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Old 04-04-2011, 01:10 AM   #1
Zeno
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The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

The rise of Rome as the dominant power in the Mediterranean began with conquering Sicily which was accomplished during the First Punic War (264-241 BC), the first of three wars Rome fought with Carthage. The war lasted about 25 years and involved numerous campaigns and battles on land and sea. According to the Greek historian Polybius of Megalopolis (c.200-c.118), the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome was "the longest and most severely contested war in history". And indeed, it lasted almost a quarter of a century and probably, a million people lost their lives. In the end, Rome had conquered the island of Sicily, and had become a Mediterranean power.



First Punic War timeline and information:

http://www.livius.org/ps-pz/punic_war/1pw_chrono.html

Background and Nominal Cause of the War:

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/wars_punic1.html

From above link:

War between Rome and Carthage was not inevitable. Treaties between the two cities had existed for over two centuries, agreeing on their respective spheres of influence, Rome in Italy, Carthage in African and Sardinia, with Roman traders allowed equal access in Sicily. In the end it was Sicily that provided the trigger for war. Control of the island was contested between the Greek city states and Carthage. Between 315 and his death in 289 BC the opposition to Carthage had been led by Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse. Amongst his troops was a contingent from Campania, the Mamertines. After his death, they were forced out of Syracuse, and eventually took control of Messana, facing the Straits of Messana and mainland Italy. From there they raided the surrounding areas.

Eventually an new leader, Hiero, rose in Syracuse, and under his leadership the Mamertines were defeated. Feeling themselves to be without hope in 265 BC they called on both Carthage and Rome for help. Carthage responded first, sending a small force to Messana, where they occupied the citadel. Rome too decided to intervene. The next year the Roman force under Appius Claudius arrived opposite Sicily. The Mamertines expelled the Carthaginian force from Messana, and allied with Rome. Faced with this Hiero and the Carthaginians formed an alliance, and the war was started.


The Mediterranean circa 264 BC:




Rome and Carthage circa 264 BC:





Sicily:




Results of the First Punic War

http://www.unrv.com/empire/first-punic-war.php


From the above link:

Results of the First Punic War

While the Roman "victory" was achieved at a terrible cost, they did receive complete control of Sicily through Carthaginian withdrawal, and the assurance that Syracuse would be unmolested in the future. Carthage was forced to pay 3,200 gold talents in total over a period of 10 years while also paying heavy ransoms for its prisoners. As a direct result of this compensation, Carthage found itself unable to pay her mercenary army leading directly to a devastating revolt. Sicily was organized into Rome's first province soon after the end of the war, and a veritable gold mine in grain wealth was secured.

Casualties for both sides must have been devastating. Polybius suggested that the war was the most destructive in the history of warfare. Rome lost at least 50,000 actual citizens, with Latin rights, allied and auxilia numbers higher exponentially. In the end, Rome lost over 600 ships while Carthage at least 500. Rome never having been a sea power only used the navy as needed in warfare and not as a permanent institution, so its vessel losses were less significant. Carthage, however, by virtue of losing its sea advantage had to find other means to regain its strength and position.

In another direct result of the war, Rome was able to secure both Sardinia and Corsica as a second Roman province. While Carthage, under the leadership of Hamilcar, was busy fighting off its own 'mercenary war', Rome was able to snatch Sardinia away and secure its position on Corsica by 238 BC. Carthage protested, but in its current state, could do nothing more than that, and in fact, was forced to pay more tribute. An additional 1200 talents were sent to Rome while it also took control of the 3 major western Mediterranean Islands. Carthage would be forced to seek ways to expand and pay Rome though other means than the navy, and led to the eventual colonization of Hispania. Lingering animosity wouldn't take long to resurface, and the emergence of the Barca (Hamilcar, Hasdrubal and Hannibal) family in Carthage would have a lasting and horrific impact on the new masters of the Mediterranean.

The Romans were able to shift attention to the North and the troublesome Gauls and Illyrians while Carthage dealt with its own internal affairs. They learned some important lessons in this war including the use of the sea in strategic warfare. While never becoming great sailors themselves, they used technology, the corvus, to their advantage and included more sea adept Greek officers and crews whenever possible. More importantly, Rome learned how to conduct war on a massive scale and to survive the turmoil it could cause. The Senate became masters of financing these expansionist activities, while the areas of legion recruiting, logistics, political espionage and fleet building all were part of the invaluable knowledge and experience gained. This already lengthy and costly war, while greatly beneficial to Rome was only the beginning of a longer and bloodier conflict by far, and both sides knew it.

