Carthage and Rome and the Punic Wars
University of the People
Term 5, 2016 - 2017
Instructor: B. Chambers
The essay seeks to unpack the rivalry between Carthage and Rome which played out in the epic Punic Wars of 264BC, 218BC and 149BC. For over 100 years, the mighty Roman empire and army were occupied with keeping the equally mighty armies of Carthage at bay and ensuring that their reach never extended too far or too close to Rome.
Carthage, the “other” great foreign power in the time of the Roman quests for power and influence was known as the “great commercial power” in Africa. (Morey, n.d.) Much like
Rome, Carthage gained its power by conquering neighboring lands and …show more content…
This strategy worked in favor of Rome who defeated Carthage in the first Punic War. Imposing heavy fines and restrictions on Carthage to prevent them from repeating their attempt to equal or even overtake Rome.
Rome Rises to be a Naval Power
Understanding that victory was only temporary, Rome recognized the strength of the
Carthaginian navy who possessed superior ships making their defense of Sicily in the future precarious. Added to the weakening of the Carthaginian army post the Mercenary War (241-
237BC), Rome was able to focus on building their navy with the full intent of protecting
Sicily and pushing forward to suppress any pans Carthage may have had of attempting another takeover of Sicily.
Using Carthaginian ship building technology, Rome set about building better ships and adapting them for their direct fighting skills. Their fleets were all equipped with the five tier rowing system of the Carthaginian vessels as well as drawbridges that would allow