Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization Read ☆ 104

Summary Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization

Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization Read ☆ 104 Ý The devastating struggle to the death between Rome and Carthage was one of the bloodiest dramas of the Ancient WorldIn an epic series of battles both mighty empires vied for supremacy of the Mediterranean beforeThe devastating struggle to the death between Rome and Carthage was one of the bloodiest dramas of the Ancient WorldIn an epic series of battles both mighty empires vied for supremacy of the Mediterranean before the Carthag. From our view point of history we can see that Carthage would be destroyedTo the people of that time no one was knew which city would rule the Mediterranean Carthage or Rome The sacred chickens drinkIn 249 BC the Roman consul Publius Claudius Pulcher–a man variously described as being mentally unstable an arrogant snob and a drunk–decided to launch an attack on the Carthaginian held port of Drepana The mission got off to a rocky start when the sacred chickens used to gauge divine favour went off their feed prompting the impetuous Claudius to throw them overboard with the pithy remark that perhaps they were thirstyIf they won't eat then let them drinkHe then went on to lose the battle By the third century BC Rome was on the rise and showing an almost insatiable hunger for conuest; the empires drifted into the first Punic war less for reasons of strategy and for lack of political will to prevent it Rome's nemesis came in the form of Hannibal a ruthless and daring general Departing from Spain in 218BC with 50000 troops Hannibal attempted the unthinkable to invade Italy by land marching through Spain France and the trackless snow covered Alps meeting hostile tribesmen at every turn For all his audacious battles Hannibal still lost to the determined RomansThey make a desolation and they call it peaceThat was the end of CarthageEnjoy

Richard Miles Ú 4 Read

Inians finally buckled and their great capital city was razed to the ground burning for 6 days and nights its inhabitants slaughtered or enslavedCarthage Must Be Destroyed tells the story of this lost empire from its origin. Carthage has always been a background character in my personal narrative of history I vaguely knew it had been there for a few hundred years when its wars with Rome started I loved the story of Cato's Delenda est speeches in the Roman Senate and as a fan of military history I had read a few accounts of Hannibal's amazing victory at Cannae I knew that Dido mythic ueen of Carthage was a major character in Vergil's Aeneid And that was pretty much the extent of itBeyond all that I always had a sense feeling than thought that Carthage was somehow other not a part of the great Graeco Roman Mediterranean civilization that is a direct ancestor of my own There was something alien and vaguely decadent or corrupt about it As it turns out I had succumbed to 2000 year old Roman propaganda This book beautifully lays out the case for the critical role of Carthage and of the Phoenician culture of which it was the last bastion in the broader cultural history of the Mediterranean world Indeed the author had me hooked when in his introduction he uoted a few historians making disparaging remarks about the paucity of lasting Phoenician contributions to nearby civilizations and then rather diffidently pointed out that all of these authors wrote their condemnations in alphabets derived from Phoenician That does rather call the whole small contribution claim into uestion doesn't itThe book does a masterful job of narrating the history of the founding growth trade and cultural relations colonial expansion wars and eventual defeat of Carthage This is a difficult task thanks to the relative lack of primary Carthaginian sources Most of the texts we have that describe Carthage and its colonies were written by its foes and thus rather predictably are often myth and propaganda than fact The author combines careful analysis of those sources with archaeology trade records religious syncretism and a dozen other sources to build solid conjectures about how Carthaginian society worked both in Carthage itself and in its clients and colonies in places like Sicily Sardinia and Spain It's a fascinating picture similar to the Greek trade empire but with intriguing crucial differencesObviously a book like this is going to end up covering the Punic Wars and the Roman destruction of Carthage as its climax and the author does a wonderful job of providing the economic political cultural and personal factors that led to each strategy and to the outcome of each campaign The battle for religious legitimacy between Scipio and Hannibal is absolutely amazing; I didn't know that armies conducted hearts and minds campaigns in the 2nd century BCE When the end comes for Carthage it is excruciating; even knowing the outlines of what happened I was freshly appalled by the Roman perfidy and cruelty involvedAs a coda the author discusses how later Roman sources used the story of Carthage in different ways either as a warning that the great may always fall or as a proof of Rome's divine destiny to rule I was astonished to learn that Vergil was a bit transgressive in the Aeneid Dido displays all the key Roman virtues of honesty faithfulness and hospitality while Aeneas resorts to lying and sneaking away when he decides that he must fulfill his destiny in Italy I'm rather surprised Vergil didn't get in trouble for writing this during the reign of AugustusIn short this book has opened my eyes to a world that was always at the dim edge of my understanding of classical Mediterranean history Read this book and you will find marvels awaiting you

