The End of Carthage - World History

The End of Carthage - World History
Posted on 30-12-2022

The End of Carthage ( 160 ) The Romans destroy Carthage to the ground.

In 160 Lucio Emilio Paulo died, and his youngest son (although he was already of legal age) was adopted by the son of Scipio the African, and was renamed Publius Cornelius Scipio Emiliano, although he is better known as Scipio the Younger. He was one of the many Romans in love with Greek culture. He introduced to Rome the custom of shaving the beard, which in turn had been introduced to Greece by Alexander the Great. In his circle of friends were Gaius Lucilius, who was the first Roman to write satires criticizing vices and folly, and Publius Terence Afer,that he was a Carthaginian brought to Rome as the slave of a senator, who recognized the intelligence of the young man, educated him, and freed him. Terence gained fame by writing plays, which, like Plautus's, were based, when not literal translations, on Greek originals. However, the Latin he used was good. Terence was one of those responsible for the fact that Latin went from being a language of farmers and soldiers to being a language of culture. There was also the Greek Polybius, who had been Scipio the Younger's tutor and who was held in Rome as a hostage, along with many other Greeks. Scipio tried several times to obtain authorization for the return of the hostages to his homeland,

In 159 King Eumenes II of Pergamum died and was succeeded by his brother Attalus II. Under his reign, Pergamum maintained good relations with Rome, which made him an arbitrator of disputes between the neighboring Hellenistic kingdoms. Alcimus, the high priest of Jerusalem, also died. With him ended the lineage of Zadok, and the Jews did not know who to choose as a replacement, so for several years the Temple was left without direction. King Demetrius I was involved in several campaigns against pretenders to the throne, which forced him to withdraw soldiers from Judea, which was immediately taken advantage of by Jonathan, the younger brother of Judas Maccabee, to become strong in Judea. Demetrius I did not want problems with the Jews, so in 157he chose to make Jonathan governor of Judea, provided he recognized Seleucid authority. Jonathan accepted.

That same year Cato the Censor went to Carthage as part of a delegation to settle one of the many disputes that arose between Carthage and King Masinissa of Numidia, disputes in which Rome always ended up leaning towards his ally Masinissa. Cato expected Carthage to be in ruins, and was horrified to discover that the city enjoyed some prosperity and that its citizens had achieved some well-being. From that moment he began a campaign to put an end to that situation. His most repeated phrase since then was the famous Delenda est Carthago (Carthage must be destroyed). All of his speeches, regardless of their content, ended the same:Praeterea censeo Carthaginem esse delendam (Apart from this, I am of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed.)

It was also the year of the death of the Chinese Emperor Wendi, who was succeeded by his son Chingdi. During his reign the Hunnic offensives to the north increased.

In 153 Quinto Fulvio Nobilior was elected consul , who moved to Spain with an army of 30,000 men. Two indigenous tribes, the belos and the titos, fleeing from him, took refuge in the city of Numancia. This fortified city was located near present-day Soria and its inhabitants were Arevacos.In peacetime it housed about 4,000 men, but could double its population. It was almost completely surrounded by the Duero and was very easy to defend. It had become a refuge for those who fled from Rome, so Nobilior headed towards it, but on the way he was defeated by a group of Arevaci led by the Belo chief Caros, who died in combat. Nobilior camped about 6 kilometers from Numancia and, after receiving 10 elephants and 100 Numidian horsemen as reinforcements, he headed for the city. He rejected an offer of peace from the Numantines and began the siege, but it failed and he was replaced in 152 byMarco Claudio Marcelo, grandson of Marcelo who had conquered Syracuse. Upon his arrival he took care of the Celtiberians, whom he defeated and then treated with benevolence, trying to restore peace. This earned him criticism from the Scipios in Rome, supporters of a warmongering policy. The Senate forced him to change his attitude, and then laid siege to Numancia. The Numantinos asked for peace and Marcelo signed a treaty in which the Celtiberians agreed to pay a large tribute.

