"In 146 B.C. just before the Roman forces reached the city of Carthage and destroyed it at the end of the Third Punic War, a fleet, built in secret and in violation of the Second Punic war's peace treaty, left the city never to return. 50 ships, full with thousands of civilians, soldiers, food, treasure, tools, ancient relics and important people, followed the route of Hanno the Navigator's explorations of West Africa and founded a new city, in the Qretes river estuary, 'Qart Hadast'...

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Hanno the Navigator was a Carthaginian explorer of the 6th or 5th century BC,best known for his naval exploration of the western coast of Africa.The only source of his voyage is a Greek periplus. According to some modern analyses of his route, Hanno's expedition could have reached as far south as Gabon.


The Third Punic War (149 BC to 146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars, between Carthage and the Roman Republic. The war was a much smaller engagement than the two previous Punic Wars and primarily consisted of a single main action, the Battle of Carthage, but resulted in the complete destruction of the city of Carthage, the annexation of all remaining Carthaginian territory by Rome,and the death or enslavement of thousands of Carthaginians. The Third Punic War ended Carthage's independent existence.


In 146 B.C. just before the Roman forces reached the city of Carthage and destroyed it, a fleet, built in secret and in violation of the Second Punic war peace treaty,left the city, never to return. The fleet, around 50 ships, was full with thousands of civilians, soldiers, food, treasure, tools, ancient relics and important people.It followed the route of Hanno the navigator's exploration and they founded a new city, in our time-line's Senegal river estuary.The city was called 'Qart Hadast', or 'New City', just like its motherland.
The colonists escaped the Roman wrath, being so far away, but they now faced new and different challenges. The area was not empty and the natives greeted the new arrivals with distrust but the Punic colonists did what they knew better, they negotiated and forged trading agreements with their immediate neighbors.
The city grew and its trading ships kept exploring along the African coast even finding their way to Madagascar. New colonies and trading posts were foundedhere and there where they were needed, and trade flourished. Eventually, when generations passed and the sins of the past were only remembered in parchments of ancient history, the heirs of Carthage even resumed trade with the Mediterranean region, now completely controlled by their ancestor's arch-enemy, the Romans.


1590 years have passed since the founding of Qart, so the consequences of this divergence on the African continent have been deep.


Qart grew until it became a massive empire that completely controlled the entire Atlantic African coast, even colonizing what in our time-line is called 'South Africa'.Like all empires it grew too large, and eventually it collapsed, just like the Roman or Han empires.The territory became divided in many different countries and the culture and language diverged into three, mostly living on the coast.

-Qarti: This is the least divergent of the three cultures and the closest to that of ancient Qartians.

-Eja: A word meaning 'fish' in one of the native cultures of the Gulf of Akra. They initially used it for Qartians, seeing that they always seemed to come from the sea. The region was too tropical and abundant with malaria for the non-native Qartians so, they relied more on native labor. A mixed race & culture eventually became the dominant one and seized control of government when possible.

-Kernei: The descendants of the Qartians that colonized the region of Kerna, our time-line's South Africa. Their culture is completely Punic but very divergent given the very long travel distance between Qart and Kerna.


Because later generations resumed trade with the Mediterranean region, it was only a matter of time for Qartians to become Christians just like every otherpolytheist culture.When the Muslim invasions reached the Moroccan coast and Iberia, Qart lost contact with the rest of Christendom for a while, cutting their most valuable trade route and sending the empire into chaos. Trade was resumed later but the damage was done. This also meant that Qartian Christianity became isolated and divergent and this is reflected in their doctrine and symbols and the fact the Punic Patriarchs don't answer to the bishop of Rome.Qartians also did their own missionary work, and they managed to convert native nations to Christianity, like the Qongo, the Fulani and most recently a country inMadagascar.
Islam also managed to find its way to the region, in the trade routes coming from North Africa. It mostly appealed to the Eja people, and most of them in the coast converted.


At first, because they knew themselves isolated and few, Qartians didn't try to conquer their immediate surroundings, instead preferring to trade, explore and negotiate.Because of this interactions and the exchange of crops and knowledge, the native peoples of that region enjoyed a development boon. This natives, know now as the Fulani culture, developed much quicker than our time-line's counterparts. This initiated a cascade effect of faster development for the entire west African region.
When the Fulani converted to Christianity, they developed a very zealous interpretation of the religion and this prompted them to initiate what is now called "The Fulani Crusades". Their culture expanded quickly and aggressively to the east, against the heathens. Trying to escape from the aggression, other native nations started a series of migrations to the east, and this soon resembled what happened when the Huns approached the Roman Empire, with a tribe's migration to the east forcing the next to do the same and the next and so on. Some cultures completely disappeared in the chaos, while others kept migrating until they reached Nubia.The Fulani Crusades eventually faded and their empire became tired and divided.
Christianity also means that 'slavery' was dropped in favor of 'serfdom' and now, the only people who keep using that old institution are either heathens or Muslim.


Qartians where always looking for new markets to conquer and they didn't stop exploring the African coast until there was nothing left to explore.This means that both Christendom and Islam already have full maps of this region by the middle ages.
A safe way around Africa has existed now for several hundred of years and trade with the Far East using this trade route is nothing unusual.Qarti merchants are very shrewd and experienced and Asian and African goods never reach Europe without substantial price increases though, mainly tariffs of some sort.Europeans will still feel the need to go out there and explore the world, like in our time-line, looking for better prices with less middlemen...

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