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You may have heard of D-Day, the battle of Hastings, and Waterloo, however do you recognize their historic significance? Embark top top a historic journey of warfare in this quiz.
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The proximate cause of the first outbreak was a crisis in the city the Messana (Messina), commanding the straits in between Italy and also Sicily. The Mamertini, a tape of Campanian mercenaries, had forcibly established themselves in ~ the town and also were being tough pressed in 264 by Hieron II of Syracuse. The Mamertini appealed come both Rome and also Carthage, and also the Carthaginians, getting here first, occupied Messana and also effected a reconciliation v Hieron. The roman commander, nevertheless, persisted in throwing troops right into the city, and, through seizing the Carthaginian admiral during a parley, induced him come withdraw. This aggression provoked war through Carthage and also Syracuse.

Operations began with a joint assault upon Messana, i beg your pardon the Romans conveniently repelled. In 263 the Romans progressed with a substantial force right into Hieron’s territory and induced the to seek peace and alliance v them. They besieged and also captured the Carthaginian base at Agrigentum in 262 however made tiny impression top top the Carthaginian fortresses in the west the the island and also upon the towns of the interior.


In 260 the Romans constructed their an initial large fleet of typical battleships. In ~ Mylae (Milazzo), off the phibìc Sicilian coast, their admiral Gaius Duilius defeated a Carthaginian squadron of superior maneuvering capacity by grappling and boarding. This left Rome complimentary to land a pressure on Corsica (259) and expel the Carthaginians however did not suffice to ease their grasp on Sicily. A big Roman fleet cruised out in 256, repelled the entire Carthaginian fleet off Cape Ecnomus (near modern-day Licata) and also established a strengthened camp top top African floor at Clypea (Kélibia in Tunisia). The Carthaginians, whose citizens levy to be utterly disorganized, might neither store the field versus the intruders nor prevent their topics from revolting. ~ one project they were prepared to sue because that peace, but the terms which the roman commander Marcus Atilius Regulus available were intolerably harsh. Accordingly they equipped a brand-new army in which, through the advice that a Greek captain the mercenaries called Xanthippus, cavalry and elephants formed the the strongest arm. In 255, under Xanthippus’ command, they readily available battle to Regulus, who had actually taken up position with an inadequate force near Tunis, outmaneuvered him, and also destroyed the mass of his army. A 2nd Roman fleet, which subsequently got to Africa after defeating the complete Carthaginian fleet off Cape Hermaeum (Sharīk Peninsula), withdrew all the remaining troops.


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Roman battle galley
A Roman battle galley v infantry ~ above deck; in the Vatican Museums.
Alinari/Art Resource, brand-new York

The Romans now directed their efforts once an ext against Sicily. In 254 they captured the important fortress of Panormus (Palermo), yet when Carthage threw reinforcements into the island the battle again concerned a standstill. In 251 or 250 the Roman basic Lucius Caecilius Metellus at last brought around a pitched fight near Panormus in i beg your pardon the enemy’s pressure was efficiently crippled. This success was adhered to by an invest of the cook Punic base at Lilybaeum (Marsala), along with Drepanum (Trapani), by land and sea. The besiegers met v a gallant resistance and also in 249 were compelled to withdraw by the ns of your fleet in a surprise attack upon Drepanum, in i m sorry the admiral Publius Claudius Pulcher was repulsed with a ns of 93 ships. When this to be the Romans’ only naval loss in the war, your fleet had suffered a series of grievous accident by storm, and now it was so lessened that the assault upon Sicily had actually to be suspended. In ~ the same time, the Carthaginians, that felt no much less severely the financial strain of the lengthy struggle, diminished their forces and made no attempt to deliver a counterattack. The just noteworthy attribute of the ensuing projects is the skillful guerrilla war waged through a new Carthaginian commander, Hamilcar Barca, from his solid positions on Mt. Ercte (247–244) and also Mt. Eryx (modern Erice) (244–242) in west Sicily, by which he effectually screened Lilybaeum from any kind of attempt on the by the roman land army.

In 242 Rome resumed operations in ~ sea. By a magnificent effort on the component of personal citizens a fleet that 200 warships to be equipped and also sent the end to renew the blockade of Lilybaeum. The Carthaginians hastily gathered a relief force, but in a fight fought turn off the Aegates Insulae (Egadi Islands), west the Drepana, their fleet was recorded at a disadvantage and mostly sunk or recorded (March 10, 241). This victory, by giving the Romans undisputed command that the sea, rendered particular the ultimate loss of the Punic strongholds in Sicily. The Carthaginians as necessary opened negotiations and also consented come a peace by which they ceded Sicily and the Lipari (Eolie) archipelago to Rome and paid an indemnity that 3,200 talents.

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The interval in between the very first and 2nd Punic battles (241–218 bce)

The lose of naval dominance not just deprived the Carthaginians of your predominance in the west Mediterranean but exposed your overseas empire to disintegration under renewed attacks by Rome. The temper of the Roman human being was quickly made manifest during a problem which broke out between the Carthaginians and their discontented mercenaries. A pistol breach that the treaty to be perpetrated as soon as a Roman pressure was sent out to occupy Sardinia, whose insurgent garrison had readily available to surrender the island (238). Come the remonstrances the Carthage the Romans responded with a straight declaration of war, and only withheld their attack upon the official cession that Sardinia and Corsica and also the payment the a further indemnity.