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Some scholars relate it to the Phoenician goddess Tanith ('Tanit or Tanut), as many ancient cities were named after patron deities.Some scholars claim that it originated from Tynes, which was mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and Polybius in the course of descriptions of a location resembling present-day Al-Kasbah; Tunis's old Berber Bourgade.The Almohad conquest marked the beginning of the dominance of the city in Tunisia.Having previously played a minor role behind Kairouan and Mahdia, Tunis was promoted to the rank of provincial capital.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.Thus, during Agathocles' expedition, which landed at Cape Bon in 310 BC, Tunis changed hands on various occasions.To punish the Zirids, he unleashed the Banu Hilal Arab tribe on Ifriqiya; a large part of the country was set to the torch, the Zirid capital Kairouan was razed in 1057, and only a few coastal towns, including Tunis and Mahdia, escaped destruction.Exposed to violence from the hostile tribes that settled around the city, the population of Tunis repudiated the authority of the Zirids and swore allegiance to the Hammadid prince El Nacer ibn Alennas, who was based in Béjaïa, in 1059.
There are also some mentions in ancient Roman sources of such names of nearby towns as Tuniza (currently El Kala), Thunusuda (currently Sidi-Meskin), Thinissut (currently Bir Bouregba), and Thunisa (currently Ras Jebel).
It was briefly the national capital, from the end of the reign of Ibrahim II in 902, until 909 when control over Ifriqiya was lost to the newly founded Fatimid Caliphate.
Local opposition to the authorities began to intensify in September 945, when Kharijite insurgents occupied Tunis, resulting in general pillaging.
In 1048 the Zirid ruler Al-Muizz ibn Badis rejected his city's obedience to the Fatimids and re-established Sunni rites throughout all of Ifriqiya.
This decision infuriated the Shi'ite caliph Al-Mustansir Billah.
and that its population was mainly composed of peasants, fishermen, and craftsmen.