The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

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The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:01 pm

The Punic Wars

Romans since their beginning have waged wars against other nations for more land, wealth, and power. In the case of the Punic wars, the Romans had conquered much of their peninsula (modern day Italy) and sought to expand to the surrounding islands which were at the time in the hands of the mighty Carthaginians. In 264 B.C. the mighty Romans and the Carthaginians clashed at Messina, which caused the start of the first Punic war (Wise, 24). The Punic wars subsequently led to great generals such as Hannibal (Carthaginian) and Scipio Africanus (Roman), who both had major roles in how the Punic wars turned out. Though the Punic wars ultimately led to tragedy, the war between the two city-states will forever be remembered in the annals of history, for their effect on the entire world.
The first Punic war was mostly a large naval contest for the islands of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. This gave the Carthaginians an overwhelming advantage, but the crafty Romans using a beached Carthaginian galley forged a strong fleet of their own to match the naval prowess of Carthage (Smith, 29). The Carthaginians sent general Hamilcar to modern day Spain to start colonies, alliances (Carthage formed an alliance with the Iberians), and gain wealth to be used against Rome (ROME the Conquest of the Hellenistic Empires). The Romans soon realized though, that even with similar ships that they couldnít beat the Carthaginian navy. Knowing this the Romans developed a new naval tactic to suit their strengths; their infantry. A Roman invention deemed the ďCorvusĒ soon came to give the Romans the upper hand. The corvus was a long plank of wood with a spike on the end so that Roman infantrymen could board the Carthaginian galleys, giving the Romans a strong upper hand (Connoly, 36). Using this invention the Romans dominated the Carthaginian navy and forced the Carthaginians into a treaty. Due to the former Alexander the Greats campaign on Asia Minor and Persia there was no independent Phoenicia to help Carthage or negotiate with Rome over the surrounding islands in the first Punic war (War and Peace: Phoenician Society's Peaceful Foundation and the Deviation Into War). This led to Carthage being forced into a treaty giving up the islands of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. It is said that when Carthage signed the treaty Hamilcar forced his son Hannibal into an oath to destroy Rome, and in Hamilcarís later life he conquered much of Spain to give Hannibal a base from which to attack Rome (Smith, 29). Though Carthage had lost the first Punic war they would not give up and Hannibal readied his army of Numidians, Carthaginians, and Spanish for battle (Smith, 29).
Hannibal made a brilliant but desperate strategy for his conquest of Rome. His strategy was to refuse Rome of one of its best strengths; its allies. The Romans flourished due to a endless stream of manpower, the result of its many alliances throughout Italy. Hannibal noticed that these allies of Rome were unhappy because of their treatment and seemingly endless wars, so he sought to outperform the Romans in a major battle, then break Romeís alliances and have the alliances help him destroy Rome (Knox, History of Western Civilization). Hannibal invaded Italy by land, though his army was too small to achieve victory he believed that if won a few early victories he could pronounce their liberty and the allies would desert Rome. Without the Romans key allies, Hannibal believed his superior general abilities could outsmart the Romans and he would ultimately have victory (Knox, History of Western Civilization). Though Hannibal had his plan made, and armies ready there was yet to be conflict between Carthage and Rome. This would continue until 218 B.C.
War finally broke lose when Rome and Carthage had an argument over the Roman Colony of Saguntum in 218 B.C. Though Rome knew of Hannibal they didnít make a move to stop him because they felt safe because before Hannibal could get to Rome he would have to fight through Spain, cross the Pyrenees mountains, fight through southern Gaul (modern day France), and finally cross the Alps before entering Rome (Knox, History of Western Civilization). Though Rome felt relatively safe they placed Gaul and Roman sentries along the Rhine River, which is both deep and swift. When Hannibal Reached the Rhine River he outsmarted the Romans by sending his brother north, then while he crossed the Rhine river with his men on rafts his brother ambushed the sentries allowing him to cross safely. When Hannibal finally made it across the Alps he only had a force of twenty-six thousand men left. Though he had so few men he advanced and fought the Romans along the Trebbia River where he was outnumbered two-to-one. Hannibal once again outsmarted the Romans by sending skirmishers across the river to force