Timeline: Carthage & Rome before the First Punic War

  Romans defeated by the Gauls under Brennus at the Battle of Allia. Gauls sack Rome, only the Capitol is defended by the citizenry (Quinctilis).
814 The traditional date for the founding of Carthage by Elissa (Dido), sister of the King of Tyre.
800? First Phoenician presence on Sardinia.    
770 Founding of Gadir, gateway to Spanish silver.    
753 Traditional date for the founding of Rome by Romulus.  
c750 Carthaginian domination of the Western seas.    
c734 Syracuse settled by Corinthians led by the aristocrat Archias.    
654 Carthage founds colony in the Balearic Islands at Ibiza.    
600 Carthage fails to prevent Phocaean Greek colony at Massilia (Marseilles).    
c581 Acragas (Agrigentum) founded by Greek colonists from Gela    
580 First attempt by Greeks to drive Phoenicians out of Sicily.    
574 Tyre falls to Nebuchadnezzar. Carthage rises to prominence among the Phoenician cities in the West.    
550 Magonid dynasty founded in Carthage. Carthage allies with the Etruscans against the Greeks. Carthaginian force led by Malchus defeats Greeks in Sicily, but is vanquished in Sardinia. Malchus banished, marches on Carthage, is caught and executed.   Carthaginian colonies formed along coast of Africa, Algeria, Hadrumetum, Leptis.
540 The Carthaginians prevent a Greek attempt to land in Corsica. Etruscan-Carthaginian coalition against Phocaeans of Corsica - naval battle of the Sardinian Sea - in consequence, Etruscans establish control of Corsica, and Carthage takes first steps towards conquest of Sardinia  
539 Asian Phoenicia falls to Cyrus the Great of Persia.    
535 Carthage, with Etruscans, destroys Phocaean colony in Corsica and closes Sardinia-Corsica off to the Greeks.    
510 Dorieus, a Spartan prince, is expelled from Tripolitania. Expulsion of the last Tarquinian king, Tarquinius Superbus. Brutus liberates Rome. Establishment of a Republic headed by two magistrates (later called consuls) elected annually  
c504   Sardinia conquered by the Carthaginians: the campaigns of the Magonids  
509 The first treaty between Carthage and Rome
479-450 Carthage conquers most of Tunisia. Colonies in North Africa founded or strengthened. Mago's expedition across the Sahara.    
498 Hippocrates and Theron seize control in Syracuse and attempt to throw Phoenicians off western part of the island.    
491 Battle of Halorus: Syracuse and Carthage fighting    
485 Gelon ruler of Syracuse (485 to 478)    
480 Alliance with Persia (Xerxes) fails to destroy Greeks, military defeat in Sicily as fleet is cut off by superior Athenian forces. Decisive battle at Himera in Sicily between Greeks led by Gelon and Carthage (at the same time as Thermopylae) - Hamilcar is defeated and commits suicide on the battlefield. Hamilcar's son, Hanno 'the Navigator continues the dynasty.   Second Persian war: battles of Thermopylae and Salamis; followed by battles of Plataea and Mykale (479), which conclude the war
449 or 446   Defeat of the Latins at the battle of Lake Regillus  
454-453     Periclean age in Athens (447-432). Athens, on the initiative of Pericles, attempts to establish a footing in southern Italy and Sicily
431-421   First phase of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta (Archidamian war) Plato is born (429)
415-413 Syracusans survived a long siege by the Athenians that took place during the Peloponnesian War, ultimately destroying the Athenian invasion force in Sicily and weakening Athenian power in Greece itself.    
410 Hannibal (son of Gisco and grandson of Hamilcar) is the 'king' of Carthage. Phoenicians in Spain join with Celtiberians to secede from Carthage, denying the state important silver and copper revenues. Overland tin trade cut off. Himilco's expeditions in the Atlantic. Hanno's expeditions to Morocco and Senegal. The Sicilian city of Segesta asks for Carthaginian aid against the Greek city of Selinius    
409 Hannibal initiates attempts to conquer Sicily. Hannibal, takes the fortified towns of Selinus (ally of Syracuse) and Himera by use of siege towers.    
406 City of Agrigentum, in southern Sicily, falls in December to Hannibal the Elder and is ravaged. Romans at war with the Veii
  Hannibal and hundreds of troops die in epidemic outside fortified town of Acragas. Himilco, his cousin, takes over command, is defeated by a force out of Syracuse, and has supply disrupted in naval action. Syracusan forces strengthen garrison. Carthaginian squadron breaks through Greek blockade -- the besieged escape under cover of night, Punic forces collect spoils. Himilco takes town of Gela, defeating Syracusan force, then takes town of Camarina.   Dionysius takes power in Syracuse
405 Himilco marches on Syracuse.
Peace treaty between Carthage and Syracuse is signed after Carthaginian troops are ravaged by plague and cannot conquer Syracuse. Syracuse grants control of most of Sicily and must pay tribute to Carthage. Treaty confirms Dionysius I as dictator (tyrannos) of Syracuse. First Sicilian War concluded.
413-404     Last phase of Peloponnesian war and final defeat of Athens by the Spartans and Persians
398 Dionysius breaks the treaty and sacks Motya -- Carthaginians permanently relocate main Sicilian base to fortified town of Lilybaeum.   Death of Socrates (399)
397 Himilco drives Dionysius back to Syracuse and resumes siege. In naval action, sinks or boards 100 Syracusan naval vessels and takes 20,000 prisoners.    
396 Epidemic lays Punic forces low for a third time in Sicily. Dionysius capitalizes and defeats Himilco in pitched battle. He survives, but upon return to Carthage in disgrace, starves himself to death. Fighting continues under his successor Mago, nephew of Himilco, Romans take and destroy Veii.  
393 Carthaginian force under Mago defeated trying to re-take Messana.    
392 Mago defeated a second time. Truce signed.    
390 Camillus (Dictator). Capture of Rome by the Gauls Gallic incursions in central Italy and along the Adriatic coast
382/3 The third of the Carthaginian wars on Sicily breaks outbetween Dionysius and Carthage in alliance with Italiote cities and Lucani -Archytas' Italiote league, but this time the battle includes the land in the south of Italy which Dionysius had brought under his control.
378 Mago falls in the Battle of Cronion, in southen Italy fighting the Syracusan army. Carthage and Syracuse agree a peace. Servian Wall built around Rome, 10 kilometres in length.  
375 Carthage defeated at Cabala -- Mago and 10,000 soldiers killed. Mago's son Himilco defeats Dionysius near Himera -- truce favorable to Carthage concluded. Himilco dies of the plague. End of the Magonid dynasty - succeeded by Hanno the Great.    

