UNIT 3 | Classical Civilizations | SQ 22 How did Rome gain, consolidate, and maintain power?
Appian, The Destruction of Carthage The Roman Empire fought three wars against the Carthaginian Empire in North Africa, called the Punic Wars . The last war ended with the destruction of Carthage in 146 BCE. Appian, who lived in the second century CE., wrote a vivid description of the destruction of the African city led by Scipio. An excerpt from that description is below. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 After penetrating into the city [Carthage], Scipio [the Roman commander] turned his attention to the citadel, its strongest point, where many people had taken refuge. Three streets leading from the marketplace to the citadel were lined on both sides with six story houses, from which the Romans were pelted. They seized the first houses and used them as a base for attacking the next. From their roofs they made bridges of planks and beams to cross over to the next. While one battle was in progress on the roofs another was fought, against all comers, in the narrow street below. Everywhere there was groaning and wailing and shouting and agony of every description. Some Carthaginians were killed out of hand, some flung down alive from the roofs to the pavement, and of these some were caught on upright spears or ambers or swords…. Others were seen still living, especially old men, women, and young children who had hidden in the inmost corners of the houses, some of them wounded, some more or less burned, and uttering pitiful cries. Still others thrust out and falling from such a height with the stones, timbers, and fire, were torn asunder in all shapes of horror, crushed and mangled. Nor was this the end of their miseries, for the street cleaners, who were removing the rubbish with axes, mattocks, and forks, and making the roads passable, tossed with the dead and the living together into holes in the ground…. Six days and nights were consumed in this kind of fighting, the soldiers. Soldiers
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