A history of the Punic Wars
Elephants have come to define our memory of the Punic Wars. Towering over their enemies, these armour clad beasts dominated battlefields, trampling and terrifying their enemies--and often their allies too. But how influential were these living weapons really?
Rome dominates ancient history. Spanning most of the known world at the time, the Roman Empire acted as the foundation of European history and identity. Yet this position of dominance had to be won through the besting of neighbours and rival empires. And one of the greatest of these opponents was Carthage.
Centered in the Gulf of Tunis, the Carthaginian Empire was a North African mirror to Rome. Poised on the edge of the Mediterranean it stretched across North Africa and into Sicily and the Iberian Peninsula, absorbing the myriad of conquered peoples into a cohesive imperial force.
For a while these great empires stood on a knife edge; one poised to rise and the other to fall. Who the future would belong to was decided during the three Punic Wars. While Hannibal's march across the Alps seems the most astonishing element of these conflicts, the man himself is more amazing still. A great leader, tactician, and master of logistics he was able to dictate battle on his own terms.
Yet Hannibal and Carthage still fell.
How did the Romans triumph during the Punic Wars? Why did the Carthaginians fail? And how was history shaped by these conflicts?
Join Tommy Graham of History Ireland as he talks with a panel of experts about the Punic Wars.