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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
VIII. THE GREAT AGE OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC, 264-31 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterThe Rivals Rome and Carthage, 264-218 B.C. * Hannibal and the Great Punic War, 218-201 B.C. * Roman Supremacy in the West and in the East, 201-133 B.C. * The Mediterranean World under Roman Rule * The Gracchi * Marius and Sulla * Pompey and Caesar * The Work of Caesar * Antony and Octavian * The End of an Epoch
THE RIVALS: ROME AND CARTHAGE, 264-218 B.C.
THE PUNIC WARS
The conquest of Italy made Rome one of the five leading states of the Mediterranean world. In the East there were the kingdoms of Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt, which had inherited the dominions of Alexander the Great. In the West there were Carthage and Rome, once in friendly alliance, but now to become the bitterest foes. Rome had scarcely reached the headship of united Italy before she was involved in a life-and-death struggle with this rival power. The three wars between them are known as the Punic wars; they are the most famous contests that ancient history records; and they ended in the complete destruction of Carthage.
FOUNDATION OF CARTHAGE
More than a century before the traditional date at which Rome rose upon her seven hills, Phoenician colonists laid the foundations of a second Tyre. The new city occupied an admirable site, for it bordered on rich farming land and had the largest harbor of the north African coast. A position at the junction of the eastern and western basins of the Mediterranean gave it unsurpassed opportunities for trade. At the same time Carthage was far enough away to be out of the reach of Persian or Macedonian conquerors.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy