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Chief goddess of Carthage, the equivalent of Astarte. She first appeared around the 5th century BC. Though she seems to have had some connection with the heavens, she was also a mother goddess and symbol of fertility. She was the consort of Baal Hammon, chief god of Carthage, whose cult she eventually eclipsed. Archaeological evidence suggests that children, probably firstborn, were sacrificed both to her and to Baal Hammon. Outside Carthage, Tanit also enjoyed a following on Malta, on Sardinia, and in Spain.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Tanit, visit Britannica.com.
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