Rome forces end to wars with Carthage

Expansion of Rome before and after the Punic Wars.

By Bridget Zimmerman

JULY 17, 146 B.C.- The Roman soldiers have defeated the Carthaginians at long last and have put an end to this series of Punic Wars.  After conquering and razing the city, no rivals remain throughout the western Mediterranean area.

Rome originally attacked them not only because they were the last enemy in the area, but also because they had the most control over the sea.  While Rome was (and still is) the chief land power, the Carthaginian ships had blocked off the Mediterranean and would destroy any other vessels.

The period of battle between these two forces dates all the way back to 246 B.C.  It has continued (with interruptions, at times) ever since.

In the Second Punic War (war against Hannibal), the death toll for both empires was much higher than the other battles.  As Roman General Thebus Reede stated it, "This battle was worse than ever before.  It was so violent, I'm surprised that there were even survivors to continue the war."

General Thebus Reede in battle.

The fierce rivalry continued, no matter the loss.  In the battle of Zama (202 B.C.), Carthage was reduced to the position of a vassal state.

50 years later and most recently, the Third Punic War progressed the rivalry.  After over a century of fighting, Rome finally beat the Carthaginians.  They then destroyed the city.  "Good riddance," remarked Reede.

Roman officials hope to continue the overseas expansions.

For more information on the Punic Wars, click this link.

Ball games become a favorite pastime

Are you not getting active enough?  Do you lie on the couch and tell your parents that you're bored every day?  If so, try to exercise by playing some of the ball games that have become Roman favorites for all ages.

In one game, someone throws a ball up into the air, and players are required to catch the ball before it hits the ground.

Football is a sport where two large groups are required to play against each other, passing only to people on the same team.

Another ball game, played with numerous people, requires participants to pass the ball to one another, but the goal is to fake out the other competitors.

A different activity has players bounce the ball on the ground and hit it repeatedly with their palms.  The number of bounces is counted.

The last game, the favorite in Rome, is the trigon (or pila trigonalis).  It is played by three people standing in a triangle and passing to each other.  If you gain skill in this sport, you can try to catch and throw with your left hand (this is an impressive skill).

If you are looking for a new pastime, these favorite Roman ball games will keep you busy, active, and entertained. Try them today!

Romans playing a ball game.

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