Demetrius I had deposed King Ariarates V of Cappadocia, but he allied with Attalus II of Pergamum and Ptolemy VI of Egypt and managed to find a rival for Demetrius I. A certain Alexander Balas claimed to be the son of Antiochus IV and received the necessary support to trigger a civil war in the Seleucid Empire. Ptolemy VI gave him his daughter Cleopatra Tea in marriage.Both Alejandro Balas and Demetrius I tried to win over Jonathan. The first offered him the high priesthood, and the second the rule of a wider region. Jonathan accepted both offers. That same year he became high priest, the first non-Zadok to hold the position. Finally, Jonathan had to decide, and he sided with Alejandro Balas. Meanwhile Atalo II managed to restore Ariarates V on his throne.

In 151 Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus died. His widow, Cornelia, was the daughter of Scipio Africanus. Contrary to what would have been usual, he refused to marry again and dedicated himself entirely to the education of his two sons: Tiberius Sempronio Gracchus, who was then twelve years old, and Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, who was two. He also had a daughter, Sempronia,that he would later marry Scipio the Younger, but in a Roman family a daughter was secondary. Cornelia gave her sons, who soon became known as "the Gracchi", the best Greek education. She was inordinately proud of them. They say that on a certain occasion when a friend proudly showed her her jewelry and then asked to see Cornelia's, she called her children, put one on each side of her and said: "These are my jewelry."

Rome sent Servius Sulpicius Galba to Spain as praetor . He was accompanied by the consul Lucius Licinius Lucullus and Scipio the Younger as a senatorial legate. Historians describe Lucullus as a greedy and ruthless man. Probably to gain military fame, he attacked the Vacceos for no reason and besieged them in Cauca .(the current Coca), which, not very bellicose, agreed to pay a tribute in exchange for being left in peace. Once the tribute was collected, Licinio entered the city and slaughtered its inhabitants. The news spread through Spain and several uprisings took place. Scipio was able to appease them through the use of diplomacy. For his part, Galba faced the Lusitanos in the western part of Andalusia and in Extremadura. He had heavy losses, and in 150  he promised them an allotment of land that their families would cultivate under the protection of Rome. Some 30,000 Lusitanos attended this offer and Galba asked them to hand over their weapons as a sign of friendship. They did so, and then Galba surrounded them with his army, slaughtering some 9,000 of them and selling more than 20,000 into slavery. A few were able to escape. Among them was Viriato, a shepherd who from then on led the resistance of the Lusitanians.

That same year Alejandro Balas achieved victory against Demetrio I, who was killed. Alexander became the new Seleucid king, but he had to face the son of his rival, also called Demetrius. The Parthian king Mithridates I took the opportunity to appropriate Media, one more step in a process of expansion that had begun with the death of Antiochus IV. From this moment we can speak of a Parthian Empire.

It was also the year of the death of King Mithridates IV of Pontus, who was succeeded by his son (or perhaps nephew) Mithridates V.

In 149 Scipio and Galba returned to Rome. Cato accused the latter of making an illegal agreement, of betraying the agreement and of appropriating most of the booty. However, thanks to his aristocratic origin, bribery and his eloquence, he was acquitted. However, the tribune of the common people Lucio Libón managed to pass a law that ordered the rescue of the Lusitanos sold by Galba, and shortly after the Senate approved the Lex Calpurnia, against the praetors who collected taxes for their own benefit.

For his part, Scipio returned from Spain covered in glory, and was finally in a position to ensure that the Greek hostages, among whom was his tutor Polybius, could return to their homeland. When the Senate was discussing the matter, Cato realized that he could not avoid it any longer, so he decided to admit it in the rudest way possible: he got up and said: Have we nothing else to do but sit here all day discussing whether a bunch of old Greeks will have their coffins here or in Greece? Polybius wrote a history of Rome of which some parts survive and is one of the best sources we have on this period.

King Prusias II of Bithynia had taken his son to Rome, but then, jealous of his successes, had tried to assassinate him. However, his son gained the support of Attalus II of Pergamum, assassinated his father, and took the throne as Nicomedes II. Now Bithynia was firmly pro-Roman.

