Greek-Punic wars

Greek-Punic Wars

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Greek-Punic wars

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The Greek-Punic wars or, less properly, Sicilian Wars, were a series of conflicts fought between Carthaginians and the Greeks headed by Syracusans, over control of Sicily and western Mediterranean between the years 600 to 265 BC.

Carthage's economic successes, and its dependence on shipping to conduct most of its trade (for the empire's southern border was surrounded by desert), led to the creation of a powerful navy to discourage both pirates and rival nations. They had inherited their naval strength and experience from the Phoenicians, but had increased it because, unlike the Phoenicians, the Punics did not want to rely on a foreign nation's aid. This, coupled with its success and growing hegemony, brought Carthage into increasing conflict with the Greeks, the other major power contending for control of the central Mediterranean.

The Greeks, like the Phoenicians, were expert sailors who had set up thriving colonies throughout the Mediterranean. These two rivals fought their wars on the island of Sicily, which lay at Carthage's doorstep. From their earliest days, both the Greeks and Phoenicians had been attracted to the large island, establishing a large number of colonies and trading posts along its coasts. Small battles had been fought between these settlements for centuries. No Carthaginian records of the war exist today, because when the city was destroyed in 146 BC by the Romans, the books from Carthage's library were distributed among the nearby African tribes, and none...
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