Comparing Carthage And Rome

Good Essays
Both, Carthage and Rome, were powerful and prospering states. But their success was different.
According to Morey, Carthage “was originally a colony of Tyre, and had come to be the capital of a great commercial empire on the northern coast of Africa.” (Morey, 1901, para. 2). Rome and
Carthage shared some traits, which I discuss in the following paragraphs.
The first similarity was in the structure of the states’ governments. For example, the government of Carthage similarly to Roman government, had two chief magistrates, a council of elders, and an assembly. The corresponding structures in Rome, respectively, had two consuls, the Roman senate, and the Roman comitia (Morey, 1901). But those similarities were only structural.
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Politically they differ too. In contrast with Rome, Carthage did not include their subject states into the state.
Another distinction was the management in Carthaginian army. While Rome elected her generals every year, Carthage had a permanent and proficient military leader. Among the other, Carthage
“had a powerful navy, a mercenary army and, through tribute, tariffs, and trade, enough wealth to do as she pleased.” (Mark, 2011, para. 1). So, I would say that the military structure played a big role in Carthage’ power which was based on trade, commercial supremacy, and her army, including the fleet. Her subject colonies were located in northern Africa and in the Greek part of
Sicily and Italy. “She was, in fact, the great merchant of the Mediterranean.” (Morey, 1901, para.
As Morey said in his “Outlines of Roman History”, “We can thus see how Rome and Carthage became rivals for the possession of the countries bordering upon the western Mediterranean
Sea.” (Morey, 1901, para. 4)
And though their power was the same in many aspects, the appearance of it can be observed in very different spheres. The power of Carthage was shown in her success and prosperity, but the power of Rome fully revealed in times of
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So, the War started, and Rome, being a land power, was winning land battles during the first several years. Carthage, in contrast with Rome that did not have a fleet and knew nothing about sea battles, had ships and was the dominant naval power in the region (Royston, 2011). Romans understood that to fight successfully with that enemy, they also need a fleet, and fast. Those few ships that, according to Morey, Rome had, could not do much against the naval power of
Carthage. Moreover, the Carthage’s fleet consisted of quinquiremes that were more effective on war than the triremes. Very soon, Romans built and equipped more than a hundred vessels like the one they found wrecked on the Italian shore and trained their soldiers into sailors. The most important invention was the drawbridge. It allowed Romans to apply the battle tactics they used on land and which proved to be an effective one. That device could be attached to an enemy’s ship using hooks (Mark, 2011). With such an equipped war fleet, Rome became the first
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