Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

 The three wars between Rome and Carthage span more than a century (264-146 BC).  They are known as the Punic Wars because the Carthaginians are in.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: " The three wars between Rome and Carthage span more than a century (264-146 BC).  They are known as the Punic Wars because the Carthaginians are in."— Presentation transcript:


2  The three wars between Rome and Carthage span more than a century (264-146 BC).  They are known as the Punic Wars because the Carthaginians are in origin Phoenician (punicusin Latin).

3  The first war started in Sicily, an island disputed between the Greeks and the Carthaginians.  Sicily was divided into two areas. Greek to the east and Carthaginian settlements to the west.

4  Rome's involvement begins with a request for help from the Greek colony of Messina, on the Sicilian promontory nearest to Italy.  The inhabitants of Messina turn out to be uncertain whether they need help mainly against the Carthaginians or against their neighbouring Greeks in Syracuse.  But the conflict soon escalates into a straight clash between Rome and Carthage.

5  While asking Rome for help, Messina did not realize the ramification of this.  The Romans rapidly capture Messina from a Carthaginian garrison. The event demonstrates that Carthaginian officers accept alarming terms of employment.  The commander of the garrison is recalled home and is crucified for incompetence.



8  During 262-1 Roman armies advance through Sicily, capturing Agrigentum after a lengthy siege.  But they gain no convincing advantage over the Carthaginians, whose warships enable them to recover coastal regions from the Romans and even to plunder the shores of Italy

9  As a result, in 260, the senate takes a momentous decision. Carthage will be challenged on her own terms. Rome, until now purely a land power, will build a fleet.

10  The First Skirmish on the water, the Carthaginians ran aground and the ship was caught by Romans.  As a quinquereme, with five banks of oars (rowed by 300 oarsmen), it is larger and heavier than the triremes which have been the standard ship of Greek warfare. Since victory at sea involves ramming other ships, the extra size is important.

11  Rome's new navy is to consist largely of quinqueremes, copied from the captured Carthaginian example.  The senate orders 100, together with 20triremes, and sets the astonishing delivery time of two months.  Even more astonishing - the order is apparently met.

12  This device is a hinged drawbridge which can be released to crash down when an enemy ship is alongside.  On its underside is a metal point, which will pierce the deck of the vessel and hold it fast while the Roman troops storm aboard. The lethal peck from this sharp beak gives the device its familiar name among the crews. It is a 'raven'.  And it wins them battles.


14  The first such victory comes as a major shock to the Carthaginians. They have an advantage of thirty ships over the inexperienced Romans when the fleets meet in 260 BC off Mylae (now Milazzo), a few miles to the west of Messina.  But the ravens enable the Romans to destroy fifty Carthaginian ships before the rest flee in panic.


16  The new Roman confidence at sea prompts the building of a massive fleet to invade Carthage herself.  It sails in 256 BC. About 250 quinqueremes, with some 30,000 marines on board, accompany eighty or more transport ships, carrying 500 cavalrymen and their horses together with food for the entire army.

17  This force defeats another Carthaginian fleet before landing safely in Africa.  On land there are early successes too, but eventually Carthaginian elephants and cavalry inflict a heavy defeat in 255 on the Romans. Only 2000 Romans escape.

18  This force defeats another Carthaginian fleet before landing safely in Africa. On land there are early successes too, but eventually Carthaginian elephants and cavalry inflict a heavy defeat in 255 on the Romans.  Only 2000 Romans escape.

19  Another vast fleet of 350 ships is sent out. It wins a victory at sea against the Carthaginians, but on the return journey a gale dashes the Roman ships against the rocky south Sicilian coast. Only eighty limp home to safety.

20  The massive loss of life - probably almost 100,000 oarsmen and soldiers in this storm alone - reduces Roman enthusiasm for naval campaigns.  Instead the conflict returns to the island of Sicily, where it becomes a long slow war of attrition.  Gradually the Romans cut off the supply routes of the Carthaginian towns, completing their stranglehold with a naval victory in 241 at Trapani in the northwest tip of the island.

21  The Carthaginian commander, another Hanno (there are confusingly few Carthaginian names), must know what is awaiting him at home. He iscrucified.crucified

22  The resulting treaty, Carthage agrees to abandon all her settlements in Sicily and to pay a large indemnity. No Carthaginian warships are to enter Italian waters. Neither power is to interfere in any territory of the other.

23  With the major islands of the west Mediterranean seized by Rome, the obvious area in which Carthage might hope to compensate for these losses isSpain.  The city of Cartagena, or New Carthage, is founded at this time.  It has two advantages. It is a harbour on the coast of Spain opposite Carthage; and it is close to valuable gold and silver mines.

