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Rome, Carthage, and Numidia: Diplomatic Favouritism before the Third Punic War

  • Colin Bailey (a1)

Abstract

This article examines Rome’s diplomatic relations with Carthage and Numidia in the period between the Second and Third Punic Wars. Polybius’ suggestion that Rome consistently decided against Carthage in territorial disputes with Numidia in the aftermath of the Second Punic War (Polyb. 31.21.5-6) has often been taken up in explanations of the origins of the Third Punic War. Many ancient and modern accounts accept the implication of a policy of hostility against Carthage, assuming that Rome permitted and even encouraged Masinissa to infringe upon and seize Carthaginian territory. This paper, however, argues that the results of Roman arbitration between Carthage and Numidia do not show a consistent policy intended to undermine Carthage. Rather, Rome sought to maintain the territorial division which was imposed at the end of the Second Punic War throughout the inter-war period; several of its decisions were actually in favour of Carthage. The Third Punic War should not be seen as a culmination of a half-century of Roman hostility towards Carthage.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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I would like to express my thanks to the reviewers at Antichthon for their suggestions and comments on this article as well as to Dr. T. Deline for comments on earlier drafts. Any remaining mistakes are, of course, my own.

Footnotes

References

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Rome, Carthage, and Numidia: Diplomatic Favouritism before the Third Punic War

  • Colin Bailey (a1)

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