12 May 2008

From "A Short History of Ancient Carthage"

The Desert Campaigns

The desert campaigns began with explorations into the sandy wastes surrounding Parthian, but soon grew into the largest military expedition in Carthaginian history up to that point. In the early years of exploration (ca. year 5,000), the desert was crossed for the first time, revealing the presence of both Babylonian and Barbarian settlements on the Southern plains. Clearly, if Carthage were to grow, the desert would have to be conquered, and could no longer serve as a buffer between the emerging empire and the rest of the world.

Scouts reported that the Barbarian city fell before the fury of a small Spanish force, possessed by the zeal of religious fervor in their never-ending efforts to spread Christianity. However, over time, no Spanish reinforcements arrived, making the city a tempting target. In 5,250, seven thousand Carthaginian soldiers were poised in the hills across the river from the settlement, waiting for the official order to charge the city.

War would mean generations of enmity with the Spanish, and would determine much of the course of later Carthage. These battles--claimed by some to be wars of aggression, by others wars of liberation--mark the end of "Ancient Carthage," as with them the empire was launched into the murky waters of international relations and diplomacy.

(from http://civisibles.blogspot.com/ )

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