Dionysius attacks Carthaginian base at Lilybaeum -- stopped when fleet defeated by warships under Hanno the Great.
Dionysius I dies (401-367), still at war with Carthage. Dionysius I had turned Syracuse into a very powerful militarized state confronting the Carthaginians. Carthage and the Etruscans make a pact to counter Syracuse and Tarentum. Accession of Dionysius II and start of phase of anarchy in Syracuse and Sicily

First Plebeian elected Consul.  
350s? Hanno the Great crucified following unsuccessful attempt to usurp power from the Council of Elders.   356 Philip of Macedon begins expansionist policy in Greece
348 Carthage is the leading Western power. Rome agrees to second treaty with Carthage.
345 Mago sails to Syracuse to drive out the usurper. Greeks receive support from Timoleon in Corinth who drives the Carthaginians out. The Carthaginian commander Mago commits suicide in order to avoid court martial upon his return.    

Hasdrubal and Hamilcar make a second attempt, losing a battle at Segesta (Battle of Crimisus). Hasdrubal is executed.
Gisco, son of Hanno the Great, is recalled from exile and authorized to make peace -- Sicily divided along Halycus River. 2nd Sicilian War ends.

Adhesion of Capua to Rome. In the face of agression by the Bruttian League Tarentum appealed for aid against the barbarian to its mother city Sparta. Samnites attack Sidicni and Campanians. First Samnite War begins (343-341).
341 Carthaginian embassy to Rome.   Sidicini and Campanians ally with Latins and Volsci. First Samnite War ends - Romans occupy northern Campania .
340 Power struggle in Syracuse ends with Timoleon of Corinth victorious. Rome confiscates Latin and Privernate land and ager Falernus. Latin War (340-338) begins.
339 Timoleon wins in battle with the Carthaginians at Krimisos.  
338 Capua is granted civitas sine suffragio. responded and King Archidamus of Sparta headed an expedition to southern Italy that fails disastrously: the king is killed in battle with the Lucanians.

Latin War ends - Latin League dissolved.

