Carthage vs. Rome; the Punic Wars

Powerful Essays
Carthage vs. Rome; the Punic Wars

Over the course of one-hundred years the Mediterranean antiquity was rocked by an ancient cold war between the North African seafaring state of Carthage, and the newly rising city of Rome located on the Italian Peninsula. In the course of two major wars and one extended three year long siege of Carthage itself Rome would conquer its last major foe and turn the Mediterranean into a Roman lake.

As what happens so often, history is written by the side who wins and in the case of the Punic Wars and Carthage itself most of the information available today comes from Roman sources and authors whose knowledge has been passed down through the ages. According to legend Carthage was initially settled as a Phoenician trading colony (the word “Punic” is Latin for Phoenician) in 813 B.C by the Phoenician Queen Elissa (Mark). From Carthage’s prime location as a trade port its power and prestige grew rather quickly and its expansion brought the city into conflict with another growing ambitious city state called Rome.

At the epicenter of Carthage was its massive, extensive trading port, which incorporated a large circle copied from Greek Architecture that was able to accommodate more than 220 ships of varying sizes (Mark). It would from this port that Carthage would accumulate its wealth and come to be the dominant naval and trade power of the Mediterranean. Along with its strong navy Carthage used large numbers of mercenaries to bolster its land forces and extend its influence to islands abroad.

The story of the Roman Republic, and later the Roman Empire has been well documented throughout the ages. The brothers Romulus and Remus were orphaned as infants but found by a she-wolf and raised to adulthood;...

... middle of paper ...

...rks, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

"Punic Wars." History Curriculum Homeschool. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Warmington, B. H. Carthage. New York: Praeger, 1960. Print.

Polybius, and W. R. Paton. Polybius. The Histories. London: Heinemann, 1960. Print.

Hasdrubal, Ali. "The Second Punic War." The Second Punic War. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.

Wallinga, Herman Tammo. The Boarding-bridge of the Romans: Its Construction and Its Function in the Naval Tactics of the First Punic War. Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1956. Print.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization. Minneapolis/St. Paul: West, 1994. Print.

Knox, E.L. "The Punic Wars." Hannibal Crosses the Alps. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2014.

Lazenby, John F. Hannibal's War: A Military of the Second Punic War. Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1978. Print.

Mellor, Ronald. The Roman Historians. London: Routledge, 1999. Print.
Get Access