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Thread: Cause of 1st Punic War

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    Default Cause of 1st Punic War

    For my AAR on the 1st Punic War I am trying to write in short how it started.
    First: there isn't really a short version to say it

    Second: could it be that the ingame description of the cause is wrong? It goes directly against what I have read about the war.

    The ingame description says that Carthage allied with Syracuse and the Carthaginian fleet supported the Syracusean army. However, in the book I am reading about the 1st Punic War and also on Wikipedia it says that the Carthaginian fleet supported the Mamertines. Even more, it says that it was actually the Carthaginians who saved the Mamertines and that the Mamertines afterwards got fed up of the Carthaginian garrison and thus called the Romans for help.

    Also, I wonder why Hanno Messina is as a general in the game, didn't he return to Carthage after losing Messana and was crucified? (Poor guy btw, saved his soldiers and as a thanks got crucified!)

    It's not really game-related nor very important, but I think it's an interesting story so I just wanted to have some clarification to better understand this

    Link to the book: http://www.amazon.de/The-Fall-Cartha...ref=pd_ys_iyr2

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    Yes, I am reading this book too

    For ElNino, our historian, to discuss !

    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob. View Post

    The ingame description says that Carthage allied with Syracuse and the Carthaginian fleet supported the Syracusean army. However, in the book I am reading about the 1st Punic War and also on Wikipedia it says that the Carthaginian fleet supported the Mamertines. Even more, it says that it was actually the Carthaginians who saved the Mamertines and that the Mamertines afterwards got fed up of the Carthaginian garrison and thus called the Romans for help.
    Both things are true I believe, Carthage allied with Syracuse after the Mamertines got tired of the Carthaginians and expelled them.

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    Alright, that makes sense, but I think there is a huge difference between "we both don't want the Mamertines/Romans in Sicily, let's not fight each other for now" and actual support.
    Because from how I understand it, the Carthaginians and Syracuseans were not exactly best friends :P
    If I am not mistaken, the Carthaginians never actually helped the Syracuseans against the Romans, did they?

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    Ever since a rude boy at school called it The First Pubic War I have found the whole thing rather snigger inducing.

    As a consequence I've never been able to take Hannibal seriously despite all his great deeds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taillebois View Post
    ...The First Pubic War...
    you know at those times Romans had loose morals

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob. View Post
    Alright, that makes sense, but I think there is a huge difference between "we both don't want the Mamertines/Romans in Sicily, let's not fight each other for now" and actual support.
    Because from how I understand it, the Carthaginians and Syracuseans were not exactly best friends :P
    If I am not mistaken, the Carthaginians never actually helped the Syracuseans against the Romans, did they?
    Well my Knowledge is rusty, irrc they sieged Messana together but the lack of coordinatiom between both sides meant that each army was defeated individually by the Romans in this battle I believe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Messana

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob. View Post
    For my AAR on the 1st Punic War I am trying to write in short how it started.
    First: there isn't really a short version to say it

    Second: could it be that the ingame description of the cause is wrong? It goes directly against what I have read about the war.

    The ingame description says that Carthage allied with Syracuse and the Carthaginian fleet supported the Syracusean army. However, in the book I am reading about the 1st Punic War and also on Wikipedia it says that the Carthaginian fleet supported the Mamertines. Even more, it says that it was actually the Carthaginians who saved the Mamertines and that the Mamertines afterwards got fed up of the Carthaginian garrison and thus called the Romans for help.

    Also, I wonder why Hanno Messina is as a general in the game, didn't he return to Carthage after losing Messana and was crucified? (Poor guy btw, saved his soldiers and as a thanks got crucified!)

    It's not really game-related nor very important, but I think it's an interesting story so I just wanted to have some clarification to better understand this

    Link to the book: http://www.amazon.de/The-Fall-Cartha...ref=pd_ys_iyr2
    In fact, nobody like the Mamertines. they were a danger for all the states around. The final objective of Carthage was to be the unique power in Sicily. Syracusae was the traditionnal foe of Carthage, but the Mamertines in Messina were too dangerous. An 'alliance' was made between Syracusae and Carthage to destroy the Mamertines. Alone, the Mamartines attacked by Hiero call first Carthage, and were agreed to have a punic garrisson in the Messina'fortress. The Mamartines were italians. In the same time, they call Rome to help. In Rome, the Senate didn't want to go to war against Carthage, but the Rome's plebis could't support the punic power grawing. The Sicily should become the super carrier of Carthage, and Italy the next punic conquest. Some politicians like Appius Claudius call Rome to arms, and accept to help the Mamertines. The Mamertines expelled the punic garrisson of Hanno from the Messina'fortress, and the war will begin...

