The Punic Wars

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Discuss the Punic Wars. What caused the conflicts between Carthage and Rome? What were the consequences for both sides?

There was a series of three Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome with the first occurring between 264 BCE and the last one ending in 146 BCE. The reasoning and motives for the three wars varies. However, no matter what the motives of the wars were, the end result was the defeat and total destruction of the Carthaginian civilization.

Essentially, the conflict arose from the clash of economic interests. The Carthaginians wished to protect commercial basis of power, while the Romans committed themselves to expansion (Marcel Le Glay 2009, 73). Carthage would lose the First Punic War, the result of this loss would cause vast amount of reprirations paid to Rome and a social revolt amongst its own people. Rome on the other hand would grow even more powerful, gaining land, and the birth of Rome as a naval power (Marcel Le Glay 2009, 75).

The Second Punic war some think was desired by the Carthaginians, as a form of payback for the losses they obtained from the First Punic War. One of the most famous figures of this was the Carthaginian general “Hannibal”. This war lasting 17 years, has often been called the “Hannibalic War,” One of the major exploits of this campaign was Hannibal’s decision to attack Rome from the north of Italy instead of the south. Hannibal was eventually defeated and rather than be captured he committed suicide. Carthage was also defeated weakening the state even more and increasing the Romans power.

The third and Final Punic War was caused what some believe was war mongering by wealthy Roman senators with financial interests. Whatever the reason was, this war had a tragic outcome for Carthage ...

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Sulla’s rule was significant partly due to the fact that he gained his position by a show of military force by marching his army into Rome and that once this power was gained he was granted the power of dictatorship. This was not unheard of at the time, but extent of term was. The office of dictator, previously voted only in emergencies and with the maximum of six months, was first given to Sulla without a time limit (Marcel Le Glay 2009, 135). Also once he gained his dictatorship he had most of his opponents or anyone that posed a threat arrested and many of them executed. The one incident that did stand out with Sulla, is that he did not remain in office until he died, at his later age he abdicated his power and retired until his death.

Works Cited

Marcel Le Glay, Jean-Louis Voisin, Yann Le Bohec. A History of Rome. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
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