Similarities Between Rome And Carthage

996 Words4 Pages
Rome vs Carthage: The Quest for Dominion of the Mediterranean


Hist1421-Greek and Roman Civilizations

University of the People

Ancient civilizations have often been a great source of interest for those of the modern world. The study of those that came before us provides insight into the lives of those people as well as clues on how to avoid past mistakes. It is commonly known that ancient Rome was one the greatest civilizations of the ancient world. However, there were other civilizations that proved themselves worthy rivals to the great nation of Rome. More specifically, Carthage, a commercial empire of northern Africa. Not only would Carthage prove itself a powerful rival, it would go on to
…show more content…
Legends reveal that the civilization was founded by the Phoenician Queen Elissa, more commonly known as Dido (Mark, 2011). Historical clues tell us that the civilization was created after the destruction of its mother city Tyre by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE (2011). The land was settled by Phoenicians who were quick to enslave many of the native populations already present and forcing the rest to pay tribute. Carthage, being a coastal city, had the means to conduct trade all over the Mediterranean Sea. Not only did they possess trade vessels, they also possessed an unrivaled navy to protect their vast harbor and lucrative dealings. This opened up opportunities for the acquisition of new resources and territories through conquest (2011). Carthage’s prime location as well as the receipt of regular tribute from the African cities and tariffs on their trades allowed Carthage to quickly achieve status as an economic…show more content…
Carthage, utilizing ideals conceived in the east, grew its power through the domination of trade in the Mediterranean. The nation developed commercial treaties with all the great civilizations of the world earning the unofficial title of great merchant of the Mediterranean (1901). The Carthaginian empire soon set its sights on the Greek cities of Sicily and Italy. The nation of Rome had desired to expand outside of the Italian peninsula. As one can probably guess, each civilization’s goals were not favorable to the other and the great conflict between these titans emerged. The first conflict, known as the First Punic War was over the control of the island of Sicily. The island itself was divided among three nations: Carthage, Syracruse, and the Campanian mercenaries known as the Mamertines (Sons of Mars). Eventually, these extremists would call upon the aid of Rome after the king of Syracruse attacked them (1901). Fearing Carthaginian possession of a greater part of Sicily, Rome decided to help. In their delay, the Mamertines had allowed a Carthaginian garrison into their city (1901). Rome responded by tricking the Carthaginian commander into negotiations then holding him ransom until he relinquished the city of Messana. Syracruse then aligned themselves with Carthage to drive out the Romans. If you recall, Rome had the more powerful military which was something that Syracruse had not counted on. Seeing this incredible show of Roman power, Syracruse changed
Open Document