II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > E. Rome > 2. The Republic, 264–70 B.C.E. > c. The Punic Wars
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
c. The Punic Wars
The FIRST PUNIC WAR arose from the Roman decision to accept the appeal of the Mamertines—Campanian mercenaries in Messana—to aid them against King Hiero of Syracuse and the Carthaginians (See 275–215). In 264 Ap. Claudius Pulcher defeated the Carthaginians and Hiero and besieged Syracuse; Hiero shifted his alliance to Rome.  1
After sacking Agrigentum, the Romans decided to expel the Carthaginians entirely from Sicily.  2
The Romans under C. Duilius won the naval victory of Mylae.  3
A Roman army under M. Atilius Regulus landed in Africa. Carthage rejected Regulus's stringent terms and continued resistance under the Spartan mercenary Xanthippus.  4
Xanthippus captured Regulus and part of his army.  5
Rome seized Panormus and, in 250, began an unsuccessful nine-year siege of Lilybaeum.  6
The Romans failed to dislodge the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca from the promontory of Eryx.  7
At the Aegates Islands C. Lutatius Catulus destroyed the Carthaginian fleet. Carthage eventually negotiated peace on the condition of the surrender of Sicily and a payment of 3,200 talents over ten years. At Rome the final two voting tribes were created, making a total of 35 in the tribal assembly. Sometime between 241 and 217, the comitia centuriata was reorganized to make it partially correspond to the tribal system. The reform was democratic to the extent that it reduced the number of voting units (centuries) of the wealthiest first class from 80 to 70, to produce a multiple of the 35 tribes of the more egalitarian tribal assembly, and that it transferred the right of first vote from the elite equestrian centuries to those of the first class.  8
237 (238?)
Carthage, weakened in the recent Mercenary War (241–238), was blackmailed by the threat of war into surrendering Sardinia to Rome and paying an additional 1,200 talents.  9
Hamilcar Barca established a Carthaginian dominion in southern and southeastern Spain.  10
The First Illyrian War. To suppress Illyrian pirates, Rome sent a large army and fleet, defeated Queen Teuta, and established “friendship” with the Greek cities of Illyria.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.