The Punic Wars(3) Control of the Mediterranean Sea
"Punic Wars" is used for the series of wars between Rome and Carthage
*The Romans called the Carthaginians Poeni [Phoenicians], from which derived the adjective "Punic.”
*The first Punic War marked the first Roman involvement outside of Italy, and represents the beginning of the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean.
Map of Mediterranean Region
First Punic War 264-241B.C *Conflict between Rome and Carthage that was fought bitterly on land and sea over control of Sicily. *During this war Rome built a (classis) fleet (262 BC) for the first time and defeated the former Mediterranean sea-power, Carthage.
Roman Engineering Building a Navy *Carthage was the great sea power of the time. *At that time the Carthaginians boasted that no man could wash his hands in the salt water without their permission . * Initially the Romans were not successful at sea. Roman Trireme Ship Tri= 3 sets of oars.
The Secret Weapon To overcome their naval inexperience, the Romans used an ingenious device called a corvus ("crow" in Latin). This was a raised gangplank in the bow of the ship with a large spike on the underside. The plank was dropped onto one of the more maneuverable Carthaginian ships, and the spike held it in place. The Romans could then board the ship and use their superior marines to take the ship. In effect, they turned naval warfare into land warfare. Corvus
Second Punic War 218-202B.C. After the end of the First Punic War, Carthage decided to concentrate on controlling Spain( Carthago Nova) to gain direct control over its mineral resources and to mount an army of the inhabitants to go against the Roman legions. At the outbreak of the Second Punic War in 218 B.C. Publius Cornelius Scipio (the father of the later Africanus) was consul. He was ordered to try to block Hannibal's advance to Italy. Missing Hannibal at the Rhone by a day or two, P. C. Scipio returned by sea to Northern Italy. Hannibal was able to March into Italy.
Hannibal Crosses the Alps Hannibal crossed the Alps in 14 days. He arrived with only a few of the 38 elephants with which he began. Elephants were psychologically intimidating - but risky in battle. Hannibal, well known for his pasage across the Alps with elephants, made little use of them even when he had more than just a few.
Roman Disaster at Lake Trasimene ***It was a terrible massacre: Hannibal's troops destroyed almost the entire Roman army of 25,000, killing possibly 15.000 Roman soldiers. Many were driven to drown in the lake. An ancient tradition says that because of the blood, which for over three days filled the area, the name of the stream which crosses it was changed to Sanguineto - Blood River. (Sanguis)
Battle at Trasimene
Battle at Cannae The Battle of Cannae has served as a classic example of a double- envelopment maneuver, a way for an inferior force to defeat a superior force on open terrain. Hannibal is still studied in military academies. It was the largest defeat in the history of Rome, and it put the Roman citizens in a state of emergency. Hannibal's officers now wanted to take Rome , which was left all but defenceless. But Hannibal refused, to the distress of Maharbal, one of his cavalry commanders, who is quoted as saying. "Hannibal, you understand how to win a battle; but you do not understand how to use your victory".
Battle at Cannae
Battle at Zama 202B.C. End of the 2 nd Punic War The meeting between Hannibal and Scipio shortly before the battle of Zama ***In 203 BC, after 16 years in Italy, and with the military fortunes of Carthage rapidly declining, Hannibal was recalled to Africa to direct the defence of his country against a Roman invasion under Scipio (soon to be hailed as 'Africanus').
Surrender of Carthage In 201 BC the Carthaginians now surrendered again. ***They lost all claims outside of Africa and were not allowed to make war except in Africa and only with Rome's permission. *****It was the end of the Second Punic War. Scipio now received the honorary title Africanus--conqueror of Africa. Copy of the treaty ending the Second Punic War
Effects of the War With its victory over Carthage, and over the Macedonians in a series of wars, Rome became the master of not only all of Italy, but Africa, Spain and Greece as well. The defeat of Carthage transformed the Roman Republic from a growing regional power into a super-power of the Mediterranean.
Third Punic War “ Carthago delenda est.” Cato the Elder “ Carthage must be destroyed.” ***Carthage continued to be commercially successful and, though only a minor power, a source of irritation to Rome. *** Cato the Elder, who demanded that "Carthage must be destroyed". *Third Punic War (149-146 BC), in which the Romans, captured the city of Carthage, burned it to the ground, (salted the earth)? and sold the surviving inhabitants into slavery.
Death of Hannibal
Hannibal goes into exile after 3rd Punic War.
Romans pursued him, accused him of plotting against Romans.
Romans wish to bring Hannibal to Rome for justice and to ease their fears.
He never tried an escape and in 183bc took poison and died at the age of 64.
Last words: “Let us now put an end to the great anxiety of the Romans, who have thought it too lengthy and too heavy a task to wait for the death of a hated old man.”