Rome Conquers Italy
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Rome Conquers Italy I. As Rome’s Republic took shape, the people of central Italy (Latins) grew in power and sought to control all of the peninsula of Italy. A. By 265 B.C., the Romans had defeated the Etruscans to the north and the Greek city-states in the south. 1. Rome now controlled all of the Italian peninsula. Carthage B. Rome now had easy access to the Mediterranean Sea and sought to trade with the lands surrounding this great sea. 1. The Romans mainly traded wine and olive oil for a variety of foods, raw materials, and manufactured goods from other lands. a. Some powerful cities interrupted this trade. The most powerful and troublesome was Carthage-North Africa War with Carthage C. In 264 B.C., Rome went to war against Carthage. 1. This was the beginning of a long struggle called the Punic Wars. a. The Punic Wars were three wars which took place between 264 B.C. to 146 B.C. 1st Punic War D. The 1st Punic War was fought over Sicily and the western Mediterranean. 1. Rome won after 23 years of fighting. 2nd Punic War E. The 2nd Punic War began in 218 B.C. 1. Carthage was led by a brilliant military general named Hannibal. a. Hannibal assembled an army of 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry, and 60 elephants with the intent of capturing Rome. b. Hannibal would surprise Rome by taking his army through Spain across France and through the Alps Mts. The Punic Wars Hannibal C. Despite losing half his men and most of his elephants, Hannibal’s army is tenacious. D. For more than a decade, Hannibal marches his forces up and down the Italian peninsula defeating the Roman army. E. However, Hannibal can not capture Rome. General Scipio 2. Finally, the Romans found a daring military leader who could match Hannibal. a. His name was Scipio. 1. Scipio devises a plan to attack Carthage and force Hannibal to return to Carthage and defend his city. 2. This plan works-In 202 B.C. the Romans take Carthage, defeat Hannibal’s forces in North Africa and win the war. The Battle of Zama-202 B.C. The two met near Zama, about a hundred miles south of Carthage. Both sides had about 25,000 men. For once, the Romans had the better cavalry, for Scipio had brought with him his superb Spanish horses. But Hannibal, on home ground in Africa now, had his elephants. These were war elephants, specially trained, and Hannibal staked the battle on them. He ranged his elephants, perhaps a hundred or so, in front of his infantry. When the battle began, he sent them en masse against the Roman lines, like a cavalry charge. The war elephants would charge at the enemy to trample them to death or at least break their ranks. It must have been terrifying to the Romans, but Scipio had prepared them. He knew of Hannibal's plans and had his own plan in place. He had his troops spread in normal battle formation. When the elephants charged, the men re- formed into columns, leaving wide alleys between. To aid the elephants, the men were instructed to shout, bang metal on metal, and generally make as much noise as possible, causing the beasts to shy away from the noise and into the alley ways. And as they went passed, archers shot at their riders. With great faith in their commander, the Roman troops executed the plan perfectly. The elephants passed right through the Roman lines. While the beasts eventually got turned back around, the massed charge on which Hannibal had depended, was utterly ineffective. In fact, the chaos created by the Romans made many of the war elephants wildly charge back at the Carthaginian infantry. Now the real battle began. Scipio used much the same tactics at Zama as Hannibal had at Cannae. He allowed his infantry to give way while his cavalry executed a flanking maneuver. The cavalry was almost immediately successful. The Carthaginian infantry fought hard, though, and the battle lasted most of the day. In the end, Hannibal was defeated so completely that he immediately returned to Carthage and advised the city to surrender. 3rd Punic War F. During the 3rd Punic War (149-146 B.C.), Rome laid siege to Carthage. 1. In 146 B.C., the city was set afire and its’ 50,000 inhabitants sold into slavery. 2. Carthage became a Roman Province Punic Wars-Results G. Rome now had control over the western Mediterranean. H. The Romans then went on to conquer the eastern half. I. By 70 B.C., Rome controlled all the lands around Mediterranean Sea and established itself as the mightiest empire in the world.