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The Phoenicians were a major trading power in the Mediterranean during the period of...

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nhl123 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 7, 2013 at 9:57 PM via web

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The Phoenicians were a major trading power in the Mediterranean during the period of ancient Rome. What role do you speculate they might have played as Rome began to expand its influence in the region?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 7, 2013 at 10:16 PM (Answer #1)

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We can speculate that the role that the Phoenicians played would have changed over time as Rome became more powerful.

As Rome was just beginning to expand its influence in the Mediterranean, it is likely that the Phoenicians helped the Roman expansion to some degree.  The Phoenicians were great traders and Rome’s expansion would have given them another potential partner with whom to trade.  However, this would not have continued to be true as Rome became more powerful.

As Rome became more powerful, it came to be a rival for the Phoenicians.  The Phoenicians had, until that time, been the dominant maritime power in the region.  As Rome got bigger, its power was bound to conflict with that of the Phoenicians.  This is exactly what happened beginning in the mid-200s BC.  Rome and the Phoenician empire of Carthage came into conflict.  The Punic Wars ensued, lasting intermittently for over 100 years and ending with the destruction of Carthage.

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