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Utica (yōˈtĭkə) [key], ancient N African city, c.25 mi (40 km) NW of Carthage. According to tradition, it was founded by Phoenicians from Tyre c.1100 B.C. Second in importance to Carthage, Utica usually allied itself with that city, but in the Third Punic War it sided with Rome against Carthage. Upon the destruction of Carthage (146 B.C.), Utica was made the capital of the Roman province of Africa. It fell (A.D. 439) to the Vandals, was recaptured (534) by the Byzantines, and was finally destroyed (c.700) by the Arabs. Excavations at the site have yielded two Punic cemeteries and Roman ruins, including baths and a villa with mosaics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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