Battle of Chaeronea and imposition of Macedonian dominion on Greece

336     Death of Philip and accession of Alexander the Great
334 Carthage makes peace with the Greek empire and with the Lagos monarchy in Egypt. Cales is the first Latin colony founded by Rome. Alexander the Great's uncle Alexander 'the Molossian' of Epirus answered the call of the western Greeks in southern Italy. Alexander the Great of Macedon begins his eastward campaign to conquer the Eastern World. (334-323)
c. 333-330   Campaigns of Alexander of Molossia in southern Italy  
330 Agathocles comes to power in Syracuse. Alexander 'the Molossian' is assassinated.  
328   Foundation of Fregellae  
327   Second Samnite Was (327-304) begins. Appeal of Neapolis to Rome
323 Alexander the Great dies.    
321   Battle of the Caudine Forks; Roman army forced to surrender to the Samnites.
315 Agathocles of Syracuse takes Messana. 315-314 Acrotatus of Sparta's Sicilian expedition Rome suffered a crushing defeat at Lautulae.
312 Censorship of Appius Claudius/ Construction begins on the via Appia and the aqua Appia (Rome's first aqueduct). First issue of silver coinage by Rome  
311 Agathocles, Syracuse's latest tyrant, lays siege to Acragas and crosses the Halcyus, violating the peace treaty. Gisco's son Hamilcar defeats Agathocles at Ecnomus Etruscan Wars (311-308)
310 Carthaginian force under Hamilcar, grandson of Hanno the Great defeats Greek force at Himera. Siege of Syracuse begins.  
309 Agathocles, rather than stay in Syracuse to fend off a Carthaginian siege, invades North Africa (but has to abandon his army there in 307). Carthage meets Agathocles' force of 14,000 with 40,000 foot, 1000 cavalry and 2000 chariots under Bomilcar and Hanno. Greeks are victorious, Carthage losing 3000 on the battlefield, but city is impregnable. Siege of Syracuse continues.    
308 Carthage reverted partly back to its old ways, sacrificing 300 children of noble birth. Bomilcar tries to make himself dictator in Carthage. Is defeated and tortured to death. Greeks form local allies -- Egypt contributes 10,000. Greeks control Tunisian province and fighting continues.  
307 While Agathocles oversees events in Syracuse, Carthage defeats the Greek and allied forces. Despite Syracusan reinforcement, Greek cause in Africa is doomed. Greeks desert to Carthaginian commanders Hanno and Himilco in vast numbers. Treaty favorable to Carthage concluded. Greek victory outside Syracuse. Hamilcar captured and killed.    
306 Treaty between Carthage and Rome to counter pact between Etruscans and Syracuse.    
304   Second Samnite War ends.
303-302   Cleonymus of Sparta's southern Italian expedition: he makes an alliance with Tarenturn against the Lucanians  
302   Roman intervention to prevent the unrest at Arretium in Etruria and Carseoli amnog the Aequi  
300 Agathocles intervenes in southern Italy: takes Corcyra, forces alliance with Bruttii, then defeated by them. Pytheas explores the Atlantic, Euthymenes the coasts of Africa. Lex Ogulnia: plebeians admitted to priestly offices  
299 Conquest of Narnia. Gallic raid on Etruria.
298   Third Samnite War (298-290) begins. Rome captures Bovanium Vetus and Aufidena
296 Bronze statue group of Romulus and Remus set up.  
295 Agathocles secures Croton, alliances with Iapygians and Peucetians.   Roman victory over Samnites, Etruscians, Gauls and Umbrians at Sentinum; Decius Mus, a Roman general, commits devotio (sacrifice oneself to help your army). The other Roman general present was Fabius Rullianus.
Major defeat of Sulla at Camerinum by the Samnites and Gauls
294   Samnite victory near Luceria
293 Cult of Aesculapius brought to Rome. Roman victory over Samnites at Aquilona.
292   Falerii conquered Temple of Aesculapius dedicated on the Tiber Island in Rome on January 1.
291   Venusia conquered

Rome defeats the Samnites, ending the 3rd Samnite War - Sabines granted limited Roman citizenship - Roman domination of central Italy is complete.

289 Death of Agathocles. Pre-war division of Sicily resumes. 3rd Sicilian War ends. Mint and triumviri monetales established.
288? Mamertines settle in Messana.  

