The end of the war sparked a major but unsuccessful revolt within the Carthaginian Empire known as the Mercenary War. The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the early 3rd century BC. [38][48] More formal battles were usually preceded by the two armies camping one to seven miles (2–12 km) apart for days or weeks; sometimes forming up in battle order each day. [213] In 203 BC Carthage succeeded in recruiting at least 4,000 mercenaries from Iberia, despite Rome's nominal control. The Punic Wars (punic = Phoenician, the Carthaginians were a Phoenician people) were between Rome and Carthage. Hannibal arrived with 20,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and an unknown number of elephants – the survivors of the 37 with which he left Iberia[70][157] – in what is now Piedmont, northern Italy. The remaining Carthaginian-controlled towns then surrendered or were taken through force or treachery[197][198] and the Sicilian grain supply to Rome and its armies was resumed. It began in 149 B.C., and ended in 146 B.C., with Carthage’s destruction by Roman armies led by Publius Cornelius Scipio Emilianus, grandson of Scipio “the African”. With no serious threat coming from Carthage, Rome had the opportunity to expand, eventually becoming the empire that would dominate the known world. [20], The Roman Republic had been aggressively expanding in the southern Italian mainland for a century before the First Punic War. Hannibal negotiated a treaty whereby Syracuse came over to Carthage, at the price of making the whole of Sicily a Syracusan possession. [121][122] Hamilcar Barca, a veteran of the campaigns in Sicily, was given joint command of the army in 240 BC, and supreme command in 239 BC. [81] In 258 BC a Roman fleet heavily defeated a smaller Carthaginian fleet at the Battle of Sulci off the western coast of Sardinia. 3 years ago ... Who won the Punic Wars in order of their victories? 1,200 talents was approximately 30,000 kg (30 long tons) of silver. The Romans beat off a Carthaginian attack[147][148] and captured the island of Malta. Mago marched his reinforced army towards the lands of Carthage's main Gallic allies in the Po Valley, but was checked by a large Roman army and defeated at the Battle of Insubria in 203 BC. [239][240] The Roman army moved to lay siege to Carthage, but its walls were so strong and its citizen-militia so determined it was unable to make any impact, while the Carthaginians struck back effectively. Carthage was a wealthy trading city, and its leaders were flirting with the idea of controlling Spain and Sicily, while Rome very much liked the idea of … [231] Masinissa's seizures of and raids into Carthaginian territory became increasingly flagrant. That same year, a Roman embassy was sent to Carthage to demand that the city be dismantled and moved inland away from the coast. [note 4][40][45], Garrison duty and land blockades were the most common operations. 6th - 8th grade. [191], A rebellion in support of the Carthaginians broke out on Sardinia in 213 BC, but it was quickly put down by the Romans. [172] As a result, the Roman infantry was surrounded with no means of escape. [161] Only 10,000 Romans out of 42,000 were able to cut their way to safety. It was the long-standing Roman procedure to elect two men each year, known as consuls, as senior magistrates, who at time of war would each lead an army. [223] Hannibal was placed in command of another army, formed from his veterans from Italy and newly raised troops from Africa, but with few cavalry. [255] The province became a major source of grain and other foodstuffs. Punic War Navy Greek Carthaginians territory. [58] This allowed Roman legionaries acting as marines to board enemy ships and capture them, rather than employing the previously traditional tactic of ramming. [179] The new allies increased the number of fixed points which Hannibal's army was expected to defend from Roman retribution, but provided relatively few fresh troops to assist him in doing so. Carthage was forbidden to possess war elephants and its fleet was restricted to 10 warships. [211] The Carthaginians were defeated, but Hasdrubal was able to withdraw the majority of his army in good order. [221], Rome and Carthage entered into peace negotiations, and Carthage recalled Hannibal from Italy. Livy gives a fuller record, but according to Goldsworthy "his reliability is often suspect", especially with regard to his descriptions of battles;[note 9] nevertheless his is the best surviving source for this part of the war. A treaty was agreed in 201 BC which stripped Carthage of its overseas territories, and some of their African ones; imposed a large indemnity, to be paid over 50 years; severely restricted the size of its armed forces; and prohibited Carthage from waging war without Rome's express permission. [201], After Publius Cornelius Scipio invaded the Carthaginian homeland in 204 BC, defeating the Carthaginians in two major battles and winning the allegiance of the Numidian kingdoms of North Africa, Hannibal and the remnants of his army were recalled. [106][107], After more than 20 years of war, both states were financially and demographically exhausted. How did the Romans win the first Punic war? [170], At the elections of 216 BC Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus were elected as consuls; both were more aggressive-minded than Fabius. By the time the Punic Wars ended, Rome had blossomed from a small trading city into a formidable powerhouse. [51] Many battles were decided when one side's infantry force was attacked in the flank or rear and they were partially or wholly enveloped. Rome in 264 BC was relatively small  – a far cry from its later superiority – and it was the city