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The Punic Wars

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Title: The Punic Wars


1
The Punic Wars
2
Latium
  • During the period of the first kings around 509
    BC there were actually very many cities in Italy
  • and Rome was just one of them.
  • The Italian Peninsula is located right in the
    heart of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Rome is located right in the heart of Italy on a
    large plain known as Latium.

3
After the establishment of the Republic, the
Romans began to conquer southern Italy.
  • They used a good idea to help them.
  • They told everybody that if any city needed help
    fighting a war, the Romans would be happy to help
    them.
  • Soon a city did ask for help, when its neighbors
    were attacking it.
  • The Romans sent troops and fought off the
    neighbors.
  • But when the war was over, the Romans announced
    that they were going to leave Roman soldiers in
    this city, to keep the city safe.
  • But when there are Roman soldiers living in the
    middle of your city, you pretty much have to do
    whatever the Roman Senate says!
  • In this way the Romans took over all of southern
    Italy.

4
Carthaginian Empire
Former Phoenician trading post Commercial
city Had western Mediterranean empire
Felt threatened by Romes rise to dominance in
Italy
5
The Punic Wars
Dispute over control of Sicily and trade routes
in the western Mediterranean coupled with Romes
expansion to the toe of Italy brought Rome into
conflict with the powerful North African
city-state of Carthage
Carthage had been founded as Phoenician colony
500 years earlier
Carthage
Result was the three Punic Wars 264-146 BC
6
These conflicts, so disastrous for Carthage, were
inevitable.
  • Between Carthage and Italy lay the huge island of
    Sicily
  • Carthage controlled the western half of Sicily,
  • but the southern tip of the Italian peninsula put
    the Romans within throwing distance of the
    island.
  • When the city of Messina revolted against the
    Carthaginians,
  • the Romans intervened
  • Security being in their National Interests,
  • and the first Punic War erupted.

7
FIRST PUNIC WAR
  • Primarily a naval war
  • Tactics involved maneuvering your ship in such a
    way so that you could ram and sink enemy
  • Carthage very good at this because of long
    experience as naval power
  • Rome had small navy and little experience in
    naval warfare
  • Defeated time and time again by larger and more
    experienced Carthaginian navy

8
ROME WINS THE FIRST ONE
  • Rome would not surrender
  • Finally turned the tables on Carthage by changing
    rules of naval warfare
  • Equipped ships with huge hooks and stationed
    soldiers on ships
  • Would hook enemy ship, pull it nearby, and board
    it with soldiers
  • Converted naval warfare into mini-land battles
  • Something Rome was very good at
  • Won First Punic War as a result

9
Mercenary War
  • Immediately following the war, Carthage's
    mercenaries revolted over a pay dispute and
    occupied a number of important Punic cities in
    North Africa and Sardinia, beginning the
    Mercenary War.
  • Miraculously, Carthage was able to defeat the
    mercenaries in North Africa,
  • meanwhile Rome used the Mercenary revolt as an
    excuse to invade and conquer the islands of
    Sardinia and Corsica
  • Thus by 238 BC, Carthage had lost all of her
    islands in the Central Mediterranean

10
SECOND PUNIC WAR
  • Carthagian general Hannibal surprises Romans,
    leads army from Spain, through southern France
    and the Alps, and invades Italy from the north
  • Defeats Roman armies sent to stop him several
    times but hesitates to attack Rome itself
  • Too well fortified
  • Settles instead on war of attrition in hope of
    destroying Roman economic base

11
The arrival of Hannibals army in Italy sparked
off numerous rebellions against Roman rule
  • and Hannibal decisively defeated Rome in a number
    of battles,
  • including the two worst military defeats of its
    history,
  • the Battle of Lake Trasimene, and the Battle of
    Cannae.
  • Roman allies in the south of Italy literally ran
    to Hannibal's side
  • the whole of Sicily allied itself with the
    Carthaginians.
  • In addition, Philip V, who controlled most of the
    mainland of Greece,
  • began his own war against Roman possessions in
    215 BC.

