Empúries was an ancient city on the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, Spain. Empúries is known by its Spanish name, Ampurias; the city Ἐμπόριον was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists from Phocaea. After the invasion of Gaul from Iberia by Hannibal the Carthaginian general in 218 BC, the city was occupied by the Romans. In the Early Middle Ages, the city's exposed coastal position left it open to marauders and it was abandoned. Empúries is located within the Catalan comarca of Alt Empordà on Costa Brava; the ruins are midway between the tiny village of Sant Martí d'Empúries. Empúries was founded on a small island at the mouth of the river Fluvià, in a region inhabited by the Indigetes; this city came to be known as the Palaiapolis, the "old city" when, towards 550 BC, the inhabitants moved to the mainland, creating the Neapolis, the "new city". After the conquest of Phocaea by the Persian king Cyrus II in 530 BC, the new city's population increased through the influx of refugees. In the face of strong pressure from Carthage, the city managed to retain its independent Hellenic character.
Political and commercial agreements were concluded with the indigenous population long settled in the nearby city of Indika. Situated as it was on the coastal commercial route between Massalia and Tartessos in the far south of Hispania, the city developed into a large economic and commercial centre as well as being the largest Greek colony in the Iberian Peninsula. During the Punic Wars, Empúries allied itself with Rome, Publius Cornelius Scipio initiated the conquest of Hispania from this city in 218 BC. After the conquest of Hispania by the Romans, Empúries remained an independent city-state. However, in the civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar, it opted for Pompey, after his defeat it was stripped of its autonomy. A colonia of Roman veterans, named Emporiae, was established near Indika to control the region. From that time onwards, Empúries obscured by the power of Tarraco and Barcino. At the end of the 3rd century it became one of the first cities in Spain to admit Christian evangelists.
In that century, the Greek town was abandoned while the Roman town survived as a mint and the ceremonial seat of a coastal county, Castelló d'Empúries, until the Viking raids of the mid-9th century. Coinage began again under count Hugh II of Empúries. Although the precise location of the town was known since the 15th century, it was only in the 20th century that systematic excavations were carried out; the first official excavations started in 1908 and were held by the Junta de Museus de Barcelona and directed by Emili Gandia i Ortega under the instructions of Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Pere Bosch-Gimpera. These excavations are still going on; the island on which the Palaiopolis was situated is now part of the mainland and is the site of the mediaeval village of Sant Martí d'Empúries. The former harbour has silted up as well. Hardly any excavation has been done here. After the founding of the Neapolis, the old city seems to have functioned as an acropolis. Strabo mentions a temple dedicated to Artemis at this site.
The Neapolis consisted of a walled precinct with an irregular ground plan of 200 by 130 m. The walls were built, modified in the period from the 5th to the 2nd century BC. To the west the wall separated the Neapolis from the Iberian town of Indika. In the south-west part of the city were various temples, replacing an older one to Artemis, such as a temple to Asclepius, of whom a marble statue was found. In the south-east part was a temple to Zeus-Serapis; the majority of the excavated buildings belong to the Hellenistic period. In addition to houses, some of which are decorated with mosaics and wallpaintings, a number of public buildings have come to light, such as those in the agora and the harbour mole. In the Roman period, thermae and a palaeochristian basilica were built. To the south and east of the new city was an area that served as a necropolis. Only about 20% of the Roman city has been excavated; the city has the typical orthogonal layout of Roman military camps, with two principal roads meeting at the forum.
The Roman city is larger than the Greek one. During the Republican period a temple was built dedicated to the Capitoline Triad: Jupiter and Minerva. During the reign of the emperor Augustus a basilica and curia were added. In the eastern part of the town a number of large houses have been excavated, with an inner courtyard, numerous annexes, floor mosaics, paintings. In the 2nd century the town was surrounded by a wall without towers. An amphitheatre and palaestra were built outside the wall; the necropolis of Empúries remained in use for a long period, from the 7th century BC up to the Middle Ages, but many tombs were looted. Martín Almagro Basch wrote two books collecting all data on the majority of cemeteries in the area. There are four types: early Greek and Iberian, late Republican, early Roman Empire and late Roman Empire. Burials were located in the western sides of Neapolis; the western sector was occupied by the so-called necropolis of the wall northeast. Inhumation predominated; the ancient necropolis remained in use with inhumations and cremations Greek and indigenous from the Neapolis.