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Old 04-04-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

1. What happened to the Illyrians and Gauls? The map seems to be missing a lot of people if RTR was remotely accurate...

2. What was the area of "Syracuse" actually like? I am never really satisfied with a map at a 1,000,000:1 scale... What was life like in Syracuse, how was its economy structured, how many people, where? These things are of interest to me, where do I find them?

3. Why are the Phoenician settlements all on the NW side? Were the others conquered by the Greeks? And what happened to the natives, the same?

4. What was a "province" for Rome? Was Italy proper not composed of provinces? What did they call territories within Italy?

5. How does this period in history relate to the conflicts between Rome and the Greeks? How distant is that and how does it still shape Roman policy and such? How does it affect the issues over Sicily?
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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Originally Posted by DDNK View Post
1. What happened to the Illyrians and Gauls? The map seems to be missing a lot of people if RTR was remotely accurate...

2. What was the area of "Syracuse" actually like? I am never really satisfied with a map at a 1,000,000:1 scale... What was life like in Syracuse, how was its economy structured, how many people, where? These things are of interest to me, where do I find them?

3. Why are the Phoenician settlements all on the NW side? Were the others conquered by the Greeks? And what happened to the natives, the same?

4. What was a "province" for Rome? Was Italy proper not composed of provinces? What did they call territories within Italy?

5. How does this period in history relate to the conflicts between Rome and the Greeks? How distant is that and how does it still shape Roman policy and such? How does it affect the issues over Sicily?
Is this final open-book?
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

I know that sicily as a land truly was never the same after the punic wars.
But the other hand, sicily became rome's bread basket and helped strongly rome to support its populace until they conquered egypt.

Good text zeno.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:39 AM   #5
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

My finals are closed-book, sorry.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

Quote:
War between Rome and Carthage was not inevitable. Treaties between the two cities had existed for over two centuries, agreeing on their respective spheres of influence, Rome in Italy, Carthage in African and Sardinia, with Roman traders allowed equal access in Sicily. In the end it was Sicily that provided the trigger for war. Control of the island was contested between the Greek city states and Carthage. Between 315 and his death in 289 BC the opposition to Carthage had been led by Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse. Amongst his troops was a contingent from Campania, the Mamertines. After his death, they were forced out of Syracuse, and eventually took control of Messana, facing the Straits of Messana and mainland Italy. From there they raided the surrounding areas.

Eventually an new leader, Hiero, rose in Syracuse, and under his leadership the Mamertines were defeated. Feeling themselves to be without hope in 265 BC they called on both Carthage and Rome for help. Carthage responded first, sending a small force to Messana, where they occupied the citadel. Rome too decided to intervene. The next year the Roman force under Appius Claudius arrived opposite Sicily. The Mamertines expelled the Carthaginian force from Messana, and allied with Rome. Faced with this Hiero and the Carthaginians formed an alliance, and the war was started.

So the Mamertines, from Campania, were of Italian origin and thus should have preferred Roman over Carthaginian assistance in their fight against the Syracuse Greeks. Which they evidently did. So why wasn't the fight between Rome and their Mamertine allies against Syracuse and their Greek-Sicily city allies? Sounds like Carthage must have poked their nose in where they didn't have to. After they were expelled from Messana by the Mamertines they could have just stayed out of it.


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Old 04-16-2011, 01:26 AM   #7
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

By far one of the best things ever put together on the Punic Wars is Dan Carlin's Punic Nightmares on his hardcore history podcast. It is broken into 3 parts and is incredibly fascinating. Someone recommended it to me, so I downloaded all three parts. I saw that they were almost three hours total and thought there was no way I was going to listen to it. I ended up listening to the whole thing while at one time. It brings the Punic Wars to a very real and human level. It could easily be made into a movie.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #8
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

I just found copies of the podcasts on my hard drive. If anyone wants a copy of them just pm me.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

Quote:
Originally Posted by PairTheBoard View Post
So the Mamertines, from Campania, were of Italian origin and thus should have preferred Roman over Carthaginian assistance in their fight against the Syracuse Greeks. Which they evidently did. So why wasn't the fight between Rome and their Mamertine allies against Syracuse and their Greek-Sicily city allies? Sounds like Carthage must have poked their nose in where they didn't have to. After they were expelled from Messana by the Mamertines they could have just stayed out of it.


