Carthaginian Empire      
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(Text by Duane R. Hurst © 2013)

Click on a link to view its information and pictures.
Significant Event:
    Battle of Alalia in 540 BC
    Battle of Cannae in 216 BC
    Punic Wars (with Rome 264-146 BC)

Main Cities: Carthage
Time: 750-146 BC
Language: Punic
Personage: Hannibal; Dido (Elissa)
Religion: Carthage Gods
Related Country: Tunisia

Brief History:
      I have included only a few items concerning the history of this empire. A good source for more details can be found on Wikipedia or in history books.

Map of Carthaginian Empire
Click Map to Enlarge
      According to Greek historians, Elissa (Dido), an exiled queen of Tyre, founded Carthage. Its port became a center of commerce and naval power. A later king, Mago I, established a powerful military, which expanded the Carthaginian empire throughout the Mediterranean region. He invaded Sicily and allied with the Etruscans against the Greeks. The alliance ended when Rome expelled its Etruscan king.


     The first Punic War (264-241 BC) resulted in the expansion of Roman territory. It mainly was fought for control of Sicily, particularly the former Greek colony at Syracuse. The Roman triumph encouraged Carthaginian cities on Sicily to side with Rome and Carthage dispatched troops to battle Rome. This war also caused Rome to build a strong navy to counter Carthaginian superiority. They overcame a fleet near Carthage in 256 BC at Cape Ecnomus. A peace treaty in 241 BC ended the war.

     During the second Punic War (218-201 BC) Hannibal, a highly successful general, led a large army and an elephant troop across the Rhône River and over the Alps. He defeated several Roman armies in the battles of Trebia and Lake Trasimene. His greatest feat was a decisive slaughter of a Roman army in the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC (see battle plan). Hasdrubal II, Hannibal's brother, simultaneously contended with Roman forces in Hispania and Rome fought its first Macedonian war with Carthage's ally, King Philip V. Hasbrubal and two other generals lost to Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus and withdrew their forces from Hispania, so as to aid Hannibal in defense of Carthage. However, Carthage sued for peace after Scipio Africanus destroyed Carthaginian forces at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. Hannibal escaped to Gebze in modern Turkey, where he later committed suicide at his Castle.

     The third Punic War (149-146 BC) resulted from Rome's refusal to stop Numidian encroachments on Carthage. Rome then attacked Carthage because the city used troops to fight the Numidians. In 149 BC Rome sacked and destroyed Carthage; only 55,000 people survived and became slaves to Rome.

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst