Carthage Surrenders its Territory in Sicily


After the initial sweep of Roman forces across Sicily in the First Punic War was halted by Carthage's spirited defense of her territory in western Sicily, Rome turned its attack to the sea and to the northern coast of Africa--the seat of Carthage itself.

[Location map to be added here]Carthage was a traditional sea power, but Roman had to assemble her first battle fleet ever for the maritime fray. The campaign at sea, begun in 260 BC, seesawed back and forth inconclusively for years, punctuated by a promising but ultimately unsuccessful Roman attack on Carthage itself in 256 BC and by a renewal of ground fighting in Sicily in 254-3 BC.

Ultimately, however, the issue was resolved at sea, with an overwhelming and conclusive victory by the Roman fleet in 241 BC. Unable to continue support of her forces in Sicily, Carthage agreed to surrender all her territory on the island. The First Punic War was ended, and the 600-year period of Roman rule in Sicily had begun.


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2000 C. I. Gable