Roman Empire Exposed: General Scipio’s “Cruelty” “Became the Mark of War” | Sciences | New
Roman genocide of the Carthaginian subjects discussed by an expert
Under the Romans, the world became connected like never before. Within a single empire, the lands of Scotland in the Middle East fell under one roof. Founded somewhere around 625 BC, the Roman Empire became the greatest power in the world and was ruled by a long list of emperors who each had different philosophies and political orientations.
One of the main goals of the empire included personal enrichment, and this required a policy of expansionism.
By 338 BC, Rome – the capital of the empire – had taken control of the entire Italian peninsula.
Some time later, around 264 BC, the Punic Wars began, a series of three wars between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian (Punic) Empire.
They will last almost 100 years.
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While Carthage managed to gain the upper hand in some battles, wars ultimately led to its destruction.
The Romans, aware that Carthage posed a great risk, were prepared to decimate it completely, as noted in the Smithsonian Channel documentary, “Eight Days That Made Rome.”
Here, General Scipio the African’s now famous attack on Carthage was explored and how it revealed the brutality and cruelty of the Romans that would become hallmarks of their military might.
Carthage’s greatest fighter and general was Hannibal, who in 219 BC.
He then marched his army through the Pyrenees and the Alps and into central Italy in what would become one of the most famous military campaigns in history, gaining a foothold in southern Italy where his victory at Cannes gave him considerable control over the region.
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Bettany Hughes: The historian described the brutality of Rome’s tactics
As Rome waged a desperate war in Italy, preventing Hannibal from attacking the city itself, the Roman generals hatched a larger plan to destabilize the Carthaginian Empire.
This happened in 210 BC when they launched a powerful attack on the main power base in Carthage, Spain.
Scipio was only 25 when he became a general in the army and almost immediately turned the war in favor of Rome, capturing the Catharginian forces and towns.
But the way he went about it was wild, and as the documentary’s narrator, Bettany Hughes, noted, âHe did it with a cunning and downright cruelty that would become a hallmark of the Roman War. “
His bloodthirsty work was discovered in the ancient city of Illiturgis, Andalusia, in southern Spain.
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Hannibal: the Carthaginian general crossing the RhÃ´ne to Italy during the Second Punic War
Here, researchers uncovered evidence of a mass civil genocide committed by Scipio and his Roman army.
Juan Pedro Belen, an archaeologist leading the excavation, explained: “We believe that Scipio came with weapons and the idea of ââdestroying the city entirely.” And we think there was some sort of genocide by the Romans because we have no evidence of a population in the landscape after the siege.
“The population has been virtually wiped out, probably 80 to 90 percent of the population wiped out.”
Ms. Huges noted: “The evidence found by Juan Pedro and his team is compelling.”
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Weapons of various styles and sizes have been found, all indicating savage Roman assault.
Ms Hughes continued: âAt the exact historical moment that the Roman weapons appear in this landscape, almost all signs of life in Illitrugis disappear from the archaeological record.
“It’s sobering to think that Scipio, one of Rome’s greatest heroes, was capable of slaughtering in cold blood men and women who dared to challenge Rome.”
Eventually, the Second Punic War ended with a peace accord.
Roman artifacts: some remains of Roman savagery found at Illiturgis
Carthage obtains the right to keep control of its North African territory but loses its other overseas territories, also forced to cede its fleet.
Another coup saw Carthage forced to pay a hefty cash indemnity and pledge never to rearm or declare war again without Rome’s permission.
Hannibal had only narrowly escaped death from Zama’s defeat.
As he managed to retain his military title, the desire to defeat the Romans persisted.
He will continue his military pursuits against Rome from abroad, a feat which was ultimately futile and which led him to poison himself while he was stranded in the Bithynian village of Libyssa, probably around 183 BC.