Hanno was an admiral from Carthage, a rich and powerful city founded by the Phoenicians on the northern coast of Africa.
According to Hanno’s own description of his voyages in Periplus of Hannon, sometime in the fifth century s.c., he led a fleet of 60 ships filled with 30,000 men, women, and children out of the city and headed west.
The Carthaginians had recently battled with their rivals, the Greeks, in Sicily. They hoped to establish cities along the coasts of northern and western Africa and keep the Greeks away from their trading routes.
At the western end of the Mediterranean Sea, the fleet passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, a channel that led to the Atlantic Ocean. Two days after leaving the Mediterranean, Hanno founded the city of Thymiaterion on what is today the coast of Morocco.
After waiting for the first crops to ripen, Hanno left some ships and colonists in the harbor and sailed on. He founded five more cities. Archaeologists know the names of two, Carion Fortress and Acra. None of these cities, however, have survived.