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The Punic Wars - Research Paper Example

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The Punic Wars (name) (subject) (professor) (date) The Punic Wars (Background of the conflicting sides) The great rivals of the West in the ancient world, Rome and Carthage, were “nearly equal in strength and resources”1. Nevertheless, the biggest difference was that “Carthage had greater wealth, but Rome had a better organization”2…
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Download file to see previous pages However, the two strong rivals in power engaged in war, specifically in the Punic Wars, which was a series of three wars where Carthage was defeated by Rome three times. Carthage was defeated not only because of poor strategy but also because of corruption in its government. On the other hand, Rome won because of its military and political brilliance and sense of unity among its people and military groups. The First Punic War The first Punic War was fought by Rome and Carthage between 264 and 241 BC. It is interesting to note that by 275 BC, Rome had already conquered all of Italy and its goal was to prevent the neighboring countries from getting -------------- 1William C. Morey, The First Punic War, Forum Romanum, 2013. 2Ibid. 3Ibid. 4Ibid. hold of any Roman territory especially Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. The first Punic War broke out in Messina, Sicily when the Mamertines, or the Roman mercenary soldiers who were employed by the Syracusan tyrant Agathocles, and who were in control of Messana or Messina, were attacked by the Syracusan forces under Hiero II, the Greek Sicilian king. Upon the attach of the forces of Hiero II, the Mamertines called in Rome for help while Hiero II appealed to Carthage and joined the forces of Hanno the Punic, who just landed in Sicily5. Since Rome and Carthage both had interests in Sicily, the war began and continued for the next 24 years. The final victory of Rome was in the sea on March 10, 241 BC, specifically in the naval battle off the western coast of Sicily. During this time, Rome gained mastery of the sea. As a consequence of defeat, Carthage gave up Sicily and the other islands to the Roman Empire. The Second Punic War Between the years 241 and 218 BC, before the second Punic Wars broke out in 218 BC, the Carthaginians experienced what is known as “aggressive and unjustified”6 actions against Rome, as stated by the Greek historian Polybius. The treaty that Rome signed with Carthage after the defeat of the latter was actually breached by Rome as the Romans occupied Sardinia. Rome threatened ----------- 5The Punic Wars, Latin Library, 2013. 6Ibid. Carthage with war and even ceded Sardinia and Corsica and forced Carthage to pay an indemnity. The skirmishes between Rome and the Punic forces in Italy weakened the latter, and the latter had no desire of responding to Rome with war7. As a response to this, the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca occupied Spain in 237 with an army for the purpose of opening new markets as well as for creating a new Carthaginian base for its operations. Hamilcar Barca militarized Spain and this militarization was continued by Hasdrubal and Hannibal and Barca’s son-in-law Hasdrubal. When Hannibal conquered Sagunto, Spain, which was a Roman stronghold, Rome declared another war against Carthage8. Hannibal was placed as the head of the army in 221. In 219, Hannibal seized Sagunto or Saguntum. During this time, the Romans in Rome issued an ultimatum demanding the Carthaginian council to surrender Hannibal, but Rome was not obeyed and the council supported Hannibal and accepted the offer of war9. The second Punic War broke out in 218 BC and it is considered as “one of the greatest military conflicts of the ancient world”10. The series of strategies of the Carthaginian general Hannibal until he was defeated are worth mentioning. The first victory of Hannibal was near ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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