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First and second Punic wars.docx

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Glenn Wilkinson

First and second Punic wars/ Beginnings of Empire 1. First Punic War (264-241 BCE) continues.. d.Rome Invades North Africa; catastrophe; Regulus (256-255) e. Stalemate, victory and truce (255-241) 2. Interwar period (241-218 BCE) 3. Second Punic War (218-202 BCE) a. Hannibal in Italy (218-207) b. First Punic war: -Arrived in north Africa -As winter approached consuls decided they would split their forces, one goes back to Rome with majority of troops, other stayed behind with 40 ships and 20 000 ships -troops in Africa under command of regulus (consul) were decimated by Carthagian army, regulus was taken captive, only about 3000 survivors rescued by roman reinforcements that arrived too late -On their way back to Italy were caught in storm at sea and 184 ships were dashed to pieces 50 000 to 100 000 men died -Best examples of Roman virtue were seen in this war 1) After losing large amounts of their navy, rather than giving up they built all the ships they lost within a few months (always bounced back) 2) Regulus was commissioned to convey a message to Rome to negotiate to a prisoner exchange, regulus advised the romans to say no (Carthigians had harder time raising troops, it would benefit Carthage) and then he returned to Carthage knowing he would be executed. He was honorable roman man who kept his word and sacrificed his own life to better Rome (Year 250) -Fighting in Sicily would continue until 242 when Rome won a series of decisive battles -in 241 they forced Carthigians out of Sicily Interwar period -Lost lots of men and money but Carthage was in way worse shape, navy was destroyed and didn’t have resources to rebuild it -Carthage could no longer draw on Sicily for troops -Because of indemnity they had to pay to Rome they could not afford to pay soldiers, as a result mercenaries revolted and Carthage had to fight them -During the revolts Rome took back Sardina and Corsica from Carthage -Carthage devised a strategy to put military operation in Spain and Iberian peninsula (Hamercar was consul) to tap into metal resources and man power to staff their army -237-218 Carthage had success in Spain under Hamercar and Hannibal -in 218 Rome intervened because Carthage captured a city they believed was under their control -They demanded that thye hand over Hannibal but they refused so Rome declared war Second Punic war -Rome’s first move was to send major force to Spain to engage Hannibal, by the time they got there Hannibal already left with an army of 50 000 men and marched into Italy. They had to fight their way through France, they made it to the Alps, lost most of their elephants -made it into Italy in 218, surprised the romans. Rome assembled make shift army in north of Italy but Hannibal crushed them. -Hannibal released all non-roman captives that had been serving in roman army in hope of serving a wedge between Rome and its allies. -Hannibal made an alliance with the Gaul’s (Roman enemy). They started to move south into Italy -Rome alarmed and dispatched another army, this army to was crushed and non-roman captives were released. -In 216 Rome had army of 80 000 men under command in both consuls they met Hannibal in Cannae (Cost of Adriatic sea). Rome lost and a consul died -Rome lost 3 major battles to Hannibal despite their large armies. Hannibal’s success came down to his skill -Hannibal made an error in 216-
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