PairTheBoard
Possibly. But all this has a deeper current, not the least being human nature and the will for power and influence and security, so called. As an off-key explanation, I suggest that you read Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War (the war between Athens and Sparta) and study the beginings of that conflict. See the dispute over Epidamnus and Corcyra. This may help answer your question(s), or not.

-Zeno
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:19 AM   #10
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match




The First Punic War was the set up, the Second Punic War was the knock out drag out fight of attrition, and Roman perseverance won out. It is also the most famous and well known of the Punic Wars mainly because of the Carthaginian General Hannibal, who rained havoc and ruin throughout Italy for many years, and the Roman General Scipio, a brilliant commander. The Battles of Cannae and Zama are renowned; Zama probably equals Marathon in importance. The war lasted about 17 years and involved numerous battles and fronts on land and sea, and involved Spain. It was a colossal power struggle and the winner would have complete control of the Mediterranean and important territories for expansion and further conquest.


Timeline of the Second Punic War-

•218 - Hannibal in northern Italy. Battles of Ticinus and Trebia.Scipio sends his brother to Spain.

•217 - Roman naval victory off the Ebro. Battle at Lake Trasimenus
•216 - Battle of Cannae Revolts in central Italy and Capua.
•215 - Hannibal in southern Italy.Hasdrubal defeated at Dertosa.
Alliance of Carthage with Philip and Syracuse.

•214 - Roman successes in Spain
[214-05 1st Macedonian War]
•213 Hannibal occupies Tarentum. Romans besiege Syracuse.
•212 - Siege of Capua.[Ludi Apollinares introduced]
•211 - Hannibal marches on Rome.Capture of Syracuse and Capua. Scipios defeated in Spain.

•210 - Fall of Agrigntum. Scipio Africanus goes to Spain
•209 - Tarentum recaptured. New Carthage Captured.
•208 - Death of Marcellus. Battle of Baecula
•207 - Defeat of Hasdrubal at Metaurus.
•206 - Battle of Ilipa. Conquest of Spain
•205 - Scipio goes to Sicily.
•204 - Cult stone of Great Mother brought from Asia Minor.Scipio goes to Africa.

•203 - Defeat of Syphax.Battle of the Great Plains. Defeat of Mago. Hannibal recalled.

•202- Battle of Zama - Scipio victor.
•201 - Peace - Carthage becomes client state.

Timeline link: http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/p...r-Timeline.htm


Reference and information:

http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/m.../2ndPunic.html

Reference and information:

http://www.unrv.com/empire/second-punic-war.php

The Battle of Cannae:

http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/...0/p/cannae.htm


The Battle of Cannae, from above link:

Carthage
•Hannibal
•40,000 heavy infantry, 6,000 light infantry, 8,000 cavalry

Rome
• Gaius Terentius Varro
• Lucius Aemilius Paullus
• 87,000 men

Battle Summary:

After the start of the Second Punic War, the Carthaginian general Hannibal boldly crossed the Alps and invaded Italy. Winning battles at Trebia (218 BC) and Lake Trasimene (217 BC), Hannibal moved south plundering the countryside and working to make Rome's allies defect to Carthage's side. In the spring of 216 BC, Hannibal seized the Roman supply depot at Cannae in southeast Italy. With Hannibal sitting astride Rome's supply lines, the Roman Senate called for action. Assembling a massive army of nearly 87,000 men, the Consuls Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus advanced to face the Carthaginians.

The two armies met along the banks of the Aufidus River on July 31 and began skirmishing. On August 2, Varro and Paullus formed up their army for battle with their infantry densely packed in the center and the cavalry on the wings. The Consuls planned to use the infantry to quickly break the Carthaginian lines. Opposite, Hannibal placed his cavalry and most veteran infantry on the wings and his lighter infantry in the center. As the two sides advanced, Hannibal's center moved forward, causing their line to bow in a crescent shape. On the Hannibal's left, his cavalry charged forward and routed the Roman horse.

