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The Punic Wars. Latium During the period of the first kings around 509 BC there were actually very many cities in Italy –and Rome was just one of them.

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Presentation on theme: "The Punic Wars. Latium During the period of the first kings around 509 BC there were actually very many cities in Italy –and Rome was just one of them."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Punic Wars

2 Latium During the period of the first kings around 509 BC there were actually very many cities in Italy –and Rome was just one of them. The Italian Peninsula is located right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. –Rome is located right in the heart of Italy on a large plain known as Latium.

3 After the establishment of the Republic, the Romans began to conquer southern Italy. They used a good idea to help them. –They told everybody that if any city needed help fighting a war, the Romans would be happy to help them. –Soon a city did ask for help, when its neighbors were attacking it. –The Romans sent troops and fought off the neighbors. –But when the war was over, the Romans announced that they were going to leave Roman soldiers in this city, to keep the city safe. But when there are Roman soldiers living in the middle of your city, you pretty much have to do whatever the Roman Senate says! –In this way the Romans took over all of southern Italy.

4 Carthaginian Empire Former Phoenician trading post Commercial city Had western Mediterranean empire Felt threatened by Rome’s rise to dominance in Italy

5 The Punic Wars Carthage Dispute over control of Sicily and trade routes in the western Mediterranean coupled with Rome’s expansion to the toe of Italy brought Rome into conflict with the powerful North African city-state of Carthage Carthage had been founded as Phoenician colony 500 years earlier Result was the three Punic Wars BC

6 These conflicts, so disastrous for Carthage, were inevitable. Between Carthage and Italy lay the huge island of Sicily; –Carthage controlled the western half of Sicily, –but the southern tip of the Italian peninsula put the Romans within throwing distance of the island. When the city of Messina revolted against the Carthaginians, –the Romans intervened –Security being in their National Interests, –and the first Punic War erupted.

7 FIRST PUNIC WAR Primarily a naval war –Tactics involved maneuvering your ship in such a way so that you could ram and sink enemy Carthage very good at this because of long experience as naval power Rome had small navy and little experience in naval warfare –Defeated time and time again by larger and more experienced Carthaginian navy

8 ROME WINS THE FIRST ONE Rome would not surrender –Finally turned the tables on Carthage by changing rules of naval warfare Equipped ships with huge hooks and stationed soldiers on ships –Would hook enemy ship, pull it nearby, and board it with soldiers –Converted naval warfare into mini-land battles Something Rome was very good at Won First Punic War as a result

9 Mercenary War Immediately following the war, Carthage's mercenaries revolted over a pay dispute and occupied a number of important Punic cities in North Africa and Sardinia, beginning the Mercenary War. –Miraculously, Carthage was able to defeat the mercenaries in North Africa, –meanwhile Rome used the Mercenary revolt as an excuse to invade and conquer the islands of Sardinia and Corsica –Thus by 238 BC, Carthage had lost all of her islands in the Central Mediterranean

10 SECOND PUNIC WAR Carthagian general Hannibal surprises Romans, leads army from Spain, through southern France and the Alps, and invades Italy from the north –Defeats Roman armies sent to stop him several times but hesitates to attack Rome itself Too well fortified Settles instead on war of attrition in hope of destroying Roman economic base

11 Fabian Strategy Eventually Rome appointed a dictator: –Quintus Fabius Maximus They relied on employing the strategy of avoiding direct conflict with Hannibal in Italy –Known as the Fabian Strategy Meanwhile, Hannibal was thwarted in his attempts to invade Rome. –He tried to incite revolt among the tribes of Italy, but most feared Rome's wrath should Carthage lose, –and they remained with Rome for the most part.

12 and Hannibal decisively defeated Rome in a number of battles, –including the two worst military defeats of its history, –the Battle of Lake Trasimene, and the Battle of Cannae. Roman allies in the south of Italy literally ran to Hannibal's side; –the whole of Sicily allied itself with the Carthaginians. –In addition, Philip V, who controlled most of the mainland of Greece, –began his own war against Roman possessions in 215 BC. The arrival of Hannibal’s army in Italy sparked off numerous rebellions against Roman rule

13 ROME WINS THIS ONE TOO Unable to defeat Hannibal in Italy, a Roman army sailed across the Mediterranean, landed in North Africa, and headed for Carthage –Led by patrician general Scipio Aemilius Hannibal forced to leave Italy to protect Carthage Defeated at the Battle of Zama, fought outside the walls of Carthage Scipio Aemilius

14 In 201, a treaty was signed, which was very punitive. Carthage had to surrender her navy, all territorial claims in Spain, and had to pay reparations in the amount of 10,000 silver talents over 50 years. 1 silver talent was worth about $300,000

15 How did Hannibal shows the necessity of political goals are more important than military accomplishment?

16 Legacy –This was the defining historical experience of the Romans. They had faced certain defeat with toughness and determination and had won against overwhelming odds. –For the rest of Roman history, the character of being Roman would be distilled in the histories of this desperate war against Carthage. –The Second Punic War turned Rome from a regional power into an international empire: it had gained much of northern Africa, Spain, and the major islands in the western Mediterranean. –Because Philip V of Macedon had allied himself with Hannibal and started his own war of conquest, – the second Punic War forced Rome to turn east in wars of conquest against first Philip and then other Hellenistic kingdoms.

17 Rome drawn into the affairs of the successor kingdoms Successor kingdom increasingly called on Roman aid in their incessant wars against each other Rome always responded in the belief that achieving a balance of power in the east was better than having one successor kingdom become too powerful and challenge Rome Rome eventually became weary of playing this endless refereeing role and realized that the continued independence of the successor kingdoms threaten Roman interests Took over Greece, Macedonia, some of Asia Minor, Syria, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean islands by 133 BC

18 THIRD PUNIC WAR Carthage finished after Second Punic War –Hannibal committed suicide –Economy shattered –Lost all territory to Rome –But some Romans feared it might revive someday and challenge Rome again Notably Cato the Elder –Pushed for another war that would wipe Carthage off the face of the map Cato the Elder

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20 Carthage Returns? –Carthage had, through the first half of the second century BC, recovered much of its prosperity through its commercial activities, although it had not gained back much power. –The Romans, deeply suspicious of a reviving Carthage, demanded that the Carthaginians abandon their city and move inland into North Africa. The Carthaginians refused They were a commercial people that depended on sea trade,

21 ROME WINS A THIRD TIME Due to Cato’s persistent efforts, Rome declares war against defenseless Carthage –Wins easily –Entire population of city sold into slavery –Everything of value carried back to Rome –Everything else burned and dumped into the sea –Site sown with salt so that nothing would ever grow there again –Carthage completely disappeared

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23 The end result of the Second Punic War… was the domination of the known world… by Rome.

24 SUMMARY Roman Republic was strongly rigged to work only in the interests of the wealthy classes –No way a sincere reformer could “work within the system” to change things Everything was stacked against him The only way to effect change within this rigged system was to either threaten or use violence against the ruling class The rigged structure of government in republican Rome was therefore the first factor that contributed to the growth of political violence in the city-state


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