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Carthage Must Be Destroyed The Rise and Fall of an Ancient CivilizationS in Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest sea power of its age and brings to life legendary figures such as the military genius Hannibal who almost toppled Roman power but would ultimately lead to his people to disaste. highly recommend Miles’ book for his reconstruction of Carthage’s history while trying to minimize the Romans' filter For one example of this filter even our terminology for the civilization and culture Punic comes with its own baggage since Romans used the term in a pejorative and disparaging context Miles spends time on the background and history of Phoenicia showing how the expansion to Carthage and other areas in the west were motivated by survival rather than greed or glory The view toward the Phoenicians by the Greeks seems to have been a mixed bag There is evidence of Phoenician and Greek cooperation in trade and settlements as the goals of the two states were complementary in some areas Yet as some lines in the Iliad and the Odyssey show there seem to be negative attitudes toward the Phoenicians maybe as a result of the commercial rivalry or in differing views on colonial expansion In later writings Aristotle praised Carthage’s government as excellent while Plato presented Carthage as a well ordered state Carthage’s aims were constantly misrepresented by those that felt threatened by their expansion With the rise to power of the tyrant Agathocles in Syracuse in the 320s BC “Once the totally erroneous but seductive idea that the Sicilian wars conflicts between Carthage and Greek backed Syracuse were a western extension of the age old struggle between the civilization of Greece and the dark forces of the barbarian East would have renewed capital” The resulting war with Agathocles even though ultimately successful would highlight at least two structural problems for Carthage which would return to haunt them during the Punic Wars with Rome The first problem was their reliance on mercenary armies and their unreliability The second problem developed as these armies would become mostly independent institutions outside the control of Carthage’s government Carthage and Rome had been on the same side during one of many Sicilian skirmishes but Carthage misplayed its role and Rome established a secure base in Syracuse From here although neither side seemed to desire war both sides continued expansionist policies that guaranteed conflict Or as Miles puts it “In fact the main antagonists of the First Punic War drifted into the conflict less for reasons of grand strategy and for the lack of political will to prevent it”Miles does a good job of following the Punic Wars providing enough detail about the conflicts for the reader to follow without getting bogged down in minutiae At the same time he shows how Carthage’s and Rome’s political actions fit into an central arc that guaranteed continuing war Also of importance he lays out how the different government structures meant very differing approaches to war One example of the differences Rome with its generalsconsuls having only a one year term would be aggressive in order to conclude a decisive action Carthaginian generals elected for an open term could “dictate the pace and style of the conflict and the Romans could do little about it” As it turns out during the Second Punic War a change to a temporary autocrat which was allowed by the Roman constitution during an extreme crisis would allow Rome to pursue longer term strategies against Hannibal and emerge victoriousIn the wake of the First Punic War Carthage underwent a political transformation that no longer balanced aristocratic oligarchic and democratic factions in the manner that Aristotle had admired Foreign policy now became an extension of the factional struggles within and outside the government or even carried out by the military with the government along for the ride Regarding Hannibal the Roman historian Cassius Dio would so astutely point out “He was not sent forth in the beginning by the magistrates at home nor later did he obtain any great assistance from them For although they were to enjoy no slight glory and benefit from his efforts they wished rather not to appear to be leaving him in the lurch than to cooperate effectively in any enterprise”Miles also reviews how ancient historians covered the Punic Wars and how their biases and mistaken assumptions are reflected in their work Polybius for example visits the area surrounding the Alps and interviews the locals before writing off Hannibal’s mountain crossing as an ordinary occurrence Polybius fails to take into account that the locals he interviewed were Roman settlers relocated after the Second Punic War instead of the Celts that fought Hannibal before he even made it to the Alps There were writers such as Philinus a Sicilian Greek who were sympathetic to Carthage and their views would provide a little influence over later historians Miles makes a convincing display regarding the propaganda used during the conflicts most notably by Hannibal and its effectiveness both at the time and echoed later But Rome as the winner would be able to shape not just the history of Carthage but also their pre history through the works of Roman epic poets The Punic Wars became cast as divinely ordained battles tied to Rome’s and Carthage’s founding The Aeneas legend was well in place before Virgil but Miles shows how The Aeneid added dramatic flair in addition to fashioning a new Rome under AugustusMiles makes clear that “a constant presence throughout this book is the great hero Heracles or Hercules” While Heracles was associated with the Punic god Melart and Hannibal chose Heracles Melart as the figurehead of his campaigns the importance of this tie in can feel overstated at times I understand where Miles was going with this approach and agree with many aspects of it but the Heracles presence or influence works symbolically than practically and to be fair Miles notes this on some of his tie ins Also I wanted to note that anyone wanting a history of Rome or a detailed military history should go elsewhere Carthage Must Be Destroyed is truly about the rise and fall of that ancient civilization and while Rome and the battles are given adeuate detail and background the amount included is appropriate for focusing on Carthage’s history While mentioning that Carthage “featured prominently in Roman literature and history throughout antiuity” and providing several of the famous or maybe accessible examples I would have loved to seen even instances the footnote on this uote points to another book of his which I may have to seekI’ll close with the book’s concluding paragraphs with a couple of publishing typos fixed which look at the role Carthage played in Rome’s development points that Miles supports throughout the book“It is impossible to assess the debt that Rome owed to Carthage with the same confidence as for the debt to Greece We can clearly trace the impact of Greek art science literature etc on Roman culture indeed educated Romans were often happy to acknowledge that influence Carthage however was afforded no such place in the Roman cultural canon This had little to do with any lack of originality but was at least partly the result of the phenomenal success that the Greeks had in claiming sole ownership of advances that had in fact been the result of centuries of exchange and cross fertilization The cultural marginalization of Carthage was a Greek achievement the city’s destruction a Roman one“Carthage did however play an important role in the development of the Roman Empire Rome hugely benefited from the appropriation of the economic and political infrastructure that Carthage had previously put in place in the central and western Mediterranean In Sardinia Sicily North Africa and Spain the Romans inherited not wild virgin lands but a politically economically and culturally joined up world which was Carthage’s greatest achievement“Less tangible but eually important was the key role that Carthage played in the creation of a Roman national character The brutal destruction of the city gave the Romans the freedom to transform Carthage into the villainous antitype against which the ‘Roman’ virtues of faithfulness piety and duty could be applauded As long as the Romans needed proof of their greatness the memory of Carthage would never die”