of Carthage (located in what we now know as Tunisia) that reigned supreme in the ancient world. Question: Who won the Punic Wars? What was the result of the Punic Wars? This battle confirmed Roman dominance in Italy. The name Punic comes from the word Carthaginian in Latin. [177][178], However, the majority of Rome's allies remained loyal, including many in southern Italy. [4][5] Polybius's work is considered broadly objective and largely neutral as between Carthaginian and Roman points of view. [192], Sicily remained firmly in Roman hands, blocking the ready seaborne reinforcement and resupply of Hannibal from Carthage. Please enter your number below. Books shelved as punic-wars: The Punic Wars by Adrian Goldsworthy, Scipio Africanus: Greater than Napoleon by B.H. [64], All warships were equipped with rams, a triple set of 60-centimetre-wide (2 ft) bronze blades weighing up to 270 kilograms (600 lb) positioned at the waterline. The word ‘Punic’ derives from the word ‘Phoenician’ (phoinix in Greek or punicus in Latin), and refers to the citizens of Carthage, who were descended from the Phoenicians. Rome and Carthage actually had a long and friendly relationship before the Punic Wars. [79], Taking advantage of their naval victories the Romans launched an invasion of North Africa in 256 BC,[82] which the Carthaginians intercepted at the Battle of Cape Ecnomus off the south coast of Sicily. [180] Carthage's new allies felt little sense of community with Carthage, or even with each other. [note 2][9] Other sources include coins, inscriptions, archaeological evidence and empirical evidence from reconstructions such as the trireme Olympias. That night the Carthaginian garrison escaped and the Romans seized the city and its inhabitants, selling 25,000 of them into slavery. [87] At the Battle of Tunis in spring 255 BC a combined force of infantry, cavalry and war elephants under the command of the Spartan mercenary Xanthippus crushed the Romans. Rome forced Carthage to pay huge financial compensations and took over the island of Sicily. [101] Repeated attempts to storm Lilybaeum's strong walls failed, as did attempts to block access to its harbour, and the Romans settled down to a siege which was to last nine years. In the aftermath of the war, both states were financially and demographically exhausted. First Punic War, also called First Carthaginian War, (264–241 bce) first of three wars between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian (Punic) empire that resulted in the destruction of Carthage. In such circumstances it was difficult to force a battle if the other commander was unwilling to fight. [41][43] The Carthaginians also employed war elephants; North Africa had indigenous African forest elephants at the time. [243][245] With no Carthaginian army in the field those cities which had remained loyal went over to the Romans or were captured. [16] Modern historians usually take into account the writings of various Roman annalists, some contemporary; the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus; the later Roman historians, Livy (who relied heavily on Polybius[17]), Plutarch, Appian (whose account of the Third Punic War is especially valuable[18]) and Dio Cassius. [163] Hannibal attempted without success to draw the main Roman army under Gaius Flaminius into a pitched battle by devastating the area they had been sent to protect. [142] At some time during the next six years Rome made a separate treaty with the city of Saguntum, which was situated well south of the Ebro. Away from the coasts its hilly and rugged terrain made manoeuvring large forces difficult and favoured the defence over the offence. The Carthaginian formation collapsed; Hannibal was one of the few to escape the field. Furious at Hannibal’s audacity, the Romans demanded that he be handed over for punishment. [155] The Roman commanders captured Saguntum in 212 BC[207] and in 211 BC hired 20,000 Celtiberian mercenaries to reinforce their army. [162][168], The Romans, panicked by these heavy defeats, appointed Quintus Fabius Maximus as dictator. 2,000 talents was approximately 52,000 kilograms (51 long tons) of silver. [207], The Carthaginians suffered a wave of defections of local Celtiberian tribes to Rome. [6][7] Polybius was an analytical historian and wherever possible personally interviewed participants, from both sides, in the events he wrote about. [26][27] According to the classicist Richard Miles, Rome's expansionary attitude after southern Italy came under its control combined with Carthage's proprietary approach to Sicily caused the two powers to stumble into war more by accident than design. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. This war was the second instalment of the Punic War’s between the Romans and the Carthage Empire and is most well known for the command of the Carthage forces by Hannibal. [42] Slingers were frequently recruited from the Balearic Islands. [179] All except the smallest towns were too well fortified for Hannibal to take by assault, and blockade could be a long-drawn-out affair, or if the target was a port, impossible. what were the results of the third punic war. It was the 2nd Punic War that saw Hannibal lead his elephant cavalry over the Alps into Italy, yet ultimately he lost the war. The added weight in the prow compromised both the ship's manoeuvrability and its seaworthiness, and in rough sea conditions the corvus became useless; part way through the First Punic War the Romans ceased using it. [240], In early 147 BC Scipio Aemilianus, an adopted grandson of Scipio Africanus who had distinguished himself during the previous two years' fighting, was elected consul and took control of the war. In 151 BC Carthage raised