History Week: 25
Assignment: Write a one to two page paper that includes the following points:
– The Founding of Carthage
– The First Punic War
– Hannibal and the Second Punic War
– The Fall of Carthage in the Third Punic War
The Rise of Carthage.
Carthage was founded in about 814 BC. Legend tells that Queen Dido founded it using her great wisdom. It was founded in North Africa and as the legend goes Dido arrived and asked the people of the continent to give her some land with which to construct a city. She asked for as much land as she could cover with the hide of a buffalo. Using ingenuity she cut the buffalo hide into long skinny strips and was able to section off enough land to build a city and Carthage was born. It was a strong trading point of its time. Its two main trading items were tin and bronze. They were very successful because they kept the location of their mines a secret from outsiders.
They had one downfall. They were always battling, mostly with Rome. That eventually lead to their downfall but not until many wars and battles had been fought over many years. The conflict that they first were involved in was the Pyrrhic & Punic Wars, between Greece, Rome, The Samnites and The Etruscans. In that war Carthage and Rome were allies but they surprisingly did not fight together. They did not fight with each other either. The Wars first started when Pyrrhus, ruler of Epirus a city in Greece Declared war on Rome because of a broken treaty. He used that mostly as a way to fight since he disliked Rome in the first place. He was defeated by Rome and Greece was nearly completely wiped out! Greece became a Roman colony and the first “Phyrric Victory” was achieved. A “Phyrric Victory” is a victory won at too high a cost. When the dust cleared Rome and Carthage were the two main powers in the Mediterranean. Carthage owned the most land but Rome was steadily creeping up!
The Punic War: Part 1.
The war started in 264 BC it lasted 23 years. Carthage and Rome each wanted control of the Northern trade and commerce. The war actually started with a fight between two cities on the Island of Sicily, Messina and Syracuse. Messina Called upon Carthage for help and then later asked Rome. Carthage became mad that Messina called Rome so they left the fight to help Syracuse. It started out as a few battles, and ended up as a war between Rome and Carthage for control of Sicily. They started out pretty evenly matched. Rome had the better land army but Carthage had a great navy force. The main victor in the war was Rome. It only lost 3 times! Once, in a land battle and twice at sea. The Romans invented a new weapon for naval battles called the Assault Bridge. They lost two battles before they tried it out. It was a bridge that would swing over to the enemy ship and create a bridge so that the Romans could fight as if they were on land where they were most skilled. It really turned the tide.
In the Battle of Tunis, Carthage had its one, and only victory on land. It was a great victory. They captured the Roman general and drove Rome out of North Africa. There was a short break in the war and then after Rome regrouped, they returned and invaded North Africa again. This time they won. Rome eventually achieved a better navy and won the war. In punishment Carthage had to do three things.
- Carthage had to leave Sicily and some surrounding islands.
- It had to return all prisoners of war.
- They had to pay Rome 30 tons of silver at once and then 6.6 tons of silver every year for the next ten years!
Truth be told Carthage was not happy. They started re-building and regrouping. That leads us to the Second Punic War.
The Punic War: Part 2.
After the first Punic War a short war called the Mercenary War broke out. There were several battles and Carthage won. During The Mercenary War Hannibal was born in 247 BC. His father was a leader in the army and he was trained to fight. Then the Second Punic War happened in 218 BC. It lasted 5 years.
Hannibal wanted to go and help his father fight Rome in Iberia which is in Modern day Spain. His father said no, but Hannibal kept begging. His father finally let him go but only when he had first promised to never befriend or ally with Rome as long as he lived. While they were in Iberia his father drowned. After his father died, his brother-in-law became leader but he was soon assassinated. When Hannibal got up to take control the army noticed he had the same “fire in his eyes: as his father did. So they chose him as leader.
He started fighting back and defeated the Romans several times. Rome started becoming a little afraid of him, so they allied themselves with the city of Saguntum. Hannibal saw this as a violation of a treaty and used this excuse to attack. He laid siege to the city and waited 8 months to take the city. He finally won and captured the inhabitants. Hannibal decided to march directly towards Rome. He marched through the Alps and Pyrenees mountains with 38,000 men, 8,000 cavalry, and 37 War Elephants. He encountered some difficulty and lost some of his army but he managed to pull off one of the greatest marches of all time. He then marched on Rome! Even though he did not defeat Rome, Hannibal is remembered as one of the greatest military leaders of all time. Hannibal fought against Rome for 17 years. He did not have the forces to beat large cities so he settled on field battles. During the time when Hannibal fought Rome it was said that every family lost at least one person!
While that was going on Carthage was fighting Rome in two other places, Sicily and Hispania in the South against Hannibal’s brother Hasdrubal. The Roman general Scorpio Africanus defeated Hasdrubal in Iberia and in doing so, cut off Hannibal’s supplies. Then he marched on Carthage so Hannibal was forced to come back and defend the city. At the Battle of Zuma in 202 BC the Carthaginian army was crushed. Carthage asked for peace and ended the war. Carthage was forced to:
- Pay 10,000 talents of silver in installments of 200 talents for 10 years.
- They could only have 10 ships in their navy.
- They were not allowed to have a large army without Rome’s permission.
They never were able to reclaim Iberia or some of their Islands. Peace lasted 50 years. Even though he did not defeat Rome, Hannibal is remembered as one of the greatest military leaders of all time.
The Punic War: Part 3.
Before the final war Rome was away fighting Hellenistic tribes and Carthage slowly was rebuilding. In 151 BC Numidia attacked Carthage and they fought back but were defeated. Rome was angry because Carthage had the power to fight back so in 149 BC Rome marched on Carthage. Carthage asked for peace but to no avail. In 146 BC Carthage was sacked by the Romans and fell. That was the end of the Punic Wars.
The Carthaginians were almost all dead from starvation. Only 50,000 people were left when they were defeated. They all became Roman Slaves and Carthage was left untouched. 100 years later Julius Cesar rebuilt Carthage and it again became a great trading city, this time for the Romans.
Thank you for reading my Essay. Please tell me of mistakes or errors to help me improve my writing.
5 thoughts on “Carthage and Rome.”
💜 There ARE No “Mistakes” or “Errors” EveryOne; just Write from YOUR!!! Heart EveryBody because ‘PERFECTION!!!’ is a Dumb, ‘Grown Up’ Myth that Stunts Our Innovation and Co-Creation as a Collective Community…as Opposed to a Rigid, Warlike, Wanton Mentality; a Mentality that seems To Be Leading To WWIII (World War Three) 😳😔🙄
Why was Hannibal’s brother-in-law assassinated?
The army did not want him as leader. There are not a lot of facts given on that subject.
I didn’t know most of the essay and I thought it was pretty interesting. You did a good job.