CLA 277 - Rome and Carthage
Between the 8th and 3rd centuries BCE, Rome and Carthage developed from small settlements into the two major powers controlling much of the western Mediterranean. After centuries of peaceful relations between these two city-states, a series of three wars broke out between them from 264 to 146 BCE. Rome’s ultimate victories in these wars would firmly secure its status as hegemon of the western Mediterranean and pave the way for further imperial expansion to the east. But Carthaginian cultural practices did not cease to exist, and the area flourished for centuries as the Roman province of Africa.
In this course, we will trace the development of these two ancient city-states and their relationship with one another from their foundations through the imperial period of the first several centuries CE. We will compare the two societies in the centuries before their conflicts. How were they similar to and different from one another in terms of origins, political system, military culture, approaches to expansion, social structure, ethnicity and identity, and religion? How did these city-states interact with one another during this period? Then we will turn to the three wars themselves, investigating their causes, progress, and eventual outcome. Finally, we will look at the immediate and long-term consequences of these wars for both Roman and Carthaginian societies, and we will think about how both cultures later reflected upon their interactions with one another in peace and in war.
The readings will be drawn largely from primary texts, including the works of Diodorus, Polybius, Plautus, Livy, and Vergil. We will also pay close attention to the rich body of material evidence from both Rome and Carthage, including sculptures, architecture, coins, and inscriptions.
Counts toward the major in Classical Languages and Literature, the major in Classical Studies, and the minor in Classical Studies.
Counts as a pre-modern course for the History major and as a 300-level course for the History minor.
Prerequisites & Notes
Students at all levels welcome. (Not offered in 2021-2022)