The Struggle with Carthage

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1 The Struggle with Carthage Rome began as a small city-state in central Italy. It expanded its power and conquered a large area around the Mediterranean Sea, but its system of government did not survive this change. Rome fought Carthage for control of the western Mediterranean in a series of three wars. These are known as the Punic Wars. Carthage was a city in North Africa that also controlled parts of Spain and Sicily. The second of Rome s wars with Carthage nearly destroyed the Roman republic. Hannibal, Carthage s most successful general, led his city s troops. In 218 BCE he launched a daring strike. He marched from Spain into Italy over the Alps mountains with 40,000 soldiers and about 40 war elephants. Despite the dangerous trip, his army reached Italy. Through clever tactics, Hannibal defeated three armies the Romans set against him. He probably expected Rome to give up after these crushing defeats. But the Romans desperately kept up the fight, year after year. They wore down Hannibal s men. In 204 BCE, the Roman general Scipio crossed the sea into Africa. His army attacked Carthage. Hannibal had to sail home from Italy to protect his city. In Africa, Scipio defeated Hannibal and won the war. The Struggle with Carthage Rome began as a small city-state in central Italy. It expanded its power and conquered a large area around the Mediterranean Sea, but its system of government did not survive this change. Rome fought Carthage for control of the western Mediterranean in a series of three wars. These are known as the Punic Wars. Carthage was a city in North Africa that also controlled parts of Spain and Sicily. The second of Rome s wars with Carthage nearly destroyed the Roman republic. Hannibal, Carthage s most successful general, led his city s troops. In 218 BCE he launched a daring strike. He marched from Spain into Italy over the Alps mountains with 40,000 soldiers and about 40 war elephants. Despite the dangerous trip, his army reached Italy. Through clever tactics, Hannibal defeated three armies the Romans set against him. He probably expected Rome to give up after these crushing defeats. But the Romans desperately kept up the fight, year after year. They wore down Hannibal s men. In 204 BCE, the Roman general Scipio crossed the sea into Africa. His army attacked Carthage. Hannibal had to sail home from Italy to protect his city. In Africa, Scipio defeated Hannibal and won the war. Source: CONTINUE ON THE BACK Source: CONTINUE ON THE BACK

2 Although Rome had defeated Hannibal, many Romans still feared Carthage. One famous senator ended every speech with the words, Carthage must be destroyed. Rome attacked Carthage in 146 BCE. Roman troops burned and looted the city. They sold its people into slavery. Rome now controlled most of the lands along the western half of the Mediterranean Sea. Rome also sent its armies to the east. They conquered Greece and parts of southwest Asia. Rome did not yet have an emperor, but it ruled an empire, or a state containing several countries or territories. It was divided into provinces, or areas within a country or empire. Roman magistrates were sent out to govern these provinces. Many governors were corrupt and cruel. Although Rome had defeated Hannibal, many Romans still feared Carthage. One famous senator ended every speech with the words, Carthage must be destroyed. Rome attacked Carthage in 146 BCE. Roman troops burned and looted the city. They sold its people into slavery. Rome now controlled most of the lands along the western half of the Mediterranean Sea. Rome also sent its armies to the east. They conquered Greece and parts of southwest Asia. Rome did not yet have an emperor, but it ruled an empire, or a state containing several countries or territories. It was divided into provinces, or areas within a country or empire. Roman magistrates were sent out to govern these provinces. Many governors were corrupt and cruel.

