This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Carthago Delenda Est: Who Caused The Punic Wars?

1848 words - 7 pages

In his account of the Punic Wars, Polybius declares “it is my contention that by far the most important part of historical writing lies in the consideration of the consequences of events, their accompanying circumstances, and above all their causes.” Polybius recognized the intricate relationship between circumstances, causes, and their consequences, and in his account of the Punic Wars he seeks to explain the reasons for Rome’s victory over Carthage. For centuries, Rome and Carthage lived at peace with one another, their spheres of influence separate enough to avoid conflict. Rome’s wealth and interests lay in farming and acquiring more land throughout Italy, while Carthage’s economy was naval based, and so keeping trade routes open in the western Mediterranean was most important to them. As late as 279 B.C., Rome and Carthage were allied against Pyrrhus of Epirus, and had signed two other treaties in earlier years. However, as the two powers increased in power and controlled progressively larger geographies, their interests were bound to conflict at some point, and that conflict came in the contest for control of Sicily. The result was a twenty-three year war, the beginning of a series of wars which would last over a century. The end of the first war, and the actions of Rome towards Carthage in the latter’s defeat, laid the foundation for the second war, and it was only after the third and final Punic War that Rome, after coming close to defeat in the second, annihilated Carthage and burned it to the ground, effectively ending the age of Carthaginian power. However, the question must be asked, what were the causes of these wars, and more specifically, which power was more responsible for the conflict? No Punic accounts exist of the conflict due to Roman victory, and the Roman accounts of Livy, Appian, and Cassius Dio came far after the event. Polybius, although a contemporary of these events, was a Greek held hostage in Rome as security against Achaean uprising, and was close friends with the adopted son of Scipio Africanus. He wrote his account for his Greek countrymen to understand how it was that Rome defeated them, but it was also in his interests to remain on good terms with the Romans. Particularly in the case of the Second Punic war, conflicting reports over Saguntum, its status in relation to Rome, and Rome’s response to the Carthaginian siege raises serious questions of whether Rome truly engaged in as just of a war as Livy and other Roman historians portrayed. Both Polybius and Livy blame Hamilcar for the second war, but Rome’s ambition and hatred of Carthage also played a significant role.
The first official relations between Rome and Carthage began in 508 B.C., with the establishment of the Roman Republic. The treaty signed then prevented the Romans from interfering with Carthaginian trade routes, or the Carthaginians from attempting any fortifications in Latium (Polybius III.22). The second treaty was made in 348, and...

Find Another Essay On Carthago Delenda Est: Who Caused the Punic Wars?

How the Punic Wars Changed Rome and Carthage

1343 words - 6 pages How the Punic Wars Changed Rome and Carthage The Punic Wars were a series of wars that destroyed an empire. The three wars were fought between Rome and Carthage. The First Punic War started in 264 B.C. with a dispute over land in Sicily. These wars had a major effect showing that Rome was a dominant force. These wars also gave Rome land stretching from Italy down the eastern coast of Spain and through northern Africa until Carthage, Tunisia

These are great study notes on the Punic Wars

525 words - 2 pages BC.The peace lasted for twenty-three years before Carthage's resentfulness in losing the first war brought them into a second. The centerstone of the Second Punic War was one man, Hannibal, and his reign on "one of the great decisive wars of history."1 Hannibal in 218 BC crosses the Alps into the Po Valley with an elephant baggage train. He got the aid of the Guals, a people who were conquered by the Romans. Hannibal rolled through northern Italy

Comparison on the Polybius, From Punic Wars and Ssu-ma Chi’en, Records of the Historian

1175 words - 5 pages theme—the rise of Rome,” said by Frank William Walbank who wrote the book “Polybius”. Polybius lived in the critical period of the three Punic wars between Carthage and Rome and was present at the destruction of Carthage and Corinth. Also he is one of the officers in the Achaean League that works on the independence of Peloponnesus against the Romans. The experience of Polybius made him the most reliable ancient historians during this period. On

"Were the Punic Wars a phyrric victory for the Roman Republic?" - Supported with 2 argumentsand supporting facts

884 words - 4 pages "Were the Punic Wars a phyrric victory for the Roman Republic?"The term "Punic Wars" refers to the series of wars fought between Rome and Carthage between 264 and 146 BCE. The Romans called the Carthaginians Poeni (Phoenicians), from which is derived the adjective "Punic." There were three Punic Wars: The first war marked the first Roman involvement outside of Italy, and represents the beginning of the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean. The

What Caused The Second World War? Who Was To Blame?

