The Relationship Between Rome and Carthage

The Relationship Between Rome and Carthage


The text discusses the relationship between Rome and Carthage, which began with a friendly treaty struck in 507 BC, prohibiting certain actions. It then explores various contributing factors to Rome’s rise to power, such as the need for military glory by senators and financial incentives for warfare. The First Punic War broke out in 264 BC over control of Sicily, leading to Rome’s victory and the establishment of its first overseas province. The text examines Flaubert’s novel Salammbô and the challenges of representing Carthaginians. Finally, Carthage’s attempts to establish itself in North Africa and Iberia are also noted.

Table of Contents

  • Latin Colonies and Extension of Roman Control
  • Monumentalisation of Rome in the Second Century BC
  • Conflict with Carthage
  • Carthage’s Foundation and Identity
  • Borrowing from Greek World
  • The First Punic War
  • Representing Carthaginians in Literature
  • Carthage’s Attempts to Establish Itself Elsewhere


Latin Colonies and Extension of Roman Control

How did the creation of Latin colonies help spread Latin throughout Italy?

The creation of Latin colonies led to the spread of Latin as the official language of all colonies, which was then exported to regions of Italy that had previously spoken other Italic dialects or languages. The language became so widespread that some local languages died out, while others remained important until the end of the first century BC.

What was the role of Roman consuls in maintaining control in Italy?

Roman consuls were responsible for enforcing Roman decisions in all Roman colonies and towns and subjecting communities of lesser status to direct jurisdiction by the Roman state. Crimes affecting the security of the Roman state fell under the direct jurisdiction of the Roman Senate.

Monumentalisation of Rome in the Second Century BC

Why did Rome experience a surge in monumentalisation in the second century BC?

Rome experienced a surge in monumentalisation in the second century BC due to the creation of grand aristocratic tombs and the replacement of private houses with public, colonnaded public buildings in the Forum. This transformation was spurred by Rome’s increasing wealth and power.

What was the senatorial elite’s stance on permanent stone theatres?

The senatorial elite was suspicious of permanent stone theatres that might give power to the people. The first stone theatre was not built until 61 BC.

Conflict with Carthage

What was the treaty reached between Rome and Carthage in 507 BC?

The treaty established friendly relations between the two powers and included provisions prohibiting certain actions by each party.

What led to the First Punic War?

The First Punic War broke out in 264 BC over control of Sicily.

Carthage’s Foundation and Identity

How was Carthage founded?

Carthage was founded by a faction that fled Tyre to Cyprus and then to the site of Carthage under the leadership of a princess named Elissa. Elissa founded the cult of Melqart at Carthage, having brought with her objects sacred to Melqart as the widow of Acherbas, priest of Melqart in Tyre.

What was the significance of the tophet in Carthage’s identity?

The tophet was a large civic sanctuary where more than 20,000 cremation urns and 10,000 dedicatory stones with imagery alluding to Phoenicia have been discovered. The ashes of newborn babies, young children, or sometimes animals were an offering vowed to the god. This ritual was a significant part of Carthage’s identity and was tied to both its Tyrian past and the growing threat of Rome.

Borrowing from Greek World

How did Carthage borrow from the Greek world?

Carthage’s religious buildings between the fifth and second centuries BC employed Greek styles of decoration, and their private houses were luxurious forms known elsewhere in the Greek world. The Carthaginians began to worship Demeter and Persephone in Carthage according to the Greek rites in 396 BC.

The First Punic War

Who won the First Punic War?

Rome won the First Punic War, leading to the establishment of Sicily as its first overseas province.

What were some of the key factors that contributed to Rome’s victory?

Rome’s victory was due to a strong navy, well-drilled infantry, and their ability to adapt in battle. They also built a copy of a captured Carthaginian ship and used it as a model for their own ships.

Representing Carthaginians in Literature

What challenges did Flaubert face in representing Carthaginians in his novel, Salammbô?

Flaubert faced challenges in representing Carthaginians due to the racist and stereotypical views of the Carthaginians prevalent at the time. He strove to depict them more accurately, researching Carthaginian society and religion in depth.

Carthage’s Attempts to Establish Itself Elsewhere

Where did Carthage attempt to establish itself outside of North Africa?

Carthage attempted to establish itself in Iberia, but the efforts were ultimately unsuccessful due to Roman interference.

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