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...