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Timeline of Carthaginian History
Mon Dec 8 22:15:50 UTC 2008


The Settlement Period (814-480 BC)
814Elissa (Dido), sister of the King of Tyre, and her supporters flee to found Carthage.
800?First Phoenician presence on Sardinia.
770Phoenicians found Gadir, gateway to Spanish silver.
700-500Greeks colonize Sicily, Southern Italy, Southern Provence, Andalusia and Cyrenaica, encircling Carthaginian territory.
654Carthage founds colony in the Balearic Islands at Ibiza.
600Carthage fails to prevent Phocaean Greek colony at Massilia (Marseilles).
580Greeks attempt to drive Phoenicians out of Sicily.
574Nebuchadnezzar and the neo-Babylonians take Tyre. Carthage is on its own more than ever.
550Carthage allies with the Etruscans against the Greeks.
550Carthaginian force led by Malchus defeats Greeks in Sicily, but is vanquished in Sardinia. Malchus is banished, marches on Carthage, is caught and executed.
550?Carthage founds colonies along coast of Africa, Algeria, Hadrumetum, Leptis.
539Cyrus the Great of Persia conquers Asian Phoenicia.
535Carthage and the Etruscans destroy Phocaean (Greek) colony in Corsica and close Sardinia-Corsica off to the Greeks.
510Carthaginians expel Dorieus, a Spartan prince, from Tripolitania. Rome throws off her Etruscan rulers and establishes an independent republic.
507First treaty with Rome The two sides agree to respect the other's sphere of influence.
498Hippocrates and Theron seize control in Greek Syracuse and attempt to drive Phoenicians off western part of the island.
480Alliance with Persia fails to destroy Greeks. Superior Athenian forces cut off the fleet and then are able to defeat the land forces at Himera. In Carthage, revolution overthrows the Mago dynasty and establishes the Court of 104 Magistrates.

The Early Republic (480 – 272 BC)
480 Sicilian Greeks at Himera defeat a Carthaginian force under Hamilcar the Magonid by cutting off access to the East. Hamilcar commits suicide on the battlefield.
479-450 Re-buffed in Sicily, Carthage focuses on Africa, conquering most of what is now Tunisia, also founding new and strengthening old colonies in North Africa. Mago's expedition crosses the Sahara.
410 Phoenicians in Hispania join with Celtiberians to secede from Carthage, denying the state important silver and copper revenues. They also cut off the overland tin trade from Cornwall.
410 Himilco leads expeditions to the Atlantic. Hanno leads expeditions to Morocco and Senegal.
409 Carthage attempts to conquer Sicily. Hannibal, grandson of Hamilcar, takes the fortified towns of Selinus and Himera by use of siege towers.
405 Hannibal Mago and hundreds of troops die in epidemic outside the fortified town of Acragas. His relative Himilco takes over command, but is defeated by a force out of Syracuse, and has supply disrupted in naval action. Syracusan forces strengthen the garrison.
405 A Carthaginian squadron breaks through the Greek blockade – the besieged escape under cover of night. Punic forces collect spoils.
405 Himilco takes the town of Gela on the southwest coast, defeating the Syracusan force, then takes the town of Camarina.
405 Himilco marches on Syracuse. The army is laid low by epidemic. Himilco seeks peace. Syracuse grants control of most of Sicily and must pay tribute to Carthage. Treaty confirms Dionysius I as dictator (tyrannos) of Syracuse. First Sicilian War concludes.
398 Dionysius sacks Motya – Carthaginians permanently relocate main Sicilian base to the fortified town of Lilybaeum.
397 Himilco drives Dionysius back to Syracuse and resumes siege. In naval action, sinks or boards 100 Syracusan naval vessels and takes 20,000 prisoners.
396 Epidemic lays Punic forces low for a third time in Sicily. Dionysius capitalizes and defeats Himilco in pitched battle. He survives, but upon return to Carthage, starves himself to death. Fighting continues.
