A-Z: General definitions: Dido


Queen and founder of Carthage. According to some accounts, a local chieftain offered Dido as much land to found Carthage on as could be covered by a single ox-hide. Dido outsmarted him by cutting the ox-hide into little strips and laying them out end to end, thus claiming enough land to build a city on. Aeneas, whose descendants would later found Rome, fell in love with Dido but abandoned her. As a result she committed suicide, vowing perpetual enmity between Rome and Carthage. The three wars which Rome fought with Carthage in the third and second centuries BC were supposedly the result of Dido's vow.

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