The Life of Jesus in Harmony
The Punic Wars
The Punic Wars
- Conflict over the trade routes of the western Mediterranean.
- Carthage was a great power in the west ruling the northern coast of Africa,
parts of Spain, Sicily, Sardinia
- Rome was the rising power in Italy waiting to test its strength.
- The Punic Wars were fought in three stages.
- The first (264-241 BC.) and second struggles (218-201 BC.) were fought with
evenly matched sides.
- And the final in 149 BC.
- Carthage was larger and wealthier than Rome and had a large navy.
- Rome was superior in its manpower and loyal citizenry.
The First War
- The first war began in Sicily, when Messana in Sicily asked Rome for
protection against Carthage
- The Romans built a large fleet to challenge Carthaginian supremacy on the
- Using the Raven (30 foot ramp with a heavy hook at the end) the Romans turned a naval war
into a type of land war. Rather than trying to sink the enemy ships they would
board them and fight on the decks
- It was a success and the Romans won every major battle of the first Punic
- In 241 BC. after 23 years of fighting, a peace treaty was signed (Carthage
paid money & gave up Sicily)
- Later Rome took Sardinia and Corsica also
The Second War
- The second conflict was dominated by one man, Hannibal of Carthage.
- Hannibal had dedicated himself at age 9 to the total destruction of Rome.
- He invaded Italy from the north by crossing the Alps with 40,000 men and
many war elephants
- His skillful maneuvering, and his use of war elephants completely
demoralized the Roman armies sent to stop him at Lake Trasimene and Cannae.
- Forcing the Romans to fight on his terms, he trapped the legionaries between
the hills and the lake at Trasimene, pushing them back into the water where
- At Cannae, he surrounded the entire Roman army, slaughtered 50,000 and lost
only 6,000 of his own men
- He was never able to capture Rome because he lacked equipment and manpower
for a long siege.
Rome attacks Carthage
- He ravaged the countryside for 4 years until Rome decided to go and attack
- A Roman army under Cornelius Scipio sailed for Africa.
- Hannibal was recalled to defend his native city.
- Hannibal suffered his first defeat by a Roman army at Zama (80 mi. SW of
Carthage) and fled to Greece
- Carthage lost the war, surrendered the Spanish colonies, burned its own
navy, and paid another large sum of money to Rome.
- Rome was now the master of the Mediterranean Sea
The Third War
- In 149 BC. the final episode was played. Rome saw Carthage as a commercial
threat (olives and wine)
- Rome sent an army to destroy its enemy forever.
- After a 3 year siege Carthage fell, cities were leveled and salted (50,000
were sold into slavery)