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Different explanations exist for the origin of the name Tunis.
Some scholars relate it to the Phoenician goddess Tanith ('Tanit or Tanut), as many ancient cities were named after patron deities.
Both Tunis and Carthage were destroyed; Tunis, however, was rebuilt first It was not until the 8th century that Tunis achieved importance, under the control of Arab Muslims.
The medina of Tunis, the oldest section of the city, dates from this period, during which the region was conquered by Arab troops led by the Ghassanid general Hasan ibn al-Nu'man.
Compared to the ancient ruins of Carthage, the ruins of ancient Tunis are not as large.
This decision infuriated the Shi'ite caliph Al-Mustansir Billah.
From the beginning of the 8th century Tunis was the chef-lieu of the area: it became the Arabs' naval base in the western Mediterranean Sea, and took on considerable military importance.
but the city benefited from economic improvements and quickly became the second most important in the kingdom.
Situated on a hill, Tunis served as an excellent point from which the comings and goings of naval and caravan traffic to and from Carthage could be observed.
Tunis was one of the first towns in the region to fall under Carthaginian control, and in the centuries that followed Tunis was mentioned in the military histories associated with Carthage.
Further east by the sea lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said.