The Republic Historia

The Punic Wars
A Retelling of the Struggle between Rome and Carthage

  1. The First Punic War 264-241 BC
  2. The Second Punic War 218-201 BC
  3. The Third Punic War 149-146 BC



From the earliest days of the Republic, Rome had been on friendly terms with Carthage, a city-state in northern Africa. Since Rome was largely agricultural and interested mainly in Italy, it had no reason to bother with Carthage, which was largely a sea power. As late as 279 BC the two cities had signed a treaty against Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who posed a threat to both. However, a breakdown in treaties and alliances led to tensions between the two friends. Eventually these tensions led to war.

The three Punic Wars encompassed incredible battles led by some of the greatest commanders ever. The challenge of these conflicts promoted ingenuity and creativity in producing new weapons and battle techniques. All these factors combined to create one of the pivotal points in history, when the balance of power shifted from Carthage to Rome.


Warry, John. Warfare in the Classical World. St. Martins's Press: New York, 1980. Pages: 115 - 125.

Scarre, Chris. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome. The Bath Press, Avon: Great Britain, 1995. Pages: 16 - 25.

Hammond, N. G. L. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1970. Pages: 201, 487.

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