Punic wars Facts

Punic wars Facts
The Punic Wars was a series of three wars waged from 264-146 between the north African city-state of Carthage and Rome for control of the western Mediterranean region. Rome and Carthage actually had a long and friendly relationship before the Punic Wars. The two cities signed a treaty of friendship in 509 BC, about the same year the Roman Republic was founded, and signed two later treaties in 380 and 279 BC. Traditionally, the Romans and Carthaginians both viewed the Greek colonists in Italy and Sicily as rivals and enemies, but it was the Carthaginians who engaged the Greeks more often in war. After fighting numerous wars against the Greeks of Sicily, the Carthaginians gained, then lost and finally took back Sicily. The presences of Roman mercenaries fighting on behalf of the Greeks led to Rome and Carthage fighting the First Punic War from 264-241 BC. The Romans won the First Punic War and gained control of Sicily as a result, but the Carthaginians then focused on conquering Spain. Border disputes between the Carthaginians and the Romans in Spain then led to the Second Punic War (218-202 BC), which was marked by efforts of the Carthaginian general, Hannibal (247-181 BC), and the Roman general, Scipio (236-183 BC). The Romans won the Second Punic War as well, greatly expanding their domains to include Spain in the process. The Third Punic War began in 149 when the Carthaginians refused to surrender their city; the war ended in 146 BC with the capture and annihilation of the city, making the Romans the premier power in the entire Mediterranean basin.
Interesting Punic wars Facts:
The city of Carthage was settled by Phoenician settlers from Tyre
The term "Punic" refers to the dialect of Phoenician spoken by the Carthaginians.
Phoenician and Punic were Semitic languages.
Although Carthage was settled and originally dominated by Phoenicians, the local Berber people known as Numidians made up a large share of the population and comprised a large part of the military.
From 282-275 BC, Pyrrhus, the king of the Greek speaking kingdom of Epirus, was at war with both Rome and Carthage.
The treaties of friendship between Rome and Carthage were based mainly on trade.
The Carthaginians were excellent merchants like their Phoenician ancestors.
Hamilcar Barca, the father of Hannibal, conquered much of coastal Spain in 237 BC. He succeeded in revamping the Carthaginian Empire and established the Barcid Dynasty.
Hamilcar died when attempting to cross a river, but not before imparting on his son Hannibal a hatred of Rome.
According to the Roman historian Titus Livy, Hannibal led an army of 100,000 men and thirty-seven elephants across the Alps into Italy, but lost all but one of his elephants.
Hannibal occupied southern Italy for most of the Second Punic War, defeating the Romans in every battle.
Instead of facing Hannibal directly, Scipio instead led a fleet to invade Spain, which forced Hannibal to retreat to Carthage.
The final battle in the Second Punic War was at Zama in north Africa. Both sides had about 40,000 men, but the Romans had more cavalry and the Carthaginians had elephants. When the elephants charged, the Romans lines simply moved out of the way to let them to the back where they were hacked to bits.
Hannibal died a wanted man and exile in in the Kingdom of Bithynia.

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