a large army, the treaty notwithstanding, and counterattacked the Numidians. [58][59] In 260 BC Romans set out to construct a fleet and used a shipwrecked Carthaginian quinquereme as a blueprint for their own. [207] This strategy resulted in the Battle of Castulo and the Battle of Ilorca, usually combined as the Battle of the Upper Baetis. [38][52], Quinqueremes, meaning "five-oarsmen",[53] provided the workhorses of the Roman and Carthaginian fleets throughout the Punic Wars. [211][213] He released the captured population and liberated the Iberian hostages held there by the Carthaginians to ensure the loyalty of their tribes,[211][213] although many of them were subsequently to fight against the Romans. [137] Hamilcar took the army which he had led to victory in the Mercenary War to Iberia in 237 BC and carved out a quasi-monarchial, autonomous state in its south east. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. [165] Hannibal set an ambush[165] and in the Battle of Lake Trasimene completely defeated the Roman army, killing 15,000 Romans,[166] including Flaminius,[165] and taking 15,000 prisoner. [68], The war began with the Romans gaining a foothold on Sicily at Messana (modern Messina). Many senior Carthaginians wanted to reject it, but Hannibal spoke strongly in its favour and it was accepted in spring 201 BC. In 205 BC a last attempt was made by Mago to recapture New Carthage when the Roman occupiers were shaken by another mutiny and an Iberian uprising, but he was repulsed. Wars of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Punic_Wars&oldid=988821175, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Roman victory, destruction of Carthage and incorporation of the Carthaginian Empire into the Roman Empire, This page was last edited on 15 November 2020, at 13:01. [236] This done, the Romans demanded the Carthaginians burn their city and relocate at least 16 kilometres (10 mi) from the sea; the Carthaginians broke off negotiations and set to recreating their armoury. The Carthaginians were again beaten;[83] this was possibly the largest naval battle in history by the number of combatants involved. [251] There were 50,000 Carthaginian prisoners, a small proportion of the pre-war population, who were sold into slavery. The Punic Wars were a series of three wars between 264 and 146 BC fought by the states of Rome and Carthage. [110][117], The Treaty of Lutatius was agreed. Everything you ever wanted to know about... What was the Roman Empire’s greatest defeat? The period is usually split into three distinct wars – the First Punic War was fought from 264–241 BC, the Second Punic War from 218–201 BC and the Third Punic War from 149–146 BC. [241] The Romans moved their camp, and their ships, further away – so they were now more blockading than closely besieging the city. You have successfully linked your account! Yes. [69] The Romans then pressed Syracuse, the only significant independent power on the island, into allying with them[70] and laid siege to Carthage's main base at Akragas on the south coast. Then, deeming the treaty to be complete, the city went to war against Numidia, in what is now Algeria. In the century prior to the Punic Wars, boarding had become increasingly common and ramming had declined, as the larger and heavier vessels adopted in this period lacked the speed and manoeuvrability necessary to ram, while their sturdier construction reduced the ram's effect even in case of a successful attack. [29] In 264 BC Carthage and Rome went to war, starting the First Punic War. Rome won all three. This breach of the recently signed treaty is considered by modern historians to be the single greatest cause of war with Carthage breaking out again in 218 BC in the Second Punic War. The Roman general Publius Scipio won a decisive battle at Ilipa in 206 and forced the Carthaginians out of Spain. [232] Carthage had paid off its indemnity and was prospering economically, but was no military threat to Rome. [21] It had conquered peninsular Italy south of the Arno River by 272 BC, when the Greek cities of southern Italy (Magna Graecia) submitted after the conclusion of the Pyrrhic War. [131] These events fuelled resentment of Rome in Carthage, which was not reconciled to Rome's perception of its situation. Famously, the Hannibal proceeded to march his forces over the Alps, along with his elephants, and conquered much of northern Italy. The ruins of the city lie 16 kilometres (10 mi) east of modern Tunis on the North African coast.

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After Carthage emerged victorious from the Mercenary War there were two opposing factions: the reformist party was led by Hamilcar Barca while the other, more conservative, faction was represented by Hanno the Great and the old Carthaginian aristocracy. Much of the First Punic War was fought on, or in the waters near, Sicily. [108] Evidence of Carthage's financial situation includes their request for a 2,000 talent loan[note 5][note 6] from Ptolemaic Egypt, which was refused. [202] They sailed from Croton[203] and landed at Carthage with 15,000–20,000 experienced veterans. [113], The Romans rebuilt their fleet again in 243 BC[114] after the Senate approached Rome's wealthiest citizens for loans to finance the construction of one ship each, repayable from the reparations to be imposed on Carthage once the war was won. Rome won all three Punic wars.They didn't. [73][74] The focus of the war shifted to the sea, where the Romans had little experience; on the few occasions they had previously felt the need for a naval presence they had usually relied on small squadrons provided by their Latin or Greek allies.


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