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Emerging between 575 BCE to 146 BCE, the Carthaginian empire is known to be an informal empire of the Phoenician city-states traversing North Africa and modern-day Spain. It is believed to be under the control of Carthage, a city-state established after the Tyres were subjugated by Babylonian forces.
See the fact file below for more information on the Carthaginian Empire or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Carthaginian Empire worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The strategic location of the Carthage served as a foundation to build a strong empire. The Carthaginian empire had the advantage to dominate the Gulf of Tunis that ensured a flow of trade from the Western Mediterranean. This was further developed to create trade networks that would benefit the Carthage.
- The prosperity of the kingdom did not only rely on its trade but also established a strong agricultural base with the help of favorable weather conditions that further boosted its economic growth.
- Long before the founding of the Carthage, the Phoenicians built resting places for merchant fleets along the coasts of Mediterranean seas which then became their city colonies.
- Around 300 colonies were established. However, internal conflicts happened between these colonies due to lack of control by the Phoenicians, until the rise of the Carthage, which gained the direct rule of the colonies.
- The Carthaginian government is considered to be oligarchic. Although the citizens elect two officials known as the Suffetes (judges) every two years, real power resided in a council composed of the wealthiest families.
- A senate with 300 members was also existent during this time, controlled by a council with 30 members who held the utmost power. Generals were also elected but were not included in the making of policies.
- As Carthage gained much control over the colonial cities of Sicily and Sardinia, a treaty was signed between Carthage and Rome in 509 BCE.
- This agreement included a division of influence and trade activities within their respective territories.
- As the 5th century BCE approached, Carthage became the center of commerce and trade in the West Mediterranean region.
- It had conquered most of the old Phoenician colonial cities including the Hadrumetum, Utica, Kerkouane, Numidian, and Mauretanian kingdoms. It even extended its control over Malta and Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean.
THE SICILIAN WARS
- Due to its ambitious attempt to gain much control in trade along the Mediterranean, the Carthaginian empire built a strong navy to protect their claimed territory against pirates and rival countries.
- This did not only brought them wealth and success but also caused them to enter into a tension with Greek empires that likewise sought control in the central Mediterranean.
- The island of Sicily served as the battle arena for the two opposing forces. Small battles were fought in these areas that went on for centuries.
- In 480 BCE, the tyrant of Greek Syracuse named Gelo, with support from other Greek city-states, attempted to unite the island under his rule. Due to the threat that it posed, Carthage, led by General Hamilcar, with the help of Persia, waged war on Greece. Although backed by formidable military forces, Carthage was defeated by the Greeks. This is known to be the first Sicilian war.
- In 405 BCE, Hannibal Mago led the second Sicilian war intending to reclaim the entire island from the Greeks. However, during this time, the Carthaginian forces suffered from a plague that killed Hannibal Mago himself.
- Mago’s successor, Himilco, successfully subjugated the city of Gela and repeatedly defeated the army of Dionysius, a new tyrant of Syracuse, who was also weakened by the plague and so settled for peace.
- As Dionysius regained his strength around 398 BCE, he immediately struck the Motya which was under the control of Carthaginian forces. He was eventually defeated by Himilco who managed to reclaim the Motya and captured Messina. But in 396 BCE, another plague ravaged the Carthaginian forces that caused them to collapse.
- The third Sicilian war took place in 310 BCE and resulted in the defeat of Carthaginian forces and kept Syracuse as the stronghold of Greek power in Sicily.
THE PUNIC WARS
- For over a century, three Punic Wars happened between the Carthaginian Empire and the Roman empire. They took place around 264 BC to 146 BC.
- Even before the First Punic War, Rome had already established a stronghold on the Italian peninsula. On the other end, Carthage became known as a leading maritime force across the world.
- In 264 BC, the first of the three Punic Wars took place as Rome tried to interfere with Sicily Island, which was controlled by Carthaginian power. Rome ended victorious in this battle as they gained control of both Sicily and Corsica. It elevated them to become a known maritime and land power.
- Following this event was the Second Punic War led by great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca. He spearheaded the attacks against Italian forces and successfully defeated them in the battles at Lake Trasimene and Cannae. However, he was defeated by Scipio Africanus of Rome in 202 BC. By this time, Rome controlled the Mediterranean and most of Spain’s territories.
- The Third Punic War was yet again a victory for the Roman empire as they managed to destroy the Carthage in 146 BC in the leadership of a younger Scipio. After this battle, Carthage became another colony of the Roman empire, hence, controlling the rest of Africa.
- The achievements of the Carthaginian empire were heavily linked to its success in trade. It strengthened the role of trade in bridging human communities together that foster growth in commerce, culture, and language.
- Carthage lies in modern-day Tunisia and is considered an important archaeological site at present times.
Carthaginian Empire Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Carthaginian Empire across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Carthaginian Empire worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Carthaginian empire which is known to be an informal empire of the Phoenician city-states traversing North Africa and modern-day Spain. It is believed to be under the control of Carthage, a city-state established after the Tyres were subjugated by Babylonian forces.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Carthaginian Empire Facts
- The Carthaginian Territory
- A Treaty Between Carthage and Rome
- The Carthaginian Government
- The Carthaginian Society
- The Sicilian Wars
- The Punic Wars
- Hannibal Barca
- The Carthaginian Empire’s Legacy
- Carthage: The New City
- ‘Carthago delenda est’
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Link will appear as Carthaginian Empire Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 29, 2019
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