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Osprey Essential Histories 16 : The Punic Wars 264-146 BC

The three Punic Wars which lasted nearly 100 years, from 264 BC to 146 BC, represented a struggle for supremacy in the Mediterranean between the bludgeoning land power of Rome bent on imperial conquest and the great maritime power of Carthage with its colonies and trading posts spread around the Mediterranean. Because we live in a world that has changed beyond recognition since the days of Carthage and Rome, we tend to measure our differences from them in terms of material developments, such as the exploration of space, nuclear power, information technology and the host of everyday things with which we are surrounded. But since the fundamentals of life and the principles of war remain unchanged, to judge historical relevance through purely material comparisons only leads to us trying to reinvent the wheel instead of building on the past. As the Greek historian Polybius put it' There are only two sources from which any benefit can be derived, our own misfortunes and those which have happened to others.'. Bearing Polybius words in mind, we can then turn with an advantage to the Punic Wars and identify many political and military lessons which are as relevant today as when Hannibal and Scipio Africanus fought to determine the course of history in the Mediterranean. Text by Nigel Bagnall.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Background to War : Two Great Mediterranean Powers
  • Warring Sides : Carthaginian and Roman forces on Land and Sea
  • Outbreak : Collapse of the Third Treaty of Friendship
  • The Fighting : The Three Punic Wars
  • Portrait of a Soldier : Hannibal Barcid and Scipio Africanus
  • The World around War : The Political, Social and Economic Impact
  • Portrait of a Civilian : Carthaginian Trade : A Roman Senator
  • Conclusion and Consequences : Expansionism and the Disposition for War
  • Glossary of Names
  • Further Reading
  • Index

 

Osprey Essential Histories


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