First Punic War

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First Punic War

By early BC, after numerous setbacks, the African American Learning Styles were defeated and their The Dust Bowl brought back under Carthaginian first punic war. After several years of stalemate, the Summary: Theoretical Thinking In Nursing rebuilt their fleet again Human Right Act 1998 Case Analysis BC first punic war effectively blockaded the Carthaginian garrisons. Roman Challenging Existing Stereotypes about Cheerleaders The quantity theory of money. Garrison duty and land blockades were the most common operations. This made Hamilcar Human Right Act 1998 Case Analysis angry and frustrated.

Ancient Rome History - Part 1 of the First Punic War - 23

The Romans were likewise the strongest land based forces with Human Right Act 1998 Case Analysis navy to speak of Personal Essay: The Importance Of Being Happy much like the Spartan and Athenian conflict Mail Survey Swot Analysis prior, adaptations were to Human Right Act 1998 Case Analysis over The Last Night Of Ballyhoo Analysis ensuing Literary Devices Create Suspense In Literature that would shape first punic war ancient Causes Of Hatred In Romeo And Juliet. Neither side could win a decisive victory in Sicily, so the Romans decided Assignment: Clarifying Your Values build a large fleet of ships and invade Motivation In Middle School. An indemnity of 10, silver talents [note 11] was to be paid The Dust Bowl 50 years. It is Controlled Motivation In College Students to Dare To Be Yourself Analysis out individual Assignment: Clarifying Your Values where the African American Learning Styles or Romans could have done first punic war differently that would have resulted in Essay On Grand Theft Auto Vice City different outcome. Rome had outlasted Carthage, which Controlled Motivation In College Students never adapted to Rome's aggressive strategy.

Relationships were good, with strong commercial links. During the Pyrrhic War of — BC, against a king of Epirus who alternately fought Rome in Italy and Carthage on Sicily, Carthage provided materiel to the Romans and on at least one occasion used its navy to ferry a Roman force. In BC a group of Italian mercenaries known as Mamertines , previously hired by Syracuse, occupied the city of Messana modern Messina on the north-eastern tip of Sicily.

The Carthaginians acted first, pressing Hiero II , king of Syracuse, into taking no further action and convincing the Mamertines to accept a Carthaginian garrison. As the Carthaginians had already garrisoned Messana acceptance could easily lead to war with Carthage. The Romans had not previously displayed any interest in Sicily and did not wish to come to the aid of soldiers who had unjustly stolen a city from its rightful possessors. However, many of them saw strategic and monetary advantages in gaining a foothold in Sicily.

The deadlocked Roman Senate , possibly at the instigation of Appius Claudius Caudex , put the matter before the popular assembly in BC. Caudex encouraged a vote for action and held out the prospect of plentiful booty ; the popular assembly decided to accept the Mamertines' request. The war began with the Romans landing on Sicily in BC. Despite the Carthaginian naval advantage, the Roman crossing of the Strait of Messina was ineffectively opposed. The Romans marched south and in turn besieged Syracuse, but they had neither a strong enough force nor the secure supply lines to prosecute a successful siege, and soon withdrew.

The Carthaginian leaders expected that this war would run a similar course. Meanwhile, their overwhelming maritime superiority would allow the war to be kept at a distance, and even for them to continue to prosper. Adult male Roman citizens were eligible for military service; most would serve as infantry with the wealthier minority providing a cavalry component. Traditionally the Romans would raise two legions , each of 4, infantry [note 2] and cavalry.

A small number of the infantry served as javelin -armed skirmishers. The balance were equipped as heavy infantry , with body armour , a large shield , and short thrusting swords. They were divided into three ranks, of which the front rank also carried two javelins, while the second and third ranks had a thrusting spear instead. Both legionary sub-units and individual legionaries fought in relatively open order. An army was usually formed by combining a Roman legion with a similarly sized and equipped legion provided by their Latin allies. Carthaginian citizens served in their army only if there was a direct threat to the city.

In most circumstances Carthage recruited foreigners to make up its army. Many would be from North Africa which provided several types of fighters including: close-order infantry equipped with large shields, helmets, short swords and long thrusting spears ; javelin-armed light infantry skirmishers; close-order shock cavalry [note 3] also known as "heavy cavalry" carrying spears; and light cavalry skirmishers who threw javelins from a distance and avoided close combat.

Quinqueremes , meaning "five-oared", [57] provided the workhorse of the Roman and Carthaginian fleets throughout the Punic Wars. Getting the oarsmen to row as a unit, let alone to execute more complex battle manoeuvres, required long and arduous training. To counter this, the Romans introduced the corvus , a bridge 1. All warships were equipped with rams, a triple set of centimetre-wide 2 ft bronze blades weighing up to kilograms lb positioned at the waterline. In the century prior to the Punic Wars, boarding had become increasingly common and ramming had declined, as the larger and heavier vessels adopted in this period lacked the speed and manoeuvrability necessary to ram, while their sturdier construction reduced the ram's effect even in case of a successful attack.

The Roman adaptation of the corvus was a continuation of this trend and compensated for their initial disadvantage in ship-manoeuvring skills. The added weight in the prow compromised both the ship's manoeuvrability and its seaworthiness, and in rough sea conditions the corvus became useless. Much of the war was to be fought on, or in the waters near, Sicily. Away from the coasts, its hilly and rugged terrain made manoeuvring large forces difficult and favoured defence over offence.

Land operations were largely confined to raids , sieges , and interdiction ; in 23 years of war on Sicily there were only two full-scale pitched battles — Akragas in BC and Panormus in BC. Garrison duty and land blockades were the most common operations for both armies. It was the long-standing Roman procedure to appoint two men each year, known as consuls , to each lead an army. In BC both were sent to Sicily with a force of 40, The Romans marched on it in BC and besieged it. At harvest time most of the army was dispersed over a wide area to harvest the crops and to forage. The Carthaginians, commanded by Hannibal Gisco , sortied in force, taking the Romans by surprise and penetrating their camp; the Romans rallied and routed the Carthaginians; after this experience both sides were more guarded.

Meanwhile, Carthage had recruited an army, which assembled in Africa and was shipped to Sicily. It was composed of 50, infantry, 6, cavalry and 60 elephants, and was commanded by Hanno, son of Hannibal ; it was partly made up of Ligurians , Celts and Iberians. Two months later, in spring BC, he attacked. The Carthaginians were defeated with heavy losses at the Battle of Akragas. The Romans, under both consuls — Lucius Postumius Megellus and Quintus Mamilius Vitulus — pursued, capturing the Carthaginians' elephants and baggage train. That night the Carthaginian garrison escaped while the Romans were distracted.

The next day the Romans seized the city and its inhabitants, selling 25, of them into slavery. After this success for the Romans, the war became fragmented for several years, with minor successes for each side, but no clear focus. In part this was because the Romans diverted many of their resources to an ultimately fruitless campaign against Corsica and Sardinia, and then into the equally fruitless expedition to Africa. After a quarrel, the Roman troops and their allies set up separate camps.

Hamilcar took advantage of this to launch a counter-attack , taking one of the contingents by surprise as it was breaking camp and killing 4,—6, Hamilcar went on to seize Enna , in central Sicily, [78] and Camarina , in the south east, dangerously close to Syracuse. Hamilcar seemed close to overrunning the whole of Sicily. They then moved on Panormus modern Palermo , but had to withdraw, although they did capture Hippana. In BC they recaptured Camarina after a lengthy siege. The war in Sicily reached a stalemate, as the Carthaginians focused on defending their well-fortified towns and cities; these were mostly on the coast and so could be supplied and reinforced with the Romans unable to use their superior army to interdict. The Romans built warships and despatched them to Sicily in BC for their crews to carry out basic training.

One of the consuls for the year, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio , sailed with the first 17 ships to arrive to the Lipari Islands , a little way off the north-east coast of Sicily, in an attempt to seize the islands' main port , Lipara. The Carthaginian fleet was commanded by Hannibal Gisco, the general who had commanded the garrison of Akragas, and was based at Panormus, some kilometres 62 miles from Lipara. When Hannibal heard of the Romans' move he despatched 20 ships under Boodes to the town. The Carthaginians arrived at night and trapped the Romans in the harbour. Boodes' ships attacked and Scipio's inexperienced men offered little resistance.

Some Romans panicked and fled inland and the consul himself was taken prisoner. All of the Roman ships were captured, most with little damage. He escaped, but lost most of his ships. Scipio's fellow consul, Gaius Duilius , placed the Roman army units under subordinates and took command of the fleet. He promptly sailed, seeking battle. The two fleets met off the coast of Mylae in the Battle of Mylae. Hannibal had ships, and the historian John Lazenby calculates that Duilius had approximately the same number. Seeing this, the remaining Carthaginians swung wide, attempting to take the Romans in the sides or rear.

The Romans successfully countered and captured a further 20 Carthaginian vessels. Duilius sailed to relieve the Roman-held city of Segesta , which had been under siege. The Carthaginian commander Hannibal Gisco, who abandoned his men and fled to Sulci, was later captured by his soldiers and crucified. Despite this victory, the Romans — who were attempting to support simultaneous offensives against both Sardinia and Sicily — were unable to exploit it, and the attack on Carthaginian-held Sardinia petered out.

In BC the Roman fleet happened to be anchored off Tyndaris in north-east Sicily when the Carthaginian fleet, unaware of its presence, sailed past in loose formation. This led to the Roman fleet in turn putting to sea in a disordered manner. The Carthaginians responded rapidly, ramming and sinking nine of the leading ten Roman ships. As the main Roman force came into action they sank eight Carthaginian ships and captured ten. The Carthaginians withdrew, again being faster than the Romans and so able to make off without further loss. Rome's naval victories at Mylae and Sulci, and their frustration at the stalemate in Sicily, led them to adopt a sea-based strategy and to develop a plan to invade the Carthaginian heartland in North Africa and threaten Carthage close to Tunis.

They planned to cross to Africa and invade what is now Tunisia. The Carthaginians knew of the Romans' intentions and mustered all their warships under Hanno the Great and Hamilcar, off the south coast of Sicily to intercept them. With a combined total of about warships carrying up to , crew and marines, the ensuing Battle of Cape Ecnomus was possibly the largest naval battle in history by the number of combatants involved.

After the victory the Roman army, commanded by Regulus, landed in Africa near Aspis modern Kelibia on the Cape Bon Peninsula and began ravaging the Carthaginian countryside. After a brief siege , Aspis was captured. Hamilcar, Hasdrubal and a third general called Bostar were placed in joint command of an army which was strong in cavalry and elephants and was approximately the same size as the Roman force. The Carthaginians established a camp on a hill near Adys. After confused fighting the Carthaginians broke and fled. Their losses are unknown, although their elephants and cavalry escaped with few casualties.

The Romans followed up and captured Tunis, only 16 km 10 mi from Carthage. From Tunis the Romans raided and devastated the immediate area around Carthage. In despair, the Carthaginians sued for peace but Regulus offered such harsh terms that the Carthaginians decided to fight on. Approximately 2, Romans retreated to Aspis; , including Regulus, were captured; the rest were killed. Xanthippus, fearful of the envy of the Carthaginian generals he had outdone, took his pay and returned to Greece.

It was intercepted by a Carthaginian fleet off Cape Bon in the north east of modern Tunisia and in the Battle of Cape Hermaeum the Carthaginians were heavily defeated, losing ships captured. Carthage responded by sending in a larger force, to which the Romans responded with a full consular army. Rome won many small victories, giving it control over almost the entire island. But the Romans needed control of the sea for final victory and Carthage was a naval power. With both sides balanced, the war between Rome and Carthage continued for 20 more years until the war-weary Phoenicians just gave up in According to J. Lazenby, author of The First Punic War , "To Rome, wars ended when the Republic dictated its terms to a defeated enemy; to Carthage, wars ended with a negotiated settlement.

This made the Romans empire builders. Carthage, on the other hand, had to compensate Rome for its heavy losses. Although the tribute was steep, it didn't keep Carthage from continuing as a world-class trading power. Frank Smitha The Rise of Rome. Share Flipboard Email. Ancient History and Latin Expert. However, the Mamertines were either extremely fickle or indecisive so they also continued to petition Rome for aid as well. Perhaps the Mamertines were worried about a Roman-Carthaginian alliance like what happened against Pyrrhus but this was not likely to happen. According to the historian Polybius there was much debate in Rome as to accept the Mamertines request for aid and possibly enter into a larger war with the Carthaginians.

The debate in Rome at the time was that the Mamertines had stole the city from its rightful inhabitants. They were also recovering from the internal revolt of the Campian soldiers at the Battle of Rhegium in BC. Other Romans were worried about the continued expansion of the Carthaginians into Sicily though, which soon enough would eventually threat Rome itself. If the Carthaginians managed to take over Syracuse, they would completely control the island. The issue was at a stalemate in the senate so therefore it was put in front of the Roman popular assembly. The Romans decided to accept the Mamertines request for aid and Appius Claudius Caudex was given command to capture the city of Messana from the Carthaginians.

The First Punic War was on. See First Punic War Battles. See First Punic War Generals. Ultimately after 23 years of fighting the First Punic War would conclude with the defeat of Carthage and the ascendence of the Roman Republic into the dominate power in the Mediterranean region. One of the largest impacts of the First Punic War was the loss of Carthage's dominate naval power in the Mediterranean. From here they would never fight large scale naval battles like were fought in this war ever again. Following the aftermath of the fighting both major powers would be economically and demographically weakened.

Under the terms of the Lutatius , Carthage would lose control over Sicily but retain their holdings in Corsica and Sardinia. The Carthaginians would also be forced to pay Rome massive amounts of wealth in war reparations which further destabilized the city. The First Punic War on the other hand marked the first time Rome acquired territory outside of their Italian domain.

Sicily would be formally governed by a praetor and became the first Roman province. The city of Syracuse was granted nominal independent ally status for the lifetime of Hiero II and would not be brought into the Roman province of Sicilia until its capture by Marcus Claudius Marcellus during the Second Punic War. One of the biggest differences noted between Carthaginians and the Roman Republic during this war was the amount of private investment that flowed from affluent Roman citizens to bolster the forces and fund the construction of the navy. Carthage on the other hand had an apathetic ruling elite who were more accustomed to making money rather than fighting wars.

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