Carthage and the Punic Wars

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  • Topic: Second Punic War, Carthage, Ancient Rome
  • Pages : 4 (1252 words )
  • Download(s) : 778
  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Carthage was first founded as a trading post in the year of 814 BC. Carthage was founded by the Phoenician Princess Elyssa-Dido on a peninsula from Africa which extends into the Mediterranean Sea. According to legend Elyssa_Dido fled from her brother Pygmalion, the king of Tyre, after he killed her husband. The post benefited from the vast market for the goods that it traded and grew in importance quickly. It first had warehouses in which raw metals and finished metal products which the Phoenicians used and had made were stored. Carthage then started making metal products for Spain. These products were cheap due to they traded these cheap goods to Spain for the raw metals. Carthage soon became a huge trading empire, containing much of north Africa, Sicily, and Spain. In the fifth century BC, Carthage was the largest of all existing Mediterranean ports. Carthage soon minted its own coins. The Carthaginians soon developed high skills in the building of ships. They used this to dominate the seas for centuries. Their most important trading goods were silver, lead, ivory, gold, beds, bedding, pottery, jewelry, glassware, wild animals from Africa, fruit, and nuts.

Carthage had two first class ports. One was a trading port which was rectangular and the other was a man-made military port which was circular. These two ports were connected by a canal. The Carthaginians also had great communication since they controlled the sea, the fastest way of communication at that time.

The Carthaginians began a 240 year long struggle for survival with the Greeks then the Romans in the year 410 BC. It all started when the Sicily city of Segesta asked for help against its mortal Greek enemy of Selinius. Carthage, in a lightening fast campaign sacked both Selinius, and the large Greek city of Agrigento. The Carthaginians failed in their attempt to siege Syracusa. After the siege upon Syracusa, the Syracusians built many weapons of war, including...
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