393 Carthaginian force under Mago, nephew of Himilco, try to re-take Messana, but are defeated.
392 Mago defeated a second time. Truce signed.
384 Carthage renews war, initiating minor skirmishes.
375 Syracuse defeats Carthage at Cabala, killing Mago and 10,000 soldiers. Mago's son Himilco defeats Dionysius near Himera. Truce favorable to Carthage concluded.
367 Dionysius attacks Carthaginian base at Lilybaeum, but is stopped when his fleet is defeated by warships under Hanno the Great.
366 Dionysius I dies, still at war with Carthage.
360 Carthage crucifies Hanno the Great following his unsuccessful attempt to usurp power.
350 Carthage is the leading Western power.
348 Carthage signs a second treaty with Rome.
343 Mago sails to Syracuse to drive out the usurper, but fails and commits suicide to avoid court martial upon his return. Hasdrubal and Hamilcar make a second attempt, losing a battle at Segesta. Hasdrubal executed. Gisco, son of Hanno the Great, is authorized to make peace – Sicily divided along Halycus River. 2nd Sicilian War ends.
340 Power struggle in Syracuse ends with Timoleon of Corinth victorious.
338 Uneasy, yet prosperous peace in Sicily.
334 Alexander the Great conquers the Eastern World. Carthage makes peace with the Greek empire.
323Alexander dies.
315 Agathocles of Syracuse takes Messana.
311 Agathocles lays siege to Acragas and crosses the Halcyus, violating the peace treaty.
310 Carthaginian force under Hamilcar, grandson of Hanno the Great, defeats Greek force at Himera. Siege of Syracuse begins.
309 Agathocles sails force of 14,000 to Africa. Carthage meets with 40,000 foot, 1000 cavalry and 2000 chariots under Bomilcar and Hanno. Greeks are victorious, Carthage losing 3000 on the battlefield, but city is impregnable. Siege of Syracuse continues.
308 Greeks form local allies – Egypt contributes 10,000. Greeks control Tunisian province and fighting continues.
308 Bomilcar tries to make himself dictator in Carthage. Is defeated and tortured to death.
307 Greek victory outside Syracuse. Hamilcar captured and killed.
307 While Agathocles oversees events in Syracuse, Carthage defeats the Greek and allied forces. Despite Syracusan reinforcement, the Greek cause in Africa is doomed. Greeks desert to Carthaginian commanders Hanno and Himilco in vast numbers. Treaty favorable to Carthage concluded.
306Third treaty with Rome.
300 Greek explorers Pytheas and Euthymenes visit the Atlantic and African coasts, respectively.
289 Agathocles dies. Third Sicilian War ends. Pre-war division of Sicily resumes.
279 Pyrrhus of Epirus, relative of Alexander the Great, invades southern Italy and Sicily. Defeats Phoenicians and forces them off the island, leaving Lilybaeum as the only remaining stronghold.
279Agreement with Rome against Pyrrhus.
277? Carthage sinks 70 of Pyrrhus' 110 ships and Pyrrhus gives up the war.
276?Carthage establishes good relations with the Lagos monarchy in Egypt. Trade between the two empires thrives.
272 A woman hurls a tile from a rooftop as Pyrrhus invests Argos, killing him before he can begin his planned second invasion of Sicily.

The Late Republic (265 – 146 BC)
265 Carthage and Rome support opposing warring sides in Sicily.
263 First War with Rome begins over Sicily begins.
262 Rome victorious at Messana. Syracuse goes over to Romans. Acragas falls to Romans.
261 Carthage raids Italian coast. Rome builds its first fleet. Carthaginian defeat at sea off Mylae. Commander Hannibal crucified. Victory at Thermae.
257 Another sea defeat and Romans land in Africa, take Tunis. Carthage, under forces led by Hasdrubal and Bostzer, defeats Rome before the gates, largely with Numidian cavalry, led by Greek mercenary leader Xanthippus.
256 Hanno the Great II expands territory in North Africa.
253 Rome wins a brilliant naval victory off the Aegates Islands, west of Sicily, cutting off African supply bases. Hasdrubal defeated outside Panormus and is executed by his own forces. Truce called.