Cremations predominated in another group of Roman origin, whose cemetery is located on the north side of the neighboring hill of Les Corts, located southwest of the city. This necropo
Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it nowadays is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, it is located on French Riviera coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 and had a population of 852,516 in 2012, its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was an important European trading centre and remains the main commercial port of the French Republic. Marseille is now France's largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships; the city was European Capital of Culture in 2013 and European Capital of Sport in 2017. It is home to Aix-Marseille University. Marseille is the second-largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.
To the east, starting in the small fishing village of Callelongue on the outskirts of Marseille and stretching as far as Cassis, are the Calanques, a rugged coastal area interspersed with small fjord-like inlets. Farther east still are the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the former artists' colony of l'Estaque; the airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre. The city's main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Farther out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château d'If, made famous by the Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo; the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at Rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse.
The centre of Marseille has several pedestrianised zones, most notably Rue St Ferréol, Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, the Cours Honoré-d'Estienne-d'Orves off the Old Port and the area around the Hôtel de Ville. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the monumental fountain of Place Castellane, an important bus and metro interchange. To the south west are the hills of the 7th and 8th arrondissements, dominated by the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Marseille's main railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement; the city has a hot-summer mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot dry summers. December and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night. July and August are the hottest months, averaging temperatures of around 28–30 °C during the day and 19 °C at night in the Marignane airport but in the city near the sea the average high temperature is 27 °C in July.
Marseille is the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in country. It is the driest major city with only 512 mm of precipitation annually thanks to the Mistral, a cold, dry wind originating in the Rhône Valley that occurs in winter and spring and which brings clear skies and sunny weather to the region. Less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent; the hottest temperature was 40.6 °C on 26 July 1983 during a great heat wave, the lowest temperature was −14.3 °C on 13 February 1929 during a strong cold wave. Marseille was founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by settlers from Phocaea, it became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War, retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa.
However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar. Marseille continued to prosper as a Roman city, becoming an early center of Christianity during the Western Roman Empire; the city maintained its position as a premier maritime trading hub after its capture by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD, although the city went into decline following the sack of 739 AD by the forces of Charles Martel. It became part of the County of Provence during the 10th century, although its renewed prosperity was curtailed by the Black Death of the 14th century and sack of the city by the Crown of Aragon in 1423; the city's fortunes rebounded with the ambitious building projects of René of Anjou, Count of Proven
From the 4th century BC on, new types of oared warships appeared in the Mediterranean Sea, superseding the trireme and transforming naval warfare. Ships became large and heavy, including some of the largest wooden ships hitherto constructed; these developments were spearheaded in the Hellenistic Near East, but to a large extent shared by the naval powers of the Western Mediterranean, more Carthage and the Roman Republic. While the wealthy successor kingdoms in the East built huge warships and Rome, in the intense naval antagonism during the Punic Wars, relied on medium-sized vessels. At the same time, smaller naval powers employed an array of small and fast craft, which were used by the ubiquitous pirates. Following the establishment of complete Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean after the Battle of Actium, the nascent Roman Empire faced no major naval threats. In the 1st century AD, the larger warships were retained only as flagships, were supplanted by the light liburnians until, by Late Antiquity, the knowledge of their construction had been lost.
Most of the warships of the era were distinguished by their names, which were compounds of a number and a suffix. Thus the English term quinquereme derives from Latin quinque-rēmis and has the Greek equivalent πεντ-ήρης. Both are compounds featuring a prefix meaning "five": Latin quinque, ancient Greek πέντε; the Roman suffix is from rēmus, "oar": "five-oar". As the vessel cannot have had only five oars, the word must be a figure of speech meaning something else. There are a number of possibilities; the -ηρης occurs only in suffix form, deriving from ἐρέσσειν, "to row". As "rower" is eretēs and "oar" is eretmon, -ērēs does not mean either of those but, being based on the verb, must mean "rowing"; this meaning is no clearer than the Latin. Whatever the "five-oar" or the "five-row" meant was lost with knowledge of the construction, is, from the 5th century on, a hotly debated issue. For the history of the interpretation efforts and current scholarly consensus, see below. In the great wars of the 5th century BC, such as the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War, the trireme was the heaviest type of warship used by the Mediterranean navies.
