The Punic Wars is a series of military confrontations that put an end to the existence of one of the most famous powers in the ancient world. The Third Punic War, which is also known as the Third Carthaginian War, occurred in Tunisia between 149 BC and 146 BC. It is the last war between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian (Punic) Empire that led to the final destruction of Carthage.


The Third Punic War followed a couple of other military confrontations between ancient Rome and Carthage, which ended with the loss of the latter. As a result of the first two wars, Carthage lost substantial territory, including Sicily and the Spanish Empire. Moreover, Carthaginians were obliged to pay massive reparations to Rome (Cartwright, 2016). For the next years, both parties tried to establish peaceful relationships, which were based, however, on the domination of Rome.

Meanwhile, Carthage unleashed the hostilities against Numidians, who had acquired around half of Carthage’s territory. Rome immediately used these events as an excuse to crush Carthage, its old enemy, claiming that they started fighting with Numidians without their permit. Moreover, Rome authorities considered Numidians as their close allies, which also deteriorated the situation between neighboring powers. Therefore, the Third Punic War cause was not even related to the relationships between Romans and Carthaginians. Instead, it was initiated by Romans, who decided to use favorable conditions for crushing its old enemies.

Rome began implementation of its plans with besieging of Carthage, which can be seen as picture 1 presented below. It was implemented with the help of the city of Utica, which detected to Rome and allowed the Roman army to use it as a place for gathering. For the first two years, the city was managing to withstand the Roman siege. Thus, Roman consuls launched a couple of attacks, which were repelled by Carthaginians. It is fair to note that the inhabitants of the besieged city not only tried to repulse the attacks of Romans but also took efforts to fight with Romans. For example, they burned the Rome fleet, which resulted in the loss of men in the Roman army.

The situation changed when the Romans invited a new general, Scipio Aemilianus, to command their army. He launched an attack on the harbor side of Carthage and eventually entered the city. It led to massive bloody acts between Romans and Carthaginians that lasted for seven days. For the city of Carthage, the Third Punic War result was disappointing. The Romans managed to win and occupied all the remaining territory of the city. Moreover, they enslaved its population, which led to continuous exploitation of Carthaginians.

The previously prosperous land of the Punic Empire was completely abandoned, and everyone, who tried to resettle the area, was set by a curse. All these events caused not only physical abandonment of the Carthaginian Empire but also the decline in the development of Punic culture, religion, and language. For many years, the Carthage Empire remained uninhabited and was reconstructed only in a hundred years under the authority of Julius Caesar.