In Greek and Roman sources Dido or Elissa appears as the founder and first Queen of Carthage (in modern-day Tunisia). She is best known from the account given by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid.
The name Elissa is probably a Greek rendering of the Phoenician Elishat. The name Dido, used mostly by Latin writers, seems to be a Phoenician form meaning "Wanderer" and was perhaps the name under which Elissa was most familiarly known in Carthage.
The person of Elissa can be traced back to references by Roman historians to lost writings of Timaeus of Tauromenium in Sicily (c. 356–260 BC). Timaeus apparently dated the foundation of Carthage to 814 BC (or 813 BC) but he also placed the founding of Rome in the same year, which suggests legend had been at work.
Other historians gave other dates, both for the foundation of Carthage and the foundation of Rome. Appian in the beginning of his Punic Wars claims that Carthage was founded by a certain Zorus and Carchedon, but Zorus looks like an alternate transliteration of the city name Tyre and C...