chapter  6
Roman–Carthaginian relations: from co-operation to annihilation RUTH STEPPER
From co-operation to annihilation
Pages 13

The three wars waged by the Romans and Carthaginians against each other constitute a prime example of conflict between two powers in antiquity. The overall conflict – spanning several generations, and interrupted only by occasional periods of peace – escalated in its intensity as well as in terms of the war aims. The dogged struggle for victory in the first two wars, both ending in favour of the Romans, lent the Roman-Carthaginian confrontation particular momentum. The Romans, encouraged by military success, were striving for ever greater gains after each victory. Exploiting the successful repulse of the Carthaginians in the First RomanCarthaginian War, Rome merely sought to weaken the enemy. Yet after the Second Roman-Carthaginian War, Rome aimed for Carthage’s complete annihilation. Thus these three wars against Carthage, with their clear pattern of escalation, spectacularly reflect the phases in which Rome built its empire at the expense of its neighbours.