Written by three scholars, this engrossing history aims ``to present a general, hopefully readable . . . introduction to and overview of some of the patterns and problems of ancient Tunisian history and culture.'' The authors succeed in deftly developing the story of Carthage, from the legend of its founding through its destruction during the Punic Wars; its return to prominence as part of the Roman Empire to its fall to Arab invaders in A.D. 705. Aspects of culture are described with insight and clarity. Based as it is both on literary sources and the latest archaeological discoveries (from the 15-year international effort, begun in the 1970s, known as ``Save Carthage''), this book is popular history at its best. The authors manage to delineate both the complex influx and interface of ancient peoples in Tunisia and everyday life in the highly cosmopolitan city of Carthage. For history and archaeology collections. Macmillan Book Club alternate.-- Joan W. Gartland, Detroit P.L.