battle against the Greeks. His cousin Himilco (son of Hanno the Navigator and grandson of Hamilcar) now became 'king' in 396 B.C. He lost the war on Sicily and later committed suicide.
- Mago, Himilco's nephew, inhereted the title of 'king' at first. What Mago lacked in military ability he made up for in diplomatic skill. He died, however, in battle in 378 B.C. in southern Italy. Most interesting about the time of this "Mago" is that this is the first tyrant under which the Council of Elders had the ability to not only question decisions by the 'king'/'tyrant', but the 'king' was REQUIRED to submit certain matters to them. Previous tyrants had enjoyed absolute power.
- With the death of Mago, the Council of Elders took over more and more of the functions of government, making Carthage into an aristocracy. As for Mago's son Himilco, he never came to truly rule... but languished as 'king' until death.
- With these events, the landowning aristocracy of Carthage assumed absolute power. "The title of 'king' or 'tyrant' continued to exist, but it now was of clearly diminished power." The People's Assembly began to act as the deciding body if the Council of Elders and the king could not agree on any matter of policy. Additionally, there was a Tribunal of 104, which was a court of aristocrats who would act as the highest court. As the Council of Elders becamse the dominant body in Carthage, two factions emerged: One was led by Eshmuniaton (the aristocratic faction) and the other by Hanno the Great (appointed commander of the military, although no doubt also an aristocrat)
- Hanno rode on a wave of popular support after victories in battle against Syracuse. Eshuniaton, his rival, was eventually disposed of by being convicted of treason in the courts. Eshuntiaton had been the 'king' and Hanno had been the commander of the military... with Eshuntiaton's demise, Hanno became BOTH king AND commander of the military.
- Hanno continued to be successful in battle, winning victores in Libya, Spain, and even Mauretania. At some point, however, he attempted to overthrow the Council of Elders and obtain absolute rule. He attempted to have the entire council assasinated... He failed. He then attempted to spurn a mass revolt against the council... this also failed. He was executed in "gruesomely brutal fashion" and his entire family was killed as well. These events took place around 350 B.C. With the death of Hanno, the positions of 'king' and commander of the military were again seperated into something very similar to Rome's two Consuls.
- War with Sicily in 345 B.C. and beyond. More people called "Mago", "Hasdrubal", and "Hamilcar" were the leaders. A military disaster resulting the annihilation of an elite unit of the Carthaginian military meant the commander, Hasdrubal, was placed on trial by the Tribunal of 104... and he was executed as a result.
- Hanno the Great's son Gisco was recalled from exile and acceded to the position of melek (king), a title his son Hamilcar would also bear.
- After this, the succession of "kings" becomes very unclear. It is unlikey that the position passed within familes from this point forward.
- In 330 B.C., the Carthaginian general was named Hamilcar. The Silicians attacked again... one of the two commanders apppointed to defend Carthage's interests was named Bomilcar. King Hamilcar had his forces in Sicily and was besieging Syracuse while the Sicilian armies were besieging Carthage. Hamilcar was captured and gruesomely tortured and killed by his captors in Sicily.
- In 309 B.C., the title of melek (king) passed on to Bomilcar, nephew of Hamilcar. In a repeat of "Hanno the Great", he united the positions of general and sole leader in his one person. He immediately used this power to attempt to overthrow the Council of Elders in 308 B.C. He was at first successful, but a popular uprising of hte common people taking up arms against his troops did him in. Bomilcar was captured, tortured, and crucified.
- That last attempt by a Carthaginian 'king' to make himself a tyrant was the final straw for the Council of Elders - who finally abolished the monarchy altogether. The title of melek ('king') was still used thereafter, but was purely honorary and held no constitutional powers (a figure head monarch). Power in the future lied exclusively with the Council of Elders and the generals (who served the Council).
As for popular names...
Very Popular Male First Names
Rare Male First Names
Female First Names
VERY FAMOUS SURNAMES:
Barca (the family of the most famous "Hannibal")
As for websites to check out...
BEST SOURCE: http://www.barca.fsnet.co.uk/
Aristotle "On the Constitution of Carthage"
Encyclopedia of the Orient - "Carthage"
Polybius - "Rome at the End of the Punic Wars"
"Early Leaders of Carthage"