To the right, Hannibal's cavalry was engaged with that of Rome's allies. Having destroyed their opposite number on the left, the Carthaginian cavalry rode behind the Roman army and assaulted the allied cavalry from the rear. Under attack from two directions, the allied cavalry fled the field. As the infantry began to engage, Hannibal had his center slowly retreat, while ordering the infantry on the wings to hold their position. The tightly packed Roman infantry continued to advance after the retreating Carthaginians, unaware of the trap that was about to be sprung.

As the Romans were drawn in, Hannibal ordered the infantry on his wings to turn and attack the Roman flanks. This was coupled with a massive assault on the Roman rear by the Carthaginian cavalry, which completely surrounded the Consuls' army. Trapped, the Romans became so compressed that many did not have space to raise their weapons. To speed the victory, Hannibal ordered his men to cut the hamstrings of each Roman and then move on to the next, commenting that the lamed could be slaughtered later at the Carthaginian's leisure. The fighting continued until evening with approximately 600 Romans dying per minute.

Casualties & Impact:

Various accounts of the Battle of Cannae show that 50,000-70,000 of the Romans, with 3,500-4,500 taken prisoner. It is known that approximately 14,000 were able to cut their way out and reach the town of Canusium. Hannibal's army suffered around 6,000 killed and 10,000 wounded. Though encouraged by his officers to march on Rome, Hannibal resisted as he lacked the equipment and supplies for a major siege. While victorious at Cannae, Hannibal would ultimately be defeated at the Battle of Zama (202 BC), and Carthage would lose the Second Punic War.

________________________________________________


The Battle of Zama:

http://www.roman-empire.net/army/zama.html

After the Second Punic War Carthage was a shell of its former self. The Third Punic War destoryed the shell - for a later post.

-Zeno

Last edited by Zeno; 04-25-2011 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:39 AM   #11
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

greatly appreciated zeno
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:07 AM   #12
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match




Note the purple area on the map; that is the extent of the Carthaginian Empire after the Second Punic War.


Third Punic War Summary:

http://www.unrv.com/empire/third-punic-war.php


Text from above link:


"[B]Third Punic War[/B

]In the years following the Battle of Zama and the defeat of Hannibal in the Second Punic War, Rome and Carthage maintained an adversarial conqueror and conquered relationship. Rome continued to expand in the east, while dealing with problems in their newly acquired Spanish territories. Rome also continued to support their Numidian ally Masinissa, even discreetly encouraging invasion of Carthaginian lands while Carthage was left to beg for Roman intervention. Immediately after the Second Punic War, Hannibal Barca maintained his power in Carthage and did considerable work to clean up corruption and economic problems within the nation, but his enmity with Rome would eventually force his ouster. By the time the Romans were going to war with Anthiochus III of Syria, Hannibal had been forced into exile and joined this new Roman enemy.

Hannibal's departure from Carthage did little to endear them to the untrusting and vengeful Romans. Terms of the treaty with Rome forced Carthage to give up its army, and the resulting financial savings were considerable. The regime that replaced Hannibal attempted to use this new found economic fortune to make for peaceful relations with their old nemesis, but to no avail. Attempts to pay off their annual tribute in one lump sum were denied (to prevent the release of the obligation that Carthage would continue to owe to Rome), and grain shipments meant as gifts to help the Romans in Greece and Macedonia were received and paid for in full by the Senate. The Romans clearly didn't want any relationship that might be seen as requiring reciprocal favors.

Masinissa and his large Numidian army made a regular pattern of incursions against Carthage. Major efforts were launched about every decade since the end of the Second Punic War. The years 193, 182, 172, and 162 BC all played host to Numidian advances. At first, despite Roman bias towards Masinissa, obligations elsewhere led them to be slightly less one sided against Carthage, but by the 170's and 160's BC, this attitude took an abrupt about face. The invasion of 162 BC and resulting requests for help from Carthage were ignored. Masinissa was allowed to keep his gains, and relations soured even further. The next decade, the 150's BC, saw increased Numidian activity and frequent embassies from Carthage to Rome with each request for aid being denied in turn. Yet despite Rome always favoring Masinissa's cause, no effort was made to declare war themselves, leaving the policing of Carthaginian resurgence to their Numidian allies. While Carthage remained a troubling worry for Rome ever since Hannibal, there were enough Senators in Rome who wanted peace, or a real justification for war, before allowing the pro-war Senators to have their way.

