Rome vs. Carthage The First Punic War 264-241 B.C. Carthage at its height Why Punic War? Carthage had been colonized by the Phoenicians, whom the Romans called Punici. Rome Sicily Carthage The First Punic War was fought for control of Sicily and the western Mediterranean. Carthage had a powerful navy. Rome did not. quinquereme quadreme bireme After capturing a Carthaginian ship, the Romans quickly built a strong Navy. During sea battles, Roman sailors shocked the Carthaginians when they dropped gangways with sharp metal points on one end, called corvi, (crows or ravens) onto the decks of the Carthaginian ships. These bridges held the ships together while the Romans boarded the enemy vessels with their superior soldiers. The Corvus Hamilcar Barca was a famous leader of the Carthaginian navy/army. Important battles of the First Punic War Mylae---260 B.C. Gaius Duilius led the roman navy to its first great victory. Drepana---249 B.C. Publius Claudius ignored the omen of the sacred chickens and lost 93 of 123 ships. Aegates Islands---241 B.C. Lutatius Catulus was the victorious general at this final battle of the first conflict. Battle of Mylae Marcus Atilius Regulus Regulus, a famous Roman general, defeated the Carthaginians at the battle of Ecnomus. Battle of Ecnomus His conditions for surrender were extremely severe and harsh. In subsequent fighting, Regulus was captured by Carthage. Later, he was sent to Rome to negotiate a prisoner exchange on the condition that if he completed the mission unsuccessfully, he would return to Carthage for execution. Regulus, a man of honor, leaves Rome and returns to Carthage to be put to death. Hamilcar Barca had three sons: Hannibal Mago Hasdrubal Hamilcar so hated the Romans that he made his nine year old son Hannibal stand before the altar of Baal and swear eternal hatred for the Romans. Hamilcar was slain in battle in Spain. Hannibal later gathered his father’s loyal troops and set out for Italy to begin another conflict with the Romans. The Second Punic War Hannibal 218-201 B.C. The Carthaginians attacked and took over the Spanish city of Saguntum. This was the pretext Rome used for a second war against Carthage. Hispania Saguntum The fall of Saguntum The Roman Senate sent Fabius to Carthage to give the Carthaginians a chance to avert a full scale war. “I carry here peace and war; choose, men of Carthage, which ye will.” Q. Fabius Maximus After conquering Saguntum Hannibal outmaneuvered the Romans at the Rhone River and prepared to cross the Alps. Hannibal’s army crossing the Rhone River. In order to surprise the Romans, Hannibal decided to attempt to cross the Alps in the middle of winter. He took with him 37 elephants, including his favorite, Surus. When the path was blocked by a landslide, Hannibal ordered his troops to set fires under the huge boulders and poured wine on them to make them split in half. Fending off the attacks of mountain tribesmen, Hannibal proclaimed to his troops when they reached a promontory high in the Alps: “Now you are crossing not only the walls of Italy, but those of Rome.” Several crushing defeats were administered by Hannibal’s soldiers as they poured down into Italy. Early Punic victories included a skirmish at the Ticinus River (Scipio, the Greater, saved his father’s life in this battle) and a full-scale battle at the Trebbia river. The most shocking and unexpected Roman defeat, however, was at Lake Trasimene, where the Roman army was pinned between the lake and a mountain range. The mist rising from the water prevented the Romans from realizing that they were heading into an ambush. Hannibal’s troops massacre the Roman legionnaires 217 B.C. News of the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene and the death of the consul Flaminius caused panic in the Forum. 216 B.C. A year later at Cannae Hannibal administered one of the most crushing defeats ever suffered by a Roman army. The consular generals were Lucius Aemilius Paulus and Gaius Terentius Varro. Paulus was killed during the fighting and over 50,000 legionnaires were massacred. For the next few years after Cannae the Romans adopted “Fabian tactics” in dealing with the enemy. Q. Fabius Maximus, the “shield of Rome” successfully pursued his unique style of guerrilla warfare. Fabius was even awarded the agnomen Cunctator, the delayer. In 207 the Romans defeated Hasdrubal, Hannibal’s brother, at the Battle of the Metaurus River. Hasdrubal was decapitated and his head was rolled into the camp of Hannibal where it stopped at Hannibal’s feet. Hannibal stands stupefied when the bodiless head of Hasdrubal is thrown into his camp. Finally P. Cornelius Scipio convinced the Senate to send a Roman force to Carthage and besiege the city in an effort to force Hannibal to return to rescue his homeland. Scipio The siege of Carthage On the plain of Zama, in 202 B.C., Scipio claimed the final and decisive battle of the the conflict. Roman legionnaires entering the gates of Carthage. Hannibal was forced to flee to the east to escape death. He survived there for several years, directing the navy of King Perseus. Cornered in Bithynia in 183, Hannibal poisoned himself. Scipio was given the agnomen Africanus to honor his great victory over Hannibal. The Third Punic War 149 B.C---146 B.C. Carthage returned to prosperity at such an alarming rate that many Romans feared the city would once again challenge Rome. Cato the Elder threw figs on the floor of the Curia, saying that they were picked in Carthage only three days before. Cato ended all his speeches with the same warning: Delenda est Carthago. Finally Rome marched on Carthage in 149 B.C. and within three years the city was completely destroyed. The winning Roman general was Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Minor Pater Hannibalis erat__________________. Hamilcar Barca Carthago erat in ___________________ Africā. Ubi Hannibal erat puer _______ novem annorum, patri dixit, “Pater, Pater, duc me tecum ad _______________ Hispaniam.