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ARC 46 — Rome vs. Carthage: The Punic Wars

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 11—Jun 6
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: May 1
Unit: 1
Tuition: $400
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on April 18
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 11—Jun 6
8 weeks
Drop By
May 1
1 Unit
Patrick Hunt
Please Note: No class on April 18
The dramatic conflict between Rome and Carthage lasted from before the Punic Wars (264–146 BCE) and lingered after Punic Carthage was destroyed and resettled as a Roman city. The bitter enmity between these two competing states is best epitomized by none other than the brilliantly tragic persona of Hannibal. His shadow looms large in history and even over such poetic epics as Virgil’s Aeneid, which meditates on the question of why these two peoples fought so fiercely over the Mediterranean world.

The intense rivalry was inexorable. Rome, an agrarian society, depended on increasing farm territory with its burgeoning population, while Carthage, a mercantilist trading empire, was accustomed to plying the Mediterranean. The First Punic War was fought over Sicily. The Second Punic War highlights Hannibal’s incredible invasion of Italy and its dramatic aftermath when Scipio turned the tables by invading Africa. The Third Punic War culminates with Rome’s destruction of the city of Carthage and the end of the Punic trade empire. This course will provide a richly illustrated survey of the Punic Wars and how they changed the trajectory of ancient history. We will see how Rome’s mandate to destroy Carthage unfolded as Rome outgrew Italy, why Carthage never saw its demise coming, how Scipio learned tactics from Hannibal and improved on them, and why Cato never stopped repeating his mantra that “Carthage must be destroyed.”

Patrick Hunt, Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project

Patrick Hunt is the author of twenty books, including Caravaggio (Life & Times), When Empires Clash, and Hannibal. He is an associate at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and a research associate in archeoethnobotany at the Institute for EthnoMedicine. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Patrick Hunt, Hannibal (ISBN 978-1439102176)