How did Carthage lose the Punic Wars?

Punic Wars: Rome versus Carthage

In the fight for the Power in the western Mediterranean Carthage became a bitter opponent of Rome. You can probably guess who was victorious in the end!

Carthage was a sea and trading power in the north of Africa. The city of Carthage was founded by Phoenician sailors. The Romans derived the word from the Phoenicians Punic (Latin: poeni) - that's what the inhabitants of Carthage called them. Today Carthage would be in Tunisia near the capital Tunis. The ancient sites can still be visited there.

In year 264 BC Chr. Carthage controlled not only the west African coast, but also part of southern Spain, Sardinia, Corsica and the west of Sicily.

With the victory over Pyrrhus, Rome ruled over all of Italy and now wanted to expand its rule. This is how the three punic wars:

1st Punic War (264-241 BC)

The fighting lasted more than 20 years. At first the Carthaginians were superior because they had fast and good warships. After such a ship ran aground in Italy, the Romans built an entire fleet based on this model and improved their tactics even further.

So it finally happened in 241 BC. To the decisive battle. This took place near the Aegatic Islands off the west coast of Sicily. Carthage had to cede Sicily and then also Sardinia and Corsica to the Romans.

2nd Punic War (218-201 BC)

The second Punic War is mostly through Hannibal known. The Carthaginian general moved with 37 war elephants from Spain across the Alps to Italy. Here, too, it initially looked like a Carthaginian victory, but under Scipio the Elder the Romans were victorious again.

3rd Punic War (149-146 BC)

149 BC A Roman navy sailed to Carthage, but was initially unsuccessful. It was only under Scipio Aemilianus that Carthage was finally subjugated. Carthage was destroyed, the last inhabitants enslaved.

Cato and Carthage

A famous saying comes from the Roman politician Cato the Elder (234-149 BC). He concluded every speech in the Senate with the words: "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!". That means: "Besides, I am of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed!"