The First Punic War

May 22, 2012 | In: Ancient Battles


First of all, I feel you have to know that there were three Punic Wars, fought between 264-146 B.C. The two parts involved were Rome and Carthage. You can see that the fighting went on and on for 120 years. That was mainly because the forces were well-matched every time they met.

 

The First Punic War

The First war began long time before the actual fighting. So, in 509 B.C. Carthage and Rome signed a peace treaty. But 200 years later, after the Romans conquered most of Europe, decided to dominate Carthage, regardless of the peace treaty.

With fighting going on all over Sicily, the Romans found the opportunity they were looking for to break the treaty with Carthage. Messana, a city in Sicily was the place were Syracusans, Carthaginians and Romans eventually fought. There were many misunderstandings on the island on that time, but they provided the necessary means for the Romans to break the Treaty.

And so, after the Treaty was broken, Carthage sent more troops to Sicily, but in response, the Romans came with a full consular army, that eventually took hold of the entire island. But that wasn’t enough; Rome needed to take hold of the sea, in order to attack Carthage, who was a big naval power back then.

With both sides balanced, Rome and Carthage continued to fight for the following 20 years, until the war-weary Phoenicians gave up in 241.

At the end of The First Punic War, Rome gained Sicily and started to look forward to building a bigger empire; and Carthage was forced to compensate Rome for her losses. Although the tribute was immense, it didn’t keep Carthage from being one of the most powerful trading power.


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