Was Reading Destroy Carthage by David Gibbon the other day, and in the book it gave the perspective that Carthage had essentially been reborn, and could have possibly looked to expand again in the 150BCs. Do you think this reflects reality? Could they have ever expanded again given a bit more time to rearm?
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Terikel Grayhair Imperator
posted 04 April 2015 04:29
1 / 3
I doubt it.
The Romans crushed them pretty thoroughly, then in the course of baiting the Numidians to screw up, ended up taking the entire area as a province. They might not have ended Carthage as a city, but the people became Romanized and a vital part of the empire over the course of a few hundred years. Their growing improtance- especially in feeding the multitudes of Rome- would make them valuable, and with all things valuable, under strict guard. It was not for nothing the one legion in all of North Africa was based nearby...
Around the decade of 150 - 140 B.C. Carthage was barely more than a city state with nowhere near the resources it had during the 1st or 2nd Punic Wars. The only way they would be able to rebuild their power base and reestablish their previous prosperity would be if the Romans were distracted by another threat for a considerable period of time, such as a massive revolt in Italy or a protracted war with a foreign power.
I'll post more later after I get off work and more opinions or responses are added in the thread.
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[This message has been edited by DominicusUltimus (edited 04-04-2015 @ 03:01 PM).]
posted 09 April 2015 16:43
3 / 3
Conventional logic says Carthage was essentially dead in the water by the time the Third War rolled around, but that's coming entirely from a Roman perspective and one that tended to view the destruction of Carthage as a bad thing. So it makes sense that you'd want to create a narrative where it was "why did you even bother?"
I don't know if they wanted to actually colonize and take-over the region though. The politics of the Jugurthine War as presented by Sallust makes it sound like the only thing stopping Rome from getting into the war was corruption and bribery, but a reasonable interpretation is that the many in the Senate did not want to get involved in what was clearly an internal dispute.
If Carthage had been allowed to go on its merry way, I think the most likely outcome would have been similar to that in Egypt, where it was eventually turned into a subjugated client kingdom and - considering its prominence and economic power - turned into a directly ruled province.