    Sorry for my bad English...

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Nino View Post
    In fact, nobody like the Mamertines. they were a danger for all the states around. The final objective of Carthage was to be the unique power in Sicily. Syracusae was the traditionnal foe of Carthage, but the Mamertines in Messina were too dangerous. An 'alliance' was made between Syracusae and Carthage to destroy the Mamertines. Alone, the Mamartines attacked by Hiero call first Carthage, and were agreed to have a punic garrisson in the Messina'fortress. The Mamartines were italians. In the same time, they call Rome to help. In Rome, the Senate didn't want to go to war against Carthage, but the Rome's plebis could't support the punic power grawing. The Sicily should become the super carrier of Carthage, and Italy the next punic conquest. Some politicians like Appius Claudius call Rome to arms, and accept to help the Mamertines. The Mamertines expelled the punic garrisson of Hanno from the Messina'fortress, and the war will begin...

    Sorry for my bad English...
    What I don't understand about this - Carthage and Syracuse move against the Mamertines, but then the Mamertines accept a Carthaginian garrison? Doesn't seem like the Carthaginians were really "allied" to the Syracuseans then? As I suppose that the Syracuseans wanted anything but a Carthaginian garrison in Messana, did they? Considering that I am sure they knew that if the Mamertines were dealt with, they (the Syracuseans) would be next.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulstrider View Post
    Well my Knowledge is rusty, irrc they sieged Messana together but the lack of coordinatiom between both sides meant that each army was defeated individually by the Romans in this battle I believe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Messana
    Interesting, I didn't know the Romans actually fought for Messana, I thought the Carthaginians just left and then the Romans immediately marched against Syracuse.

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    First the Mamertines called for a Carthaginian garrison, then they kicked it out. Then Carthage and Syracuse allied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaloc View Post
    you know at those times Romans had loose morals
    Hairy times...

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    "It required a very peculiar concatenation of aggravating circumstances to bring about the First Punic War.

    By a not unnatural yet fatal oversight no attempt had been made in the ... treaties (between Carthage and Rome concerning the Latin coast) to define exactly the respective spheres of the contracting parties in Sicily, where the Romans as yet had no important interest, political or commercial. Because of this gap in the covenant an unforseen situation arose at Messana, a city whose position on the straits that carry its name had made it into a long-standing object of contention between Carthaginians and Greeks. In 264 Messana was suddenly thrown into the political market.

    Since c.288 it had been in the hands of a corps of discharged Campanian mercenaries who went by the name of "Mamertines" (sons of Mars). Some 24 years later it was put under siege by king Hiero of Syracuse, the most powerful of the remaining Greek states on the island. The capture of Messana by Hiero would probably have entailed the wholesale execution of the garrison, for the Mamertines were no better than a Grand Catalan Company who lived by systematically plundering or blackmailing the rest of Sicily.

    In this extremity the Mamertines accepted an offer of help from an expectant Punic flotilla, whose admiral thereupon induced Hiero to call off his attack. But as soon as they were rid of Hiero, they cast about for means of ushering out their Carthaginian guest, who was outstaying his welcome, and resolved to offer themselves as allies to the Romans, upon whom they could make a claim on the ground of common race. In extricating themselves from their scrape the Campanian adventurers contrived to set Romans and Carthaginians by the ears."

    Cribbed from "A History of Rome" by M. Cary and H.H. Scullard

    Blimey, this is not very easy English to understand - good luck if English is not your first language.

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    Thanks, that cleared it up for me. The first sentence sounds like someone trying very hard to sound intelligent, but the rest is understandable I think(/hope)

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    Having been intrigued by the phrase "Grand Catalan Company" I found the following "

    Catalan Company (1302-1388 AD)

    By David Kuijt and Chris Brantley

    The Catalan Company may have been the first true mercenary company in Western Europe, long before the Italian Condottas and the infamous Free Company of Sir John Hawkwood.

    The Catalan Company was raised in 1281 to fight as mercenaries in the War of the Sicilian Vespers, where the Angevin and Aragonese dynasties fought over the Kingdom of Sicily. When the war ended 20 years later its commander was Rutger von Blum, better known as Roger de Flor. De Flor was originally a Templar sergeant. At the fall of Acre in 1291 he became rich using one of the Templar galleys to shuttle fugitives from Acre to Cyprus for enormous fees; later he was a pirate before he joined the Catalan Company and worked his way up to command it.