The trireme was propelled with one oarsman each. During the early 4th century BC however, variants of the trireme design began to appear: the invention of the quinquereme and the hexareme is credited by the historian Diodorus Siculus to the tyrant Dionysius I of Syracuse, while the quadrireme was credited by Aristotle to the Carthaginians. Far less is known with certainty about the construction and appearance of these ships than about the trireme. Literary evidence is fragmentary and selective, pictorial evidence unclear; the fact that the trireme had three levels of oars led medieval historians, long after the specifics of their construction had been lost, to speculate that the design of the "four", the "five" and the other ships would proceed logically, i.e. that the quadrireme would have four rows of oars, the quinquereme five, etc. However, the eventual appearance of bigger polyremes, made this theory implausible. During the Renaissance and until the 19th century, it came to be believed that the rowing system of the trireme and its descendants was similar to the alla sensile system of the contemporary galleys, comprising multiple oars on each level, rowed by one oarsman each.
20th-century scholarship disproved that theory, established that the ancient warships were rowed at different levels, with three providing the maximum practical limit. The higher numbers of the "fours", "fives", etc. were therefore interpreted as reflecting the number of files of oarsmen on each side of the ship, not an increased number of rows of oars. The most common theory on the arrangement of oarsmen in the new ship types is that of "double-banking", i.e. that the quadrireme was derived from a bireme by placing two oarsmen on each oar, the quinquereme from a trireme by placing two oarsmen on the two uppermost levels, the hexareme by placing two rowers on every level. Other interpretations of the quinquereme include a bireme warship with three and two oarsmen on the upper and lower oar banks, or a monoreme with five oarsmen; the "double-banking" theory is supported by the fact that the 4th-century quinqueremes were housed in the same ship sheds as the triremes, must therefore have had similar width, which fits with the idea of an evolutionary progression from the one type to the other.
The reasons for the evolution of the polyremes are not clear. The most forwarded argument is one of lack of skilled manpower: the trireme was a ship built for ramming, successful ramming tactics depended chiefly on the constant maintenance of a trained oar crew, something which few states aside from Athens with its radical democracy had the funds or the social structure to do. Using multiple oarsmen reduced the number of such trained men needed in each crew: only the rower at the tip of the oar had to be sufficiently trained, he could lead the others, who provided additional motive power; this system was in use in Renaissance galleys, but jars with the evidence of ancient crews continuing to be trained by their commanders. The increased number of oarsmen required a broader hull, which on the one hand reduced the ships' speed, but on t
Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC. Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern modern Latin; the Greek and Latin names Galatia and Gallia are derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. The Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the "milk-white" skin of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people"; the English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia.
The Germanic w- is rendered as gu- / g- in French, the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant. French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a, the diphthong au would be unexplained. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived from the name of the Volcae. Unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael; the Irish word gall did mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib; as adjectives, English has the two variants: Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as "pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls", although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish. There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins.
Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships and linguistic divisions coincide. Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises under Mediterranean influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads across the entire territory of Gaul; the La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia and Hungary.
Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, the Greek geographer Strabo. In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul, into Pannonia, northern Italy and Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans descr
Tunisia is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent, it is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was 11.435 million in 2017. Tunisia's name is derived from its capital city, located on its northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains, the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil, its 1,300 kilometres of coastline include the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, feature the African mainland's second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar. Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, it is considered to be the only democratic sovereign state in the Arab world.
It has a high human development index. It has an association agreement with the European Union. In addition, Tunisia is a member state of the United Nations and a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Close relations with Europe – in particular with France and with Italy – have been forged through economic cooperation and industrial modernization. In ancient times, Tunisia was inhabited by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC. A major mercantile power and a military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated by the Romans in 146 BC; the Romans, who would occupy Tunisia for most of the next eight hundred years, introduced Christianity and left architectural legacies like the El Djem amphitheater. After several attempts starting in 647, the Muslims conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottoman Empire between 1534 and 1574; the Ottomans held sway for over three hundred years. The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881.
Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957. In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by parliamentary elections; the country voted for parliament again on 26 October 2014, for President on 23 November 2014. The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis; the present form of the name, with its Latinate suffix -ia, evolved from French Tunisie. in turn associated with the Berber root ⵜⵏⵙ, transcribed tns, which means "to lay down" or "encampment". It is sometimes associated with the Punic goddess Tanith, ancient city of Tynes; the French derivative Tunisie was adopted in some European languages with slight modifications, introducing a distinctive name to designate the country. Other languages remained untouched, such as Spanish Túnez. In this case, the same name is used for both country and city, as with the Arabic تونس, only by context can one tell the difference. Before Tunisia, the territory's name was Ifriqiya or Africa, which gave the present-day name of the continent Africa.
