Chapter 5: Ancient Rome
1. Why were early Rome’s conquests so successful?
The Romans were great diplomats. They were firm when necessary and smart about granting citizenship. They also let citizens participate in domestic affairs. Their military was made up of strong, persistent soldiers. If a substantial amount of men were lost in battle they wouldn’t just surrender, but instead recruit new soldiers. They would build up new armies so that they could keep fighting. The Romans were also good strategists. By the year 264 BCE Rome had established colonies in strategic spots throughout Italy. By connecting these settlements with roads, they built a military and communication network that helped them rule more effectively. By getting military help from allies, they mobilized Italy’s military manpower. 2. What were the Punic Wars, and why were they so important in the development of Rome? The first Punic war made Sicily the first Roman province. The Romans wanted to conquer Sicily, but realized that they couldn’t win the war without a navy. The developed a massive navy which defeated the Carthaginian naval fleet off Sicily, ending the war. The second Punic war lasted from 218 to 201 BCE. Carthage tried to gain more land to make up for the loss of Sicily. Rome got Carthage’s allies to revolt against them and Carthage fought back. Carthage wanted to bring the fight to Rome and defeat them in their own territory. The Romans lost several thousand men during battle, but they never gave up. They built a new army and reconquered Halian cities that had gone over to the enemy’s side. Rome’s strategy was to undermine Carthage’s empire in Spain. By 206 the Carthaginians were pushed out of Spain and the war was taken to Carthage. A peace treaty was signed in 201 and Spain became a Roman province, making Rome the supreme power in the western Mediterranean. About fifty years after that, Carthage broke the treaty by going to war with some of Rome’s allies. Rome took this...
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