the Romans into battle. Then he had them strategically withdraw across the water. Finally, the Romans followed the withdrawing Carthaginian skirmishers and when the Romans had all gotten across the Carthaginians ambushed them and gained victory. Of the forty-thousand Roman legionaries to cross the river only ten-thousand escaped alive, this proved that Hannibal was a superior general to that of the Romans. Again the Romans attacked Hannibal and his forces at Lake Trasimene, this soon led to Hannibalís second victory and a second Roman Legion was destroyed. The time then came for the Romans to elect two new consuls (the consuls have a yearly term) who would lead the Romans to their biggest defeat yet (Schmitt, class notes). Fabius Maximus, one of the new consuls, took upon himself a new strategy in fighting Hannibal. His strategy was to harass Hannibalís army but kept away from pitched battles, and while he did this he worked hard to keep allies loyal to him. His strategy worked, and few allies left and he drew Hannibal into an open field battle (Knox, History of Western Civilization). Since the Romans hadnít engaged Hannibal in an open field battle (which was also the Romans strong suit) and believed that their legions will overwhelm Hannibalís army, so they forced him into an open field battle at Cannae. When the Romans engaged the Carthaginians they simply marched forward confident that they outnumbered Hannibal. While the Romans did this Hannibalís Gallic cavalry charged, and routed, the Roman horsemen and encircled the Roman legions (Smith, 29). The Romans lost over fifty-thousand men, only around ten-thousand survived Cannae, while Hannibal only lost around eight-thousand men (Smith, 30). The remaining legionaries were forced to serve in a special legion, which was a cruel punishment for their loss at Cannae. Because of this major loss at Cannae many city states such as Capua joined Hannibalís side of the war, this was important because it was both part of his strategy and because Capua was the second largest city in Italy (Knox, History of Western Civilization). Hannibal now only had to take Rome to complete his victory, with nothing in his way except for one general that matched Hannibal in generalship abilities.
Towards the end of the second Punic war it seemed that Roman defeat was imminent, but a general by the name of Scipio Africanus changed this in one decisive battle. Scipioís strategy was to force Hannibal to leave Rome to protect his homeland of Carthage. He arrived in North Africa with his army and he skirted around the Carthaginian capital luring Hannibal to him. He didnít take Carthage because he wanted to destroy the Carthaginian army so they canít take Rome. Soon Hannibal recalled his army and sailed south for Carthage, where he would fight the final battle of the war. When Hannibal arrived he readily positioned himself and engaged Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama. Though Hannibal no longer had his Gallic cavalry, he did regain his Carthaginian War Elephants and used them as his main frontal attack. Scipio strategized for this though, and in his front ranks he had his skirmishers carry horns that they would blow as the elephants approached. This caused the elephants to rear up knocking off all of the Carthaginians, and then the elephant would either turn around and run back into the Carthaginian line causing havoc, or would run through holes that Scipio strategically made so that his own men wouldnít be trampled. The Romanís triumphed when the Roman cavalry (Thought to be gone by the Carthaginians) appeared at the most crucial moment in the battle right behind the enemy lines. The Romans used this opportunity to encircle the Carthaginians and twenty-eight thousand Carthaginian soldiers were killed or captured in this battle. Hannibal escaped to Carthage were he made a treaty giving up Carthage to the Romans (Smith, 30). This was the end of the second Punic war, and arguably the most enthralling of the three.
The third Punic war came to be due to Roman jealousy when Carthage, now under Roman control, began to once again prosper. A Roman consul that was running for election would play on the Roman jealousy by ending all of his speeches with ďI also think that Carthage should be destroyed.Ē In 146 B.C. the last Punic war came to an end with a terrible tragedy, Carthage was burned to the ground, and then the Romans salted all of the Carthaginian fields to make them infertile (ROME the Conquest of the Hellenistic Empires). This was unnecessary, but it was the final tragedy and brought the Punic wars to a close.
The Punic wars affected the entire world, and to this day people study Hannibalís and Scipio Africanusís strategies. These wars will be remembered for the tragedy of Carthage, the perseverance of both Hannibal and Rome, and for Hannibalís masterpiece. In the end the Roman thirst for wealth, land, and power was quenched with their victory over Carthage, and Rome would continue to prosper for another five hundred years.



So, How was it? Any Critique, Spelling or Grammatical errors?
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:13 pm

In academic papers, avoid hyperbole or grandiose turns of phrase. "Mighty Romans" and other similar phrases should be avoided. Also avoid oversimplifications that might get you into trouble. The first sentence is exactly that, it ignores the violence others tried to perpetrate upon Rome in the early Republic, the alliances the Romans formed with neighboring cities and tribes, and the semi-citizenship rights they granted to allied peoples (the "socii"). Use straightforward sentences, try to limit the use of "In 264 B.C." or other similar constructions. Don't be afraid of breaking up larger paragraphs into smaller ones. Be assertive in your writing. Don't confuse the semicolon ; with the colon : . Don't be stingy with the words, make it longer, go into more detail with Scipio, Hannibal, and Cato. Big topics are hard to deal with, since so much of the paper has to summarize events. When writing academic papers, I usually tried to find a way to focus the topic down to individuals or a small piece of the larger picture.

You should mention Fabius's more common name Fabius the Delayer. His tactics were used by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. There is even a page on "Fabian Strategy" in Wikipedia. Your account of his role in the war against Hannibal was a little confusing and left out his co-commander Minucius. This is a very interesting bit of history and should be at least mentioned.

Sorry if I seem too rough. This is a C or B paper. Go for an A! Always go for the win!

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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:59 pm

Since i made the paper i've been revising it with some of the things you stated without reading the post, but my teacher burns papers more then 9 pages because she is lazy >.> So originally i made a lot more about scipio and hannibal.. not so much cato because i don't use wikipedia and couldn't find too much information on him. I tried to narrow it down to a little shorter then that, going to deffinatly take your advice on the whole Hyperboles thing..

Remember frang, this isn't supposed to be college level. I'm unfortunatly in 10 regents, not ap euro. Also, i like Fabius Maximus better then Fabius the Delayer.. Sounds a little bit more Roman and fabius wasn't the important part of the paper Razz Never heard of Minucius, do tell more about him Surprised
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:20 pm

Short version. Minucius was co-commander with Fabius. You gotta keep in mind that military command during the Roman Republic was often the result of politicial pull, not skill on the battlefield. Minucius was able to pull political favors in Rome to get himself named co-commander. He disliked Fabius and wanted a confrontation with Hannibal. Fabius had to rescue him after Minucius almost got himself and his army wiped out. He was a hothead. It's a great story, was introduced to it first as an undergrad, when I was assigned to read Plutarch. The Penguin editions are the best, but you can read a flowery old public domain translation for free here: http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/fabius.html

Sorry to hear about your teacher. Lazy teachers are the worst. You can make up for it by studying on your own. By the way, when it comes time for the SAT/ACT entrance exams, don't believe the talk about not studying for it. You can radically increase your score by studying and using practice exams.

Fabius MAXIMUS does have a better ring to it than Fabius the Delayer. Smile
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:31 pm

Don't worry frang, i'm big on studying. Especially for Global, kinda' my favorite subject.. The hazard family actually goes back to the war of 1812 with Commander Oliver Hazard Perry, and my uncle upon doing a DNA test got results from the Knights Templar and ties with the British monarchy Very Happy

You went to mit? wow man. Nice.

Gunna' look into that story, sounds really interesting.. I'm more of the Carthaginian side myself, but i love the Roman politics and stuff.
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:34 pm

Nope, didn't go to MIT. I went to KSU, WSU, and MU. I have a graduate degree, so you get to go to a lot of schools for that.

I'm impressed with your family tree.

The Roman Republic is endlessly fascinating. The late Republic (from around 133 BC - 31 BC) is where things get really wild. You should read about Julius Caesar sometime, especially when he took on a huge Gallic army at the Battle of Alesia.

Good luck on the paper!
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Deviss on Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:36 pm

JhKlein(2IC)ô wrote:upon doing a DNA test got results from the Knights Templar

Dude I am now jealous, that's pretty cool.

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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:50 pm

@Frang, I love the siege of agencourt.

@Deviss, Yes i know... I'd love to get a DNA test on myself but they are actually pretty expensive apparently.

