Dr Louis Rawlings
Carthaginian Warfare (6th to 2nd centuries BC): The Punic military system is a relatively neglected topic. For the most part, treatments have been subsumed into more general histories of Carthage or narratives of Rome’s wars with the city. Modern assumptions about the nature of Punic warfare have often been influenced by ancient stereotypes of the Carthaginians as a mercantile and unwarlike people who depended on a small elite of citizen career generals who commanded mercenary armies with little interest or support from the broader Punic elite or general population. A rigorous examination of such perspectives is long overdue and by drawing on recent studies of the manner in which authors, such as Polybius, consciously and sub-consciously shaped their material this study will produce a better understanding of the distorting effects of historical and ethnographic writing in shaping modern perceptions, and a more sophisticated and nuanced appraisal of the dynamics of Carthaginian warfare.
The purpose of the project is to assess the nature of Carthaginian war-making and its influence on the development of warfare in the western Mediterranean and beyond, from the sixth to the second century BC.