Rome and Carthage made several trade pacts after the war and they even agreed to an alliance to suppress King Pyrrhus of Epirus. As part of the war indemnity, Carthage was asked to release thousands of Roman prisoners of war. Large amounts of silver were also included as reparation. But Carthage’s economy and military were so devastated by the war that it was unable to fulfil its post-war pacts. This led to resentment from Rome and made further wars inevitable.
Second Punic War: Winner, Loser, Gains and Losses
The Second Punic War is equally historically important and followed a similar pattern to that of the first. Although Carthage under the imaginative command of Hannibal made impressive forays into Roman held territory, the superior organization and adaptability of Roman forces eventually proved decisive. Hannibal’s crossing of Alps with an Elephant-ridden battalion was an impressive feat. Hannibal was able to dominate the country outside Rome on the back of his superior infantry. But the crucial fortress of Rome the city was never to be breached. Acting against Hannibal’s progress was the resolute support Rome received from its allies. Hence Carthage was once again defeated by the superior diplomacy, combat tactics and foresight of Roman leadership. But unlike the First Punic War, Rome did not impose the same degree of economic penalties on its embittered rival.
Third Punic War: Winner, Loser, Gains and Losses
The Third Punic War was the final nail in the coffin for the Carthaginian Empire. Carthage was reduced to just the city when the war broke in 149 BC. The Roman leadership understood the vulnerability of Carthage and made several provocative demands of it. Thus pushed into an all-or-nothing war with its arch rival, the city of Carthage was systematically destroyed by the powerful Roman military. Rome gained enormously through this victory, as it cemented its place as the only substantial power in the Mediterranean. It also annexed several Carthaginian settlements, including Mauretania and Volubilis.
Chris Scarre, “The Wars with Carthage,” The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome (London: Penguin Books, 1995).
Eckstein, Arthur M. Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome University of California Press (1 April 2009).