Repeated Numidian raids brought the situation to a head in the late 150's BC. By 153 BC, another Carthaginian complaint sent a Roman delegation (essentially a spy mission) to Carthage, headed by Cato the Elder. In investigating the claims of injustice, the Romans inspected all areas of Carthaginian territory. Cato, in particular, was disturbed at the apparent wealth of Carthage and the prosperity of its countryside. Upon returning to Rome, Cato made it his mission to inspire the Romans to war against Carthage once again to prevent a possible rebirth of Carthaginian power.

There is a story of Cato making a speech before the Senate where he dramatized the danger of Carthage to Rome. Shaking the folds of his toga some large African figs fell on the ground as if by accident. As the Senators admired the figs size and natural beauty, Cato when on to explain that the origin of these magnificent specimens was only 3 days away by sail. It is likely that Cato meant to show that the terms of the Roman peace treaty did nothing to hamper the newfound economic prosperity of Carthage. In just a short time, Carthage was building to a position to again be a threat to Rome. Whatever the angle meant by this display, Cato made it his cause to inspire war. From this point on, until war was finally declared, Cato uttered the famous line after every comment in the Forum, "ceterum censeo delendam esse Carthaginem (commonly referred to as Carthago delende est) which translates as "Besides which, my opinion is that Carthage must be destroyed". It has been recorded that he used the line, at times, after every sentence he spoke, regardless of the subject matter of his statements.

Roman lack of response to Carthaginian concerns led to a change in their government. A party in opposition to Roman appeasement had come to power by 151 BC. It was at this time that Masinissa laid siege to a Carthaginian town, and the new government decided its attempts to get Roman intervention had been exhausted. An army of 25,000 raw recruits was raised and it attempted to lift the siege. The Numidians crushed the inexperienced army, but worse yet, a military tribune, Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (grandson of Scipio Africanus through adoption) was there to witness the battle. Sent from Spain to arrange for the delivery of some war elephants from Masinissa, he just happened to be on hand for the slaughter. A report issued on the affair to Rome was interpreted as a Carthaginian violation of their treaty rather than a description of a great Numidian victory. As a result the Carthaginians were stripped of their ability to defend themselves and were not allowed to raise an army or conduct war without Roman approval and conditions were moving ever closer to a state of war.

New attempts by Carthage to appease the Romans were ignored and the Carthaginian city of Utica offered itself in unconditional surrender to Rome before war even broke out. Hopelessness reigned supreme for the Carthaginians with good reason. By 149 BC, more attempts by African envoys were proved to be futile. Rome had finally declared war and sent two consular armies of 80,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry from Sicily to Utica, only 10 miles from the Carthage itself. Once these armies arrived in Utica, a panicked populace complied with any Roman demand including the surrender of their arms, over 200,000 sets of armor and 2,000 siege weapons. Pushing the limits, the Consuls seemed unable to goad Carthage into war, but one final demand finally inspired the enemy. The Carthaginians were told to abandon the city of Carthage so it could be razed as punishment for disobedience, but the populous was free to leave and settle anywhere within existing Carthaginian territory so long as it was at least 10 miles from the sea. Carthage finally woke up, realizing that war was the only option, and that since failure to resist seemed to lead to destruction anyway, they prepared to meet their invaders.

While Carthage prepared for a siege, the Roman army suffered greatly from disease. Badly hampered by losses, they were unable to attack Carthage before the Carthaginians were ready. Minor attacks on towns outside of the city were conducted, but little was really accomplished. It wasn't until 147 BC that the Senate felt a change was in order. Since the campaigns of Scipio Africanus and his victory over Hannibal at Zama, it was believed that Carthage couldn't be defeated without a Scipio in command, and the man who had first reported the Carthaginian breaking of the treaty was elected Consul. Public Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus took command and immediately made strides. Forcing the enemy to withdraw within the city of Carthage, he blockaded the harbor to prevent supply and laid waste to the countryside. By the winter of 147/146 BC, the Romans occupied the outskirts of Carthage and were prepared for a final attack.