An another note.. My teacher proof read my paper today, and said less facts and more analysis.. So i said i'd add an intro into who the Carthaginians were, and a conclusion of each war and what happened in between.. You guys got any info? Razz
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Mello on Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:51 pm

Holy hobgoblins my eyes hurt

p.s. pretty good

p.p.s. ok i admit it i didn't read the whole thing Razz

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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:45 pm

Punic War 1.0 Carthage originally a colony of Phoenicians, largely a trade empire. The war started in a weird way, involving allies of both Rome and Carthage. After getting the misfortune of seeing the Roman infantry up close and personal, they decided to use sea power, and got a few victories. They didn't know the Romans too well. This just pissed the Romans off. They built a huge new navy to replace the old one and put ramps on their new ships, in order to bring the whole "Roman infantry stomping your [squirrel!]" to the ocean blue. Total Roman victory. Peace treaty signed. There were other events during ver 1.0 you might or might not want to mention, a mercenary revolt, the general role of mercs in Carthage, and the various allies of Carthage and Rome.

Punic Wars 2.0
This is the big one, the one everyone thinks about. It began because a city in Spain was an ally of Rome. The years before this were a mixed bag, sometimes Carthage and Rome competing against each other, sometimes allies.

Punic Wars 3.0 Cato and his "Carthago delenda est!" Carthage must be destroyed! Romans did just that and later founded a Roman colony near the ruins of old Carthage.

The result of this, Rome was now in control of the entire Mediterranean. 146 BC is one of the most important dates in ancient history. In that year, Carthage was destroyed and Rome won total control of Greece in the Battle of Corinth. Roman dominance of the Mediteranean meant the spread of Roman ideas about government and society to every nation around the Mediterranean. It became a Roman lake. This had a good side and a bad side. The good, piracy and banditry took a nose dive as Roman naval patrols and the Roman army made the seas and highways safe. And I mean highways literally. The Romans began a building program that circled the Mediterranean with paved roads. Some areas began an era of peace that would last for several hundred years. Material prosperity for the people of the Mediterranean improved radically. The bad side, national identities began to disappear and the Romans made slaves of some of the conquered peoples.

Sorry, got carried away. I love this stuff.
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:19 pm

Really your analysis of the 3 i did in much better detail, but your result was quiet amazing. I think i'll have to paraphrase you on some of that Razz
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:25 pm

Thanks! Glad I could help. BTW, I remembered one of the lectures in my medieval history class about agencourt. Though the battle itself is very interesting, the way the English and the French fought was determined by the differences in their respective cultures. Fascinating stuff.
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:01 pm

Wait wait wait, medieval history class? Where can i sign up?

At the moment i'm in Military History, which is a unique course because my teacher wrote and created it (Essay isn't for him, he doesn't care about essay length and is an amazing teacher). But i'd love to hear about these other courses Very Happy

Edit: Though, my favorite history is 1812 i do love that 100 years war. Stupid French didn't win a battle for 80 years!
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:18 pm

Upper division courses at major universities offer not only general surveys of ancient and medieval history, but specific topics on certain kings, dynasties, countries, topics (military history, economic history, Hundred Years' War, Wars of the Reformation, history of science, etc.). The reading load in these classes is very large. Usually you have a general text for the subject or era and five to ten primary sources in translation. Lots of Penguin paperbacks, Penguin having the biggest line of original authors in translation. Lots of fun, lots of work, too.
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:52 pm

Pfft, when i'm into a subject i don't care about the workload. I look forward to college then, seeing as they have lots of courses on topics i'm interested in Razz
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:20 pm

Cool! Be sure to check out the colleges on your list to make sure they meet your needs. I'd recommend a big university, not a community college. Good luck on the paper.
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by Jack on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:55 pm

Well, it's turned in.. just have to do a power point by Tuesday thats atleast 3 - 5 minutes long (super easy).

Thanks SO much frang for your words of advice, i used a lot of your advice and paraphrased your analysis of the three wars.

Once again, Thanks SO much.. The essay thats up there isn't my finale paper, in fact it's the second draft of eight. Smile
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Re: The Punic Wars (due This Friday)

Post by frang on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:56 pm

How it comes back with an "A" attached. Glad to help.
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