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Sophonisba (sōfənĭzˈbə) [key], fl. 3d cent. B.C., Carthaginian noblewoman, daughter of Hasdrubal. She was the Carthaginian wife of Syphax of Numidia, who after the marriage fought for Carthage. When he was defeated (203 B.C.) by Masinissa and the Romans, Sophonisba took poison. This tragedy was the subject of plays by Alfieri, Trissino, Corneille, James Thomson, Voltaire, and others. The Carthaginian spelling of her name is Saphanba'al.

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

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