Punic was a semitic language descended from Phoenican and spoken until about the 4th Century AD in Carthage in what is now Tunisia, and other parts of North Africa and around the Mediterreaen. The Punic alphabet developed from the Phoenician alphabet and was used for monumental inscriptions, while the cursive Neo-Punic alphabet was used elsewhere.

Sadly there is very little left written in the Punic language, owing to the very effective destruction of the city of Carthage at the hands of the Romans at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC. There must have been a wealth of literature and other written materials written in the Punic language. However, not everything was destroyed: there are many inscriptions, as well as a few lines preserved in Plautus’ play the Poenulus. From these we glean almost everything we know about the language.


Neo-Punic Alphabet


Jongeling, K., Handbook of Neo-Punic Inscriptions. Tübingen: Mohr
Siebeck. 2008.

Neo-Punic Texts.