Farming methods reached the Nile Valley from the Fertile Crescent region about 5000 BC, spread to the Maghreb by about 4000 BC. Agricultural communities in the humid coastal plains of central Tunisia were ancestors of today's Berber tribes, it was believed in ancient times that Africa was populated by Gaetulians and Libyans, both nomadic peoples. According to the Roman historian Sallust, the demigod Hercules died in Spain and his polyglot eastern army was left to settle the land, with some migrating to Africa. Persians became the Numidians; the Medes settled and were known as Mauri Moors. The Numidians and Moors belonged to the race from; the translated meaning of Numidian is Nomad and indeed the people were semi-nomadic until the reign of Masinissa of the Massyli tribe. At the beginning of recorded history, Tunisia was inhabited by Berber tribes, its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 12th century BC. The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC by Phoenicians. Legend says that Dido from Tyre, now in modern-day Lebanon, founded the city in 814 BC, as retold by the Greek writer Timaeus of Tauromenium.
The settlers of Carthage brought their culture and religion from Phoenicia, now present-day Lebanon and adjacent areas. After the series of wars with Greek city-states of Sicily in the 5th century BC, Carthage rose to power and became the dominant civilization in the Western Mediterranean; the people of Carthage worshipped a pantheon of Middle Eastern gods including Tanit. Tanit's symbol, a simple female figure with extended arms and long dress, is a popular icon found in ancient sites; the founders of Carthage established a Tophet, altered in Roman times. A Carthaginian invasion of Italy led by Hannibal during the Second Punic War, one of a series of wars with Rome, nearly crippled the rise of Roman power. From the conclusion of the Second Punic War in 202 BC, Carthage functioned as a client state of the Roman Republic for another 50 years. F
Siege of Saguntum
The Siege of Saguntum was a battle which took place in 219 BC between the Carthaginians and the Saguntines at the town of Saguntum, near the modern town of Sagunto in the province of Valencia, Spain. The battle is remembered today because it triggered one of the most important wars of antiquity, the Second Punic War. After Hannibal was made supreme commander of Iberia at the age of 26, he spent two years refining his plans and completing his preparations to secure power in the Mediterranean; the Romans did nothing against him. The Romans went so far as turning their attention to the Illyrians who had begun to revolt; because of this, the Romans did not react when news reached them that Hannibal was besieging Saguntum. The capture of Saguntum was essential to Hannibal's plan; the city was one of the most fortified in the area and it would have been a poor move to leave such a stronghold in the hands of the enemy. Hannibal was looking for plunder to pay his mercenaries, who were from Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.
The money could be spent on dealing with his political opponents in Carthage. Some historians doubt whether Hannibal attacked Saguntum deliberately or whether he was provoked by the Saguntines, who had Rome's support. Since most of the remaining ancient sources covering this period are pro-Roman, one cannot rule out the possibility that Rome encouraged Saguntum to defy Hannibal. However, Rome failed to support their ally during the siege of Saguntum; this might be due to the fact that Rome's legions were occupied elsewhere or might have been a calculated move to have a casus belli against Carthage. Hannibal's alleged hatred of Rome and all Romans might have been an idea of Roman propaganda to justify the second and the third Punic war. During Hannibal's assault on Saguntum, he suffered some losses due to the extensive fortifications and the tenacity of the defending Saguntines, but his troops stormed and destroyed the city's defenses one at a time. Hannibal was severely wounded by a javelin, fighting was stopped for a few weeks whilst he recovered.
The Saguntines turned to Rome for aid. In 218 BC, after enduring eight months of siege, the Saguntines' last defenses were overrun. Hannibal offered to spare the population on condition that they were "willing to depart from Saguntum, each with two garments"; when they declined the offer and began to sabotage the town's wealth and possessions, every adult was put to death. This marked the beginning of the Second Punic War. Hannibal now had a base of operations from which he could supply his forces with food and extra troops. After the siege, Hannibal attempted to gain the support of the Carthaginian Senate; the Senate did not agree with Hannibal's aggressive means of warfare, never gave complete and unconditional support to him when he was on the verge of absolute victory only five miles from Rome. In this episode, Hannibal was able to gain limited support which permitted him to move to New Carthage where he gathered his men and informed them of his ambitious intentions. Hannibal undertook a religious pilgrimage before beginning his march toward the Pyrenees, the Alps, Rome itself.
