2_25_09 - Classics 222 notes for 2/25/09 The first paper...

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Classics 222 notes for 2/25/09 The first paper was handed back today. If you are writing the second paper, due 2/27, the topic has been posted in the Course Documents area of the Blackboard site since 12:01am on 2/20. Roman History keyed to the handout "Timeline II" (cont.) THE PUNIC WARS Biggest problem with Roman expansion in Italy was friction with the sphere of influence of Carthage. Carthage- in North Africa above Tunis- very near Rome- Founded by Phoenicians from what is Lebanon today, traditionally said to be Phoenicians from the city of Tyre. Phoenicians were astonishingly good traders- even went up to England to get tin. Evidence that Rome's first treaty with Carthage was in 509, the year the republic was founded. Treaty was a trade agreement with Carthage on who trades where. Romans first went to war with Carthage in 264 over a dispute in Sicily. Sicily is very important in the ancient world- very rich. Main wealth in the ancient world comes from agriculture (about 90% of the population is on the land. In our country today, that figure is less than 5%). In antiquity Sicily was a giant breadbasket. Romans beat Carthaginians in this first Punic (=Carthaginian) War. Carthaginians seethed for a generation 218- Hannibal, starting in Carthaginian Spain, comes over the Alps with an army and elephants to wage war with Italy Hannibal is a brilliant general and beats the Romans again and again Worst military disaster in Roman history is in 216 at Cannae in Western Italy. Romans lost 50,000 men and both consuls Romans contemplated surrendering, but instead, persuaded by Q. Fabius Maximus, they torched their own fields and came behind their defensive walls- the only way to get them out was to starve them out. Hannibal didn't have the food resources to do this. He couldn't feed his army while he did a sit-down siege to starve out a Roman town. At Rome itself, he rode around the city 3 times to dare the Romans to come out, then learned that the very land on which he had pitched camp had been sold at a profit in a real estate deal. The presence of his army hadn't even hurt land values. (We have that story from Livy as well.) Romans finally manage to attack Africa- Hannibal is recalled and we defeat them in 201 For the rest of Roman history Hannibal becomes a mythic monster This is true in part because Carthaginians are NOT Barbarians- these are people like us- fighting their equals in cultural sophistication and in the trappings of civilization. Differences: We sacrifice to gods in Rome. In Carthage they sacrifice their firstborn children to the goddess Tanit. If Hannibal had won, things would have been astonishingly different for us today, and all of you who are firstborn (a majority of those
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in attendance today!) might not be with us. 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2009 for the course CLASSICS 222 taught by Professor Craig during the Spring '09 term at University of Tennessee.

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2_25_09 - Classics 222 notes for 2/25/09 The first paper...

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