Origin 846 takes its name from the date of birth of the Phoenician queen Elyssa who was born in 846 BC and also known as Dido. After escaping from Tire and after long journeys, Queen Elyssa arrived at the place where she was to found Carthage.
When the queen made her request for land to Hiarbas, the Numidian king, she used a trick not to have his request refused: she asked to buy as much land as an ox skin could fit. She was careful to use the word circumdare which means both “to cover” and “to surround”. She then stretched out a skin cut almost in thread and occupied the space of a circumference of twenty-two stadia. Historians report that “The Phoenicians bought so much land – hence called Byrsa which means Beef in Greek – that they could surround with a bull skin.»*
During the reign of Elyssa, the Carthaginian civilization flourished in olive growing. It is this legacy that is carried on through Origin 846.
* Excerpts from the article “Byrsa. Elissa’s Cunning and the Founding of Carthage »
By Jesper Svenbro & John Scheid.