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Gavin Krebs Due December 13, 2017

Latin 1 Midterm Research Project

The history of Roman battles and wars goes far back to The First Punic Wars which

started in 264 BCE. The first Punic Wars consisted of many battles fought between the Romans

and the Carthaginian Empire. Over time, the Roman Empire learned to adapt to specific

challenges and situations to defeat their enemies. Ancient Rome is responsible for some tactics

used today in modern military. Ancient Roman battles have impacted the Roman Empire greatly

throughout its time causing Ancient Rome to develop many newer technologies with weapons to

try and efficiently conquer many more lands. (1,2,3)

The first Punic Wars was a large series of battles fought of the island of Sicily. The

Carthaginian Empire had control over half Sicily and the Roman Empire had the other half when

the first Punic Wars started. The Roman Empire wanted to have control over Sicily since it was

an ideal trading location that Rome would be able to take advantage of. The Romans fought

fiercely against the Carthaginians who were under the command of Hamilcar Barca. This battle

was known as the battle of Sicily. The battle consisted of naval battling. Since the Romans had

a severe lack of knowledge when it came to ships, they tried their best to make the naval battles

like land battles as much as possible. They were able to quickly build 330 ships in time for the

naval battles. The Romans developed their strategy by using hooks to hold their enemies ship in

place so that they could then board the other ship and turn the naval battle into a land battle. The

Romans were defeated by Barca and the Carthaginians at Drepana in 249 BCE. Barca was

forced to withdraw from the control of Rome due to his lack of supplies. After few years of little

activity with battles and peace, the Roman Empire improved its ships and naval tactics. In 254

BCE, the Roman Empire attacked the Carthaginians again with more experience and the
Carthaginians decided to create a treaty with Rome. The Carthaginian government was in pieces

after receiving a pause in war with Rome which lasted until 241 BCE. Even though Rome was

not attacking Carthage, Carthage had struggled greatly. (3, 4)

The Carthaginian government was not stable and it no longer had a strong way to defend

itself. The government had failed to pay the mercenary army which meant that Carthage lacked

a military and an army. Rome had become masters of the sea during this time and Carthage was

in trouble. In 241 BCE, the mercenary armies of Carthage turned against the city since they

were not getting any reward for their work. This civil battle in Carthage went on from 241-237

BCE. This battle in Carthage was forgotten and had its attention turned to Spain by convincing

the people of Carthage to conquer Spain instead of fending off Rome. Carthage was able to

conquer most of Spain and decided to help create a better relationship with Rome. In 226 BCE,

Carthage and Rome signed the Ebro Treaty which created peace between Rome and Carthage. It

also stated that Rome would receive part of Spanish territory north of the Ebro River, and

Carthage would receive the other areas that they had already conquered. (2, 3, 4)

The second Punic War started when Carthage decided to invade a Roman ally, Saguntum,

located south of Carthage territory. The siege was led by Hamilcar’s son, Hannibal. Rome

objected the attack of its ally and ordered to have the Carthaginian general sent to Rome. The

Carthaginian government refused to do as Rome commanded, and as a result, the second Punic

War broke out. Hannibal realized Rome was after him, so he decided to lead an army over the

Alps and head into northern Italy to get former Roman allies to side with him. In the Battle of

Zama, Hannibal was caught due to lack of durable transportation such as elephants. Quintus

Fabius Maximus was able to cut Hannibal’s supply lines and Hannibal’s army died due to

starvation. Hannibal had decided to spread rumors about Quintus and how he was secretly allied
with Carthage so Rome would turn against Quintus. Rome later replaced Quintus with Caius

Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paulus. (3 and 5)

The Roman Empire had many hard battles and wars fought. Even when the Roman

Empire had major disadvantages and new challenges, the Romans decided to take the challenges

as opportunities to advance their technologies and adapt to their surroundings. When the

Carthaginian Empire fought naval battles against the Romans, the Romans had absolutely no

knowledge of how a ship should be built. The Romans never surrendered and decided to make

the best of their situation and ended up being, arguably, the best naval battlers. When the

Carthaginian Empire wanted to create peace with the Roman Empire, the talked Rome into

relocating and expanding into new lands laid out for them. When Carthage broke the peace

treaty, they thought that they could get away with it, but Rome had tactics too clever for the

Carthaginians. This shows how the Roman Empire felt comfortable in any situation by making

the best of it. The battles and wars that the Roman Empire fought in never had the same

storyline to it. The Romans always took different and unique strategies when they fought their

enemies and always were able to take their enemy by surprise. The battles that the Roman

Empire fought in shaped Rome’s culture and lifestyle. This goes to show the significance of

Roman battles and how they impacted Roman lifestyle.

Works cited:

(1) https://www.ancient.eu/Roman_Army/

(2) http://listverse.com/2008/07/31/10-most-decisive-ancient-battles/

(3) https://www.ancient.eu/Punic_Wars/

(4) https://www.britannica.com/event/First-Punic-War

(5) https://www.thoughtco.com/battles-of-the-second-punic-war-120460