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The First Punic War

In two epic struggles, Rome grows from being an Italian to a Mediterranean power. How did the first of these wars start, and how did the Romans surprisingly win it?

The Carthaginians
North African and Spanish coasts settled by the Phoenicians
Romans called them Punici, hence “Punic” Carthage founded by Tyre c. 825 B.C., near modern Tunis Aristocratic government, council and shophetim (lit. “judges,” but magistrates like the Roman consuls)

Carthaginian expansion
Established commercial hegemony in the Western Mediterranean Gradually gained supremacy over other Phoenician colonies in North Africa, along the Spanish coast, and in western Sicily Strong navy Land forced dependant largely upon mercenaries
9/21/2007 9. The First Punic War 2

9. The First Punic War


The First Punic War 2 .C.C. attacked them Mamertines called in Carthaginians Mamertines then called in Romans Romans fight Carthaginians and Syracusans Syracusans later join an alliance with the Romans! Enemies then allies then enemies Something is fishy! 9/21/2007 9. The First Punic War 3 Messana Incident Mamertines seize Messana Campanian mercenaries A confusing sequence of events King Hiero of Syracuse. Diodorus Siculus 9/21/2007 9. 264–241 B. former employer.9/21/2007 I Punic War. Could be called “The Sicilian War” Major source: Polybius Livy’s text breaks off after Book X in 292 B. The First Punic War 4 9. (middle of III Samnite War) Good inasmuch as he balanced his sources Fabius Pictor (Roman) Philinus of Agrigentum (Greek. pro-Carthaginian) Weak in that is was only a sketch meant as a prelude for later wars Other sources: Livy Perioche.

The First Punic War 5 Agrigentum 263 B. 1. 23 Campanian connection Mamertines came from Campania.C.9/21/2007 Causes Polybius: “defensive imperialism” Polyb. The First Punic War 6 9.10 = Mellor2. Greeks there had connections with Sicilians Campanian novi homines and the Claudii lex Claudia begins the war Ap. The First Punic War 3 . Syracuse forced into alliance Hiero remains faithful for remainder of war 262 B. Claudius Caudex moves the law and leads the first expedition 9/21/2007 9.C. leads to 20 year war 9/21/2007 9. Agrigentum besieged Turning point: Rome decides to take all Sicily.

The First Punic War 7 Loss. The First Punic War 8 9. The First Punic War 4 . war continued 9/21/2007 9. and Victory 249 B. Win.200 talent indemnity Sicily the first foreign “province” 25% Hiero.C.9/21/2007 A Naval War Previously Rome had depended upon naval squads from Greek socii in Italy Roman navy modeled after a beached Carthaginian quinquereme Roman rowers practiced on land! Corvus or “raven” Turning a naval battle into a land battle 260 B. Romans prevail at Mylae Victory followed by a second successful battle at Economus in 256 B.C. 25% allied states. 50% subjects 9/21/2007 9.C.C. 255 B.C. Naval victory at Aegates Islands Hamilcar stranded. forced to withdraw Settlement gives Rome Sicily and a 3. invasion of Africa failed. Drepana Claudius Pulcher and the sacred chickens Naval defeat calls Rome’s naval power into question Hamilcar Barca launches last ditch Carthaginian effort 241 B.