The Punic Wars

There were three Punic wars fought between ancient Rome and Carthage. The first lasted from 263 to 241 B.C. The origins of the First Punic War are rather murky, and it would seem that the Romans and the Carthaginians blundered into it. The catalyst was the city of Messana which had been conquered by an […]

Justice in Ancient Rome and Justice in the Modern American Republic

The trial of the century took place in Rome in 70 B.C. It featured the two most renowned legal minds of the day, the up and coming thirty-six year old Marcus Tullius Cicero for the prosecution, and the venerable Quintus Hortensius Hortalus for the defense. The defendant was Gaius Verres, formerly governor of the province […]

Quora Question: Who was Hannibal Barca and What Books Should I Read to Learn More About Him?

Who was Hannibal Barca? Which book should I read to learn more about him? Robin Levin · During the third and second centuries B.C. the ancient civilizations of Rome in Italy and Carthage in North Africa fought three wars, these are known as the Punic wars-the word Punic comes from the Roman word for Phoenician […]

If a Roman General Ordered Decimation, What Would Have Happened if the Legionaries Refused to Comply?

If a legion ordered to perform decimation refused to comply, the other legions under the commander would be brought into action. It is quite possible that the entire mutinous legion would be killed. The Romans took mutiny very seriously. In 206 B.C. Publius Cornelius Scipio faced a mutiny among the soldiers at his base at […]

How Did the Romans Overtake the Greeks

A good book to read on this subject is Taken at the Flood by Robin Waterfield. At the end of the third century B.C. most of the Greek cities were under the rule of two successor kingdoms to Alexander the Great; the Macedonian Empire, and the Seleucid Empire. Macedonia, under king Philip V, had sided […]

Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Destroys Carthage.

When the Roman Senate made the decision to destroy Carthage in 149 B.C. the elected Consuls were Lucius Marcius Censorius and Marcus Manilius. They brought an army of 80,000 Roman legionaries. They demanded that the Carthaginians abandon their city and move at least ten miles from the coast. The Carthaginians, who had previously given in […]

Quora Question: What Was the Greatest Military Comeback in History

I’d have to give that to the Romans in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginian general Hannibal brought an army over the Alps in 218 B.C. During the next two years he won four battles: Ticinus, 2300 Roman casualties, Roman Consul wounded. Trebia 28,000 Roman Casualties. Trasimene, 15,000 Romans killed, 15,000 captured, Roman Consul killed. […]

Why Did Rome Spare the City of Carthage after the Second Punic War and then Destroy it Fifty Years Later?

It was Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus who finally defeated Hannibal at the end of the Second Punic war. He imposed Roman terms on the city. They were generous terms in that they allowed Carthage autonomy with their own laws and government. The treaty forced Carthage to destroy all but five of their battleships, stop training […]

How Does the Political System in Ancient Rome Differ from That of Modern Day America

How was Roman democracy different from American democracy? Robin Levin, The Roman Republic was not a democracy. It was a plutocratic oligarchy. And the U.S. Republic is also not a true democracy, it is also a plutocratic oligarchy. The Greek historian Polybius, lived in the second century B.C. and spent seventeen years as a hostage […]

What Role Did the Berbers (Numidians) Play in the Destruction of Carthage?

The Romans called the native peoples of North Africa Numidians, which meant nomads. They were distinct from the Carthaginians who were descended from Phoenician colonists. The Numidians provided the Carthaginians with mercenaries, and at the start of the Second Punic War in 218 B.C. both major tribes, the Masaesyli under King Syphax and the Massylii […]