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The proximate reason of the first outbreak was a crisis in the city of Messana (Messina), commanding the straits in between Italy and Sicily. The Mamertini, a band of Campanian mercenaries, had forcibly establimelted themselves within the town and were being difficult pressed in 264 by Hieron II of Syracusage. The Mamertini appeacaused both Rome and also Carthage, and the Carthaginians, showing up first, occupied Messana and effected a reconciliation through Hieron. The Roguy commander, neverthemuch less, persisted in throwing troops right into the city, and also, by seizing the Carthaginian admiral throughout a parley, induced him to withattract. This aggression provoked battle via Carthage and also Syracuse.

Operations began via a joint attack upon Messana, which the Romans quickly repelled. In 263 the Romans advanced through a significant force right into Hieron’s region and also induced him to seek tranquility and alliance via them. They besieged and captured the Carthaginian base at Agrigentum in 262 yet made little bit impression upon the Carthaginian fortresses in the west of the island and upon the towns of the interior.

In 260 the Romans constructed their first big fleet of typical battleships. At Mylae (Milazzo), off the north Sicilian coastline, their admiral Gaius Duilius beat a Carthaginian squadron of superior maneuvering capacity by grappling and boarding. This left Rome free to land a pressure on Corsica (259) and also expel the Carthaginians however did not suffice to loosen their grasp on Sicily. A big Roman fleet sailed out in 256, repelled the whole Carthaginian fleet off Cape Ecnomus (close to modern-day Licata) and establiburned a fortified camp on Afrihave the right to soil at Clypea (Kélibia in Tunisia). The Carthaginians, whose citizen levy was utterly disarranged, can neither store the field against the intruders nor prevent their topics from revolting. After one campaign they were prepared to sue for tranquility, however the terms which the Roguy commander Marcus Atilius Regulus readily available were intolerably harsh. Accordingly they equipped a new army in which, by the advice of a Greek captain of mercenaries called Xanthippus, cavalry and also elephants developed the strongest arm. In 255, under Xanthippus’ command also, they available fight to Regulus, who had taken up place through an poor force close to Tunis, outmaneuvered him, and also ruined the bulk of his army. A second Romale fleet, which subsequently reached Africa after defeating the full Carthaginian fleet off Cape Hermaeum (Sharīk Peninsula), withattracted all the staying troops.


Roman war galley
A Roguy battle galley through infantry on deck; in the Vatideserve to Museums.
Alinari/Art Resource, New York

The Romans currently directed their initiatives once even more against Sicily. In 254 they recorded the crucial fortress of Panormus (Palermo), but when Carthage threw reinforcements right into the island also the war aobtain involved a standstill. In 251 or 250 the Romale basic Lucius Caecilius Metellus at last brought about a pitched battle near Panormus in which the enemy’s pressure was properly crippled. This victory was complied with by an investment of the chief Punic base at Lilybaeum (Marsala), in addition to Drepanum (Trapani), by land also and also sea. The besiegers met through a gallant resistance and in 249 were compelcaused withattract by the loss of their fleet in a surpclimb assault upon Drepanum, in which the admiral Publius Claudius Pulcher was repulsed through a loss of 93 ships. While this was the Romans’ just naval defeat in the battle, their fleet had actually suffered a series of grievous losses by storm, and now it was so diminished that the attack upon Sicily had to be suspfinished. At the same time, the Carthaginians, who felt no much less severely the financial strain of the extended battle, lessened their forces and made no attempt to deliver a counterassault. The only notable attribute of the following campaigns is the skillful guerrilla war waged by a new Carthaginian commander, Hamilautomobile Barca, from his strong positions on Mt. Ercte (247–244) and Mt. Eryx (modern-day Erice) (244–242) in western Sicily, by which he effectually screened Lilybaeum from any kind of attempt on it by the Romale land also army.

In 242 Rome resumed operations at sea. By a magnificent initiative on the component of exclusive citizens a fleet of 200 warships was equipped and sent to renew the blockade of Lilybaeum. The Carthaginians hastily built up a relief force, however in a fight battled off the Aeentrances Insulae (Egadi Islands), west of Drepana, their fleet was captured at a disadvantage and mostly sunk or caught (March 10, 241). This victory, by providing the Romans undiscussed command also of the sea, rendered particular the ultimate fevery one of the Punic strongholds in Sicily. The Carthaginians accordingly opened up negotiations and also consented to a tranquility through which they yielded Sicily and the Lipari (Eolie) Islands to Rome and also phelp an indemnity of 3,200 talents.

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The interval between the First and also 2nd Punic Wars (241–218 bce)

The loss of naval dominance not only deprived the Carthaginians of their predominance in the western Mediterranean yet exposed their overseas empire to fragmentation under renewed attacks by Rome. The temper of the Romale people was soon made manifest during a problem which damaged out between the Carthaginians and their discontented mercenaries. A gross breach of the treaty was perpetrated when a Romale pressure was sent out to occupy Sardinia, whose insimmediate garrichild had readily available to surrender the island (238). To the remonstrances of Carthage the Romans replied via a direct declaration of battle, and just withhosted their strike upon the formal cession of Sardinia and also Corsica and also the payment of a even more indemnity.