247 Hamilcar Barca re-organizes forces on Sicily, but receives no reinforcement.
241 War ends in defeat. Sicily is lost, fleet destroyed and finances ruined due to crippling indemnity.
241-237 Mercenaries revolt and stir up poverty-stricken peasants in Libya and Utica. Eventually defeated by Hamilcar. Rome obtains Sardinia-Corsica as price of staying neutral. (This period is the setting of Flaubert's Salammbô.)
237 Hamilcar Barca reconquers the lost lands of Hispania.
229 Hamilcar dies, succeeded by son-in-law Hasdrubal.
228 Hasdrubal founds Carthago Nova (i.e. New Carthage, later Cartagena).
226 Treaty with Rome defines Ebro River as boundary between spheres.
221 An Iberian murders Hasdrubal. He is succeeded by Hannibal.
219 Hannibal and brother Hasdrubal conquer the entire Iberian peninsula up to the Ebro.
218 Hannibal takes the town of Saguntum, which is south of the Ebro, but allied to Rome. Then he marches over the Ebro, into the Alps and invades the Italian peninsula with the help of Gallic allies. Victory over Cornelius Scipio at Ticinus. Victory at Trebia over Sempronius Longus. Rome defeats Hanno in Hispania and Rome is victorious at sea near Lilybaeum – Malta lost to Carthage.
217 Hannibal defeats Roman force under Flaminius at Lake Trasimene.
216 Hannibal defeats a double Roman force at Cannae under Terentius Varro. Greek sovereigns Philip V of Macedonia and Hiero of Syracuse join Carthage's cause, though without committing deeply.
214 Syracuse falls to Roman forces commanded by Marcellus.
210-205 Scipio with the aid of Numidian Prince Massinissa conquers Hispania for Rome. Scipio invades Africa, takes Tunis.
204 Scipio allies with Libyans, Moors and Numidians and Numidian Prince Massinissa to take the war to Africa. Carthage backs rival Numidian Syphax who along with Hasdrubal Gisco is defeated by Scipio in two successive battles. Mago is defeated in northern Italy attempting to reinforce Hannibal. A peace treaty is declared and Carthage consent that Hannibal return to Africa, which he does.
202 Carthaginan attack on Roman convoy, which has run aground re-opens the war. Scipio defeats Hannibal at Zama to end Second War with Rome. Fleet reduced to ten triremes, domain limited to eastern Tunisia, Massinissa installed as king of the Numidians at Cirta (Constantine), high indemnities and Carthage denied permission to wage war.
202-150 Trade with North Africa and Greece continues. Agriculture improved to bring in new revenues.
195 Hannibal becomes Suffete and proves a successful political leader. Forces state reform, reducing corruption and introducing new methods of election.
194 Hannibal flees to escape his Roman enemies. First he goes to Tyre, then Ephesus where he becomes a military consultant to Antiochus III of Syria, but his advice is not really accepted.
191 Manius Acilius and the Romans rout Antiochus at Thermopylae; Antiochus' forces, including Hannibal, retreat to Asia.
190 The Romans under Scipio Asiaticus (older brother of Africanus) pursue and defeat Antiochus' Seleucid forces at Magnesia ad Sipylum in Anatolia. Antiochus puts Hannibal in charge of a fleet, but the Romans defeat it near the Eurymedon River. When Antiochus appears ready to surrender, Hannibal flees, probably first to Armenia, then temporarily to Crete, finally to Bithynia, then fighting a Greek ally of Rome, Pergamon. Put in command, Hannibal gains a naval victory over Eumenes – in one battle having pots full of venomous snakes thrown onto the enemy ships – and wins two land battles as well.
183 Aiding their ally, the Romans continue to press and at last Bithynia promises to deliver Hannibal over to them. Hannibal flees, however, and at the eastern shore of Marmara, takes poison and dies.
150 Carthage attacks Numidians in response to Massinissa's land grabs. Numidia victorious and further indemnities exacted.
149 Rome declares war in retaliation for treaty violation.
146 Carthage falls to Scipio Aemilianus. City burnt to the ground. Carthago delenda

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