Punic Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Domination of Mediterranean area. Result: The complete destruction of Carthage and rise of Rome as the superpower in the ancient world.
The Punic Wars resulted from divergent national interests between a maritime trading superpower, Carthage, and a rising land superpower, Rome. Militarily, Carthage entered the Punic Wars with some initial advantages, including command of the sea, professional officers and troops, great wealth, and experience in fighting overseas wars. However, Rome entered the Punic Wars with a larger manpower base, an ability to mobilize its total national resources for war, and a remarkable ability to learn and adapt in war.
In 270/269 b.c.e., Hiero of Syracuse inflicted a severe defeat on the Mamertines of Sicily. The Mamertines asked Rome for help in defeating Hiero. Rome accepted the request and moved military forces into Sicily (a Punic province), starting the First Punic War in 264 b.c.e. In 260 b.c.e., the first naval battle between Rome and Carthage took place at Mylae, where Roman consul Duilius, with 103 ships, soundly defeated Hannibal Gisco, the Punic commander, with 130 ships.
In 256 b.c.e., Rome invaded Africa to strike directly at Carthage. At the Battle of Ecnomus off Sicily, Rome won its second naval contest against Punic forces. At the Battle of Adys in 256 b.c.e., Marcus Atilius Regulus defeated...
(The entire section is 927 words.)
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