Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and the Phoenician city of Carthage. They are known as the "Punic" Wars because Rome's name for Carthaginians was Punici (older Poenici, due to their Phoenician ancestry).
The primary purpose of the Punic Wars was Roman territorial expansion. The Romans were particularly interested in the Carthaginian ports. At the start of the first Punic War, Carthage was the ascendant power of the Mediterranean, with an extensive maritime empire, while Rome was rapidly rising in prominence as the dominant power in Italy. By the conclusion of the third war, Rome had conquered Carthage's entire empire and razed the city itself to the ground, becoming in the process the most powerful state of the Mediterranean.
- The First Punic War (264 BC - 241 BC) was primarily a naval war.
- The Second Punic War (218 BC - 202 BC) is famous for Hannibal's crossing of the Alps.
- The Third Punic War (149 BC - 146 BC) resulted in the destruction of Carthage.
Also see ancient warfare.
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