3 Growing Pains Conquest brought Rome power and wealth. But it also caused problems. In the later years of the republic, magistrates often became very wealthy by stealing from people in the provinces and looting the rich foreign enemies they fought overseas. Wealth made them more powerful at home. Because politicians could become so powerful in this way, they became willing to break the rules of politics or use violence to win elections. Government slowly stopped working. Although Rome was growing richer, many Romans were growing poorer. Landowners and employers bought slaves to do work that used to be done by poor Romans. Tenant farmers lost their livelihood. Poor people came to the city in search of work. The government feared that Rome s poor could riot or start a revolution. It gave out free grain to keep the peace. Some politicians supported reforms. They appealed to the poor to win office. More traditional elite politicians opposed them. Politicians from these two sides supported gangs that fought one another in the streets. In 123 BCE, the tribune Tiberius Gracchus tried to give land to the poor. His opponents killed him. His brother Gaius later died in the same struggle. Gaius Marius (not the same Gaius as mentioned above) was a powerful consul. He reformed, or changed and improved, the Roman army. Until around 100 BCE, only citizens who could afford their own armor served in the military. But Marius allowed even the poorest citizens to join. The government paid for their equipment. This made the army larger and more professional. It also helped the poor. These new soldiers stayed in the army for many years. When they retired, they needed land to support themselves. They relied on their commander to make the government give it to them. As a result, soldiers became more loyal to their commander than to the government. Growing Pains Conquest brought Rome power and wealth. But it also caused problems. In the later years of the republic, magistrates often became very wealthy by stealing from people in the provinces and looting the rich foreign enemies they fought overseas. Wealth made them more powerful at home. Because politicians could become so powerful in this way, they became willing to break the rules of politics or use violence to win elections. Government slowly stopped working. Although Rome was growing richer, many Romans were growing poorer. Landowners and employers bought slaves to do work that used to be done by poor Romans. Tenant farmers lost their livelihood. Poor people came to the city in search of work. The government feared that Rome s poor could riot or start a revolution. It gave out free grain to keep the peace. Some politicians supported reforms. They appealed to the poor to win office. More traditional elite politicians opposed them. Politicians from these two sides supported gangs that fought one another in the streets. In 123 BCE, the tribune Tiberius Gracchus tried to give land to the poor. His opponents killed him. His brother Gaius later died in the same struggle. Gaius Marius (not the same Gaius as mentioned above) was a powerful consul. He reformed, or changed and improved, the Roman army. Until around 100 BCE, only citizens who could afford their own armor served in the military. But Marius allowed even the poorest citizens to join. The government paid for their equipment. This made the army larger and more professional. It also helped the poor. These new soldiers stayed in the army for many years. When they retired, they needed land to support themselves. They relied on their commander to make the government give it to them. As a result, soldiers became more loyal to their commander than to the government.

4 From Republic to Empire The republic s military commanders used their new power. They turned their armies against their rivals and the senate. Rome had its first civil war, or war between groups from the same country. In 87 BCE, the commander Sulla was chosen to fight a rich enemy. But an assembly voted to take the position and give it to Marius. Sulla marched his troops to Rome to get his job back by force. He fought and won a civil war against Marius and his supporters. Sulla ruled as dictator for more than a year before he retired. New commanders rose up to take Sulla s place. Gnaeus Pompey conquered parts of southwest Asia. Gaius Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. The two men teamed up and used their influence to run the government together, ignoring laws and customs. But later the two commanders fought. The senate sided with Pompey. It ordered Caesar to give up his legions. But the troops were loyal to Caesar, who marched his army across the Rubicon River into Italy. This began a civil war. Caesar s army defeated Pompey and the senate. Caesar took control of Rome. He used his power to help the poor. But he also made himself dictator for life. This angered many senators, who wanted to keep the republic as it was. A group of senators murdered Caesar on a day called the Ides of March, or March 15th, in 44 BCE. Caesar s death did not save the republic. In his will, Caesar made his teenage relative Octavian his heir. Octavian became a leader of Caesar s many followers. He swore to avenge Caesar s death. He defeated Caesar s murderers in another civil war. Later, Octavian defeated his main rival, Mark Antony, and Antony s ally Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt. By 30 BCE, he ruled Rome. With Octavian s victory, the republic was dead. It was replaced by a monarchy, the Roman Empire. Octavian became the first emperor. He took the title Augustus, meaning venerable or greatly honored one. It was used by later Roman emperors as well. From Republic to Empire The republic s military commanders used their new power. They turned their armies against their rivals and the senate. Rome had its first civil war, or war between groups from the same country. In 87 BCE, the commander Sulla was chosen to fight a rich enemy. But an assembly voted to take the position and give it to Marius. Sulla marched his troops to Rome to get his job back by force. He fought and won a civil war against Marius and his supporters. Sulla ruled as dictator for more than a year before he retired. New commanders rose up to take Sulla s place. Gnaeus Pompey conquered parts of southwest Asia. Gaius Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. The two men teamed up and used their influence to run the government together, ignoring laws and customs. But later the two commanders fought. The senate sided with Pompey. It ordered Caesar to give up his legions. But the troops were loyal to Caesar, who marched his army across the Rubicon River into Italy. This began a civil war. Caesar s army defeated Pompey and the senate. Caesar took control of Rome. He used his power to help the poor. But he also made himself dictator for life. This angered many senators, who wanted to keep the republic as it was. A group of senators murdered Caesar on a day called the Ides of March, or March 15th, in 44 BCE. Caesar s death did not save the republic. In his will, Caesar made his teenage relative Octavian his heir. Octavian became a leader of Caesar s many followers. He swore to avenge Caesar s death. He defeated Caesar s murderers in another civil war. Later, Octavian defeated his main rival, Mark Antony, and Antony s ally Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt. By 30 BCE, he ruled Rome. With Octavian s victory, the republic was dead. It was replaced by a monarchy, the Roman Empire. Octavian became the first emperor. He took the title Augustus, meaning venerable or greatly honored one. It was used by later Roman emperors as well.

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