Thursday, June 11, 2015

Third Punic war (149–146 BC)

A fight over Messina in 264 BC brought on the first of three Punic Wars between the two largest powers in the Mediterranean – Rome and Carthage.

The cause of the Third Punic War can be attributed to the loss of Scipio Africanus’ moderating influence when he fell victim to political in-fighting and his replacement by Cato with his advocacy of vigorous confrontation with Carthage.

The third Punic War was a security measure meant to protect Rome from future confrontations with a resurgent Carthage.

Cato the sensor, flush with triumph from Greek and Asia Minor campaigns, argued before the Roman Senate that Carthage was a deadly enemy close to home and convinced it to demand that Carthage give up its port and move inland.

When Carthage refused this deliberately outrages demand, the Romans invaded, seized the city and systematically slaughtered the inhabitants. In a war in which Rome showed neither mercy nor pity and in which Carthage was besieged for two years, the cruel order was finally given in 146 BC that Carthage must be utterly destroyed.

The Third Punic War, terminated by the destruction of Carthage, continued but four years and some months.

After leveling the city, the whole site was ploughed, salt was sprinkled on the earth, and a solemn curse was pronounced upon whomever would attempt to rebuild the city.
Third Punic war (149–146 BC)

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