Greece and Macedonia were in anarchy. The Romans did not rule the area, but they also did not allow strong native governments to form. The four republics into which Macedonia was divided were constantly fighting each other. A Macedonian adventurer named Andriscus , claiming to be the son of Perseus, invaded Macedonia with the support of Thessaly, and proclaimed himself king. Thus began the Fourth Macedonian War.

This same year the continuous harassment of King Masinisa of Numidia dragged Carthage to rise up in arms. A battle was fought that Masinissa won, and the Carthaginians understood that Rome would take the incident as a violation of the peace treaty, since Carthage had waged war without permission from Rome, so they executed their generals and sent legates to Rome to explain. , but Cato now had it very easy to get Rome to declare the Third Punic War. The Roman army landed in Africa, and the Carthaginians were willing to accept any demand, even to hand over all their weapons, but what the Romans demanded was that the city be abandoned and that the Carthaginians build another city no less than ten miles away. from sea.

The Carthaginians decided that if their city was going to be destroyed, it would be with them inside. They locked themselves up and made weapons with almost no materials. And they resisted. That same year Cato died, and Masinissa died in 148 . Neither of them could see their enemy destroyed. The throne of Numidia passed into the hands of the three sons of Masinisa: Micipsa, Gulusa and Mastanabal, but finally Micipsa ruled alone. She beautified Cirta, her capital, where she surrounded herself with Greek sages and artists. She provided wheat and soldiers to the Romans.

Andrisco defeated a Roman army in Macedonia, but Rome immediately sent another, this time under the command of Quintus Cecilius Metellus, who, with the help of Attalus II of Pergamum, defeated Andrisco, took him prisoner to Rome and was executed there. Then the Achaean League took the opportunity to jump on Sparta, contravening the order of Rome not to fight battles without his consent. Metellus sent ambassadors to Greece, but they were insulted and Metellus was forced to intervene.

In 147 Scipio the Younger was sent to Carthage, who gave a new impetus to the campaign. He was accompanied by Tiberio Sempronio Graco.

The Parthian king Mithridates I seized Mesopotamia, taking advantage of the power struggles between Alexander Balas and Demetrius. Parthia, along with Pontus, had been one of the main refuges of Mazdeism, the old Persian religion. The very name "Mithridates" means "gift of Mithras", and "Mithras" was Mazdaism's way of incorporating the Sun god. Mithridates tried to convince the Greek ruling class in Mesopotamia that Parthian rule was not going to mean the end of Hellenism, and called himself Mithridates Philhellene(the one who loves Greece). It certainly was. The Parthians were more Greek than the Greeks themselves, for the latter had tried to preserve the ancient Babylonian culture, while the Parthians were not at all interested in it. Under the Parthian Empire the Babylonian culture was definitively extinguished.

An army loyal to Demetrius, the son of Demetrius I, encamped in Palestine and challenged Jonathan, who was on the side of Alexander Balas. Jonathan was then strong enough to face an army squarely, without resorting to guerrilla warfare. He accepted and won. The battle took place at Azotus.

The praetor of Hispania Ulterior, Gaius Vetilio had surrounded the Lusitanians in Spain, but Viriato dissuaded them from surrendering, made them divide into small groups, broke the encirclement and escaped. The Romans pursued them, but were ambushed and Vetilius was killed. Thus Viriato practically dominated Hispania Ulterior, and decided to move to Citerior. In 146 he had taken many positions and finally defeated the praetor Claudius Unimano. With this, the authority of Rome in Spain was dismantled.

That same year Carthage was finally taken and burned to the ground. Those of its inhabitants who did not choose to die in the flames were killed or sold into slavery. Scipio the Younger earned the nickname "the young African". Polybius was there, together with Scipio, and tells that while Carthage was devastated he was thoughtful. He asked him what he thought and Scipio replied that history has its ups and downs, and that he couldn't help thinking that perhaps one day Rome would be sacked as Carthage was now being sacked.

The territory of Cartago was converted into the Province of Africa. At the same time the Province of Macedonia was established, whose praetor was also in charge of supervising Illyria.

