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Carthage was a rich, flourishing Phoenician city-state that intended to dominate the Mediterranean area. The two cities were allies in the times of Pyrrhus, who was a menace to both, but with Rome's hegemony in Ancient history essay questions Italy and the Carthaginian thalassocracythese cities became the two major powers in the Western Mediterranean and their contention over the Mediterranean led to conflict.
After the Carthaginian intercession, Messana asked Rome to expel the Carthaginians. Rome entered this war because Syracuse and Messana were too close to the newly conquered Greek cities of Southern Italy and Carthage was now able to make an offensive through Roman territory; along with this, Rome could extend its domain over Sicily.
Carthage was a maritime power, and the Roman lack of ships and naval experience would make the path to the victory a long and difficult one for the Roman Republic.
Despite this, after more than 20 years of war, Rome defeated Carthage and a peace treaty was signed. Among the reasons for the Second Punic War  was the subsequent war reparations Carthage acquiesced to at the end of the First Punic War.
Rome fought this war simultaneously with the First Macedonian War.
The war began with the audacious invasion of Hispania by Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who had led operations on Sicily in the First Punic War.
The best way found to defeat Hannibal's purpose of causing the Italians to abandon Rome was to delay the Carthaginians with a guerrilla war of attrition, a strategy propounded by Quintus Fabius Maximus, who would be nicknamed Cunctator "delayer" in Latinand whose strategy Ancient history essay questions be forever after known as Fabian.
Due to this, Hannibal's goal was unachieved: Still, Hannibal's invasion lasted over 16 years, ravaging Italy.
Finally, when the Romans perceived that Hannibal's supplies were running out, they sent Scipio, who had defeated Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal in Spain, to invade the unprotected Carthaginian hinterland and force Hannibal to return to defend Carthage itself.
At great cost, Rome had made significant gains: More than a half century after these events, Carthage was humiliated and Rome was no more concerned about the African menace.
The Republic's focus now was only to the Hellenistic kingdoms of Greece and revolts in Hispania. However, Carthage, after having paid the war indemnity, felt that its commitments and submission to Rome had ceased, a vision not shared by the Roman Senate. Ambassadors were sent to Carthage, among them was Marcus Porcius Catowho after seeing that Carthage could make a comeback and regain its importance, ended all his speeches, no matter what the subject was, by saying: Carthage resisted well at the first strike, with the participation of all the inhabitants of the city.
However, Carthage could not withstand the attack of Scipio Aemilianuswho entirely destroyed the city and its walls, enslaved and sold all the citizens and gained control of that region, which became the province of Africa.
Thus ended the Punic War period.
All these wars resulted in Rome's first overseas conquests SicilyHispania and Africa and the rise of Rome as a significant imperial power and began the end of democracy.
At this time Rome was a consolidated empire — in the military view — and had no major enemies. Gaius Mariusa Roman general and politician who dramatically reformed the Roman military Foreign dominance led to internal strife.
Senators became rich at the provinces ' expense; soldiers, who were mostly small-scale farmers, were away from home longer and could not maintain their land; and the increased reliance on foreign slaves and the growth of latifundia reduced the availability of paid work.
Violent gangs of the urban unemployed, controlled by rival Senators, intimidated the electorate through violence. The situation came to a head in the late 2nd century BC under the Gracchi brothers, a pair of tribunes who attempted to pass land reform legislation that would redistribute the major patrician landholdings among the plebeians.
Both brothers were killed and the Senate passed reforms reversing the Gracchi brother's actions. Marius then started his military reform: At this time, Marius began his quarrel with Lucius Cornelius Sulla: Marius, who wanted to capture Jugurtha, asked Bocchusson-in-law of Jugurtha, to hand him over.
As Marius failed, Sulla, a general of Marius at that time, in a dangerous enterprise, went himself to Bocchus and convinced Bocchus to hand Jugurtha over to him. This was very provocative to Marius, since many of his enemies were encouraging Sulla to oppose Marius.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla After Marius's retirement, Rome had a brief peace, during which the Italian socii "allies" in Latin requested Roman citizenship and voting rights. The reformist Marcus Livius Drusus supported their legal process but was assassinated, and the socii revolted against the Romans in the Social War.
At one point both consuls were killed; Marius was appointed to command the army together with Lucius Julius Caesar and Sulla. However, Marius's partisans managed his installation to the military command, defying Sulla and the Senateand this caused Sulla's wrath.
To consolidate his own power, Sulla conducted a surprising and illegal action: He seized power along with the consul Lucius Cornelius Cinna and killed the other consul, Gnaeus Octaviusachieving his seventh consulship. In an attempt to raise Sulla's anger, Marius and Cinna revenged their partisans by conducting a massacre.
Sulla after returning from his Eastern campaigns, had a free path to reestablish his own power. Sulla also held two dictatorships and one more consulship, which began the crisis and decline of Roman Republic.
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Today's world owes an immense debt to the mighty empires and great cities of ancient history.