By Dexter Hoyos
To assert the Punic Wars (264-146 BC) have been a turning aspect in global background is an enormous understatement. This bloody and chronic clash pitted flourishing Mediterranean powers opposed to each other, leaving one an unrivalled immense and the opposite a literal pile of ash. To later observers, a collision among those civilizations appeared inevitable and but to the Romans and Carthaginians on the time hostilities first erupted likely out of nowhere, with what have been anticipated to be inconsequential results.
Mastering the West bargains a completely engrossing narrative of this century of conflict within the western Mediterranean, whereas treating a whole diversity of issues: the antagonists' army, naval, financial, and demographic assets; the political buildings of either republics; and the postwar influence of the conflicts at the members and sufferers. The narrative additionally investigates questions of management and the contributions and errors of leaders like Hannibal, Fabius the Delayer, Scipio Africanus, Masinissa, and Scipio Aemilianus. Dexter Hoyos, a number one specialist of the interval, treats the 2 nice powers lightly, with out neglecting the real roles performed by means of Syracuse, Macedon, and particularly Numidia.
Written with verve in a transparent, obtainable sort, with a variety of illustrations and newly-commissioned maps, gaining knowledge of the West will be the main trustworthy and fascinating narrative of this pivotal period in historical historical past.
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Additional info for Mastering the West: Rome and Carthage at War
Social segregation did not afflict the tribes, but since they convened at Rome, citizens living more than a few hours’ travel away could take little part. 3 Physically Rome was very large for a third-century city. Eleven kilometers of walls embraced some 427 hectares and an urban population of some 90,000 souls. The census in 265 registered 292,234 male Romans aged seventeen and above (at seventeen a citizen became eligible for army service) living on about 27,000 square kilometers from southern Etruria to Campania.
The message was plain. Carthage wanted to stay at peace with Rome, provided that the Romans stayed out of Sicily. This was not a message that Appius Claudius could accept. If he had to call off the war, he must do so from what would at least look like a position of strength, and that meant he had to take his legions over to Sicily and there face down the besiegers. The crossing to Messana with a full fleet of transports did succeed under cover of night—Hanno was tougher in words than in performance and even lost a quinquereme when it ran 34 Sicily and Its Seas: 264–257 aground near the Roman landing.
The triarii too were ten maniples and twenty centuries strong, but totaled only 600—a disparity compensated, so the Romans felt, by their experience and reliability. The front centurion of their first maniple was the legion’s chief centurion, a formidable veteran always consulted by any intelligent commander along with his senior officers. These were four military tribunes in each legion, not appointed by their commander but elected by the Comitia Centuriata. 3 Roman armies did not use mercenaries, save for rare occasions.