PUNICUM BELLum, the great contest, consisting of three separate wars, between the Romans and the Pceni, as the Carthaginians were called by the Romans. The development of Rome in the first instance was necessarily westwards, from her physical situation, and therefore, when she stepped beyond Italy seawards, a collision was in evitable with the great republic of Carthage, which then ruled without a rival the western waters of the Mediterranean. The Ftn,sx PUNIC WAR (264-241 B.c.) originated in the aid given to the Campanian mercenaries of King Agathocles, the Mamertini (q. v.). The latter having expelled the Carthaginian gar rison, Messana was besieged by the united forces of the Carthaginians and King Hie'ro of Syracuse. Rome, which had also been ap pealed to by the Mamertines, resolved to interfere, and declared war against Hiero and the Carthaginians. Hiero made peace with the Romans M 263. The chief events in the First Punic War were — victory of Appius Claudius in Sicily, 264 ; the capture of Agri gentum by the Romans, 262 ; their naval vic tory under Duillus, 26o ; the successes of Regtilus in Africa, 256 ; the defeat and im prisonment of Regulus, and loss of a Roman fleet, 255 ; the loss of another fleet, 253 ; the siege of Lilybwum (lasted till the end of the war), and the victory of Metellus at Panormus, 25o, followed by the Carthaginian embassy, when Regulus displayed his heroism ; the defeat of Claudius Pulcher, and loss of another Roman fleet, 249 ; the successes of the Car thaginians under Hamilcar Barca, ; the great victory of Lutatius Catfilus off the .lEgates, followed by the conclusion of peace, 241, Carthage evacuating all Sicily, and pay ing a heavy indemnity,3,20o talents (about £78o,oso sterling). The SECOND PUNIC WAR B.C.) was the result of the Cartha ginian conquests in Spain, to which country liantilcar had gone in 235. ,He was succeeded by his son-in-law Hasdrilbal in 229, on whose deal h Hamilcar's son, the famous Hannibal, took the command, in 221. The peace had
been a mere truce, and on the storming of Saguntum, a city in alliance with Rome, by Hannibal, in 2rq, the Romans declared war. The chief events of the war occurred in Italy (see HANNIBAL). After the defeat, at the Metaurus, and death, M 207, of Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal, who had been engaged in Spain with the two Scipios, and now wished to join his brother in Italy, Hannibal acted only on the defensive. The invasion of Africa in 204, by Scipio (afterwards Africanus), led to the recall, in 203, of Hannibal, and the war was decided by the total defeat of the Car thaginians, in 202, at Zama. Peace was made in 201, Carthage being deprived of all its dominions out of Africa, restricted in its mili tary and naval establishments, and fined in an indemnity of to,000 talents (about sterling), to be paid in the course of fifty years. The THIRD PUNIC WAR (149-146 B.C.) was really due to the hostility of Cato the Censor, who, when in Africa, had been alarmed by observing the restoration of the great com mercial prosperity of Carthage. He constantly afterwards, whenever he was asked his vote on any subject whatsoever in the Senate,exclaimed, " Carthage must be destroyed ! (Dilrnda est Carthago f) He succeeded in raising such a feeling of animosity against Carthage, that when the Carthaginians repelled an invasion of Masinissa, king of Numidia, the Romans took advantage of this nominal breach of the treaty, Carthage not having first consulted Rome, and the Consuls were sent to destroy the city. Their resolution was concealed till they had obtained from the Carthaginians the surrender of their war material ; but even then, on learning their fate, the Carthaginians resolved to resist. They made superhuman exertions to defend the city, and when the Consuls advanced they found the city so strongly protected that they could not storm it. The war languished till the appointment of Scipio (the younger Africanus), who stormed and razed Carthage in 146.