View Full Version : Carthagenian Empire Lasts As Long As The Roman One?
July 26th, 2011, 02:42 PM
Could they possibly exist side by side? What happens Egypt in this model - (A Carthagenian empire)? What does such an empire look like? Does it spread South? How does it change our world - eg language, engineering, religeon, culture?
July 26th, 2011, 03:23 PM
It would be completely different from the world that we know, that's for sure. And no I'm sorry but I don't think Rome and Carthage could co-exist side by side, at least not without trying to kill each other for dominance in the west. Rome was more of what we are accustomed to a traditional empire while Carthage is more of an trading empire, much like Athens of classical Greece, though Monopolist could perhaps elaborate on that.
July 26th, 2011, 03:58 PM
Qianlong, Falecius, and Lysandros could all help more than I could, but I will say that Rome and Carthage could NOT coexist - mainly due to Rome. Carthage would be fine with Rome confined to Italy, as long as Rome stayed out of Sicily and those other western Med islands, but Rome wouldn't just stay confined to Italy unless it was destroyed or crushed to a point like the Spartans at Leuctra, where they stayed a power, but nothing to regard too seriously while Carthage took the hegemon status. Oh, and I can say that it'd change our world drastically in a lot in some ways (especially language wise), but maybe not AS much as you'd assume in others.
Carthaginian expansion would primarily be focused around Iberia. If/when that's conquered, I don't think you'd see much more conquests. Numidia is more or less Carthaginian controlled, with much of both aristocracies being mixed and with the Libyans more or less being tributary states to Carthage - what I'm getting at is that there's not a lot of reason to go south. Cyrene might be attractive, but probably wouldn't be, and even if it was, the Greek east is more powerful then Carthage - Hannibal can't conquer Egypt or anything like that, and would have difficulties even pushing the Ptolemies out of Cyrene. Carthage could expand down the west African coast, but there's not a lot there worth settling for - small trading missions for their few resources are more likely then permanant settlements. Britain is also brought up as a possible place for Carthage to expand into, but you do have to remember the rather large distance between north Spain and Lands' End in Britain. Carthage might deem its worth high enough it to try and get a monopoly over Britain's tin though. Depends on the situation I'd imagine.
And any Carthaginian empire wouldn't last nearly as long as Rome's did, unless Carthage made a ton of changes to make itself more like Rome. It wasn't nearly as well built for long term survival as Rome - granted, it made it nearly seven hundred years, from 814-146, but I don't think even with Carthage winning that it's got more then four hundred years, given that the Libyans seemed to mass revolt with every invader and even sometimes without it, and a somewhat shaky government.
July 26th, 2011, 05:28 PM
One barrier to the Carthaginians elevation to Rome-like prominence, in my opinion, is that Carthage, much like other Punic/Phoenician and Greek city-state societies was its tiny and exclusive citizen-body. Rome was (probably) unique in that it not only granted citizenship tentatively to certain loyal allied troops in its service, but whenever a rival or rebel city was crushed, some of those Roman or Socii soldiers would be re-settled in the area. Not only to act as a part-time garrison, but it was a way for the Romans to not leave all their eggs in one basket. They were investing in their citizen body. I think it was by the middle of the Third Century BCE, there were over 200,000 people (probably just counted the adult males) with Roman citizenship recorded in the census'.
In cities such as Athens, the Metics (resident non-citizens) would normally outnumber the actual citizens. Also it was decades before even the First Punic War when tens of thousands of Greeks and Macedonians immigrated to the new Diadochi kingdoms in the east, which would have put Macedonia and the various Hellenic Polias in a difficult position.
Carthage, being as wealthy as it was, had no need to copy the Romans. Before their first conflict with Rome, they had the money to spare when hiring foreign mercenaries. Also, their navy was their only full-time professional military organization. Carthage in its heyday was a nation of shopkeepers, so to speak.
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