For this assignment you will be writing a short paper analyzing the importance of the Punic Wars on the development of Rome.
Guidelines: As a formal written assignment this paper will need to be proofread, spell checked, contain a cover sheet, a bibliography and citations in Chicago/Turabian style footnotes or endnotes throughout your paper for all information that you use from your sources.
Punic wars entailed clash between two Mediterranean powers– the African city of Carthage and the Roman Republic. Punic was a name used by Romans on their opponents. The origin of the name was on the ethnicity of the Carthaginians. Before the first Punic war, there was an established senate in Rome that was in charge of making all decisions. The senate acted as the main decision making body and was made of very powerful individuals. Mythically, a woman called Elissa was the founder of Carthage. It is believed that she was given the land by the Libyans but cunningly took more land than what she was offered by the Libyans which was assumed to be trickery by the Romans. Comparing the two powers, Carthaginians used a different method to select military commanders. For instance, Carthaginians elected their military commanders for longer periods than Romans. As a result, Rome had more commanders in the battle field than Carthage. Carthage armies also comprised of mercenaries while roman armies were made of citizens. Unlike Roman that were lenient, Carthaginians severely punished generals that made mistakes on battlefields. These aspects gave the Carthaginians no reason to think of defeat. This article will discuss the importance of the three wars on development of Rome.
Punic wars impacted Rome in various ways, both negatively and positively. Through the three Punic Wars, senate gained more power. The Romans realized that more authority lies in the senate- power to supervise and advice the military. After the first Punic War, Rome was considered an imperial power in Mediterranean region. As a result, it acquired wealth from Carthage. Loss of the wealth to Rome was like a scar to Carthage leadership that would be felt by the future generations. Rome also gained control of Corsica and Sicily. Corsica and Sicily are islands located on the coast of Italy. This acquisition resulted in the expansion of the Roman Empire thus making trading easier. Other cities would be easily accessed through water transport. Control over Sicily saw Rome gain profits through minerals such as copper and natural resources. Rome’s victory in the first Punic War shows the power that Rome exercised despite having a weak navy. The little experience they had was utilized in developing a powerful military.
The second Punic war led to scarcity of people in the countryside. Some people had moved to the cities to look for subsistence, some men had gone for war while other people had ran away from war. After the war, most of those that had migrated did not return to the countryside but instead chose to settle in the city. This ended up making Rome the most populated city. The scarcity in the countryside made farmland cheaper. The wealthy began expanding their wealth and businessmen from cities began securing investment in the countryside. It was after the second Punic War that Rome attained full control of the Carthaginian territory in Spain. Rome attained large quantities of minerals and agricultural products that enabled it to prosper in trade. High profits attained from trade led to improved economy in Rome. After defeating Carthage, Rome was labelled the most powerful in Mediterranean region.
Before second Punic war, the Roman Expansion was limited to the islands in Mediterranean and Italy. After the war, the Roman Empire had grown tremendously and Spain was now considered as a Rome’s property. This forced all the Carthaginian armies to leave Spain and surrender their claims on it together to Rome. They also surrendered the islands between Africa and Spain. The Carthaginian navy had to be disbanded leaving only 20 ships. They also had to pay barley, wheat and silver to Rome. Romans began greatly investing their money in other countries. This investments included mines in Spain and land in Sicily and other places. The lands were then converted to slave plantations. Some Romans lend money abroad at high interests making Rome to grow financially. The wealthy also imported more goods from the Eastern countries. This second Punic War resulted in Rome cementing power in Italy and other northern areas.
The third Punic War start almost immediately after the
second Punic War. The main aim of this war was to destroy Carthage because it posed
a threat to Rome by going out to fight Numidia and being defeated. During the
war, Scipio, a roman general besieged Carthage for a period of three years then
burned it down. This destruction led to the ruin of Carthage for over a hundred
years while Rome gained pre-eminent power in the Mediterranean. The three wars
between Rome and Carthage greatly changed Rome. Each and every war led to the
rise of Rome and fall of Carthage. The Punic Wars led to Rome’s acquisition of
great wealth that enabled it to expand into an empire that would rule the
world. The wars lasted over a century (264 BC – 146BC) leading to the
destruction of Carthage that lasted over 100 years.
 Schaefer Timothy Edward, The Second Punic War: The Turning Point of an Empire (2015), 30.
 Raphael Johnson Mathew, The Punic Wars and the Development of Rome, (2017), 4.