The next phase of the war was marked by extraordinary Carthaginian victories at Trebia, Lake Trasimene, the Battle of Cannae. At the end of the 1st century AD the siege of Saguntum was described in much detail by the Latin author Silius Italicus in his epic poem Punica. In his verses several Saguntine leaders and heroes stand out, as well as a Libyan warrior princess fighting for Carthage, but few historians give the tale any credit as a historical source. In 1727 the English dramatist Philip Frowde wrote a tragedy entitled The Fall of Saguntum, based on Silius' poem; the band Ex Deo has a song called Hispania On their album “The Immortal Wars”, about the siege. Alorcus
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, it was waged with unparalleled resources and hatred, it saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides. The war began with the Carthaginian general Hannibal's conquest of the pro-Roman Iberian city of Saguntum in 219 BC, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in the spring of 218. Hannibal surprised the Romans by marching his army overland from Iberia to cross the Alps and invade Roman Italy, followed by his reinforcement by Gallic allies and crushing victories over Roman armies at Trebia in 218 and on the shores of Lake Trasimene in 217.
Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal at Cannae annihilated the largest army the Romans had assembled. After the death or imprisonment of 130,000 Roman troops in two years, 40% of Rome's Italian allies defected to Carthage, giving her control over most of southern Italy. Macedon and Syracuse joined the Carthaginian side after Cannae and the conflict spread to Greece and Sicily. From 215–210 the Carthaginian army and navy launched repeated amphibious assaults to capture Roman Sicily and Sardinia but were repulsed. Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans adopted the Fabian strategy – the avoidance of battle against Hannibal and defeating his allies and the other Carthaginian generals instead. Roman armies recaptured all of the great cities that had joined Carthage and defeated a Carthaginian attempt to reinforce Hannibal at Metaurus in 207. Southern Italy was devastated by the combatants, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or enslaved. In Iberia, which served as a major source of silver and manpower for the Carthaginian army, a Roman expeditionary force under Publius Cornelius Scipio captured Carthago Nova, Carthage's capital city in Iberia, in 209.
Scipio's destruction of a Carthaginian army at Ilipa in 206 permanently ended Carthaginian rule in Iberia. He invaded Carthaginian Africa in 204, inflicting two severe defeats on Carthage and her allies at Utica and the Great Plains that compelled the Carthaginian senate to recall Hannibal's army from Italy; the final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal's defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. The Second Punic War overthrew the established balance of power of the ancient world and Rome rose to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin for the next 600 years. Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War meant the loss of Carthaginian Sicily to Rome under the terms of the Roman-dictated 241 BC Treaty of Lutatius. Rome exploited Carthage's distraction during the Truceless War against rebellious mercenaries and Libyan subjects to break the peace treaty and annex Carthaginian Sardinia and Corsica to Rome in 238 BC.
Under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca and his family, Carthage defeated the rebels and began the Barcid conquest of Hispania from 237 BC onward. Control over Spain gave Carthage the silver mines, agricultural wealth, military facilities such as shipyards and territorial depth to stand up to future Roman demands with confidence; the Second Punic War was ignited by the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome. After great tension within the city government, culminating in the assassination of the supporters of Carthage, Hannibal laid siege to the city of Saguntum in 219 BC; the city called for Roman aid. Following a prolonged siege of eight months and a bloody struggle, in which Hannibal himself was wounded, the Carthaginians took control of the city. Many of the Saguntians chose to commit suicide rather than face subjugation by the Carthaginians; the loss of Saguntum as a potential base of operations in Carthaginian Iberia was a serious setback to the main Roman strategic objective in Spain: the eviction of the Carthaginians from the peninsula.
The Roman Senate sent an embassy to the Carthaginian Senate that declared war on Carthage in early 218 BC over the attack on Rome's Saguntine ally. Before the war and Hasdrubal the Fair had made a treaty. Livy reports that it was agreed that the Iber should be the boundary between the two empires and that the liberty of the Saguntines should be preserved; the highest priority in Carthaginian strategy was to keep the war away from Carthage's agricultural heartland in Africa and protect the property of the wealthy Carthaginian landowners who controlled Carthaginian politics. Spanish mines and sources of manpower comprised the second pillar of the Carthaginian power base and their protection was essential to maintaining Carthage's status as an independent continental great power. Hannibal's invasion of Italy forced the Romans to abandon their intended invasion of Africa and de-prioritize the reinforcement of Roman armies in Spain. Most Roman troops during the war fought in Italy, which became the main theater of the war as a result of Hannibal's offensive.
Africa remained undisturbed by a Roman invasion army until 204 BC and the Roman military presence in Spain was confined to its northeastern corn