Carthage was the first real foreign power Rome would come across outside of Italy, its origins from a Tyre colony to the capital of the great commercial empire in northern Africa (Morey, 1901) are lost to the ravages of time. The journey discussed below will be the similarities with Rome in its rise to power, and how Rome was able to become a force of the Sea as well as on land.
How did the ancient city of Carthage almost become Rome’s equal? Also, how was this state of the city at this time come about in the ancient world? Carthage being a port city and Rome also being so close to the Mediterranean, gave both cities great business and imperial opportunities. In fact, both cities flourished because of their geographical locations to a certain extent. These opportunities and the desire to obtain them would eventually lead the two cities into war and conflict.
By this time, the Carthage had complete control over Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia among others. “As each expanded its boundaries, ultimately there was no way that a clash of arms could be avoided” (Nardo pg. 11). Both empires were vigorous, aggressive, exceptionally organized, and well led. Rome had always hated Carthage from the birth of the Roman Empire, and the Romans sought to establish Roman rule throughout the Mediterranean, and this could not be done with Carthage in the way. “There could only be one master of the Mediterranean”, claimed Cato the Elder, a Roman nobleman (Rise pg.
the strongest of the two in this field. This superiority was met by a large scale Roman construction of the navel fleet after their land forces captured one of the Carthaginian ships. Soon this was reflected in the fightings, and in 256 Carthage was besieged, but the Romans were defeated. Then for some years Carthage was the most successful who was commanded by Hamilcar. However, at the battle at the Aegates Islands in 241, the Carthaginians were beaten so badly that they requested peace. This agreement involved leaving
Rome and Carthage were bitter rivals. The strife and the inevitable war between these two states were growing stronger due to them both wanting control over the Mediterranean Sea. For instance, after Rome had won the victory over Sicily, Carthage had deemed vengeance against Rome. The primary conflicts between these two states regarded the Roman victories over Carthage. Rome was known for its preeminent status, and was mostly involved with the military domain while Carthage was elaborated in the trading empire, they grew to be envious and had declared war against Rome.”The Romans were furious with indignation because the vanquished had dared to take the offensive against their conquerors; the Carthaginians bitterly resented what they regarded as the tyrannical and rapacious conduct of Rome.” Hamilcar was one of the generals who had led the first Punic war in 264 to 241 BC. The Punic wars were essential because Carthage was Rome’s prominent rival, which led to the establishment of wealth, and territory that authorized Rome to expand into a
So the war had begun, on both side there is a bit of advantage. The Romans have the advantage of being on the offense giving them a foot hole in Carthage. The Carthaginians also had an advantage. When the Carthaginians realized it was time for war they began preparing for siege. The got an advantage because the Roman army contracted disease during this time so Carthage had enough time to
The Romans won the Second Punic war for a variety of reasons. These included the role and strategy of the Roman Senate and the failure of the Carthaginian government to support Hannibal. Rome’s strong control of the sea as well as Carthage's failure to rebuild their navy contributed greatly. The actions of Fabius Maximus and Scipio Africanus brought about the decline of Hannibal's momentum in Italy and his final defeat. Thus, there was no single reason as to why Rome were victorious against Carthage.
The second Púnic war (herein after referred to as, “the War”) came to a close in 201 BCE, following Scípio’s victory over Hánnibal at the battle of Záma. After seventeen years of warfare, and at a great loss of life on both sides, Rome defeated Cárthage and came out on top as the new superpower in the Mediterránean region. The outcome of this war brought consequences to Cárthage and created opportunities for Rome (Morey, 1901).
After the Punic Wars, Rome controlled all of Italy, Sicily, much of Spain and part of Africa, as well as Greece and the eastern Mediterranean world. As you can see, at that time Rome and Carthage had very
All in a word, a more disciplined army and a stronger sense of honor and belongings of Romans made them competitive and advantageous than the Carthaginians so that the Romans can build a powerful empire in the core area of Europe that almost contains the whole Mediterranean.
The responsibility for the Punic wars greatly shifts from one to the next as both Rome and Carthage were Superpowers in their own right and it was inevitable that there would be a collision and subsequent reaction from any action taken.
Hostilities eventually broke out between these two powers, but Rome had one problem. They were not good seafarers and did not have a navy that could match that of the Carthaginians. However based on some Greek triremes that the Romans some how had they built replicas with bridges on them so that Romans could more easily board other ships. The Romans quickly built a navy that could rival that of Carthage within a few years based on this model. This once again showcases Roman innovation, because not only could they quickly borrow technology from their neighbors, but they could also improve upon it. This allowed them to win the First Punic War. The rivalry between these two powers would not end until the destruction of Carthage during the Third Punic
In the early 3rd century B.C., Rome and Carthage were expanding their empires and met at the city of Sicily. At the time the Roman military consisted of well regulated infantry and cavalry, but hardly any naval forces ready for combat. The Carthaginian military was the opposite.
With the introduction of the hoplite phalanx to the Roman army, came a multitude of wars and long drawn out campaigns that the Romans were involved in throughout the republic period. One such campaign or campaigns that set the Roman republic as the uncontested superpower in the Mediterranean was the Punic Wars. Rome fought three wars against Carthage between 264 and 146 BCE. These wars constituted major events in the history of Rome and the Mediterranean basin (Marcel Le Glay 2009) p. 73. Though these wars were fought for reasons such as competing economics, revenge (most notably the Carthaginian general Hannibal), and a fear that could be related in today’s terms of opposing forces such as (the United States and Soviet Union feared each other during the Cold War) the fact is in the end Rome defeated the Carthaginians, not only were the Carthaginians defeated, but the city of Carthage was demolished and the people massacred or sold into slavery so as not to threaten the Romans ever again. In the fall of the city, in obedience to the Senate’s orders the inhabitants were reduced to slavery or forced to emigrate, the town was burnt and soil was