Ephemeral province in southern Spain, named after its capital, which had as Carthago Nova once given its name to the very much larger Roman province of Carthaginiensis. The city was the principal city in Byzantine Spain, 552-624.
In the later 18th century, following the reintroduction of intendants in 1749, the old Kingdom of Murcia, part of Castile, was divided, a narrow coastal zone becoming the province of Cartagena. It was only a temporary arrangement. In 1833 Cartagena became part of the province of Murcia.
That province is now one of the Autonomous Communities of Spain, in which Murcia is the seat of government but Cartagena the meeting-place for the Parliament, a unique division of responsibility among the 17 Communities.