"People say our success is because of this policy or that policy, or because we have been fortunate to have good leaders," Romdhani says. "Though that is all true, there must be something deeper going on." The explanation for Tunisia's success begins with the fact that modern Tunisia corresponds roughly to the borders of ancient Carthage and of the Roman province that replaced it in 146 B.C., after a third and final war between the two powers. "Africa," originally a Roman term, meant Tunisia long before it meant anything else. Archaeologists have uncovered 200 Roman cities in the fertile farmlands of northern Tunisia, where the vast majority of the population lives. North Africa was the granary of the Roman Empire and produced more olive oil than Italy. The Romans built thousands of miles of roads there, and also bridges, dams, aqueducts, and irrigation systems; one aqueduct alone, still partially visible near the town of Zaghouan, carried 8.5 million gallons of water daily to Carthage, fifty-five miles to the north. Fifteen percent of Rome's senators came from Tunisia. Not only the Romans but also the fifth-century Vandals and every conqueror since, including the French in the nineteenth century, made the fertile north of Tunisia their base in North Africa.