12
Fabian Strategy
  • Eventually Rome appointed a dictator
  • Quintus Fabius Maximus
  • They relied on employing the strategy of avoiding
    direct conflict with Hannibal in Italy
  • Known as the Fabian Strategy
  • Meanwhile, Hannibal was thwarted in his attempts
    to invade Rome.
  • He tried to incite revolt among the tribes of
    Italy, but most feared Rome's wrath should
    Carthage lose,
  • and they remained with Rome for the most part.

13
ROME WINS THIS ONE TOO
  • Unable to defeat Hannibal in Italy, a Roman army
    sailed across the Mediterranean, landed in North
    Africa, and headed for Carthage
  • Led by patrician general Scipio Aemilius
    Africanus
  • Hannibal forced to leave Italy to protect
    Carthage
  • Defeated at the Battle of Zama, fought outside
    the walls of Carthage

Hannibal
14
In 201, a treaty was signed, which was very
punitive. Carthage had to surrender her navy, all
territorial claims in Spain, and had to pay
reparations in the amount of 10,000 talents over
50 years.
10,000 talents is worth about 150,000 year's wages
15
Death and Legacy
  • Hannibal survived the Battle of Zama, Helped
    rebuild Carthage, but eventually had to run away.
    He fled from court to court offering his services
    to anyone who would fight Rome. Finally in 183
    B.C. Romans found him in Asia Minor (modern day
    Turkey) and forced him to surrender. As they
    guarded him, he secretly took poison and ended
    his life.
  • Hannibal shows the necessity of political goals
    being more important than military
    accomplishment.

16
Legacy
  • This was the defining historical experience of
    the Romans.
  • They had faced certain defeat with toughness and
    determination
  • and had won against overwhelming odds.
  • For the rest of Roman history, the character of
    being Roman would be distilled in the histories
    of this desperate war against Carthage.
  • The Second Punic War turned Rome from a regional
    power into an international empire
  • it had gained much of northern Africa, Spain, and
    the major islands in the western Mediterranean.
  • Because Philip V of Macedon had allied himself
    with Hannibal
  • and started his own war of conquest,
  • the second Punic War forced Rome to turn east
  • in wars of conquest against first Philip
  • and then other Hellenistic kingdoms.

17
Successor kingdom increasingly called on Roman
aid in their incessant wars against each other
Rome always responded in the belief that
achieving a balance of power in the east was
better than having one successor kingdom become
too powerful and challenge Rome
Rome eventually became weary of playing this
endless refereeing role and realized that the
continued independence of the successor kingdoms
threaten Roman interests
Took over Greece, Macedonia, some of Asia Minor,
Syria, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean islands
by 133 BC
Rome drawn into the affairs of the successor
kingdoms
18
THIRD PUNIC WAR
  • Carthage finished after Second Punic War
  • Hannibal committed suicide
  • Economy shattered
  • Lost all territory to Rome
  • But some Romans feared it might revive someday
    and challenge Rome again
  • Notably Cato the Elder
  • Pushed for another war that would wipe Carthage
    off the face of the map

Cato the Elder
19
Carthage Returns?
  • Carthage had, through the first half of the
    second century BC, recovered much of its
    prosperity through its commercial activities,
  • although it had not gained back much power.
  • The Romans, deeply suspicious of a reviving
    Carthage, demanded that the Carthaginians abandon
    their city and move inland into North Africa.
  • The Carthaginians refused
  • They were a commercial people that depended on
    sea trade,

20
ROME WINS A THIRD TIME
  • Due to Catos persistent efforts, Rome declares
    war against defenseless Carthage
  • Wins easily
  • Entire population of city sold into slavery
  • Everything of value carried back to Rome
  • Everything else burned and dumped into the sea
  • Site sown with salt so that nothing would ever
    grow there again
  • Carthage completely disappeared

21
The end result of the Second Punic War
was the domination of the known world
by Rome.
22
SUMMARY
  • Roman Republic was strongly rigged to work only
    in the interests of the wealthy classes
  • No way a sincere reformer could work within the
    system to change things
  • Everything was stacked against him
  • The only way to effect change within this rigged
    system was to either threaten or use violence
    against the ruling class
  • The rigged structure of government in republican
    Rome was therefore the first factor that
    contributed to the growth of political violence
    in the city-state
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