Metelo was replaced in Greece by Lucio Mummio. Metellus had not wanted to treat the Greeks harshly, as he was one of many admirers of their culture. On the contrary, Mummio was a rude man who only sought military glory. The main city of the Achaean League was Corinth, which surrendered without resistance, but this was not what Mummius wanted, so he treated it as if it had been taken by storm. He looted it, enslaved the survivors, and took as booty whatever riches and works of art he could find. The Achaean League was definitively dissolved. However, Greece was not converted into a Roman province, but retained, more or less formally, its independence.

In 145 the son of Demetrius I had allied with Ptolemy VI and managed to definitively defeat Alexander Balas, married his wife, Cleopatra Tea, and became Demetrius II. Obviously Jonathan was his enemy, but by now the Seleucid Empire was reduced to Syria and Demetrius II needed friends more than enemies, so he made a deal with Jonathan. He himself sent an army of Jewish mercenaries in exchange for the fortified posts surrounding Jerusalem. Demetrius II accepted the army, but later refused to hand over the posts.

In the battle against Alexander Balas, Ptolemy VI had fallen from his horse and died shortly after from his wounds. Ptolemy VI had arranged for the throne to pass to his son, but his brother, who had been Ptolemy VII for a time, managed to assassinate him and take the throne. This produces a discrepancy in the numbering of the Ptolemies: there are those who call Ptolemy VIIto the son of Ptolemy VI (king of Egypt for a brief period), and then the brother of Ptolemy VI is Ptolemy VIII, and there are those who do not assign numbering to the son and keep the ordinal Ptolemy VII for the brother of Ptolemy VI (which is the what will we do). Ptolemy VII immediately married his sister and the widow of his brother, Cleopatra. He sentenced to death or exile those who had opposed him, which caused many intellectuals to leave the Alexandria museum.

In Spain, the consul Quinto Fabio Máximo Emiliano defeated Viriato in the open field and forced him to retreat to the south, but in 143 Viriato returned to the charge and defeated the new praetor of the citerior. He managed to get the Belos and the Titos to join the Lusitanos and so Rome had to send an army of 30,000 men under the command of the consul Quinto Cecilio Metelo (the other consul was Galba, but he did not return to Spain). His term ended before he had a chance to take any action, and he was relieved by the new consul Quintus Pompey.

A Seleucid general named Tryphon used a child considered the son of Alexander Balas and gave him the title of Antiochus VI to rebel against Demetrius II. Jonathan immediately supported the suitor, to settle the debt he had pending with Demetrius II. However, for some reason Tryphon was led to plan the assassination of Antiochus VI. Because he feared that this might cloud good relations with Jonathan and the Jews, he planned to assassinate him as well. In 142 he invited him to the royal city of Ptolemais,about 135 kilometers north of Jerusalem, where Jonathan went flattered by the distinguished and respectful treatment that was being accorded to him, but there he was captured and killed. His brother Simon his claimed the body and buried it in the family tomb. He then offered Demetrius II an alliance against Trypho in exchange for Demetrius II's recognition of Judean independence. Demetrius II agreed, and for the first time in five centuries, there was an independent Jewish state, with Simon ruling as high priest (but not assuming the title of king).

In Spain, Pompey appeared before Numancia. His attacks were opposed by some eight thousand indigenous people and the result was indecisive, despite the fact that Pompeyo claimed victory. He finally had to retire.

In 141 The proconsul Quinto Fabio Máximo Serviliano achieved a victory against Viriato at the cost of many casualties. In Jerusalem Simon took the fortified posts that his sister had claimed from Demetrius II, so that the capital was freed from Seleucid soldiers. He also took the coastal city of Jaffa, in order to have an outlet to the sea. Ptolemy VII married his niece Cleopatra Evergetis,daughter of his sister and wife Cleopatra and his brother Ptolemy VII. He did not formally repudiate his former wife Cleopatra, but she did go to the court of the Seleucid king Demetrius II (who was married to Cleopatra Theia, daughter of Cleopatra and sister of Cleopatra Evergetis). That same year the Chinese Emperor Chingdi died, and was succeeded by his son Wudi.

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