2324 words - 10 pages was extremely unfair and unjust. He aimed to completely overturn the Treaty, which would restore German pride and make Germany strong once again; it would also unite all German people together in the then split up country of Germany. As a fascist Hitler despised the communism of Russia in the East and furthermore intended to 'smash' it and take land to the East for 'lebensraum' (living space).Hitler was a very aggressive leader who would turn to

World War I- The Great War- Who and What Caused It?

742 words - 3 pages With dead bodies strewn about, and memories of gruesome battles still fresh in their minds, Europe wondered: Who caused this war? With the Triple Entente victorious over the Triple Alliance, and Germany being the most aggressive member of the Alliance, British, French, and Russian fingers all pointed to Germany, pinning upon them responsibility for the war, and demanding compensation for all loss and damage. They made this official in the Treaty

“Fear always springs from ignorance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In this quote, the speaker expresses one effect that is caused by ignorance. One who does not possess much knowledge will always feel fear....

929 words - 4 pages Untitled "Fear always springs from ignorance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In this quote, the speaker expresses one effect that is caused by ignorance. One who does not possess much knowledge will always feel fear. Since a person lacks knowledge, they are unable to assume and use deductive reasoning. Not knowing much causes them to worry and worry turns into fear. This quote can be explained in many works of literature. In &quot

Romeo and Juliet paper who caused the tragedy

641 words - 3 pages Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's plays about tragedy. It is about two lovers who commit suicide when their feuding famillies prevent them from being together. The play has many characters, each with its own role in keeping the plot line. Some characters have very little to do with the plot but some have the plot revolving around them. Friar Lawrence does not have very much time on stage but the time he does have is crucial to the plot

Comparing the Roman Empire and the United States of America

1603 words - 6 pages was victorious. This marked the end of the Carthaginian supremacy and the rise of Rome. The Third Punic War was caused because Carthage was economically recovering and Rome felt threatened. Rome, possessing far more power than Carthage, crushed the city, Scipio Aemilianus led the destruction. Cato, a Roman senator, advocated the anti-Carthage cause by stating "Carthago delenda est" ("Carthage must be destroyed") at the end of every one of his

What is Carthage?

870 words - 4 pages Have you ever heard of Hannibal’s promenade into Rome, or the Punic Wars? Both of these things have something in common; they both come from the city of Carthage. There is no Carthage today, but from kept records we can form a base in our minds. Everything has a beginning, the earth did, the galaxy did, the universe had a beginning, and so did Carthage. The nation was created by the Phoenician queen Elissa (a.k.a. Dido) in 813 BCE

Punic Wars; knock-out essay style

937 words - 4 pages dependent state. Rome now controlled the whole of the western Mediterranean including northern Africa.The Third Punic War (149-146 BC) resulted in the final destruction of Carthage, the enslavement of its population, and Roman control over the western Mediterranean. The first and second Punic wars had dismantled Carthage of its political power. Nevertheless, Carthage remained a commercial power. Romans were especially angry with the Carthaginians who

Similar Essays

The Punic Wars Essay

1186 words - 5 pages from all the losses and was just going on by their business, but Rome wanted to completely destroy Carthage before they become an active threat. Rome took Carthage hostages and forced them to disarm. The Third Punic War was cause by Senator Cato who wanted Carthage destroyed for good. Whenever Cato give a speech to the senate or people, he always ended with this saying “Carthago delenda est” which means “Carthage must be destroyed”. The Punic Wars

The Punic Wars Essay

992 words - 4 pages Discuss the Punic Wars. What caused the conflicts between Carthage and Rome? What were the consequences for both sides? There was a series of three Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome with the first occurring between 264 BCE and the last one ending in 146 BCE. The reasoning and motives for the three wars varies. However, no matter what the motives of the wars were, the end result was the defeat and total destruction of the Carthaginian

Carthage And The Punic Wars Essay

1194 words - 5 pages that time ran by Phyrrus of Epirus.      Rome had signed three peace treaties with Carthage, however in 246 BC Rome decided that with the Roman conquest of southern Italy, the Carthaginians in Sicily were now too close for comfort. This began the Punic wars. There were three Punic wars. Rome and Carthage were the two strongest contenders of the central Mediterranean Sea of that time. In each of these wars Carthage lost

Analysis Of The Three Punic Wars

816 words - 4 pages end of the First Punic War, Sicily became Rome's first overseas province. The Second punic war...Over the next decades, Rome took over control of both Corsica and Sardinia as well, but Carthage was able to establish a new base of influence in Spain beginning in 237 B.C., under the leadership of the powerful general Hamilcar Barca and, later, his son-in-law Hasdrubal. According to Polybius and Livy in their histories of Rome, Hamilcar Barca, who