Please note that the title should read The founding of Carthage by Dido. We are grateful to Luke Houghton of the University of Glasgow and the Warburg Institute for identifying the subject, related in Virgil's Aeneid, I.441-5, and in other sources.
Dido, also known as Elissa, fled the Kingdom of Tyre, bringing her followers to North Africa, where she asked the local inhabitants for a plot of land as a safe haven. They granted her as much land as could be encompassed in an oxhide. Cleverly, Dido cut the oxhide into fine strips so that she had enough to encircle an entire nearby hill, which was therefore afterwards called Byrsa ('The Hide'). When the foundations were being laid, an ox's head was found, foretelling that the city would be wealthy but subject to others. Accordingly, another area of the hill was dug instead; here a horse's head was found, indicating that the city would be powerful in war.