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Punic Wars Essay

1109 words - 4 pages

Rome fought three Punic wars. The first war involved the Roman's outside of Italy, was the beginning of the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean, and lasted more than two decades. The second was a hard war that resulted in massive losses for the Romans in both material and manpower. The third was for vengeance and the Romans finally destroyed their bitter enemy.The First Punic War started in 264 BC; it was entirely on the island of Sicily against Carthage. Carthage is an island and Rome has to create a navy to fight the Cathegians. Companion mercenaries who were brought in by the Greeks seized the town of Messana. They used Messana as a base for raiding nearby towns. The Mamertines were hostile to Pyrrhus, but after his departure, Hiero, tyrant of Syracuse, attacked them. The Mamertines wanted a Carthaginian garrison. Mamertines then requested Roman assistance against the Carthaginians. When the Romans agreed to protect the Mamertines, war with Carthage resulted. They fought for a while and it goes by inconclusive. Carthage asks for peace, and Rome demands Sicily as a colony and Carthage agrees. Sicily becomes it is first outside province.After the end of the First Punic War in 241 BC, Carthage began to concentrate on controlling Spain to achieve control over its mineral resources and mount an army to fight against the Roman legions. This policy was started by Hamilcar Barca and continued under his son, Hannibal. The Second Punic War, fought between Carthage and the Roman Republic from 218-202 BC, was the final major Carthaginian military opposition to Rome's domination in the Mediterranean. Hamilcar lead Carthage into Spain, and they built a big arm. Hamilcar got sick and was about to die, so he had his son Hannibal sign a pledge in blood that he hates Rome and is going to go after her. Hannibal wreaked havoc in Italy under tough conditions. . He begins to march into Italy, and as he does, he tells the people that he is there to liberate them. Some cities join and while others do not. The Romans put two consoles in charge of the military, and the two of them cannot agree. He meets the Romans in Canae, and it is a massive defeat for Rome. Scipio Africanaus leads the Roman army and he fights them in Zama in 202 B.C. In the end, Roman insistence was the key. Carthage did not supply Hannibal with needed reinforcements and Rome started to attack Carthage, which forced Hannibal to return and defend it. However, with a smaller experienced army, the Roman commander Scipio was able to defeat Hannibal and conquer Carthage, ending the war. Carthage is defeated and Hannibal commits suicide. Rome puts forth a great treaty and Carthage has to pay Rome.The third war was provoked by the Romans. Carthage was weak and not threatening Rome, but an old senator named Cato insisted on destroying Carthage and the Romans started to listen to him. They get one of their allies to provoke Carthage into a battle, and then Rome jumps in. Masinissa deliberately provoked...

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