The spring of 146 BC opened with an assault on the city. 6 days of brutal street fighting was a testament to both dire Carthaginian resistance and determined Roman resolve. First capturing the walls, then surrounding the citadel, the Romans were free to wreak havoc on the civilian population. Before the final Carthaginian surrender, a city of some 700,000 people was reduced to as few as 50,000 defenders. Upon finally giving up, these remaining forces were rounded up and sold into slavery. In the aftermath, despite Scipio's objections, he was ordered to raze the city. Taking every bit of plunder they could, the Romans destroyed the harbor, demolished all large stone structures and burned the city for 10 days. (Despite popular opinion, the salting of the land afterward to prevent repopulation was a story introduced long after the fact and may not have happened at all.) Carthage and its status as a power of the ancient world was finally destroyed, and even the city itself would not be successfully rebuilt until the reign of Augustus some 150 years later.

Carthaginian territory along the coast and slightly into the interior was organized as the Roman province of Africa. Numidia, under Masinissa, was allowed independence as a client kingdom. Roman hegemony now spread from Africa in the south, Spain to the west and Asia Minor to the east. While Rome was the indisputable master of the western world, her rapid growth, accompanied with opportunity for corruption and economic disparity among the classes would lead to new problems for the empire. Additionally, the massive amount of slave labor imported from Africa, Spain and the east created a new economy dependency on continuing slavery. These conditions would ultimately be major factors in the crumbling of the Roman political system and the terrible strife between the Patricians, Equestrian order and the common Plebes. With the defeat of Carthage Rome inherited an empire but it ultimately set about the fall of its own Republic. "

__________________________________________________ ______________

I put in bold the paragraph about Cato the Elder and his statements, as they sum up the general Roman position on Carthage.

There are interesting and important items for discussion about this conflict of the Ancient World - but will leave that for another post.

-Zeno
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:02 AM   #13
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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Originally Posted by tvent37 View Post
By far one of the best things ever put together on the Punic Wars is Dan Carlin's Punic Nightmares on his hardcore history podcast. It is broken into 3 parts and is incredibly fascinating. Someone recommended it to me, so I downloaded all three parts. I saw that they were almost three hours total and thought there was no way I was going to listen to it. I ended up listening to the whole thing while at one time. It brings the Punic Wars to a very real and human level. It could easily be made into a movie.
I love Hardcore History, I've listened to all of the Punic Nightmares sections at least 5 times.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:01 AM   #14
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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Originally Posted by tvent37 View Post
By far one of the best things ever put together on the Punic Wars is Dan Carlin's Punic Nightmares on his hardcore history podcast. It is broken into 3 parts and is incredibly fascinating. Someone recommended it to me, so I downloaded all three parts. I saw that they were almost three hours total and thought there was no way I was going to listen to it. I ended up listening to the whole thing while at one time. It brings the Punic Wars to a very real and human level. It could easily be made into a movie.
ding ding ding yes sir. Dan Carlin is the bomb. I love the intro line ''Have you ever fought an elephant in hand to hand combat!?'' with his serious/low toned voice.

Back for topic zeno - quick question for you, what are your thoughts on why hannibal decided to cross in the middle of mountains instead of staying next to the coast in liguria?
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:38 PM   #15
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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ding ding ding yes sir. Dan Carlin is the bomb. I love the intro line ''Have you ever fought an elephant in hand to hand combat!?'' with his serious/low toned voice.

Back for topic zeno - quick question for you, what are your thoughts on why hannibal decided to cross in the middle of mountains instead of staying next to the coast in liguria?
I speculate that the answer is that Hannibal wanted Italian Gauls to join his army before he attacked the Romans.

The goal of his campaign may have been to trigger a revolt against the Romans on the Italian peninsula, he didn't think he could face the Romans alone. Hannibal routinely recruited other tribes to join his cause.

Many groups hated the Romans but not many dared to attack them because of of their military might. His plan may have been to unite everybody who despised the Romans and attack them together.

He avoided the Roman army in "France", why would he walk straight into them by taking the coastal route? This would not make any sense because it would be harder to face the Romans in this area, they were dug in and success against intrenched legions would have played into the Romans hands.

Hannibal took a route that would catch the Romans off-guard.
By doing so he suffered huge losses which were probably more then expected but probably not as many as he thought he would lose by facing the dugged-in Romans. It also allowed him to recruit more allies. And catch the Roman's off guard.

Hannibal like to control the tempo and place of his battles. Like Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of positioning in military strategy. Both thought that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment; but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.

