Talk:Third Punic War

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Latin grammar[edit]

Both links in this phrase:

the phrase that has become the classic example of the passive periphrastic in Latin grammar

Link to the same page (the Latin page), which does not appear to explain, anywhere, what "passive periphrastic" means.

Carthage suffering[edit]

I've edited this page a little to add to the appreciation of Carthage's suffering during the interwar years and to flesh out how the war was declared. I also modified the description of the death and destruction slightly. I've been doing a great deal of research on Carthage (read most of the original sources) recently for another project so the topic was still fresh. WardHayesWilson 13:23, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Its ARMOR not Armour. Its FAVOR not favour.

Actually, both spellings are acceptable, per Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English, as one is correct American English and the other correct British English. (One should not "correct" language until one reads the rationales for WP practices in the manual of style.) On the other hand, incorrect use of "its" to represent "it's", the contraction of "it is", is never correct in any form of published English. You know what they say about throwing stones from glass houses… ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:17, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Where's the actual war?[edit]

This article seems to be much more about the lead-up and aftermath of the Third Punic War than about the actual war itself. Could those with appopriate knowledge and/or sources do a little rearranging and expansion to remedy this? Thanks. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:20, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

the Romans landed an army at Utica where the consuls demanded that Carthage hand over all weapons and armour. After those had been handed over, Rome additionally demanded that the Carthaginians move at least ten miles inland, while Carthage itself was burned. When the Carthaginians learned of this they abandoned negotiations and the city was immediately besieged, beginning the Third Punic War. The Carthaginians endured the siege from 149 BC to 146 BC, when Scipio Aemilianus took the city by storm.
That's it. That's the entire war. A landing at Utica, negotionations and demands, a besieging of the city, the city falls, it's burned out, everyone killed and sold into slavery. End of "war". It wasn't a big one. - Vedexent 04:38, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
But the cited paragraph contradicts itself. Please note that it claims that the siege began the war, which implies the war was nothing more than a 3-year siege, the details of which are not given here. (Thus my complaint.) Perhaps the problem is that the war is all of what Vedexent cites, and not just the siege, as the text claims. But I don't know the history well enough to correct whatever the problem is. What do the references and the history books say? ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:47, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

End of Carthage as a "nation"?[edit]

There is a famous quote from Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers:

"My mother said violence never solves anything." "So?" Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. "I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that." ~ chapter 2

This alludes to what I thought was a well-known historical fact that Carthage ceased to be a nation as a result of the Third Punic War. In fact, I was under the impression that this was the single most notable aspect of the war. Yet this idea is never explicitly mentioned. Am I incorrect in my belief? If not, we should add a line to the intro paragraph making this clear. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:28, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

While a specific statement along the lines of "...and Carthage ceased to be a nation." are not in the article, it does say...
...remaining 50,000 Carthaginians, a small part of the original pre-war population, were sold into slavery.
The city was systematically burned for somewhere between 10 and 17 days. Then the city walls, its buildings and its harbour were utterly destroyed and the surrounding territory was supposedly sown with salt to ensure that nothing would grow there again...
The remaining Carthaginians territories were annexed by Rome and constituted the Roman province of Africa.
I'm not sure how this can be interprepted as anything other than the end of Carthage as a nation: Population killed and enslaved; city and harbor destroyed; territories annexed and made part of Rome. There doesn't seem to be anything left of the nation.
As a pretty grisly analogy: If someone tells me that someone was decapitated, and then left in their house when it was burned down, I pretty much assume that person is dead without the words, "and then they were dead." - Vedexent 04:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Vedexent, would you agree that the single most important aspect of this war was the final destruction of Carthage? Although one might deduce that from what you cite, I'm concerned that the many editors of this 4-year-old article don't seem to have thought this concise statement important enough to include in the introduction. That's why I am reluctant to add it myself. To extend (and possibly torture) your analogy, it's as if the article was about a house fire historically notable because of the occupant's grisly death, but the intro only presented it as a house fire. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:57, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I believe that the use of the term "nation" is highly unaccurate. The term "nation" refers to a specific political society born in Europe arround the XVI and XVII centuries. Neither Egypt, Carthage or Rome were "nations". "Nation" is a term refering to a modern socio-political fenomenon. Any pre-modern society can't be considered as a such. Therefore, Carthage could have been eliminated as an Empire, as a Mediterranean power, as a civilization, but not as a "nation". There is a huge academic discussion about if Rome could be considered as a State or not. And even if it had forms of State it was not formed by a nation whatsoever. The issue here is not the discussion about if Rome ended with Carthage as an independent society or not, but if Carthage was a "nation" or not. I suggest the reading of "What is a Nation?" by the French philosopher Ernest Renan and the immediate deletion of the term nation from wikipedia's history of the II century BC. (Mrcel| 01:00, 8 June 2006)

