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Punic Wars Essay

924 words - 4 pages

Discuss the Roman Punic Wars, in terms of their circumstances and overall effect on Rome’s economic and social development Also discuss the ensuing “Gracchan turbulence” from the same perspective.

The circumstance for the Roman Punic Wars towards Rome was a simple human

reaction. If an outsider such as Italy, Carthage, or Greece make threats towards Rome,

Rome will simply fight. The Punic Wars lasted in 3 stages, all resulting to the obsessive

pride and higher standings of Rome. Rome’s initial desire of expansion was only for

farming land. Romans believed like anyone else that victory brought them honor as well

as a strong, political career. Rome strongly had their victory of Italy due to their military

discipline. Cowards were not welcome in the Roman Army. If a Roman fled from his

standings, or left his comrades to die, they would receive severe punishment from the

generals worse than the enemy could give them. The confidence of Roman soldiers grew

because they knew their comrades would assure their well being if anything is to happen.

The opponents were usually barbaric and disorganized. Most often, the opponents would

flee leaving their comrades to die. The discipline of the Roman army was formed

throughout the Punic wars. Poet Virgil Maxim best referred Romans by the quote “Yield

you not to ill fortune, but go against it with more daring.” Rome’s Military form helped

their enemies become allies and eventually citizens dedicated to Rome. The initial spark

of Military power helped create the Empire of Rome. Rome was now an Empire with 5

great powers. The Seleucid monarchy, the Ptolemiac monarchy, the kingdom of

Macedonia, Carthage, and the Roman-dominated Italian Confederation. Without ever

planning it, Rome acquired an overseas Empire.

     The first Punic War began due to Rome’s fear of Messena. Carthage’s strong

commercial center with a monopoly in trading of Western Mediterranean and aong the

west coasts of Africa and Europe. Rome feared that Carthage would attack or interfere

with their trade. Rome suffered sever losses such as losing an army in North Africa as

well as the destruction of hundreds of naval ships in battles. Rome however was still

dedicated to victory and nothing less. Eventually Rome utilized their allies throughout

Italy and defeated Carthage. Carthage lost Sicily, Sardinia, and the Islands of Corisca.

Slowly Rome was developing into an empire, yet still in fear of being

overpowered by their allies. Carthage expanded into Spain, who was at the time rich in

metal. Carthage obtained manpower and had their army led by the great “military

genius” Hannibal. Hannibal used elephants in his battles which the Romans were not

familiar with. Rome was losing power through Hannibal’s Army, rapidly taking back

Italy. In the battle of Cannae, the great Hannibal destroyed...

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