Hamilcar (ah-meel-KAHR), the suffete of third century Carthage. A great feast is given, in his absence, for his thousands of mercenaries. He arrives home to find them in rebellion, and after several reversals, he conquers and destroys them.
Salammbô (sah-lahm-BOH), the daughter of Hamilcar and the priestess of the Carthaginian moon goddess, Tanit. She utters a curse on the angry barbarians who, after their defeat by the Romans and the delay with their back pay, begin pillaging the palace of Hamilcar. When Mathô later invades the sacred temple, she screams for help, though she is attracted to him. To regain the sacred veil of Tanit, which he has stolen, she goes in disguise to his tent and submits to him. The broken chastity chain between her ankles betrays her to her father, who angrily offers her to Narr’ Havas. At the wedding, she contrasts drunken Narr’ Havas with gentle Mathô, who is tortured by the Carthaginians. She drinks a cup of poison and dies with Mathô.
Narr’ Havas (nahr ah-VAHS), a Numidian chief sent by his father to learn warfare under Hamilcar. He falls in love with Salammbô after she appears on the palace balcony. He deserts the rebellious barbarians to help Hamilcar and is promised marriage with Salammbô after Hamilcar finally defeats...
(The entire section is 490 words.)