Archimedes, Greek mathematician, physicist and inventor. 287-212BC

284 Agathocles' Campanian mercenaries found the state of the Mamertines at Messina   Revolt of Vulci, Volsinii, Samnites and Lucanians.
283 Leg. C. Fabricius Luscinus sent to allies on news of Tarentine hostility, arrested.   Boii defeated at Lake Vadimo
282 Fabricius campaign in south:
Defeats Samnites, Bruttians, Lucanians, relieves Thurii, triumphs.
Supplies Rhegium with garrison of Campanians.
Roman garrisons installed at Thurii and Locri.
Rome conquers territory still held by the Gauls along the Adriatic

Thurii, located on the Gulf of Taranto, asked for help from Rome after having been attacked by Lucania. Roman Fleet attacked by Tarentum. L. Postumius Megellus dispatched to Tarentum, insulted. Tarentines force withdrawal of Romans from Thurii.

281   Aemilius campaigns in Samnium, invades Tarentine territory. Aemilius offers negotiations with Tarentines, who appeal to Pyrrhus of Epirus , relative of Alexander the Great.
280 Achaean League reconstituted.
Decius uses his Campanian troops to take Rhegium.

Invasion of Italy by Pyrrhus on behalf of Greek city-states. Defeats Romans at the Battle of Heraclea but with great loss to his own troops. This is the first time elephants are used in Italy as instruments of war.

279 Carthaginians were besieging Syracuse, which invites Pyrrhus of Epirus to lead war against Carthage.   Romans defeated by Pyrrhus at the Battle of Asculum. Real 'Pyrrhic victory' (costly win).
Pyrrhus' offer of a truce is rejected by Rome. Pyrrhus tires of his agreement to assist Tarantum and leaves to answer invitation from Sicily, to come and fight there.
278 Fourth (?) treaty between Rome and Carthage (against Pyrrhus).
Pyrrhus invades Sicily, defeats Carthaginians, leaving Lilybaeum as the only remaining stronghold.
277 277? Carthage sinks 70 of Pyrrhus' 110 ships and Pyrrhus gives up the war in Sicily.   Consuls suffer defeat at M. Cranita in Samnium.
Rufinus captures Croton and Locri.
276   Fabius celebrates triumph over Samnites, Lucanians, Bruttians. - Pyrrhus returns to Italy.
275 Hieron II (Hiero) becomes tyrant of Syracuse.
Hiero defeated by Mamertines of Messana - Pyrrhus's old enemies (275/4 or 270/69?).
Q. Fabius Maximus born; nicknamed Verrucosus and Ovicula

Pyrrhus is defeated near Malventum (original name, changed to Beneventum). Romans led by M. Curius Dentatus. Pyrrhus leaves Italy for good & return to Epirus in Greece.
Beginning this year and over the next five years, Rome campaigns to take over all of Magna Grecia in southern Italy.

274   The remaining troops which Pyrrhus left at the Tarentum garrison now leave to return home to Epirus.
273 Embassy of amity by the Macedonian king of Egypt in Rome. The Romans and their allies conquer the Etruscan city of Caere
272 Carthaginian fleet appears off Tarentum.
Pyrrhus is killed in a fight in the streets of Argos (south of Corinth in Greece) and he is killed when he is hit in the head by a roof-tile before he can begin his second invasion of Sicily.

The Magna Grecia cities of Velia, Heraclea, Thurii & Metapontum all become Rome’s allies this year. Locri & Croton may have become allied this year or shortly before now. The dates are uncertain.
Tarentum surrenders this year, as a Roman army approaches its boundaries to take it over.

271 Genucius probaby begins operations against Rhegium.  
270 Hiero of Syracuse defeats Mamertines at Longanus (270?). M' Curius Dentatus dies In Rhegium a group of tribal mercenaries had taken over the town, posing one more threat to the completion of the Magna Grecia campaigns. Rome retakes Rhegium.
269 First silver coinage minted in Rome  
268   Picentes conquered and granted limited citizenship
267   War with Sallentini. Capture of Brundisium
266   Conquest of Italy to the Rubicon River completed Apulia and Messapia reduced to alliance
265 Hiero proclaimed king of Syracuse.
Carthage installs garrison at Messana at request of Mamertines.
265-264 Roman intervention to suppress unrest at Volsinii, the last free Etruscan city. The city is destroyed.
264-241 First Punic War (264-241)    

| First Punic War | Between the First and Second Punic Wars | Second Punic War | Between the Second and Third Punic Wars | The Third Punic War and after (until the death of Scipio Aemilianus)

Various sources, including: http://www.geocities.com/~stilicho/225.html | http://web.idirect.com/~atrium/rresources.html

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