When Hannibal did face the Romans he could choose the terrain and take it to the Romans on his terms we all know what happened next....
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:34 PM   #16
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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I speculate that the answer is that Hannibal wanted Italian Gauls to join his army before he attacked the Romans.

The goal of his campaign may have been to trigger a revolt against the Romans on the Italian peninsula, he didn't think he could face the Romans alone. Hannibal routinely recruited other tribes to join his cause.

Many groups hated the Romans but not many dared to attack them because of of their military might. His plan may have been to unite everybody who despised the Romans and attack them together.

He avoided the Roman army in "France", why would he walk straight into them by taking the coastal route? This would not make any sense because it would be harder to face the Romans in this area, they were dug in and success against intrenched legions would have played into the Romans hands.

Hannibal took a route that would catch the Romans off-guard.
By doing so he suffered huge losses which were probably more then expected but probably not as many as he thought he would lose by facing the dugged-in Romans. It also allowed him to recruit more allies. And catch the Roman's off guard.

Hannibal like to control the tempo and place of his battles. Like Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of positioning in military strategy. Both thought that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment; but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.

When Hannibal did face the Romans he could choose the terrain and take it to the Romans on his terms we all know what happened next....
Interesting post. After listening to the Hannibal series by Stanford, it sounds like what you said + Hannibal having poor travel guides.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:10 PM   #17
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

I just started "TheGhosts of Cannae". By Robert l o'connell. If anyone wants a review of it after, I'll post one.

Scipio is probably the most understudied military, historical, and political figure, ever. I've never read a biography of his that was a waste of time.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #18
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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So the Mamertines, from Campania, were of Italian origin and thus should have preferred Roman over Carthaginian assistance in their fight against the Syracuse Greeks. Which they evidently did. So why wasn't the fight between Rome and their Mamertine allies against Syracuse and their Greek-Sicily city allies? Sounds like Carthage must have poked their nose in where they didn't have to. After they were expelled from Messana by the Mamertines they could have just stayed out of it.


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You can't control hispania without Sicily.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:32 PM   #19
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

The second Punic War was less of a Roman vs Carthage conflict, and more of a very powerfull Barca family vs. Rome situation. Carthage itself was not totally committed to the Barca Invasion of Italy untill it was really too late. Lots of speculation to be made if the Spanish Barca Carthage and the North African Carthage had worked together and sooner.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #20
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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The second Punic War was less of a Roman vs Carthage conflict, and more of a very powerfull Barca family vs. Rome situation. Carthage itself was not totally committed to the Barca Invasion of Italy untill it was really too late. Lots of speculation to be made if the Spanish Barca Carthage and the North African Carthage had worked together and sooner.
Carthage, like the Hellenistic kingdoms of the day, were dominated by a narrow elite. What the Barcas wanted in he days of Hamilcar, they got, in Carthage. The next generation tried to both maintain political dominance at home and conduct two foreign wars. They just couldn't be in every place at once. If anything they overreached more than Athens during the Pelopennosian war. Another generation in Spain before invading Italy, and who knows if Rome could have withstood it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:46 PM   #21
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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I just started "TheGhosts of Cannae". By Robert l o'connell. If anyone wants a review of it after, I'll post one.

Scipio is probably the most understudied military, historical, and political figure, ever. I've never read a biography of his that was a waste of time.
I would love to read your reivew. This book has been in my wish list on Amazon for awhile.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #22
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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I would love to read your reivew. This book has been in my wish list on Amazon for awhile.
I downed about a third today, one of the perks of unemployed bums on rainy days in starbucks.

He seems to be taking a tack of Rome's economic engine was war, and Carthage's was commerce. He is placing a LOT of emphasis on the First Punic War's deletrious effect on Carthage. The most interesting stance he is taking is that Hannibal was only ethnically Phoenician, and that his upbringing, friends, education, and generalship was Hellenistic. Best anecdote so far that I don't recall was that at age nine, Hamilcar asked Hannibal if he wanted to go with daddy to Hispania, and when he said yes, Hannibal made him put his hand on the burnt corpse of an infant sacrifice to Baal and swear everlasting hatred for Rome. He cited Diodorus for that, I think, but I don't recall that in Diodorus from college, or reading it anywhere before.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:24 AM   #23
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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I downed about a third today, one of the perks of unemployed bums on rainy days in starbucks.