I can't believe how much quibbling one half-sentence is causing :p Should I point out now that Carthage was not an Empire? It was an oligarchy presiding over a large sphere of influence controlled mostly through economic means. - Vedexent (talk · contribs) 11:14, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree; Carthage was not a "nation". And yes, it did not have an emperor. Independent statal entity; I'm ok with that. Let's hope this sterile debate is now over. Mrcel (talk · contribs) 2:16 pm (GMT+1) 8 June 2006

Most importantly other cities like Utica were pretty much the same culture as Carthage, just not as big and important. Utica, which betrayed Carthage was the elder Punic colony in Africa so you have kind of Athens and others backstabbing Corinth. Ok, Corinth is gone, but there are plenty of Greek cities left around the place (talk) 19:43, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Very biased[edit]

The overall tone of this article is very biased against Rome. As I am sure no one currently editing wikipedia has bitter memories of Roman conquest, it seems bizarre that the tone of this article should be anything other than a calm, detached explanation of what occured. If what Rome did was immoral, fine; but launching into recriminations for a millenia-old conquest by one warring party against another is improper. 22:19, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I have bitter memories of that conquest, I remember it like it was yesterday, LONG LIVE CARTHAGE!!! (Fdsdh1 (talk) 17:37, 10 December 2012 (UTC))

Carthage under Byzantine[edit]

Carthage is mentioned in the Byzantine-Arab wars. Was that the same city, only rebuilt?Tourskin 18:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. This could be confusing to people, so I've added a small note about Roman Carthage.--Pharos 07:30, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Hellenic eyes?[edit]

"In 151 BC, the Carthaginian debt to Rome was fully repaid, meaning that, in Hellenic eyes, the treaty was now expired..."

Shouldn't the above read "in Carthaginian eyes" or even "in Punic eyes"? If the Greek-speaking world's point of view is really what's being spoken of here, more explanation is needed. Paroche 01:53, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

From the context, yes, I think it's very clear that it is Carthage's treaty that is being discussed here. I've changed the wording to "Punic", per your suggestion.--Pharos 07:30, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I must say that this article seems almost to “condemn” Rome for its actions. History must be thoroughly objective if one must learn of such events in time. The very nature of the article almost seems as if argument rather then explanatory. It borders accusations of genocide and massacre. Let’s just keep it as unbiased as possible, as all historical articles should be. (Curious1856 15:25, 7 May 2007 (UTC))


Carthage had pre-war population of 700,000. After war 50,000 survivors were sold to slavery. So could anyone explain from there the figure 62,000 comes if reality should be about ten times higher?--Staberinde 15:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Category:Punic Wars vs. Category:Third Punic War[edit]

Category:Third Punic War is itself a category within Category:Punic Wars. — Robert Greer (talk) 15:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

1985 treaty[edit]

Hey gang! Just wanna say that the war ended in 146 BC but the treaty was done in 1985. We should add this but as of now many wikipedians don't share the concept of the sum of ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. I have tried twice to put that tidbit in but people deleted it. Aaaargh --user:steven

This information is not encyclopedical enough. Wikipedia isn't collection of all garbage ever told. Pavel Vozenilek 22:56, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

this article does appear on List of wars extended by diplomatic irregularity and it uses the 1985 peace make of it what you will (Fdsdh1 (talk) 17:35, 10 December 2012 (UTC))

There was no need for a peace treaty in 146 BC as the consequence of the Third Punic War was that the Carthaginian state ceased to exist and its entire territory was annexed by the Roman Republic. The 1985 "treaty" may be a symbolic gesture but has entirely no legal standing because mayors aren't entitled to make binding treaties. It thus doesn't end the war. -- fdewaele, 6 February 2013.

  • Per fdewaele. This isn't a real treaty, it's a publicity gimmick. There is no "Carthage" to sign it; the mayor of a suburb of Tripoli is not the successor to Ancient Carthage. It feels like an "in popular culture" section. I've removed the section pending a consensus here. --Floquenbeam (talk) 13:21, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
We're in agreement because that's what I meant with symbolic gesture... -- fdewaele, 6 February 2013.