24  The Carthaginian advance in Spain is vigorously pressed by a family of talented generals, who virtually become hereditary governors of the territory.  The first is Hamilcar Barca, who dies in battle in 228 BC.

25  His place is taken by his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, who is assassinated in 221.  Hasdrubal is followed by his brother-in-law, a son of Hamilcar, who at the age of twenty-six is now proclaimed commander-in-chief by the army. He is Hannibal.

26 The War that was Planned 218-201 BC

27  The speed with which the crisis escalates into war suggests that both sides regard another conflict as inevitable.  Hannibal forces the pace, taking the bold decision that his best chance of victory is to carry the war into Italy - where the ability to sustain a long campaign on Roman soil has been proved, in recent history.


29  In May of 218 Hannibal marches north from Cartagena with an army of perhaps 32,000 infantry, 8000 cavalry and thirty-seven elephants.  His ferrying of the elephants across the Rhone on rafts, then getting them through the icy passes of the Alps, in both cases in the face of hostile tribesmen, has provided the basis of popular tales ever since.  By October Hannibal's army is in north Italy.

30  By December, two months after losing many men, after the defeat or tactical withdrawal of various Roman forces, the Carthaginian army has swelled again to 28,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry.  The reason is a significant one in the development of this war.

31  With each indication of Roman weakness, large numbers of Gauls (orCelts) abandon their allegiance to Rome and join Hannibal.Celts  Hannibal is banking on this being the pattern throughout Italy.

32  One of the first major battles and defeat of the Roman Army.  Uses of cunning intelligence and elephants

33  Battle of Trebia: 218 BC Battle of Trebia: 218 BC

34  After wintering in Bologna, Hannibal moves south in the spring of 217.  In May he lures a Roman army into a trap. On a misty morning the Romans move into a narrow plain beside Lake Trasimene. Unknown to them the surrounding hills are occupied by the Carthaginian army.  When they swoop down, the Romans are unprepared and defenceless. Many are driven into the lake. As many as 15,000 are killed.

35  Even with this psychological advantage, Hannibal decides against marching on Rome.  Instead he moves to the south of the peninsula, hoping that his success will persuade many of the often discontented Italian allies to join him.

36  Lake Trasimene: 217 BC Lake Trasimene: 217 BC

37  The year 216 brings Hannibal his greatest victory, in one of the famous battles of history.  The armies meet near the east coast, at Cannae, on an open plain which Hannibal has chosen as good ground for his cavalry - a section in which he outnumbers the Romans (by perhaps 10,000 to 6000), whereas his infantrymen are fewer than theirs (35,000 to at least 48,000).

38  Hannibal's tactics are a classic case of enveloping an enemy. The centre of his line yields slowly to the Roman assault, thus forming a crescent - which becomes a complete circle when his cavalry gallop round from the wings. The Romans, constricted in space, are fighting in all directions. Only about 10,000 escape from this disaster.

39  Battle of Cannae: 216 BC Battle of Cannae: 216 BC

40  Rome decides to pester Hannibal and deny him access to the water or to supplies without contacting him in battle.  This lasts 13 years.  Hannibal was depending on support from other Italian communities under Rome’s control but this failed.

41  In 203, Hannibal departs as he is needed to defend Carthage against a Roman Army.  This is Hannibal’s first defeat.  Rome imposes Terms for Peace

42 Rome imposes huge costs for Peace

43  Carthage must surrender all of Spain, her Mediterranean Islands to Rome  Carthage must surrender all her warships to Rome  For the next 50 years, Carthage will need to pay Rome an indemnity of 10000 talents.  She is to submit to Rome all maters of war or foreign policy.

44 149-146 BC

45  Resilient, Carthage becomes somewhat successful and Rome becomes jealous.

46  Rome picks a quarrel in 150 BC on the basis of an infringement of the treaty's terms; the Carthaginians have taken up arms against an invading neighbour (and have been defeated), so technically they have gone to war without Rome's permission.

47  The Carthaginians will be spared reprisals if they abandon their great city, of which the walls and harbour are to be destroyed, and move to an inland site well away from the sea where trade of any kind will be impossible.  Carthage prepares for a seige

48  The city's defences are so strong, and the resistance of the Carthaginians so desperate, that the siege lasts for three years.

49  When Carthage is finally starved into submission, in 146 BC, a population of 250,000 has been reduced to 50,000.  These survivors are sold into slavery. The city burns for seventeen days, after which the ground is cleared and ploughed.  Salt is scattered in the furrows, and a curse is pronounced to ensure that neither houses nor crops ever rise here again.

50 Fall of Carthage

Download ppt " The three wars between Rome and Carthage span more than a century (264-146 BC).  They are known as the Punic Wars because the Carthaginians are in."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google