He seems to be taking a tack of Rome's economic engine was war, and Carthage's was commerce. He is placing a LOT of emphasis on the First Punic War's deletrious effect on Carthage. The most interesting stance he is taking is that Hannibal was only ethnically Phoenician, and that his upbringing, friends, education, and generalship was Hellenistic. Best anecdote so far that I don't recall was that at age nine, Hamilcar asked Hannibal if he wanted to go with daddy to Hispania, and when he said yes, Hannibal made him put his hand on the burnt corpse of an infant sacrifice to Baal and swear everlasting hatred for Rome. He cited Diodorus for that, I think, but I don't recall that in Diodorus from college, or reading it anywhere before.
Clearly, Hannibal had a huge hatred for Rome that burned deep.

Much of the stuff I read also makes it pretty clear that Hannibal may not been as comfortable in Carthage as he was in Greece or Spain. So your post makes a great deal of sense. When Hamilcar Barca got the command over the invasion of Spain and with him he took Hannibal with him when he was just a boy. Most of his formative years were spent away from Carthage.

Upon the assassination of Hasdrubal in 221 B.C., Hannibal, at the age of 26, was immediately proclaimed commander in chief by the entire army. Making New Carthage his headquarters, Hannibal consolidated Carthaginian power in Spain by attacking and defeating the Olcades on the upper Guadiana and the Vaccaei and Carpetani beyond the Tagus. In the spring of 219 he besieged Saguntum, before his famous crossing of the Alps and into Italy. So most of his adulthood has away from Carthage as well, until finally being beat by the Romans being lead by Scipio .

I believe Hannibal hated Rome more than he had any love for Carthage, and was more comfortable in Spain or Greece then his homeland.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #24
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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I speculate that the answer is that Hannibal wanted Italian Gauls to join his army before he attacked the Romans.

The goal of his campaign may have been to trigger a revolt against the Romans on the Italian peninsula, he didn't think he could face the Romans alone. Hannibal routinely recruited other tribes to join his cause.

Many groups hated the Romans but not many dared to attack them because of of their military might. His plan may have been to unite everybody who despised the Romans and attack them together.

He avoided the Roman army in "France", why would he walk straight into them by taking the coastal route? This would not make any sense because it would be harder to face the Romans in this area, they were dug in and success against intrenched legions would have played into the Romans hands.

Hannibal took a route that would catch the Romans off-guard.
By doing so he suffered huge losses which were probably more then expected but probably not as many as he thought he would lose by facing the dugged-in Romans. It also allowed him to recruit more allies. And catch the Roman's off guard.

Hannibal like to control the tempo and place of his battles. Like Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of positioning in military strategy. Both thought that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment; but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.

When Hannibal did face the Romans he could choose the terrain and take it to the Romans on his terms we all know what happened next....
Still beats me why Hannibal didn't attack Rome when he had the chance. Great tactical moves on his part starting with that surprise attack coming from the Alps instead of the via the Mediterranean towards Sicily.

Great moves around Rome, especially that ambush thing the did.

But the guy just didn't attack Rome. In fact he delayed so long that he wound up having to go back to Carthage to "defend" his home via an attack on Scipio.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:52 PM   #25
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Re: The Punic Wars: Rome & Carthage Death Match

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Still beats me why Hannibal didn't attack Rome when he had the chance. Great tactical moves on his part starting with that surprise attack coming from the Alps instead of the via the Mediterranean towards Sicily.

Great moves around Rome, especially that ambush thing the did.

But the guy just didn't attack Rome. In fact he delayed so long that he wound up having to go back to Carthage to "defend" his home via an attack on Scipio.
Many historians have speculated Hannibal realized he was not skilled in siege type attacks which would have 'been necessary to conquer Rome. I'm not sure about that.

On the flipside I don't think he anticipated Scipio going directly after Carthage as long as he (Hannibal) was on Italian soil. it seems to me Hannibal did not have an endgame plan in mind. It's very possible that he was an extraordinary individual battle tactician but did not have the same brilliance toward ending conflict successfully. Wins the battles but still loses the war. Reminiscent of the United States in Vietnam. Fortunately the Vietnamese and Chinese did not have a "Scipio" and fortunately the US had a large nuclear arsenal which was a huge deterrent.
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