    When peace broke out in Sicily the Catalan Company was surplus, and Sicily was strongly interested in seeing the last of them. De Flor negotiated a good deal with the Byzantine Emperor, Andronikos II, who desperately needed mercenaries to fight the Turks after the Byzantine at Nicomedia in July 1302.

    The Company arrived at Constantinople in September 1303. They had no sooner arrived in Constantinople than they got involved in a bloody melee in the street with the local Genoese community. Soon afterwards they were shipped to Anatolia to reinforce Philadelphia, a Byzantine city entirely surrounded by the Turks for some years. A large force of Alan cavalry (survivors of Nicomedia) were sent with them but didn't stay long. In short order there was a falling out between the Catalans and the Alans, and a sharp skirmish in which the Alans suffered 300 casualties including the son of their chieftain. Afterwards all but 1000 of the Alans left.

    Catalan Company Knights The Catalans then conducted a raiding campaign throughout the Turkish-held lands in Byzantine Nicaea, landing at Cyzicus in 1303 and striking south to Philadelphia, passing through Sardis, Magnesia, and Ephesus before recrossing the Straights of Bosphorus to land at Neapolis in Gallipoli. By this point, the Catalans, who had recruited nearly 3000 Turkic horse into their ranks, were considered by the Byzantines to be little better than brigands and freebooters. The successes had inflated the already arrogant De Flor, leading him to entertain plans of a setting up his own version of the Byzantine Empire in Anatolia. Needless to say, this put him at odds with the Byzantine Emperor, and eventually led to De Flor's assassination in an Alan ambush at 1305 and the subsequent Byzantine massacre of as many of the Catalan Company as they could reach. Command of the Catalan company fell on Ramon Muntaner. Further losses occurred in conflict with the Genoese soon after, but Catalan and Aragonese reinforcements, plus the addition of a significant number of disaffected Turkish and Turkopouli deserters from the Byzantine army kept the Catalan Company in existence.

    The Byzantine emperor then attempted to stop the Catalans with a large army, but was defeated at Apros in 1305; in part because the Alans, fearful of Catalan wrath at the loss of de Flor, deserted the Byzantine army in the field. The Catalans then advanced to Rhaidestos, which became a center of operations for an ineffectual blockade of Constantinope and raids throughout Thrace for approximately two years (1306-1307 AD).

    By 1308 bloody internal dissension and Byzantine resistance to their constant raids from their base in Gallipoli forced them to move into Thessaly, in Northern Greece. Using Salonica as a center of operations, they raided that region and ravaged the rich Eastern Orthodox monasteries at Mt. Athos.

    In 1310, the Catalans accepted a new employer, Walter de Brienne, the Duke of Athens and one of the promient leaders of the so-called Romanian Frankish "Latin Empire." They captured over thirty castles for him, but when peace was concluded in 1311 de Brienne attempted to dismiss them without pay, and answered their reasonable demands with insults. This led to their rebellion and open battle. They laid a trap for the Duke at Kephissos by arraying for battle behind a newly flooded field. Walter and his Frankish knights charged unknowingly into the mire and were destroyed by the resourceful Catalans. Duke Walter and a huge proportion of his knights were slaughtered, leaving the Catalans masters of his Duchy.

    The Catalan Company asked the royal house of Catalonia-Aragon to provide them with a Duke as a figurehead; during the next seventy years they were "ruled" by a succession of eight absentee Dukes, none of which seem to have ever set foot in their Duchy. Having seized their own country, the Catalans then apparently settled down to defend it, and were able to hold Athens for nearly eighty years.

    In 1379 another force from the Iberian peninsula, the Navarrese Company, moved on from its efforts to conquer Albania and attacked the Catalan Duchy of Athens in concert with a Florentine force. In 1388 a a Florentine army defeated the Catalans in a decisive battle at Kaledes (a.k.a. Peritheorion or Anastasioupolis), at the far end of Lake Vistonis on the road from Xanthi to Komotini. Following this defeat and the subsequent loss of their Duchy, the Catalan Grand Company disbanded.

    The Catalan Grand Company had a habit of making enemies of its friends and friends of its enemies, which included the Alans, Romanian Franks, Late Byzantines, and Early Ottomans.

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    They captured over thirty castles for him, but when peace was concluded in 1311 de Brienne attempted to dismiss them without pay, and answered their reasonable demands with insults.
    Reminds me of the Mercenary War... I seriously don't understand what these people were thinking?!?
    "I'll just not pay this unit of mercenaries, people trained to fight that just helped me win a war, there is no way that could go wrong."

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