Ancient Cities


Book Details

Author  Charles River Editors
Publisher  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date   September 4, 2013
ISBN  1492332933
Pages  40

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*Includes pictures depicting important people and places.
*Comprehensively covers Carthage's rise and fall, including the Punic Wars.
*Includes a bibliography for further reading.
“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.” (“Furthermore, I consider it imperative that Carthage be destroyed.”) - Cato the Elder
At its peak, the wealthy Carthaginian empire dominated the Mediterranean against the likes of Greece and Rome, with commercial enterprises and influence stretching from Spain to Turkey, and at several points in history it had a very real chance of replacing the fledgling Roman empire or the failing Greek poleis (city-states) altogether as master of the Mediterranean. Although Carthage by far preferred to exert economic pressure and influence before resorting to direct military power (and even went so far as to rely primarily on mercenary armies paid with its vast wealth for much of its history, it nonetheless produced a number of outstanding generals, from the likes of Hanno Magnus to, of course, the great bogeyman of Roman nightmares himself: Hannibal. Through clever use of force projection, both by maintaining a large and very active navy to dominate the seaborne routes along which most of their vast trading empire’s lifeblood flowed and by paying allies with gold or recruiting mercenary armies to fight for them, Carthage was able to go from a minor Phoenician settlement to one of the most powerful trading empires of antiquity.
However, the Carthaginians’ foreign policy had one fatal flaw; they had a knack over the centuries of picking the worst enemies they could possibly enter into conflict with. The first serious clash of civilizations which Carthage was involved with was Greece. Unfortunately for the Carthaginians, it would not endure the next major confrontation. Certain foreign policy decisions led to continuing enmity between Carthage and the burgeoning power of Rome, and what followed was a series of wars which turned from a battle for Mediterranean hegemony into an all-out struggle for survival, with Hannibal crossing the Alps and threatening Rome itself during the Second Punic War and Roman legions smashing Carthage to rubble at the end of the Third Punic War. As legend has it, the Romans literally salted the ground upon which Carthage stood to ensure its destruction once and for all.
Despite having a major influence on the Mediterranean for nearly five centuries, little evidence of Carthage’s past might survives. The city itself was reduced virtually to nothing by the Romans, who sought to erase all physical evidence of its existence, and though its ruins have been excavated they have not provided anywhere near the wealth of archaeological items or evidence as ancient locations like Rome, Athens, Syracuse, or even Troy. Today, Carthage is a largely unremarkable suburb of the city of Tunis, and though there are some impressive ancient monuments there for tourists to explore, the large majority of these are the result of later Roman settlement.
Ancient Cities: The History of Carthage comprehensively covers the history of Rome’s famous rival, analyzing the rise and fall of the Carthaginian empire. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Carthage like you never have before, in no time at all.

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