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Carthage

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Carthage was the Phoenician City-State on the coast of what is now the country of Tunisia. Phoenician is a term used to describe the people who originally migrated out of areas such as Iran and Syria and Palestine. Hugging the coastal region of the Mediterranean, the Carthaginian ruling class was able to spread their power and influence much like Rome was able to on the Italian peninsula. With trade, diplomacy and some military force, the city state of Carthage was able to spread out from its city to present day Spain and the Gulf of Sidra in present day Libya.

One could say that the two cities of Carthage and Rome “grew up” at the same time, from the 7th Century BCE on. By the time Rome began expanding its borders through trade and alliances, one of the first established super-powers it met was Carthage; already a well developed power in its own right. As Morey states, the two cities were fairly equally matched; Carthage was wealthier, but Rome was better organized. Carthage had a better navy and Rome a better Army. Carthage had better leaders, but Rome had more dependable and loyal citizens.

The ruling families of Carthage were able
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The first large conflict between the two began over control of the island Sicily. Both empires already had colonies on the island along with two other nations (the Kingdom of Syracuse and the Campanians). The struggle for authority and control over the island sparked the First Punic War. Not only were battles fought on the Sicilian island itself, but on Carthaginian soil along the African coast. After the first few losses, Rome was able to even the odds by taking one of Carthage’s Warships and reproducing their own versions. Within 60 days, it is said that Rome built 100 of their own quinquiremes. (Morey, Chapter 14) Now with naval equality and a superior army, Rome should have been
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